Regular readers no doubt have noticed that I haven't posted anything new in the past few months. I've been pretty busy with the holidays, home projects, and adjusting to a new job, and haven't had much time or motivation to devote to writing. Good news though: I have started on a long-overdue refresh of the Packet Life design and code base.
When I originally debuted Packet Life, I ultimately wanted it to serve as major community hub, so I built in features like the wiki and discussion forum. Although Packet Life has grown quite popular over the last few years, these areas of the site have seen little activity. Acknowledging that there are more active and useful sites out there which serve these functions, I've decided to chop off some of the bloat in favor of focusing on the blog and the site's other more popular features.
Here's the fate I've outlined for each function of the site:
Blog: The blog is the heart of the site and will remain mostly unchanged, albeit refreshed and optimized. I'm considering allow guest posts but haven't committed to the idea.
Lab: No, there are no plans to bring the community lab back online in the immediate future. Sorry. And if it is revived, it will move to LabKeeper.net (once I get back to work on that site).
Forum: The forum will be no lonegr be available, nor do I see much value in archiving its content. For general discussion and technical assistance I recommend networking-forum.com, /r/networking on Reddit, and the Network Engineering Stack Exchange site.
Wiki: Axed. It never saw much use and what little content was added was of questionable quality at best. I might republish a select set of pages as blog posts, but beyond that it will not be archived.
Captures: The packet captures database will stay. It seems to be pretty popular and I utilize it enough merely for my own needs that it's worth keeping. It also serves the blog by providing example captures to help illustrate the concepts being discussed.
Armory: I really like the idea of the armory, but the work to maintain the database of tools hasn't been proportionate to its meager interest. This concept would probably be better off on a more security-focused site. I plan to shutter the armory as well unless there's substantial objection from the community.
Library: The library will be reduced to the cheat sheets only (plus the IGP wall poster PDF). The study notes I posted there years ago are terribly outdated and won't be replaced.
Toolbox: I haven't decided whether to keep the toolbox around yet. I'm pretty proud of Ping Watcher but all of the other tools can be found elsewhere.
Of course, the revamp isn't limited to chopping off limbs. The entire codebase is being refreshed for Django 1.6, and the layout will be reincarnated as Bootstrap 3. The site will also be moving from Rackspace to Linode primarily for economic reasons, though that should be transparent to end users.
Let me know what you think about the proposed changes, or if there's any in particular you'd like to see on the renewed site. I hope to have a beta up and running before the end of the month.