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DevCentral Top5 03/19/2010

Time does fly when you're having fun, and trying to keep up with everything that's been going on with DevCentral is my kind of fun. I love watching what everyone is up to, from updates from the con to new folks blogging about their hippy proclivities, there's never a dull day in DC land. And all of this while we're hard at work on many things behind the scenes that aren't readily apparent just yet. Of course, I realize I may be slightly biased and not everyone is as apt to stay immersed as I am, hence the introduction of this little newsletter many years ago, in which I pick the five things you really need to see, which I offer to you yet again here:


There's Privacy Then There's Privacy

In one of Lori's recent blog entries she discusses allowing users to implement flexible security based on policies they craft themselves. That's an intriguing topic in its own right, but then she went on to talk about doing so with network side scripting, and I was hooked. The idea is to allow a user to implement their own filter to scrub content they themselves post before allowing it out into the wild. Are you concerned that your mom might read something bad on your Facebook page because you forgot to keep things "appropriate"? No worries, you could have a content scrubber in place allowing your posts to either get scrubbed or at least bounced back to you for editing before they're released into the wild. And all of that could be done with no modifications to the application itself. That's a pretty neat concept in my opinion, and Lori goes into way more detail in the post, so check it out.


Addicted to Open Source

Ryan Corder introduces himself as an addict in this post, letting us know that he has an affliction that can't be shaken, a serious need for open source software. I've heard of worse things to be addicted to, so I'm sure he'll be all right, and in the meantime I look forward to enjoying his open source focused writing. In this introductory post he talks about his goal, what we need to do to get there, things we're already doing to move towards that end and generally how cool DevCentral is. Okay, I made that last part up, but it's a good post and if the next ones are just as good, this will soon be a blog to watch if you're interested in the software world, and particularly in open source.


Post of the Week - High Speed Logging, iRules and you

There were some questions surrounding High Speed Logging via iRules that I wanted to get cleared up, so I attempted to do so in the post of the week last week. Since not everyone is familiar with HSL, I took a couple minutes to discuss what it is, how it works and how one might go about using it and why, then tried to answer a few of the questions that have been cropping up about it. This is a wicked cool feature that hasn't gotten a ton of publicity just yet, so I'm happy to showcase it a little and talk about what it can do. If you're into iRules and/or looking for a way to ship data off of an LTM, this is the ticket.


Self Serve Security

In a look at the softer side of security, Pete discusses the importance of user awareness and education in his most recent post. Stemming from the final keynote he took in at this year's RSA conference, he delves into the importance of user education and shows off some stats from a very official looking report that say more is better. Honestly though, it's often underestimated what a giant part educating and preparing users and employees is in an overall security plan. Trying to forcibly keep users safe is much more difficult and much less effective than educating them on how to stay safe themselves. This is a good topic and I'm all for education of users over even more restricted access and policies, so read up and see what you can do to help keep yourself secure.


20 Lines or Less #38 - Classes, Encryption Detection & Caching

Often last but never least, is the 20 Lines or Less for this week. With cool examples from two of our most esteemed forum contributors, hoolio and l4l7, this one shouldn't be missed. This week shows off a good way to find and parse data stored in a class, a very cool way to gracefully handle HTTP traffic on an HTTPS port, and an oldie from the archives that'll let you set custom caching timeouts based on file extension. These are fun and quick to consume, and a darn good way to find out what kinds of things you can and maybe should be doing with F5's gear beyond the obvious. Whether you're an iRules pro or just contemplating using them, the 20LoL is never a bad place to start.


That's it for this week, I'll be back next week with 5 more from DevCentral, assuming being locked in a conference room with the team all week doesn't preclude my ability to do so. Thanks for reading, and drop me a line of you have any feedback or suggestions.


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More Stories By Colin Walker

Coming from a *Nix Software Engineering background, Colin is no stranger to long hours of coding, testing and deployment. His personal experiences such as on-stage performance and the like have helped to foster the evangelist in him. These days he splits his time between coding, technical writing and evangalism. He can be found on the road to just about anywhere to preach the good word about ADCs, Application Aware networking, Network Side Scripting and geekery in general to anyone that will listen.

Colin currently helps manage and maintain DevCentral ( He is also a contributor in many ways, from Articles to Videos to numerous forum posts, to iRules coding and whatever else he can get his hands on that might benefit the community and allow it to continue to grow.

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