Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Citrix NetScaler UI changes

Which is worse?

  • Searching for the solution to a problem and not being able to find it
— or —
  • Finding the exact solution to a problem in a blog, but discovering that it's an older post using out-dated products and documenting an API or UI that no longer exists?

This question comes from some feedback I received on a series of posts I put together that documents my use of the Citrix NetScaler VPX Express virtual appliance as a reverse proxy.

Citrix is doing the right thing: they're rebuilding the GUI in the NetScaler to eliminate Java (as much as possible). It has been a slow-going process, starting with the 10.0 version (as of this writing, 10.5 is current, and there are still one or two places that use a Java module), and one of the drawbacks is that the new HTML-only UI elements can't duplicate the Java UI—so things are...different.
HA Setup, v10.0 & earlier
HA Setup, v10.5
In the screencaps above, you see the older Java-based dialog box and the newer HTML page. They have some of the same data, but they are neither identical, nor are they found in the same exact place from the principal UI.

How does a blogger serve his/her audience? Does one ignore the past and soldier on, or does one revisit the old posts and update them for a new generation of software? If I had positioned myself as a NetScaler expert, that answer is obvious: UI changes in and of themselves would be post-worthy, and revisiting old functions to make them clear under the new UI would make perfect sense.

In this case, however, I have only had a couple of requests for revised instructions using the equivalent UI; I'm not a NetScaler guru, and to be perfectly frank, I haven't the time needed to redo the series. If I get a lot more feedback that this series needs to be updated, I'll think about a second edition using the new UI, but as of now it's going to stay the way it is.