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The Chef Firewall Cookbook: a Leaky Abstraction

Managing a firewall is hard. Designing an abstraction layer on top of a firewall is even harder. Not only do you need to understand networking and your operating system, but you need to figure out a way to map common operations on firewalls to specific implementation rules. And you’ll need a way to manage firewalls across a fleet of machines. If this sales pitch hasn’t encouraged you to buy a hardware firewall yet… enter the Chef Firewall cookbook.

How Slack is bad for an online community

Dave Cheney recently made waves in the tech world by writing that Slack is inappropriate for open source communications. This reminded me about how the Chef community had made the move to Slack last year, and how they’d identified some major gaps between IRC (the previous preferred chat platform) and Slack. Because you can’t moderate users, block users, or protect your own private messages, I’d recommend communities go elsewhere. I’d take this further and argue that Slack is bad for any kind of non-corporate community.

Where Lambda falls short

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about the Cloud Computing movement. I’ve made the case before that functions-as-a-service, and ‘Serverless’ in general, are the next step in that evolution in utility based computing. But are Serverless technologies ready for prime time? Specifically, is AWS Lambda ready for mass deployment? I recently had to roll out a small Python-based service using AWS Lambda, and as a result of that experience, I’d say Lambda still has a few shortfalls that need to be addressed.

Goodbye Gainesville!

When I was in high school, I used to debate two big major paths — making a positive impact in the world right now, or going to college and learning a skill that could (after a much longer incubation period) be a multiplier on making the world a better place. At one point, I was really torn about waiting another four years before I could make an impact on the world around me when I knew there were projects and adventures I could start right away. Well, after being in Gainesville for more than 15 years, I’m embarking on an adventure that I’ve been thinking about for a while, that has the potential to make a big impact on my life. Goodbye Gainesville!