One of the things I noted about the discussions surrounding “Web 2.0” was the idea that blogs were the next weapon in guerilla marketing, following the failure of various astroturf campaigns to garner any actual support due to ease with which they were exposed. The idea is that whatever the failings of free culture, it is generally an honest discussion, so people trust it, so it obviously must be corrupted with undercover advertising and the crass profit motive.
Like a fool, I said sure, and so am obliged to post the following review…
Firstly, here’s what Deploying OpenLDAP isn’t useful for:
- Getting a mixed Win/Mac/Linux environment to use OpenLDAP for authentication.
- Helping you integrate OpenLDAP with Samba for a domain controller.
- Using OpenLDAP to maintain your DNS data.
- Using OpenLDAP to maintain your DHCP data.
- Figuring out how you’re going to lay out your DIT—including the RFC way vs. the Apple way vs. the ActiveDirectory way.
All of these things are actual legitimate questions related to the actual deployment of OpenLDAP, but they are also topics the book doesn’t really cover at all, which is a shame.
Here’s what it is useful for:
- Understanding exactly what LDAP is.
- A tutorial on downloading and installing slapd.
- Reading man pages in paperback form.
- A quick-n-dirty introduction to the libldap API—oriented towards writing a Perl script to interface with some ugly legacy system.
In other words, it was mostly a set of information that you should be able to figure out for yourself by reading the existing man pages, HOWTOs, and online documentation—particularly if you’re tasked with setting up anything as involved as an LDAP directory.
#4 was about all it was useful for to me personally, and even that would’ve been redundant if I hadn’t gotten bored of reading about Perl APIs when all I wanted was a sample DIT or some policy that I could use as a model to follow when deploying a Samba/OpenLDAP PDC. When I had to reshuffle part of the DIT I wrote a little C app to do it remembering parts of that chapter, but that was about it.
In other words, it suffers from the same problem as a lot of other broad LDAP documentation: it’s too vague to actually be useful because “deploying OpenLDAP” is too broad a concept to be adequately explained in one 300 page book.