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What do YOU need to get over that coding hurdle?

If you're looking at this topic and wondering "What the heck is this doing here?", you should probably go look at my Blog post over in that section: Click here. If you're coming here from that post, then you probably don't need further explanation.

Either way, let me know which of these would be useful for you in making better use of our Development technologies. If you've got some other ideas, I'd really like to hear them, so pick "Other" and post what you've got to say.

Thanks, and happy coding,
#Colin
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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER
In looking through the labs, it isn't intuitive to me as a non-developer how the pieces fit together (powershell, the iControl assembly, the powershell scripts, etc) A little primer as to how they fit together and what each function brings to the table, plus maybe what advantages/disadvantages powershell has over some of the other options would be helpful.
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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER
How do I test which member from the pool in iRule? I would like to know what ip address (pool member) is selected.
Thanks,
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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER
I'm not quite sure what you mean, danielv243, but I'm sure if you ask your question again, with a little more detail in a separate post, you'll get some kind of help from the good folks in the DC Community.

This post wasn't really intended for direct technical questions, more of a brainstorming session.

Thanks,
#Colin
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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER
It's been my (very) recent experience as a developer that we are asking developers to learn TCL (not generally a programming language of choice), plus iRules, plus BigIP terminology all at the same time. I'm working up some "WTF?" documents... Errr, I mean, "getting started" documents that highlite the variious parts and where to get more help on them.

Don.
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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER
Ok, so there's one part of it...some getting started Docs, which we've been sorely missing so far. What else? I see plenty of folks are voting...but not a lot of comments. You guys aren't that shy, are you?

#Colin
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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER
Maybe if you had different starting points for the "getting started" docs. What I mean by that is literature directed at certain professions. For example, I'm a Network Engineer, im going to come at iRules with a different background than say a Web Administrator, or a Developer, etc. etc... Just a thought since you tried calling us out on being shy

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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER
And a much appreciated thought, at that.

Thanks!

#Colin
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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER
Here are some things that I could have used (and possibly still can).

1. Some pointers to documentation on TCL. Since it's in there, I need to know how use it. Links and book recommendations would be appreciated, perhaps an article that expands upon the disabled command list and dives into "here is where TCL and iRules are different" would be great. Then I can use the already available TCL docs and not come to DC trying to learn how to program AND how to use iRules.
2. Clean, descriptive function documentation. NAME::lookup has nothing in there. As much as F5 probably wants this to be a community run site, I don't know that I'm interested in or have time to document the core functions of iRules. That stuff should already be there since F5 has cornered the marker on the iRule SMEs
3. More code samples (this is more of a personal request). There is a good chunk of stuff available now, and anything that can be cleaned and added to it would be great. One issue IP, though. Corporations don't like to relinquish anything, so I'm not sure where any of this will come to. I have an iRule I worked out with F5 support that lets you make a load balancing decision based on some value in the reverse DNS of a client lookup. Using that properly and implementing your own highly customized DNS solution, you could literally load balance based on the client IP's annual precipitation. Personally, I learn by stealing code that does something else and modifying it to do what I want. I don't know how many other people do that, but the more code you have in the CodeShare, the better off we are.

I think that would be a good start. Ageraci mentioned that people will be coming to this from different backgrounds, and they couldn't be more correct. Lots of Network Engineers know nothing but Cisco CLI syntax, and now they need to move from that to a TCL based system.

Right now I only care about iRule information, and for that DevCentral is the only place to go. It usually fits the bill after some time spent, so I'm glad someone is thinking about making it more robust, etc.
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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER
You know what's cool? Now that IOS has a TCl shell, I have implemented TCL scripts on several of my IOS resources, which I never would have even imagined before learning TCL on my F5 devices. Skill building is a great thing...

There are so many great examples in the forums that have never made it onto CodeShare. Since none of them are mine, I didn't think it was my place to make it happen. If the community wouldn't care, I could take a month of forum entries at a time and format rules I thought were cool and document them for codeshare. Anyone else interested?
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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER
IOS has a TCL? Who woulda thunk it?

Good point on the forum as a source of code. There are all sorts of examples flying around there. Putting them on the CodeShare would be a great way to index/compile them together. I for one would love it.
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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER
yep, you can call your tcl scripts from cron (IOS--> kron), or use the embedded event manager. But we're talking about F5 here, aren't we :-)

You can email me offline at e488bc@erac.com if you'd like an example of the TCL scripts I wrote. Each solved a different problem we were having.
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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER
I would say more complete iRule examples with links to the various subjects encountered in the example. The examples that accompany the Wiki are sparse at best.
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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER
An excellent poll (sorry for dragging it back up to the top of the forum).

I would like to add my vote for more examples because as a non-programmer i find it easier to look at a piece of code and see how i can alter it to meet my needs.

Also (and this might be completely off topic) could we have a forum for use of the different types of F5 product such as Big-IP etc. The Devcentral site is incredibly usefull as i have been spending alot of time recently setting up some irules on our system but i find it much more difficult to find out about how to do things that are not irule/icontrol based.

cheers

simon
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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER
It would be nice to separate LTM and GTM iRules forums since not all commands are available in both. To your point about product configuration forums, I believe Deb is in the process of spinning that up for LTM, and perhaps the other products as well?
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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER
I agree with all of wbenetti's points. I think the most important thing is to show relevant examples, and ensure that every function within the example is adequately documented (use hypertext!). The examples you currently have are the most consistently useful thing I use on devcentral (aside from stumbling across a few exceptionally useful posts).

Please create an example on DNS reverse lookups! The API docs are empty and the existing examples are few in number and highly complex (lots of moving parts requiring scouring forums and such to pluck the right post).

In short, I think your primary responsibility in providing support to a wide audience is to weed out the good information from the bad, and put the good information where people will find it easily. And in my experience, working examples provide the best information.
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USER ACCEPTED ANSWER & F5 ACCEPTED ANSWER
I couldn't find a general overview document that includes a description of how a packet flows through the system. That would be really useful... I would like to know more about when iRule(s) are triggered, what happens when data is modified (like cookie removal) and how this is affected by clone pooling. (I'm still trying to figure this one out :-) As an existing TCL user I love the fact this is your chosen language... although I do miss proc's :-)
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