MVP 2011 !

By jay at October 01, 2011 20:40 Tags: , ,

October's round of MVPs nominations has been annouced, and for three years in a row, I've been renewed as a Visual C# MVP !

Thanks again, Microsoft and the MVP leads team for this award !

Google Transit and Montreal's STM

By Jay at March 15, 2009 21:53 Tags: , ,

A while ago, the Montréal's STM transit system announced that they were now supported by Google Transit.

While it is possible to trace proper routes, Google's having the same problem as I do, which is that the STM is updating schedules per trimester. And since it's the STM that is providing the data and that it's not been updated since the 1st of January 2009, schedules have been incorrect ever since.

To be perfectly fair, I did not update the schedules in my application since that time too by lack of time to create a proper update procedure, but I'm not paid for that either...

Now that I've given it some thoughts, I'm now streamlining the schedule updates stops after stops as long as they are out of date. Previously, I updated the database all at once, but this does not scale... Now the updates are progressive, which is far more manageable for me.

Anyway, now there may be a simple message saying that the displayed schedule is outdated, which is better than trusting the time and blaming the STM for no reason :)

Speaker Idol Montreal

By Jay at November 04, 2008 06:56 Tags: ,

Yesterday, Monday 3rd, was the day of Speaker Idol Montreal.

I'd like to thank every attendee for being here and listening all of these great presentations ! Ten minutes is a format that's a bit rough though, one's got to learn every word to be said to make a good point during that kind of presentation length. (And don't rely on the computer that's available there... You might end up not being able to use the keyboard :) )

Anyway, if you were interested by the subject of my presentation, you may find a more thorough explanation on this blog post about DataBinding in WPF. By the way, you may also be interested in this post about DataBinding Application Settings.

See you next time in the .NET Montreal User Group !

Montreal Bus Stop Locator Site Updates

By Jay at September 07, 2008 09:06 Tags: ,

Cet article est disponible en français ici.

So far, the response has been great for my little utility, even though I'm not making an active advertising.

Using some Microsoft terminology, I'm dogfooding my own application and I found a few points that could be enhanced a bit :

  • Now, if using Google Gears, you are not automatically redirected to the stop list for your location. You simply see a small map of where you're supposed to be, and you're offered a other button to choose to use that location.
  • Some error messages are displayed when typing incorrect or missing data. That could be confusing...
  • All maps are now using all the available width of the screen. That means that the image is not resized poorly on a mobile device. Still, I wonder how the iPhone wil behave with this...
  • I fixed a bit the distance display to display Km instead of meters if appropriate, even though if you are in an other city, you'll still be offered some reaaaally long distance.
    I'm still wondering if I need to filter out people that are outside Montreal. The point of this site is also to be a technological proof-of-concept for GeoLocation, so even if the distance is not usable, it's still a valuable information.
  • I've also added some street name samples to help people that are not from Montreal to see what the site can do. I've taken a random intersection and bus stop code that can be typed in directly.
  • I also made some XHTML compliance, for what it's worth :)

Now, I think I'll try to make sure that Google search will find the site in both French and English languages because right now, I'm having the same problems I did have with my Remote Control software pages. Google's crawling without specifying a language, so for this site, English is going to come out, since it is the default language. Maybe I'll add a "/fr" and "/en" virtual base for each of them.

I'm always interested in any suggestions or bug reports !

Snow in Montréal, QC

By Jerome at December 04, 2007 20:16 Tags: ,

Well, how original is that. Snow in Montréal. The last time there was that much snow in here at this time of the year was many years ago, and this time 40 centimeters fell from the sky in 24 hours. For what I can see here and there, some are happy about that, some a bit less. Schools are closed, traffic quite a bit jammed and offices part empty.

PublicLight in a Snow Storm
A Whole lot of Snow

Anyway, as long as you're on foot and have waterproof winter boots, that's good... and for now that suits me. I just wish I won't be needing a car in a too near future ! Is that really a car under this ?! :)

I just had to slide down to the street. The ambience outside was particularly interesting, and that was a pretty good moment to take some shots !

Snowy Stairs

News from Montréal

By Jerome at October 19, 2007 07:14 Tags:

There I am ! I'm now in Montréal, enjoying my strike-free environment ! Weather's still good with a pleasant temperature, at the end of the "été des indiens".

After visiting a bunch of canadian administrations, I'm now enjoying some peaceful time with my wife, visiting some places and friends we've seen the last time we went there. People here are so much cooler than in Paris... No one rushing even at peak hours in the subway, people waiting in line to take the bus... I like that ! I'm told that compared to Québec city, Montreal life is stressing. I wonder how's life in Québec ! Point of view and stuff... 

Relocating is not an easy thing to do, with so many things to think at once, like selling stuff, terminating contracts and stuff. Well, this is done now :) If you ever need to ship some personal effects from france, I can tell you that "Bagages du Monde" is doing great.

My new job at Averna is starting in a few days, I'll be telling you a bit more by then ! (as well as show some pictures !)

Canada !

By Jerome at August 31, 2007 11:52 Tags:

Well, that was as not easy as it would have seemed, but it's done ! I'm moving to Canada !

I'll be in Montréal by the end of the year, still working with .NET technologies, but with the canadian spirit that I think I'll enjoy to learn and live with !

There's a lot of french people over there, like SharkOne (maybe still there at that time ?), or Sanx, and some other Epitech students I've graded a few years ago... This'll be great !

And no worries about Bluetooth Remote Control, I'll continue working on it :)

About me

My name is Jerome Laban, I am a Software Architect, C# MVP and .NET enthustiast from Montréal, QC. You will find my blog on this site, where I'm adding my thoughts on current events, or the things I'm working on, such as the Remote Control for Windows Phone.