[rt-users] Searching for, and displaying, gecos field - how?

John Line jml4 at info.cam.ac.uk
Fri Oct 7 12:29:46 EDT 2011

While migrating our existing RT customisation from V3.6.5 to 
(currently) V4.0.1 and adding some enhancements, I've encountered a 
problem: I need to be able to search for, and display, the gecos values 
from user entries (primarily for ticket owners and requestors), which in 
existing customisation will hold our centrally allocated username for the 
user, if one exists and can be matched to the user. [The RT username may 
(but won't always) contain it, so I can't just use the username.]

Since it wasn't offered by the search builder menus, I tried using the 
advanced search page to modify known-valid queries like

     Requestor.EmailAddress LIKE 'jml4 at hermes.cam.ac.uk'

created via the menus into e.g. Owner.Gecos LIKE 'jml4'. That failed 
initially, until I noticed entries in the log reporting "Invalid watcher 
subfield: 'Gecos' at /opt/rt4/sbin/../lib/RT/Tickets.pm line 905.". That 
prompted me to add gecos to the definition of FIELD_METADATA in a local 
copy of Tickets.pm.

That allowed the ".gecos" to be passed through to the search and it found 
a plausible-looking set of results, but I couldn't find any way to get the 
gecos value included in the search results. I found mailing list 
discussions suggesting that I needed to create 
local/html/Elements/RT__Ticket/ColumnMap, based on the original RT 
versions but with some definitions added (based on existing entries). 
However, that didn't solve the problem. I also found the %FIELD_METADATA 
definition in Tickets.pm which looked like it may be relevant, but not 
making what seemed like the obvious change there made no difference to the 

Any suggestions of where else I may need to make changes, or pointers to 
existing instructions, would be very helpful. I suspect I may be fairly 
close to getting it working, but with one or more critical pieces of the 
puzzle still missing.

 				John Line
John Line - web development, University of Cambridge Computing Service

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