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How to use the BFAV2 server directly
Last updated at 12:46 pm UTC on 17 January 2006

BFAV has been replaced by the Mantis Server

The information on this page is maintained only for its historical value.

From http://lists.squeakfoundation.org/pipermail/squeak-dev/2004-September/082414.html:

It's bound to happen, for one reason or another the BFAV client (or server) is broken and it looks like its all going to crash to a halt. But this does not have to be the case. Everything available through the BFAV client is available in other ways, albeit much more inconveniently.

1. All posts go through one of two lists. Each of these lists has archives:



Google (http://google.com/) should be indexing these, so with any luck a well-formed Google search query (hint: +site lists.squeakfoundation.org) will return valuable info. Also see Squeak Mailing Lists.

2. The info that the BFAV client accesses is on an HTTPD server and you too can pretend to be a BFAV client.

a. The listing of all posts contained in the database can be found at


The format is intended for parsing by the BFAV client but it's not completely unreadable:

24496:[ENH] Add player's textual reference into workspace:4:0:0:Takashi Yamamiya <expunged{at}nolonger.here>:Mon, 20 Sep 2004 00\c36\c53 +0900

(I decided to remove the email address for this wiki copy.)

There are multiple fields seperate by colons. The first field is the ID of the report within the 'database'. The second field is the subject of the email. If you see a \c that is a colon (a \\ is a single \). The second to last field is the sender and the last is the date and time. Don't worry about the other fields.

b. If you need to download a message from the database you can get the appropriate filename using a simple CGI program. For example if you want to retrieve 24496 you would type into a web browser


And at this moment that returns:


Another example




You can then retrieve these with




The zip files contain .eml files which are just text files of the raw emails received through the list. If you need to get an attachment out of one of these its a hassle compared to getting it from the list archives but can be done with MIME tools which can be found on the net.

3. Just because the BFAV client is down does not mean that you can't still send in reports. For the most part this is still done as it always was done and can still be done manually. Find details at

Reporting Bugs and Fixes

Harvesting Process

Commenting Bugs and Fixes

The moral of this story is that there is always a way. Or to put it more clearly, just because the BFAV client may be broken doesn't mean the work can't go on.

Ken Causey