Author image

Ray Gervais

Topics of Programming, Techno-babble, Music, and Life through the eyes of a Canadian Software Developer.

Cover image

Testing out a Flat File CMS: GRAV

As a developer, I find a lot of the ‘magical’ moments occurring from discovering new technology, platforms and applications which challenge the norm, or go beyond the tried and true to carve a path both familiar and unfamiliar to the user. While reading either Reddit or HackerNew (cannot remember origin sorry!), I saw a comment comparing popular CMS platforms to a modern abstract interpretation: Flat-File based CMS; namely, GRAV. I decided that I’d take a look. I wanted this look to be brief, similar to how one may compare this look to a spike in a sprint, where some time is spent identifying the viability of investing further efforts and time into the task.

Tags

Link
Cover image

Getting SSL Setup on WordPress and Static Sites

At the start of 2018, Google made a major push to rank and direct users to HTTPS websites in effort to be more web-safe; a fantastic way to push for such security onto as many websites as possible, aimed at those who care about there search rankings, privacy, and consumers. This also meant that at the time of writing this article, I was already at least eight months behind on this -and GoDaddy was the persistent parent who always reminded me of the HTTPS push, alongside their one-click-install SSL certificates sold on top of their hosting packages. In 2018, who wants to invest hundreds for SSL just to spend as much (if not more) in the next?

Tags

Link
Cover image

Using Docker to Orchestrate and Manage Node Projects

I found myself frustrated with this constant battle, be-it on ANY system that I was using. Eventually, they all became too cluttered and unlike a USB key which you could pull away and forget about, it was hard to clear out the jank without exposing your rm -rf habits to critical file systems. This is where I came up with the convoluted but totally awesome idea: Can I run NodeJS projects through Docker, and discard the container when I am done?

Tags

Link
Cover image

What I’ve Done Differently This Summer

So, this blog post has been long overdue. There is both so many experiences and thoughts I want to share, and yet so few which I personally feel would be of any use to you. Regardless, without any order, here are some of the activities that I’ve enjoyed and also learned from this summer. For the technical, programming centric, let me follow that up with a smaller post since I didn’t commit anything major this summer outside of my work at ManuLife (which has its own lessons including Docker, Kubernetes, Concourse, Chef, … let’s write an article on that soon, okay?).

Tags

Link
Cover image

Trying New Things, at the Cost of Old

A few weeks ago, I went with my friend Svitlana to view [Frame by Frame](https://national.ballet.ca/Productions/2017-18-Season/Frame-by-Frame), a ballet which paid homage to filmmaker and animator Norman McLaren. It was the first time either of us had gone to see a show based around the expression of dance. Instead of citing her opinions, I thought I'd focus on mine and opt for anyone curious of hers to ask or encourage her to post an article on it. But, that's not the point of this writing either. Put brief, the show is a fantastical mix of the digital modern aesthetic, classic analog grime, and contemporary fluidity used to depths which I never thought possible. Absolutely amazing. But, what is the point of this article?

Tags

Link
Cover image

How I'm Getting Ready for New Things

If you hadn't followed my Twitter account (which you should, this shameless plug advocates for not any thought provoking posts or new insights, but more-less the mediocrity of the everyday developer such as yours truly @GervaisRay), then you wouldn't have seen my ongoing battle for the past year with my move from Toronto to Mississauga. Mississauga is a beautiful, growing city; so why the battle? Well simply put, because I could not put down or give away my habits, friends, and favorite activities which spawned out of Downtown Toronto. I was the kid who didn't want to say goodbye to his friends as he went home from summer camp.

Tags

Link
Cover image

Closing Two Weeks Completed of the 100 Days of Code Challenge

Wow, how quickly two weeks are passing by while you're busy enjoying every hour you can with code, technology, people, and for once, the weather. I'm even more surprised to see that I was able to maintain a small git commit streak (10 days, which was cut yesterday, more on that below) which is damn incredible considering that I spent 90% of my time outside of work away from a keyboard. I told myself that I would try my hardest to still learn and implement what I could while travelling, opting to go deep into the documentation (which I will include from what I can put from the various Git commits and search history below) and learning what it means to write `Pythonic` code.

Tags

Link
Cover image

An Introduction to The 100 Days of Code

The day has finally come, the start of the much discussed 100 days of code! The official website can be found here: 100daysofcode.com, which explains the methodologies and why(s) of the challenge. I decided that it would be the best way to start learning new languages and concepts that I've always wanted to have experience in, such as `Python`, `Swift`, `Rust`, and `GoLang`. The first and primary scope is to learn Python, and have a comfort with the language similar to how I do with C and C++.

Tags

Link
Cover image

Removing the Excess Years from Angular Material's DatePicker

So here we are, potentially the last contribution to occur for OSD700 from this developer before the semester ends and marks are finalized. No pressure.

Tags

Link
Cover image

The Cost of Aesthetic in Flat Design

For the final release, one of the issues I wanted to focus on was [this](https://github.com/angular/material2/issues/10727), which I figured would be an easy contribution toward the project and a check off of my final release requirements. After reviewing the comments on the issue, I was under the impression that I had to learn a new accessibly standard titled aXe. aXe was going to be the driving force behind this post, but to my fortune it's more of a testing engine than a standard; testing instead web applications and pages against the WCAG 2.0 AA rulesets.

Tags

Link
Cover image

A Second Semester of Open Source Contributions Completed

It's hard to believe how quickly this semester has come to a close. Some of us including me even had countdown calendars, and yet the days escaped even quicker than we could count. It feels like just last week I started my second dedicated foray into Open Source technologies, and yet in the next two weeks it'll be the end of such adventure (for now, that is). Similar to what I did when I completed OSD600, I thought I'd recap and share my thoughts as I complete OSD700, and perhaps also allude to the progression and experiences between the two which is only possible through fantastic instructors such as David.

Tags

Link
Cover image

The Importance of Properly Setting Up Your Linter

This week, having thought I had climbed and conquered the smallest imaginable version of Everest, I climbed into my favorite chair, put on headphones, and let hours pass by while finishing `Haunted Empire`. My phone went off during this time, but unless it was a call or message, I thought nothing of it. I finished the book, pleased with the epilogue and wondering if had it been updated with the current exploits and affairs of Apple, would the ending remarks differ.

Tags

Link
Cover image

Autocomplete for All, An Angular Material Story

this day and age, you live in one of two camps, you either love or hate autocomplete. Autocomplete (which differs from autocorrect due to contextual opposites of operation) is the answer to the mundane long dropdown lists, providing a means to both filter and evaluate a value without scrolling through the entire component _(and then some!)_.

Tags

Link

The Importance of Documented API for UI Components

Documentation is a topic that often splits developers into two or more camps, those who write and those who don't; an irony since both camps rely heavily on documentation with external libraries to utilize and understand it's respective API. So, when is documentation considered 'good'?

Tags

Link

Accessibility - Headings and Colour Examples

As you would have guessed, even I found the issues discussed above in past work from two websites which I used to claim where the best I was capable of at that time. Even more so, now that I know of these issues (which I discovered while looking for examples), the urge to fix and improve upon is there. In the South Wind Motel Website, I improperly used a H1 for the hero component, which would be fine had I made that hero display 'Accommodations' instead of a tagline. Let's explore!

Tags

Link
Cover image

Understanding U11YN Concerns Relating to Modern Flat Design and Screen Readers

Accessibility is one topic which not many take into account when designing and developing an application, website, or printed media even. The concept of visual and interactive accessibility relates to any medium which the user uses to discover and consume content from, and how different impairments hinder the common forms and designs useless and nonconsumable.

Tags

Link
Cover image

The Trials of The Promise-Centric Input, a Visual Studio Code Story - 2

In a previous post, I went through a retelling of anguish, environmental issues and dead ends while trying to evaluate how a bug such as this was possible. Throughout the process, I kept asking myself and even the other developers, what is the scope? Where could this bug be created?

Tags

Link
Cover image

The Trials of The Promise-Centric Input, a Visual Studio Code Story

It was made clear to me that the bug was a regression, and not evident two months or so ago. I knew that the current master branch contained the issue. According to the comment thread, this issue had arrived around a month or two ago.

Tags

Link

Initial Reactions to working with Programmatically Generated UIs in Visual Studio Code

When I first started contributing what I could to Visual Studio Code, I was under the impression that it was written using React. Even while working with the custom drop down component, I was still under the impression there were React Front-end technologies which enabled for the dynamic rendering of various components and functionalities. Only in recent, while debugging and looking for high-level understanding of different scopes, did I realize that Visual Studio Code developed without the front-end JavaScript frameworks such as Angular, Vue, React or even MeteorJS. Without sounding like I just discovered Pluto being once called a planet, this was very left field.

Tags

Link

How I Approach Bug Fixes in a new Code Base

The one thing that Humphrey said which really resonates with me on the topic of bug fixing is summed up as this, '(on bugs) they're easier to understand since the code foundations have already been laid out before you, all you have to do is understand it'. Even at work, I found myself for the past 4 weeks focused on bug fixes to our product prior to the Mobile World Congress (MWC) event, so I was both sick and very well experienced in trial-error approaches towards bug fixing. Here are three concepts / thoughts which I find often result in a step in the right direction when it comes to solving the infamous issue, resolving the ticket, or adding the feature which exists in a different scope.

Tags

Link