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Re: Build errors in GNATS 4.2.0 on Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS

From: Chad Walstrom
Subject: Re: Build errors in GNATS 4.2.0 on Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS
Date: Thu, 02 Sep 2021 00:53:32 -0500
User-agent: mu4e 1.4.15; emacs 27.1

John P. Willis <> writes:
> Though, I'd also think the NetBSD folks would have a vested interest
> in seeing upstream development somewhat renewed, if they indeed wish
> to continue using it in production.

Juniper systems also uses it or have used it in the past, and we've
received some large contributions to code from them, specifically around
framing the code to use a relational database backend. We haven't seen
much since.

> Personally, I feel that having a CLI option that's clearly free
> software rather than open-source, and also /not/ /primarily/ a 
> web-based/"cloud"-based solution with a trillion lines of Ruby and
> Python code, Chef recipes, Docker containers, and all sorts of other 
> bloated, baroque, and labyrinthine hooey, makes GNATS worth
> maintaining for the future. I have a hope--albeit faint and
> fading--that simple software will see a renaissance as the technical
> debt of over-engineered projects comes to a head.

As a stand-alone daemon and flat-file database, GNATS is definitely a
creation from different age. An individual bug as an invidual file that
is largely readable with a simple editor places GNATS in the same family
as an email client using mh mail or Maildir for storing files. So at
it's core, it's a simple concept, but when you add in email ingestion, a
network daemon, and a web interface to that daemon, it gets complicated

If GNATS is going to live on, what will its goals be (other than keeping
up to date with current compilers)?

> I've not used reposurgeon, but have read/watched information about it
> from ESR. Seems like a good tool, though if I were to tackle this 
> project, I'd probably just stick with CVS in the early days in order
> to focus on getting the software buildable/usable, prior to advancing
> the status quo on version control.

I agree with that approach, as CVS works sufficiently for this small
team. I've become very comfortable with and fond of git in my career,
and think it'd be a good fit for the project. Maybe I'll pick up where I
left off those few years ago.

> Coincidentally, I have recently gotten a Savannah account, as I have
> another package (interpreter for the MUMPS programming language and 
> database) that I hope one day to offer to the GNU project.

Great! Good luck!

> I have a good deal of interest in GNATS, and could afford to put a few
> cycles towards it, especially as a companion to my own projects. It 
> would obviously take some time to grok enough of the codebase to get
> productive with it, and initial successes would probably be
> sub-optimal, but getting old software compiling on new systems is
> something with which I have recent and pertinent experience.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I haven't had a professional
reason to hack on GNATS for quite some time now, so if you or anyone
else is interested in picking up the mantle, let me know.

Chad Walstrom <>

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