The index is used to accelerate searches on the database by
edit-pr. This file is not created until the
first PR comes in. It is then kept up to date by gnats; you should
never touch this file.
Searches on subjects contained in the index are much faster than searches which depend on data not in the index. Inexes come in two different formats: binary and plain-text. Binary indexes are safer, in that they avoid certain problems that may crop up if the field separators used by plain-text indexes appear in field data.
A plain-text index contains single-line entries for all PR fields
except for the multitext fields such as Description, How-To-Repeat,
etc. Fields are separated by bars (|) except for
Number, which are separated by a slash
Binary indexes are not meant to be human-readable, but they are safer than the plain-text variety, in that they avoid certain problems that may crop up if the field separators used by plain-text indexes appear in field data.
The format of the index for a database is set in the dbconfig file. See Index file description.
Should the index file become corrupted, the
utility can be used to regenerate it. See Regenerating the index.