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Ray Gervais

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

Approaching Accessibility with Visual Studio Code

For the last three years, I've grown a passion for extending technologies towards a direction which makes them more accessible for a wider range of users. It took a while to realize what accessibility truly meant in the world of development, software, websites and health organizations. Through the process, I took a course on behalf of my employer at the time to learn the three levels which make up the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, A, AA, and AAA. This course took me through so many spirals of knowledge and issue, all-encompassing different scenarios and acceptance criteria for web development. After taking the course, I started to see software design and accessibility very differently. Contrast between colors, element organization, font-sizing even became subject of my mental focus at first.

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Becoming a Maintainer of BulmaPress

I love Bulma, I love contributing to projects instead of spinning up my shoddy implementation of a need, and I love when the two come together in such harmony it's as if fate meant it. I discovered BulmaPress while looking for Bulma / Non-Bootstrap WordPress themes for a CMS project I'm working on. It looked to be relatively abandoned, sporting an old version of Bulma 0.2.1 and last being updated half a year ago.

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Exploring The Inner Workings of Visual Studio Code’s Command Panel

Interesting concept, it’s a very surreal experience to explore and work on a project while using said project as the tool for development and exploration.

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Building Visual Studio Code

Building Visual Studio Code is quite the interesting process, mostly because the dependencies differ in obtainability between operating systems. For this article, I’m going through the process on MacOS High Sierra since it will be primary development machine for upcoming bug fixes, code improvements and contributions to Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code.

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Contributing to the Bulma CSS Framework

I've been a major fan of Bulma ever since discovering it through the weekend project of developer Hassan Djirdeh (@djirdehh), https://www.cryptovue.com. On top of introducing me to the Bulma CSS framework which I instantly fell in love with, it also introduced me to VueJS, a JavaScript framework which, like Bulma, is capturing the attention of developers quicker and quicker each day. It's been at least five months since I had first discovered Bulma, and in that time it's already become my favorite CSS Framework and goto tool for Front-end Web Development. It's replaced Bootstrap, Foundation, and Semantic UI within the span of months; a task which I wouldn't consider easy by any means.

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The Intimacy Through Ink

I'm still a fan of the pen and ink; the older communicative and storage mediums which fueled yesterday's greatest histories and paved the way to 99% of the populace flocking to word processors. Gone are the years spent cursive writing, practicing how to do proper curvature between letters and earning what would be known as the 'pen privilege' which in grade 5, was all the rage. I hadn't touched a pencil for years, and it felt great.

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When Tweaking Doesn't Fit Anymore

When I was in Highschool, I remember spending every moment I could on XDA, Reddit, and various other Android tweak-centric mediums; emulating such tweaks and 'optimizations' on my device during breaks.

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Visual Studio Code Plugins I Use for Modern Web Development

Visual Studio Code has quickly become my go-to text editor for many languages, even replacing XCode for Swift-centric programs or IntelliJ for light-weight Java programming. This article focuses more on the web development plugins which have provided a smoother experience for the past eight months of my internship at SOTI while learning the ways of the full-stack developer. If you have suggestions or alternatives to the listed plugins, I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

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The Open Source Audio Project (Idea!)

Hello there! If you're not new to blog, or I haven't changed any of the main headings for the website at the time of this article, you'd be aware just how big of an advocate I am of FOSS technologies on our everyday mediums. Android devices running AOSP-centric ROMs, Linux workstations running Fedora 26, and my non-FOSS hardware running as many OSS technologies as possible such as Inkshot, Visual Studio Code, Kdenlive, Firefox, etc. Ironically, the one theme which I hadn't played with for a few years now was audio production in an open source environment.

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How Amazing Individuals can Change Your Perspective

This little article has the minimal amount of relevance relating back to software development, but instead a recounting of how I've had the an opportunity to become friends with two individuals who are utterly changing my world from a musical perspective. This article describes simply my own amazement to hidden talents, and learning an interesting technique while producing & recording a cover with these talented individuals.

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Learning From Two Mistakes How Easily You Can Halt Production as a Software Developer

Wow. That is quite the mouthful of a title; a title appropriate for one who's position is described between an intern and full-stack developer with less than two years under his belt.

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A Semester Working Exclusively with MEAN Stacks

Since May, I've had the unique experience of working with MEAN stacks on a daily basis, each varying in complexity and architecture to reflect a different end goal. A semester ago, I'd never guessed how little time I'd be spending writing C++, Java, Swift, or even Python applications compared to JavaScript-powered web applications. Furthermore, this is the first time in my life that I'd been exposed to a technology stack not taught at Seneca, which during the time of my attendance examined LAMP, and C# / ASP.NET stacks.

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Taking Boostnote for a Spin

Recently, I came across a review conducted by It’s FOSS which described a new open source project aimed at improving the experience of note taking for developers. Titled Boostnote, here’s what I gathered after making the software my default note taking application and snippet manager -replacing SimpleNote in the process.

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Reviewing a Peer's Optimization

This post will be one of my last related to this semester, specifically to OSD600 which has seen the class learning quite a bit about Open Source web technologies; contributing to Mozilla’s Thimble in doing so.

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Introducing Thimble’s Console V1.0

This post will be one of my last related to this semester, specifically to OSD600 which has seen the class learning quite a bit about Open Source web technologies; contributing to Mozilla’s Thimble in doing so.

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To Fail, is to Learn Without Safety Nets 2

The reason for such debauchery of our beloved cryptographic function? Because in attempts to optimize; I did the polar opposite. Coming to terms with such a fact is a difficult endeavour; analysing why it couldn’t be any more optimized being the only solution at the present time. So, I’ll continue from where I left off on!

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A Conclusion to My First Semester Dedicated to Open Source Technologies

This semester, I dragged mind, body and code through five courses which strengthened, degraded, and tested the absolute limits of how little sleep one can get. Of the courses, two had a central focus on understanding, contributing and leveraging Open Source technologies on a multitude of platforms.

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To Fail, is to Learn Without Safety Nets

This series of posts includes not just my admittance to failure, unable to optimize a previously selected function, but also how I learned from said failure in regards to style, logic, and also why the algorithm was already at peak performance.

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An Introduction to Heroku

This week, the class was introduced to Heroku, which is described as, “a platform as a service (PaaS) that enables developers to build, run, and operate applications entirely in the cloud”.

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Giving Life to the Console in Thimble

This short article will elaborate recent developments to the Thimble developer console that I’ve been implementing, with the previous progress post located.

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