Annotation of wikisrc/bugtracking/stuff_we_dislike_about_gnats.mdwn, revision 1.4

1.1       dholland    1: # Stuff we dislike about gnats
1.2       dholland    2: 
                      3: ## Storage and filing
                      5: * gnats does not understand MIME attachments. (At all.) They end up as
                      6: text blobs in the database. And worse, they end up mildly corrupted so
                      7: they need to be edited to be decoded.
                      9: * gnats makes it a nuisance to extract even inline patches from PRs.
                     11: * gnats has no way to prevent accidentally filing messages in old PRs,
                     12: and it's frequently necessary to hand-edit old PRs to clean up the
                     13: consequences.
                     15: * gnats accepts a wide range of misformatted incoming PRs, then
                     16: mangles them further and drops them into an internal queue needing
                     17: manual attention.
                     19: * gnats fairly frequently belches on incoming mail requiring
                     20: intervention from admins.
                     22: * By default gnats does not treat incoming confidential PRs as
                     23: confidential; it requires manual filtering in the surrounding email
                     24: logic.
                     26: * gnats has no support whatsoever for automatically handling bounced
                     27: mail.
                     29: * There's no way to disable sending mail to email addresses that are
                     30: known to be invalid.
1.4     ! schmonz    32: * When a bug is closed, there's no way to disambiguate from its
        !            33:   closed state whether it's fixed, invalid, obsolete, or otherwise
        !            34:   "won't fix".
        !            35: 
1.2       dholland   36: ## User interface
                     38: * gnats has no ability to do anything by web besides display PRs, and
                     39: they display only as plain text. Things that you should be able to do
                     40: that you can't include:
1.3       dholland   41:    * filing comments
                     42:    * browsing from one PR to other related ones (either explicit links
1.2       dholland   43: from one PR to another, or retriving other PRs with similar
                     44: properties)
1.3       dholland   45:    * subscribing to PRs to get updates (even by email, let alone by RSS)
1.2       dholland   46: 
                     47: * The only way to do administrative operations is to run an editor on
                     48: the backend text file representation of a single bug. This means you
                     49: can't readily:
1.3       dholland   50:    * massedit PRs (e.g. put a lot of related PRs in feedback at once)
                     51:    * update someone's email address
                     52:    * move misfiled comments from one PR to another
1.2       dholland   53: 
                     54: * But you can't file a comment on a PR from the command line; you have
                     55: to send email.
                     57: * The nag mails that gnats sends to submitters are annoying to handle;
                     58: in particular just replying to them does not go anywhere useful.
                     60: * The nag mails that gnats sends to developers list a bunch of PRs but
                     61: do not list them in any kind of useful order; nor does gnats note
                     62: what's different since the previous one.
                     64: ## Querying and search
                     66: * There's a web search form, but it's close to useless, partly because
                     67: it doesn't take input well and partly because the lists of results it
                     68: produces is unsorted, unstructured, and impossible to work with.
                     70: * The command-line interface supports search... using a custom query
                     71: "language" that's nearly impossible to use and that furthermore has
                     72: most of the same drawbacks as the web search page. In order to do
                     73: anything much useful you need to write your own scripts that wrap the
                     74: output.
                     76: * Finding stuff in the database is sufficiently hard that many people
                     77: consider it effectively impossible.

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