RT Essentials Paperback – Aug 28 2005
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About the Author
Jesse Vincent is the author of RT and the founder of Best Practical Solutions, LLC, a company dedicated to open source tools to help people and organizations keep track of what needs doing, when it gets done, and who does it. Before founding Best Practical, Jesse worked as the systems lead for a now-defunct dotcom and a software designer at Microsoft.
Robert Spier is a software engineer who has been working with RT for almost 7 years. When not managing other engineers at his day job, he moonlights as Best Practical's lead trainer, and maintains the perl.org infrastructure.
Dave Rolsky is a programmer, author, and activist with a background in music composition, and an obsession with Hong Kong films and the works of author Gene Wolfe. He has been actively developing Free Software (Perl) for several years and is a member of the Mason core development team.
Darren Chamberlain is system adminisitrator and recovering programmer living and working in the Boston area.
Richard Foley is a Munich based Perl and Oracle developer who spends most of his time programming, when he could be spending quality time with his family, walking or skiing in the nearby Alps. He has a technical illustration background, and has developed applications for the Aerospace, Internet and Banking industries. Responsible for maintaining the perlbug database, from 1997 to 2001, he was co-organiser ofYAPC::Europe::2002 and is a member of the YAPC::Europe committee, the group responsible for organizing Perl conferences in Europe.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book, however, is largely a reorganization of the information provided with the software. If you prefer to read printed materials instead of PDFs or HTML, this book will save you money on printer paper. But if you're looking for best practices, recipies, or enhancements such as those you'll find in the RT Wiki, you may be disappointed. In fact, for most of the advanced capabilities, you are referred by the book to other resources. The book does contain the occasional nugget, such as a half dozen lines of code to truly delete a ticket and related data. With some searching, you'd be able to find those, and better, at the RT Wiki, such as the particuarly valuable contributions from the University of Oslo (do an A9 search for "RT prosjektgruppen").
Compared to most O'Reilly books which set the bar for excellence, this one is merely average. However, I do recommend this book as an introduction for those considering whether it's worthwhile to move to RT from some other enterprise ticketing system, and for techs to give to managers who are more comfortable with hard copies than electronic documents. For any RT admin, it's certainly worthwhile to have documentation printed and organized in an easy reference, considering how much you've saved on the excellent software itself.
Here are a few things I would have liked to have seen:
1. A 10 page user guide for basic users of the software.
2. An explanation of default system behavior. What happens when a user sends an email to a designated email box? What does the canned response look like? How might one modify it? What are the options? (this was covered in a sort of all over the place way).
3. A discussion of RTFM, the plug-in is mentioned briefly in Appendix A. Since the software is downloadable from the same website that hosts RT, a one or two page synopsis could have been useful.
4. A discussion about other plug-ins, including a way to run some basic reports (a function that seems to be totally absent given my three days of experimenting with the software.)
I feel like a lot of filler was in this book. There was an entire chapter discussing different entities and attributes related to data structures inside the database. I guess that may prove to be helpful to some extent, but anyone with a database background should be able to figure this out with relative ease.
Bottom line, this book was helpful to get a general overview of the software capabilities. I do, however, think the 200 pages could have been better spent covering some basic topics.
However, when it came down to implementing some of the code in the book, I found that it was already outdated. For example, I tried to set up the Autoreply template with Password by copying the code straight out of the book. It didn't work because the program codebase has changed too much since the book was released.
I was able to fix my template problem by hooking into the great RT user community, where the author contributes frequently.
All in all, I thought the book was really helpful for getting RT installed and getting me up to speed. For the nitty-gritty, I'd rely on the online wiki and great user community.
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