Skip to main content

The curious case of MTA Fare and birth of "MTABonus"

Finally yesterday my 11th Firefox OS App got published in the marketplace. With a salt of surprise as well. Instead of taking weeks to get approved it took only a day to get approved. But then again I am not complaining, I get lucky like this time to times (but why didn't I get this lucky for the DVLUP submission.....but that's a story for some other day) and quite a lot of time hit roadblocks too.

So without further ado this is finally how the "App" managed to look like


History: When I arrived New York almost three months back apart from the amazing city what amazed and delighted me was the transportation. Unlike most cities in United States New York City (there is a reason for that italics) has a very comprehensive and functional Public Transport system. And one that people use extensively. The famous NYC Metro and the Buses are run by the Metro Transport Authority. The idea is you buy a "MetroCard" and refill it (or have unlimited monthly/weekly ride) with certain amount. Every rife you avail will deduct the ride amount from the card. Not much different from what I had before in DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transport). But this happens with a twist, they award certain bonus (http://web.mta.info/nyct/fare/FaresatAGlance.htm). After a couple of recharges this got me thinking. And it was an easy calculation to figure out how much and how many recharges I need to get a free ride (bonsu amount equivalent to one. But then again whats the fun of doing that? So one night being high on "Pure water from Genté Springs" quickly jotted down my calculations into this app (Yeah I am too laxy hence just wen ahead and used the FxOSstub).

Hence it was born.
So why suddenly this blog? I never really blogged about in of my other apps, not even about V.Translator which passed a 14K download mark this week. Well you say effect of spring water and to vent out how easy it is to build openwebapp. Really, it is so easy that I sometimes get worried that quite some amount of poorly written/optimized apps will make their way into the marketplace. Just like this one, if it had more functionality.
Also a reminder to myself that I should not cut corners next time. This was different than my most other app publications, most of which were fueled by either ego(why I can't do it)/api experimentation/app porting. This time though it was different.

So the confession where did I cut corners?
  • You see the upper left menu button? That actually doesn't do anything. I disabled (read commented out) the whole menu, but out of sheer laziness left that part. Mental Poke 1: Never do that again
  • See how there isn't any landscape screenshots? Because I disabled it. Not because I couldn't handle it. The app template itself is perfectly responsive and suitable for all sizes, but I didn't want to deal with scroll, hence...
  • See in the second screenshot how the Feedback is marginally overlapping the text? Well it's just a minor css overlap which is negligible if the user could scroll. But the user can't, hence and annoying ux fail which i have to fix later *sigh*
Finally if you want to test drive the app


Popular posts from this blog

HackRice 7.5: How "uFilter" was born

I have a thing for Hackathon. I am a procrastinator. A lazy and procrastinator graduate student, not a nice combination to have. But still when I see hundreds of sharp minds in a room scrabbling over idea, hungry to build and prototype their idea. Bring it to life, it finally pushes me to activity, makes me productive.  That is why I love Hackathon, that is why I love HackRice, our resident Hackathon of Rice University.

TL;DR: if you just want to try the extension, chrome version is here and Firefox version is here.
I have been participating at HackRice since 2014, when I think for the first time it was open for non-rice students, and have been participating ever since. What a roller coaster ride it has been, but that is a story for another day. HackRice 7.5 being the last one I will be able to attend at Rice, it was somewhat special and emotional for me.
HackRice 7.5 was a tad different form the other iterations. For starters it was the first time it was being held in Spring semester…

FirefoxOS, A keyboard and prediction: Story of my first contribution

Returning to my cubical holding a hot cup of coffee and with a head loaded with frustration and panic over a system codebase that I managed to break with no sufficient time to fix it before the next morning. 

This was at IBM, New York where I was interning and working on the TJ Watson project. I returned back to my desk, turned on my dual monitors, started reading some blogs and engaging on Mozilla IRC (a new found and pretty short lived hobby). Just a few days before that, FirefoxOS was launched in India in the form of an Intex phone with a $35 price tag. It was making waves all around, because of its hefty price and poor performance . The OS struggle was showing up in the super low cost hardware. I was personally furious about some of the shortcomings, primarily the keyboard which at that time didn’t support prediction in any language other than English and also did not learn new words. Coincidentally, I came upon Dietrich Ayala in the FirefoxOS IRC channel, who at that time was a P…

Story of a Drupal theme mis-configuration, Hacking and Ministry of Defense India

If you have been following news or were online for past couple of hours you might have noticed this news making a tweet-storm and appearing all over your timeline regarding how India's Ministry of Defense website got hacked (allegedly by 'Chinese' origin).
Almost all the big media outlets covered it. Including
* Youtube : TimesNow * Times Now * Hindustan Times * NDTV
* Business Standard * Times of India An example of the coverage

Fueled by our own famous ministers chiming in with their own ideas

Action is initiated after the hacking of MoD website ( https://t.co/7aEc779N2b ). The website shall be restored shortly. Needless to say, every possible step required to prevent any such eventuality in the future will be taken. @DefenceMinIndia@PIB_India@PIBHindi — Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) April 6, 2018
It all seemed for the fact that the homepage of the websites showed this image with a Chinese character
And though most of india's government portals and websites aren'…