Node:Problem Report fields, Previous:Mail header fields, Up:Fields

Problem Report fields

Field descriptions

In a standard GNATS installation, certain fields will always be present in a Problem Report. If a PR arrives without one or more of these fields, GNATS will add them, and if they have default values set by the configuration at the Support Site, they will be filled in with these values. Certain tools such as send-pr are set up to provide sensible defaults for most fields (see The send-pr.conf configuration file.)

In the list below, the field type (text, multitext, enumerated, etc.) is supplied in parantheses. The different field types are explained briefly in Field datatypes reference.

(enumerated-in-file) A unique identification code assigned by the Support Site. It is used to identify all Problem Reports coming from a particular site. Submitters without a value for this field can invoke send-pr with the --request-id option to apply for one from the support organization. Problem Reports from those not affiliated with the support organization should use the default value of net for this field.

See The submitters file, for details.

(text) Comma-separated list of e-mail-addresses of people to notify when the PR changes significantly, i.e. when the Audit-Trail changes. This list is independent from the Notify subfield of entries in the categories file of the GNATS database.
(text) Originator's real name. Note that the Submitter and Originator might not be the same person/entity in all cases.
(multitext) The originator's organization.
(enum) Use of this field depends on the originator's relationship with the support organization; contractual agreements often have provisions for preserving confidentiality. Conversely, a lack of a contract often means that any data provided will not be considered confidential. Submitters should be advised to contact the support organization directly if this is an issue.

If the originator's relationship to the support organization provides for confidentiality, then if the value of this field is yes the support organization treats the PR as confidential; any code samples provided are not made publicly available.

(text) One-line summary of the problem. send-pr copies this information to the Subject line when you submit a Problem Report.
(enum) The severity of the problem. By default, accepted values include:
The product, component or concept is completely non-operational or some essential functionality is missing. No workaround is known.
The product, component or concept is not working properly or significant functionality is missing. Problems that would otherwise be considered critical are usually rated serious when a workaround is known.
The product, component or concept is working in general, but lacks features, has irritating behavior, does something wrong, or doesn't match its documentation.

(enumerated) How soon the originator requires a solution. Accepted values include:
A solution is needed as soon as possible.
The problem should be solved in the next release.
The problem should be solved in a future release.

(enumerated-in-file) The name of the product, component or concept where the problem lies. The values for this field are defined by the Support Site. See The categories file, for details.
(enumerated-in-file) The class of a problem in a default GNATS installation can be one of the following:
A general product problem. (sw stands for "software".)
A problem with the documentation.
A request for a change in behavior, etc.
A support problem or question.
duplicate (pr-number)
Duplicate PR. pr-number should be the number of the original PR.
No problem, user error or misunderstanding. This value can only be set by tools at the Support Site, since it has no meaning for ordinary submitters.

See The classes file, for details.

(text) Release or version number of the product, component or concept.
(multitext) Description of the environment where the problem occurred: machine architecture, operating system, host and target types, libraries, pathnames, etc.
(multitext) Precise description of the problem.
(multitext) Example code, input, or activities to reproduce the problem. The support organization uses example code both to reproduce the problem and to test whether the problem is fixed. Include all preconditions, inputs, outputs, conditions after the problem, and symptoms. Any additional important information should be included. Include all the details that would be necessary for someone else to recreate the problem reported, however obvious. Sometimes seemingly arbitrary or obvious information can point the way toward a solution. See also Helpful hints.
(multitext) A description of a solution to the problem, or a patch which solves the problem. (This field is most often filled in at the Support Site; we provide it to the submitter in case he or she has solved the problem.)

GNATS adds the following fields when the PR arrives at the Support Site:

(enumerated) The incremental identification number for this PR. This is included in the automated reply to the submitter (if that feature of GNATS is activated; see The dbconfig file). It is also included in the copy of the PR that is sent to the maintainer.

The Number field is often paired with the Category field as


in subsequent email messages. This is GNATS' way of tracking followup messages that arrive by mail so that they are filed as part of the original PR.

(enumerated) The current state of the PR. In default GNATS installations, accepted values are:
The PR has been filed and the responsible person notified.
The responsible person has analyzed the problem.
The problem has been solved, and the originator has been given a patch or other fix. Support organizations may also choose to temporarily "park" PRs that are awaiting further input from the submitter under this state.
The changes have been integrated, documented, and tested, and the originator has confirmed that the solution works.
Work on the problem has been postponed.

The initial state of a PR is open. See States of Problem Reports.

(text) The person at the Support Site who is responsible for this PR. GNATS retrieves this information from the categories file (see The categories file).
(date) The time that this PR was received by GNATS. The date is provided automatically by GNATS.
(date) The date by which a fix is required. This is up to the maintainers at the Support Site to determine, so this field is not available until after the PR has been submitted.
(multitext) Tracks related electronic mail as well as changes in the State and Responsible fields with the sub-fields:
State-Changed-<From>-<To>: oldstate>-<newstate
The old and new State field values.
Responsible-Changed-<From>-<To>: oldresp>-<newresp
The old and new Responsible field values.
State-Changed-By: name
Responsible-Changed-By: name
The name of the maintainer who effected the change.
State-Changed-When: timestamp
Responsible-Changed-When: timestamp
The time the change was made.
State-Changed-Why: reason...
Responsible-Changed-Why: reason...
The reason for the change.

The Audit-Trail field also contains any mail messages received by GNATS related to this PR, in the order received. GNATS needs to find a category/number at the beginning of the Subject field of received e-mail in order to be able to file it correctly.

(multitext) Any random text found outside the fields in the original Problem Report.

During a Problem Report's journey from open to closed, two more fields, Last-Modified and Closed Date (both of type date) will be added.