Modifying Web Accelerator and FirePass Wikis

Why a Wiki?

DevCentral utilizes a Wiki to handle all of our documentation. The strength of Wikis is that they allow all users to contribute to the existing body of knowledge. While Wikis seem foreign to some people and the documentation is sometimes archaic, they really are simple to use, if you know a few tricks. The purpose of this document is to provide you with those tricks so that you can contribute your experience and knowledge to the rapidly expanding documentation maintained by our community. Don’t be shy, if you have written anything for F5 products, you have something to share with other users, and we chose a Wiki format so that you could share it with other users.

The primary thing to understand about a Wiki is that it generates its own links and menu structure. To do that, you have to provide the Wiki with certain bits of information so that your page doesn’t get lost in never-never land.

How is it Organized?

Wikis are organized into Categories. A category is simply a way to group like material together, so for our Wikis, we have created categories that make sense for DevCentral. For example, the Category for a Web Accelerator (WA) article is WAFeature. This tells the Wiki software it is an article for Web Accelerator, and should be grouped with all of the other Web Accelerator articles. In addition to the top-level category, we have a secondary category defined to keep our Wikis separate. These are FPCATEGORY and WACategory, and they allow the Wiki software to group like WA and FP subtopics. These are the common areas that WA and FP users may have issues or commentary, and we can definitely expand them if the need arises – contact the DevCentral Team if you would like some modification to these categories (note that you can type anything into the WACategory or FPCATEGORY field, but the article will not get listed on summary pages, etc if you do not use one of our predefined ones).

The current list of WA Categories is:

Category Description
CustomPolicies Custom WA Policies
TricksandTips Helpful hints learned through experience
ApplicationWoes Troubles you’ve faced with applications in your infrastructure
HTTPTransforms Transforming HTTP Requests with WA
EdgeSideIncludes Information about the ESI standard and WA’s use of it
CustomScripting Writing custom scripts for WA


The current list of FirePass Categories is:

Category Description
Customization Configuration and customization tricks
AdvancedEndpointSecurity Endpoint security tips and tricks
FPBIGIPintegration Using FirePass as a module in BigIP
FPCLIENTintegration Client API, Client CLI, etc
SystemAdministration Administrating firepass and tools to make administration easier

Next is the title that you wish to utilize. The title of a Wiki document is just the actual title you would write in a Microsoft Word document.
And finally, there is the Summary – what top-level and aggregation pages will use to give the reader an idea of what’s in the document.
Now that we’ve discussed all the fields, we should talk just a little bit about how the Wiki software recognizes a field as an instruction to it. It needs to know how to find the Category, summary, etc. within the text of the article. To do this, it uses the Colon and the location on the line.
Any line that starts with :Keyword: (for our Wiki, most Wikis don’t require the starting colon) will be read as a keyword. Thus

 :CATEGORIES: MyCategoryHere, 

Will put this document into the MyCategoryHere category, and any page that builds a list of all documents within MyCategoryHere will automatically include this document. Hence the reason we use WAFeature to indicate all WA documents within the Wiki.

If you have more than one value for a keyword, no problem, just list them comma separated.

Note: it is a true oddity that the ending comma must be there for Category and WACategory. If they are not, the simple wiki parsing engine will ignore your entry.

 :WACATEGORY: CustomPolicies,CustomScripting, 


 :FPCATEGORY: Customization, 

Here is a sample of the mandatory information you should put at the top of every wiki page. Failure to include some or all of these elements will likely make your entry disappear and have no easy way to get to it – not something you want.

:WACATEGORY: ApplicationWoes, 
:Title: One Time With Sharepoint… 
:Summary: Sharepoint and responsiveness 


:FPCATEGORY: Customization, 
:Title: FirepassLogonPageReplacement 
:Summary: Modifying your Front Page to allow for a customized user experience. 

Note that the fields are the same, except that Web Accelerator uses WACATEGORY to classify the type of WA Content, while FirePass uses FPCATEGORY to classify the type of FP Content.

Editing the Content

There are a lot of things you can do to make your Wiki entry really shine, most of them are listed on the FlexWiki documentation pages here: Wiki Formatting. Also important is the list of available emoticons.

Getting Started

One thing to note, the way to create a new topic is by clicking on the title of an existing topic. This is a little non-intuitive, but the context of the existing topic gives the Wiki system an idea of what you’re trying to do. Got to The One Minute Wiki to try it out. Just click on the title of the topic (One Minute Wiki), and it will ask you for your topic name. Once you enter your topic name, you are presented with a new Wiki entry to edit.

Losing a Page

If you save your page, then navigate to a page that should reference it (in WA's case, generally the WA Wiki homepage) and it is not linked from there, do not panic there is a "recently modified" menu item on the right side of the page that will allow you to get at your page to figure out what is wrong.

Getting Help

If you cannot find what you need on any of the above entries, email the DevCentral Team or visit the Forums.