Learning RT

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RT is used for a number of different purposes at FREE GEEK; see the page on RT for more information on that. Here, we'll discuss a few common functions that staff or volunteers might want to be familiar with.

The ticket

Everything in RT is based on the ticket, which can be thought of a task. Every ticket will be in a queue - this shows what sort of thing it is, or what it relates to. The support queue holds tech support requests, the grants queue holds grant requests, the ASS queue holds things the ASSes need to do, and the staff subcommittee queues hold tickets relating to the things those committees need to get done.

There are many characteristics a task can have, including an owner, a priority, a due date, and a status. When a new ticket is created, it has no owner and no due date.

  • The owner is the person responsible for the ticket. (See Claiming a ticket, below.)
  • The priority is often used to determine how pressing the task is. If the priority of a ticket is over 50, the group should bring it up at their meeting.
  • The due date can help with prioritizing as well, though some people never use it.
  • The status is important, because if it's not kept up to date, the todo list will never get any shorter. (See Closing a ticket, below.)

RT at a glance

When you log in on RT, you will come to your home page, titled "RT at a glance". This has several sections. The left has navigation stuff; you will usually just use Home (to get to this page) and Tickets (which will get you to a ticket search). That and the top are consistent throughout RT. The top has the tool that will let you make a new ticket, and a search form.

In the main body of that page, there's the list of your top 10 tickets, ordered by priority. There's a little Update link next to each one; see Updating a ticket below for more information on that. Below that, there's a list of the top 10 tickets you created, which may or may not be your responsibility (for instance, if you created a ticket in the ASS queue about a security hole, it would show up here, even though it's not your problem). And on the right, there's a list of the queues you have access to.

Looking at queues

If you click on one of the queue headings on the right of your home page, you will see the list of all currently active tickets in that queue. The list of queues will not be exhaustive unless you are Richard; generally, people sign up for queues that are related to things they do. You will not be able to look at a queue or add to it unless you have permission to do so.

The headings in that list can be clicked on to sort by that category, so if you wanted to see which tickets in a queue belonged to you, you could click on Owner to see that, or you could click on Last Updated to see what has been languishing for months without any update. You can see more information about a ticket by clicking on its title.

Updating a ticket

When you're looking at a ticket, you can update it. You can change any of the important fields, like priority or even title, or you can make a comment on it (if, say, a phone call came in relating to an item, you could record that in a comment). You can also make a reply to the person who made the ticket, called the requestor. The reply might be a status update ("Ok, i did such-and-such. Check and see if that works for you.") or a request for more information ("I can only move forward on this if you give me the phone number for that person.") Communicating with a requestor that way makes a record, so you can see when you acted on it and so it doesn't look like the ticket is lying idle.

The reply and comment options are at the top of the page, under the search form. Each of the colored headings under that (The Basics, People, Dates) are links to pages where you can change those fields.

Claiming a ticket

Near reply and comment

Closing (Resolving) a ticket

Closing a ticket in RT is called "resolving" it. There are three ways to do this.

  1. Click on the "Resolve" link at the top of the ticket to give yourself a space to make a comment.
  2. Click on "Reply" to send a message to the requestor and change the status button to "Resolved".
  3. Click on "Basics" and change the status to Resolved.

Once the ticket is resolved, it no longer appears in the queue's list, but can be found by an appropriate search.

If you are not able to resolve a ticket in a queue for which you believe you should have that right, contact a member of the RT admin group.

Deleting a ticket is very different, and access to that function is only available to RT administrators. This is used only for tickets created by spam, or test messages.

RT and agendas

RT and meeting commitments

Getting grant info