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patches for Gnats version 3.2

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  • From: (Joachim Schmitz)
  • Date: Sun, 4 Dec 1994 16:13:16 +0100 (MET), noc@localhost, fr-domain-admin@localhost
  • Reply-to:

 Dear Benoit,

 sorry for the delay - you asked for the patches I made for Gnats version
 3.2. Here they are (in text form - I did not use any patch software):

 * It soon becomes obvious that Gnats does not allow other users than Gnats
   itself to edit TTs - as another user you may call program "edit-pr" but
   the changes are not stored. The reason for this is the permission on
   the TT files (rw-r--r--). For us it is important that also other users
   within the user group of our NOC may edit TTs. To achieve this we included
   user gnats in the NOC user group and made two small changes in the source
   code of two elements of Gnats:
   - pr-edit.c
     line 165: change command "umask (022)" to "umask (002)"
   - queue-pr.c
     line 357: change command "umask (022)" to "umask (002)"
   This leads to file permissions (rw-rw-r--) for all Gnats TTs. It is also
   necessary to adapt the permissions of the Gnats directories once to allow
   access to the programs or data inside.

 * When running "edit-pr" and changing the state or responsible person in the
   TT, not only the person doing the change should receive the according
   notification but the submitter, too. This is done wrong in the original
   source code of "edit-pr". The reason is that in lines 234-236 the condition
   is tested incorrectly. Instead of
    if [ -z "$to_subm" ]; then mail_to="${reply_to}, ${mail_to}" ; fi
    if [ -z "$to_old" ] ; then mail_to="${mail_to}, `$PR_ADDR ${old_resp}`" ; fi
    if [ -z "$to_new" ] ; then mail_to="${mail_to}, `$PR_ADDR ${new_resp}`" ; fi
   these three lines must read
    if [ ! -z "$to_subm" ]; ...
    if [ ! -z "$to_old" ] ; ...
    if [ ! -z "$to_new" ] ; ...
         ^
   With this change "edit-pr" works as described in the documentation.

 * In case you run program "edit-pr" for a TT but you do not make any changes
   in it, Gnats does not remove two temporary files in directory /tmp. To get
   these removed add the lines
      rm $new.old
      rm $new
   following line 148 in the source code.

 * On some error conditions, "edit-pr" prints an error message including the
   usage information of "edit-pr". To get a correct printout of the usage
   message change all lines reading
      echo $usage
   to
      echo "$usage"

 * When the state or responsible person in a TT is changed using program
   "edit-pr", the person doing the change is asked what the reason for this
   change is. The input is read directly from the terminal and written to
   a temporary file using the command
      cat >> $change_msg
   This offers only very poor editing capabilities. Therefore we replaced the
   "cat"-commands by the two lines
      read bla
      $VISUAL $change_msg
   This leads to a small change on the behaviour of "edit-pr". After the line
   "Why did the state/responsible person change?" the user of "edit-pr" must
   hit the <Return>-key to enter the editor (which is given in variable $VISUAL
   set at the beginning by "edit-pr"). After having finished editing (do NOT
   change the lines "State-Changed-..." in the file!! Just append your text)
   the user stores the text and leaves the editor. Program "edit-pr" then pro-
   ceeds as before. It is also advisable to change the lines
      echo "Why did the ... change? (Ctrl-D to end)'
   to something like
      echo "Why did the ... change? (hit <Return> to enter editor)'
   in "edit-pr" to make the alteration in the behaviour and usage of "edit-pr"
   obvious to the user.

 * In "send-pr" a template of the TT form is generated which must be filled in
   by the submitter. In the comments at the top of the form all error catego-
   ries are listed. It is not clear why in this listing category "pending" is
   also included (pending TTs only occur at the Gnats site when an invalid
   category was found in a TT). At the Gnats site you may remove this "pending"
   category from the display by changing line 205 from
      CATEGORIES=`grep -v '^#' $DATADIR/gnats/$GNATS_SITE | sort`
   to
      CATEGORIES=`grep -v '^#' $DATADIR/gnats/$GNATS_SITE |
                  grep -v "pending" | sort`
   For a distribution of "send-pr" to the submitters the easiest way to handle
   the problem is to remove the "pending" category from the categories file.
   This MUST NOT be done at the Gnats site itself!

 * Be careful to remove all remnants of earlier Gnats installations. On
   rare occasions, "configure" from a newer version confuses old and new
   data (look out for older versions of the file $GNATSROOT/gnats-adm/config
   and verify its contents after the installation of Gnats).

 * We do not have the complete GNU info package at our site. Therefore
   we ran into a problem with the "Makefile" produced by "configure". It
   always tries to make an info-file.
      make all
   works without adapting the Makefile but in order to
      make install
   I had to put a comment on line 236 of the Makefile. However, you should
   note that the length of the Makefile depends on what came out of your
   "configure"-run. Therefore, try to find lines

   send-pr.info: send-pr.texi version.texi fields.texi s-usage.texi categ.texi
           $(MAKEINFO) -I $(srcdir) -o send-pr.info $(srcdir)/send-pr.texi

   I put a comment on the second line.

 * Be sure to follow the post installation instructions in chapter A of
   the documentation. If you miss part of it (setting up certain files
   in $GNATS_HOME/gnats-adm for example or aliases) gnats is likely not
   to work. Gnats also needs an alias feeding mail into a pipe. If you
   have certain security constraints on your site it may be necessary
   to allow the pipe for the gnats-programs "queue-pr" and "mail-query"
   on your gnats server.

 * Program "mkdist" is simply not usable. It should create distribution
   editions of program "edit-pr" but does not do it correctly:
   - the distribution is tailored according to the configuration necessary to
     run "send-pr" on the Gnats site computer - however, it should not be
     tailored at all to adapt it to the computer of the user at her/his site
     (then a "configure" script should also be included but is not)
   - the "Makefile" generated in the distribution has several bugs
   Since these bugs are not tolarable, we at DFN-NOC decided to build a
   "mkdist" program which fits our specific needs. Unfortunately, it has become
   that much specific that it is not desirable to show it here.

 * Finally, either there is an error in the documentation or it is a bug in
   the code (we decided that it is a documenation error making things much
   easier ;-) If someone wants to send supplemental information for a TT in
   Gnats this can be done by sending a mail without any specific form to
   the Gnats trouble address choosing a very specific contents of the "subject"
   field of the mail. Documentation says that the "subject" field should read
      Re: PR <TT#>: <original subject>
   where <TT#> and <original subject> must be replaced by the respective
   value/contents. This is wrong! The string "PR" must not be part of the
   "subject" field. Instead is must read
      Re: <TT#>: <original subject>
   Then everything works fine. (btw: this is exactly the "subject" you find in
   the notification mail of Gnats that your TT has safely arrived).

 That's about all - not much but it needs some time to find it all. Actually,
 there are only two or three bugs (the other changes were made to tailor Gnats
 to our needs).

 Best regards

     Joachim
_____________________________________________________________________________

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