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Proposal: Replacement for X-GNATS-Notify

From: Yngve Svendsen
Subject: Proposal: Replacement for X-GNATS-Notify
Date: Tue, 15 Oct 2002 12:23:04 +0200

The X-GNATS-Notify and "CC these people..." problem has been mentioned several times on this list. Basically, the problem appeared when the X-GNATS-Notify functionality was removed from GNATS 4, apparently because it was never made to work quite right. There is no doubt that the functionality is needed, though. Gnatsweb users frequently ask "How do I CC people on changes? I used to be able to do that in GNATS 3.113"

Several slightly varying solutions have been presented. I have done some testing and below is what I propose that we do, mainly based on Dirk Bergstrom's posting at and Alwin Dieperink's at

I would recommend that we go with the (2a) solution, since it is non-intrusive and low-risk and (2b) requires a bit of work and might touch a good deal of code and thus introduce risks. Doing that this close to (probably) release might not be a good idea.

So, what do you all say?

Andrew: I'd be happy to implement and commit these changes.

- Yngve Svendsen

1: Add a field named "Notify-list" to the standard dbconfig as follows:

field "Notify-list" {
        description "People to notify when PR changes significantly"
        query-default inexact-regexp

2a: Change the audit-mail format like this:
header {
-       format "Subject: Re: %s/%s\n"
+       format "Subject: Re: %s/%s\nCc: %s\n"
-       fields { "Category" "Number" }
+       fields { "Category" "Number" "Notify-list" }

2b: (ALTERNATIVE) Instead of doing the above, we could introduce a new mail-format section name, "cc-addresses", in addition to the existing "to-addresses" and "from-addresses". Some people might like this solution better, because it provides a better-structured dbconfig file since the cc: header wouldn't be jumbled into the general "headers" section. This solution would take some coding though, and I do not think it is worth to make changes that introduce risk at this stage in the 4.0 development cycle.

3: Remove the Cc: and X-GNATS-Notify headers from send-pr, and remove the [-c|--cc] option (I haven't checked if this has already been done)

4: Update docs in accordance with these changes.

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