Introduction to the bug control and manipulation mailserver

In addition to the mailserver on which allows the retrieval of bug data and documentation by email, there is another server on which also allows bug reports to be manipulated in various ways.

The control server works just like the request server, except that it has some additional commands; in fact, it's the same program. The two addresses are only separated to avoid users making mistakes and causing problems while merely trying to request information.

Please see the introduction to the request server available on the World Wide Web, in the file bug-log-mailserver.txt, or by sending help to either mailserver, for details of the basics of operating the mailservers and the common commands available when mailing either address.

The reference card for the mailservers is available via the WWW, in bug-mailserver-refcard.txt or by email using the refcard command.

Commands available at the control mailserver

reassign bugnumber package
Records that bug #bugnumber is a bug in package. This can be used to set the package if the user forgot the pseudo-header, or to change an earlier assignment. No notifications are sent to anyone (other than the usual information in the processing transcript).
reopen bugnumber [ originator-address | = | ! ]
Reopens #bugnumber if it is closed.

By default, or if you specify =, the original submitter is still as the originator of the report, so that they will get the ack when it is closed again.

If you supply an originator-address the originator will be set to the address you supply. If you wish to become the new originator of the reopened report you can use the ! shorthand or specify your own email address.

It is usually a good idea to tell the person who is about to be recorded as the originator that you're reopening the report, so that they will know to expect the ack which they'll get when it is closed again.

If the bug is not closed then reopen won't do anything, not even change the originator. To change the originator of an open bug report, use the submitter command; note that this will inform the original submitter of the change.

submitter bugnumber originator-address | !
Changes the originator of #bugnumber to originator-address.

If you wish to become the new originator of the report you can use the ! shorthand or specify your own email address.

While the reopen command changes the originator of other bugs merged with the one being reopened, submitter does not affect merged bugs.

forwarded bugnumber address
Notes that bugnumber has been forwarded to the upstream maintainer at address. This does not actually forward the report. This can be used to change an existing incorrect forwarded-to address, or to record a new one for a bug that wasn't previously noted as having been forwarded.
notforwarded bugnumber
Forgets any idea that bugnumber has been forwarded to any upstream maintainer. If the bug was not recorded as having been forwarded then this will do nothing.
retitle bugnumber new-title
Changes the title of a bug report to that specified (the default is the Subject mail header from the original report).

Unlike most of the other bug-manipulation commands when used on one of a set of merged reports this will change the title of only the individual bug requested, and not all those with which it is merged.

severity bugnumber severity
Set the severity level for bug report #bugnumber to severity. No notification is sent to the user who reported the bug.

For their meanings please consult the general developers' documentation for the bug system.

clone bugnumber [ new IDs ]
The clone control command allows you to duplicate a bug report. It is useful in the case where a single report actually indicates that multiple distinct bugs have occurred. "New IDs" are negative numbers, separated by spaces, which may be used in subsequent control commands to refer to the newly duplicated bugs. A new report is generated for each new ID.

Example usage:

        clone 12345 -1 -2
        reassign -1 foo
        retitle -1 foo: foo sucks
        reassign -2 bar
        retitle -2 bar: bar sucks when used with foo
        severity -2 wishlist
        clone 123456 -3
        reassign -3 foo
        retitle -3 foo: foo sucks
        merge -1 -3
merge bugnumber bugnumber ...
Merges two or more bug reports. When reports are merged opening, closing, marking or unmarking as forwarded and reassigning any of the bugs to a new package will have an identical effect on all of the merged reports.

Before bugs can be merged they must be in exactly the same state: either all open or all closed, with the same forwarded-to upstream author address or all not marked as forwarded, all assigned to the same package or package(s) (an exact string comparison is done on the package to which the bug is assigned), and all of the same severity. If they don't start out in the same state you should use reassign, reopen and so forth to make sure that they are before using merge.

If any of the bugs listed in a merge command is already merged with another bug then all the reports merged with any of the ones listed will all be merged together. Merger is like equality: it is reflexive, transitive and symmetric.

Merging reports causes a note to appear on each report's logs; on the WWW pages this includes links to the other bugs.

Merged reports are all expired simultaneously, and only when all of the reports each separately meet the criteria for expiry.

unmerge bugnumber
Disconnects a bug report from any other reports with which it may have been merged. If the report listed is merged with several others then they are all left merged with each other; only their associations with the bug explicitly named are removed.

If many bug reports are merged and you wish to split them into two separate groups of merged reports you must unmerge each report in one of the new groups separately and then merge them into the required new group.

You can only unmerge one report with each unmerge command; if you want to disconnect more than one bug simply include several unmerge commands in your message.

tags bugnumber [ + | - | = ] tag
Sets a particular tag for the bug report #bugnumber to tag. No notification is sent to the user who reported the bug. + means adding, - means subtracting, and = means ignoring the current tags and setting them afresh. The default action is adding.

Available tags currently include patch, wontfix, moreinfo, unreproducible, help, pending, fixed, security, upstream, potato, woody, sarge, sid and experimental.

For their meanings please consult the general developers' documentation for the bug system.

close bugnumber
Close bug report #bugnumber.

A notification is sent to the user who reported the bug, but (in contrast to mailing bugnumber-done) the text of the mail which caused the bug to be closed is not included in that notification. The maintainer who closes a report should ensure, probably by sending a separate message, that the user who reported the bug knows why it is being closed. The use of this command is therefore deprecated.

Tells the control server to stop processing the message; the remainder of the message can include explanations, signatures or anything else, none of it will be detected by the control server.
One-line comment. The # must be at the start of the line.

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Copyright (C) 1999 Darren O. Benham,
1997 nCipher Corporation Ltd, 1994-97 Ian Jackson.

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Last modified: Tue, 5 Jun 2018 08:43:23 UTC