Thursday, March 31, 2016

Cycling compared to programming

Cycling is like programming. There are several similarities.

Starts with getting a bicycleStarts with choosing a programming language
Choose appropriate cycling gearChoose platform, coding tool
Choose a routePlanning programming strategy
Ensure that the route is doableEnsure that the program can be done
Faces challenges like Sun, Rain, Wind, and HillsFaces challenges like no library, no functionality, and no capability
FatigueMind block
overcome obstacles like road closureOvercome program flow issue
Need to rest and refuel with foodNeed to take a break
Alert to dangersAvoid programming loopholes
Friendly to other usersUse comments to make it easier to debug by others
Goes continuously without giving upSystematic programming step by step
Looking at whats in front rather than how far to goLook at the challenges on hand and not how many challenges to go
Satisfaction after completionSatisfaction to see the program working

Thursday, March 17, 2016

What's wrong with New Woodlands Bus Interchange

The Interchange was opened 15th March 2016. It even have a preview on March 12 with minister and all trying out the facilities.

The first feature is buggy service. Since the interchange is in a long U shape with the embarking and disembarking bay separated different sides of the U shape, it helps those who have walking difficulties to make the transition.

There are two or three handicap rams to help those on wheel chairs and pram to avoid the two flights of steps up to the MRT and shopping center.

There are seats allocated to just those in need of chairs along the embarking bay like the priority seats in trains and busses.

There are tactile tiles to help the blind navigate around.

It looked just perfect for every one. Except one thing. There isn't a single escalator or lift to bring those pregnant, sick, on walking sticks or simply tired to get out of the interchange. Singaporeans are aging rapidly. Won't it be included when designing a bus interchange? I heard ministers keep saying about aging and then when it happens, there are just not sufficient planning for these people. Like most plannings, it just cater to the structure it is building and does not provide connectivity to other structures.

It is true that the handicap rams can help but it is a good 50 meters length. If those people have difficulty walking on flat ground, it will be much more difficult to go on a slope.

The tactiles is a help to the blind and it leads blinds to the handicap rams. Do they think that blind cannot walk on stairs? There is no tactiles leading to the stairs. Neither is there any "tac tiles" leading to toilets.

I had to mention that MRT also never provide "tac tiles" that leads to the Bus Interchange. Should LTA also consider this connectivity issue when planning the new interchange?

I posted a comment on the Transportation Minister's Facebook post on the new interchange. It seems that he missed the comment totally just like the buggy driver who missed an old lady that could not mount the platform and has been walking dangerously along the road in the bay today.

On 15th Sept 2016, noticed the information display has this info.

Have noticed that there are two area under construction for the past few weeks already but there is no information available. From the size and location, I guessed that LTA is building lifts. With the information, it is confirmed that there will be lifts built. Its better late than never.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Filemaker Charts

Its the first time I tried to make charts in Filemaker. It is quite confusing at first but slowly I figured out how to make the best of the Charts (at least just the Column charts).

Firstly, you need a table to store the data. The fields should have one "heading" and one or more "content". Headings are used to display the X axis. Example of it is "Months". Contents are groups of columns in the Legends and the content are numbers that will be displayed as column heights.

Don't worry, it is pretty confusing at the onset. Lets start with the table. Assuming you want to show the sales figure of three outlets named Asite, Bsite and Csite. You want to show the sales figures by month from January to December. Your table fields should be.

Months, Asite, Bsite, Csite.

The data will then be

January, 200,300.400
February, 250, 350, 450 etc.

Create a blank Layout in Filemaker and click on Charts tool. Click on the layout and drag across the screen to get the right size of the chart.

A Popup will appear. Enter the Title like "Monthly Sales figure". Leave the "Type" as "Column".

Enter the X-axis Title as "Months"

Enter the Data as Table::Months. If you want to select the table then make sure you associate the table with the layout (default table) first before clicking Charts tool. You can still do it without the preset table preference. Just click on the "three dots" button to the left of the Data input field and choose the table and the field.

On the Y-axis, Enter "Month" on the title and click on "Add a Y-axis" button. It will expand to a selectable list on the left and a "Series Name and Data on the right. Choose the first item in the left selectable list. The right hand side Series name will change to "Series 1". Change it to "Asite" and data field select Asite field in your table.

Choose the second item in the selectable list and repeat the above step but choose Bsite instead.

Click on the small "+" button below the selectable list and a "series 3" will appear. Change it to Csite.

It will be good to show Legend. Check it. The legend will show as Asite, Bsite, Csite on top of the chart.

If you want the sales figure to be shown on top of the column then choose "Show data points on chart".

If you want to change the style of the chart, click on "Style" at the bottom corner. You can set various styles of the chart. Unfortunately, the color scheme is preset. You can't choose the color of the column individually yourself.

There is a "Data Source" below "Style". There is a option to show summarized group of records or individual record. The former is used when your table records the sales figure by the day. It has a date field that shows the daily figure. The table must still contain "Month" field which is the month of the date field. Sort the table by "Month" and you can get a summery of the sales figure by month.

If you are satisfied then just click "Done" and then "Exit layout". Anytime you want to change the setting, just click "edit Layout' then double click on the chart itself to edit the chart.

There is no picture available as this editing is done on another computer without Filemaker.