Jean-François Blanc
Joan Francés Blanc

“No need to follow me on Twitter, I'm busy enough trying to provide insight to my readers...”




“This is obvious, but no internal resource has been able to say it before...”

My contributions
on Wikimedia sites
Click here

Links / Ligams

Genealogy / Genealogia
Vexillology / Vexilologia

“No need to "like" my profile or anything else mine on Facebook, I am too busy trying to bring value to my customers.”

A Contributor's perspective
14 August 2015

The Occitan online news site A Vòste has just published an interview about my work at the Occitan Wikipedia. Talking about other ongoing works, too.

Click on the image to read it.

An Occitan domain?
12 December 2014

I've managed to somewhat trick the two-letter secondary level domain by using the Occitan accented o (ò). This allowed me to set up a .ò domain. More explanations in Occitan language on the Jornalet news site. Click on the image to read it.

30 September 2014

People generally do not take seriously security and identity theft issue. They consider plagiarism and business "intelligence" as tricks of the game. Sometimes, as a victim, you cannot agree with them.

On a separate page, I explain in French how a draft novel of mine was published twice without my consent (and how I did not get any fee/royaltie paid). And how, too, an America-based publisher grabbed two of my eBooks (made freely downloadable under CC license on a personal website) to resell them.

A busy H1
19 July 2014

My company is undergoing a huge transformation. The One Bull plan has been announced in January 2014. The Business Unit I'm a proud member of has also undergone changes: a new manager, a new location in the new organisation. As change is dangerous only I you stop moving, I took some actions during this half-year. Developed new offerings, along with new partners. Contributed to big transformation projects. Helping internal IS/IT to move towards a cloud-based infrastructure. Advised a national telecom company in his move to develop cloud services as well. Used English almost on a daily basis from the beginning of the year.

Very few time left to truly personal life, as I need to breathe by caring for my family. Two weeks left before a short August break, and when back we'll join the move towards Atos. Atos, a company I quite well know, as my first IT job was at Sligos (that in 1997 merged with Axime into Atos). I had some very busy weeks (and weekends), but I loved this halfyear.

What is in a name
11 July 2014

The Occitan naming tradition uses one or many first names and a unique family name, the father's (patronym). In some scarse parts of Gascony, it was replaced by the house name, meaning when the unique heir is a woman, her husband will take the house name, but this is not the most common situation.

My family name, Blanc, is common to the Occitan, Catalan (often spelt Blanch), and Arpitan (aka Francoprovençal) area. It designs people with some white hair. In every generation, one or many children have some white hair at birth. One aunt, my brother, one cousin, my daughter are all bearing this feature...

In the traditional Occitan naming convention there was a masculine form for men, and a feminine form for women. So men are Blanc[s] (and the use of plural mark was also admitted) and women are Blanca[s]. My ancestor Antòni's (Fr. Antoine) wills, in the 17th century, use Blanc for his sons and Blanque (French transcription) for his daughters. Under French domination, the Occitan language was doomed to disappear from notary records. One of the latest to switch from Occitan to French was the notary Blanc, from the neighbouring Marçals (Fr. Massals). I have no evidence we are of the same Blanc family, even if early Blancs often married daughters of notaries and other noticeable people.

So the earliest Blanc is Pèire (Fr. Pierre) from Fans, a hamlet in the commune of lo Masnòu e Massuguièrs (Fr. Le Masnau-Massuguiès) in the French Departement of Tarn. He's named in his son Jacme's (Fr. Jacques) marriage contract, in 1577. Jacme's son Antòni moved to lo Mas Nòu, a hamlet near Paulinh (today in the Paulinet commune), where he married Helips (Fr. Helix) Masnòva (Fr. Maynobe - her name is the feminine form of the hamlet name Masnòu also used as a family name. Note the "s" is assimilated and pronounced as [j] transcribed "y" in French. A notary document from 1616 shares his deceased father-in-law's property).

First Antòni's signature in 1616
Second Antòni's signature, around 1690

Antòni's son, another Antòni, was a consul in his time, and died in 1693 aged 80. His son Andrieu (Fr. André) married in 1692 Anna Mas, from Sant Joan de Janas (Saint Jean-de-Jeannes, a village and parish in the Paulinet commune) where their children were born in the turn of the XVIIIth century. My direct line Blanc ancestors, including my father, were all born in Sant Joan de Janas: Andrieu's son Joan (Fr. Jean) in 1697, Andrieu (Joan's son, Fr. André) in 1719, Joan (Andrieu's son, Fr. Joan) in 1774, Jacme (Joan's son, Fr. Jacques) in 1810, Joan Baptista (Jacme's son, Fr. Jean-Baptiste) in 1854, Josèp Albèrt Enric (Fr. Joseph Albert Henri, my grandfather, usually called Henri) in 1896, Joan Loís Emili (Fr. Jean Louis Émile, my father, called Jean Louis) in 1935...

The map above shows the location of Fans, lo Mas Nòu and Sant Joan de Janas. Some early Blancs cited in wills or parish registers were in lo Pontilh (le Ponteil) or Vernhièras (Vernières). The Blancs from Marçals (Massals) are very close, at least geographically speaking.

31 July 2013

This word means Flags in Occitan language. Two of my interests, when I have some free time. So after a long waiting, the third edition of my book is available, free for download here.

Am I really a thinker?

I've got the opportunity to get through a Process Communication evaluation at work. This interesting psychological classification framework was developed years ago to evaluate the ability of candidate astronauts to live together in a close space.

ITIL sold to Capita

ITIL for Sale by the City-infiltrated UK Government. A newsbit from the ITSM portal. The selected new owner is a British company, Capita. Is it the end of a shared body of knowledge? Do the Cabinet Office just start thinking about the current situation of ITIL (too service provider biased to keep being considered as a collection of cross-business "best practices")?

Don't they know their riches won't follow them in the grave? So ridiculous, so Thatcherian.

ITIL as a pretext

ITIL as a pretext.
I have been very often helping my customers to "implement ITIL" in their organisation. But what was really at stake was a requirement to transform their organisation without saying it loudly.

Eastern Europe

After 40 years of communism, Eastern Europe got back to "normality" in the 1990's. I have recently got to read a complaining post by a young Romanian about the bad experience he had while trying to settle to Western Europe. Here is my answer: "It is natural for people that had long been kept as mere slaves in a country too flee from it and to settle in another country. The problem with Rroma is that they are not welcome anywhere just due to the sedentary mainstream culture.
For Romanians (non Rroma ones), the fact most Rroma willing to settle in western europe come from their country does not help. One of my ancestors came from Timişoara successfully moved to France, but it was at the beginning of XIXth century and he was a prisoner of war... I've got relatives in Czechia as well. Some of them tried and failed to settle in Britain 3 years ago. Because even if you are skilled, certified, and able to communicate in English, you are from Eastern Europe and so you are not welcome. It's the crude reality of the western european racist culture."

I've also got recently the opportunity to visit a service provider in Košice (Slovakia). I met very dedicated people, with a good skillset and a true understanding of cultural differences and of French bad habits... A very pleasure (and the opportunity to taste good Slovakian wine, too, on the evening).

Never use English as a pivot language for automated translation

I've got an email in Chinese, a language I'm not really a fluent speaker of.

So I decided to use the built-in GoogleMail automated translation. The result in French was the following:

Douding is a chinese site like scribd, issuu or calameo. I was puzzled by the ventilateurs word in that list of eBooks. Do you know the primary definition of a fan? "any device for producing a current of air by the movement of a broad surface or a number of such surfaces." The translation for this in French is "ventilateur". The French for fan as "an enthusiastic devotee, follower, or admirer" is... fan. No comment.

10th French itSMF Conference.
Paris La Défense, 25th October 2012

Two weeks to wait before presenting there what I did during almost half of the elapsed year of work. One year ago I was feeling disappointed to miss this event as I had for the first time got an invitation. But it has been worth the experience as I managed to help my customer establishing Continuous Service Improvement in a non-IT strategic activity. Yes, the ITIL set of cookbooks can help outside the IT microcosm too!

Here is my powerpoint presentation (in French).
CObIT Foundation Keywords

I recently passed the CObIT Foundation Certificate. The exam afternoon lasted almost twice longer than expected as I unvoluntarily lost my first set of answers using the browser back arrow...
It is a CObIT 4.1 Certificate, as the syllabus for CObIT version 5 is still under development. I used those very busy three days to build a CObIT Foundation Keywords on one page. Free for reading or downloading...

O české romštině a o Františku Vymazalovi

In the recent re-edition of František Vymazal's Cikánsky snadno a rychle, at Edicions Talvera, I provided a short introduction about the language of the Czech Roms and about František Vymazal.

O Lorencovi

A short biography and bibliography of František Vladimír Lorenc, a Czech scholar that wrote the first Czech book about Esperanto and spent the rest of his life in Brazil. Published in the re-edition of Lorenc's Úplná učebnice mezinárodní řeči dra. Esperanta, at Edicions Talvera.


I've written the foreword to Julian Desaygues' Marsyas, òc! anthology of Occitan poetry.
Julian is a very good friend of mine, with a deep sense of litterature and an extraordinary sensitive approach to creation.
A must read, published by Edicions Talvera.

Lo dialècte roergat segond Josèp Aimeric

My presentation of Joseph Aymeric's dissertation on the Occitan dialect of Rouergue has been published as a foreword to Aymeric re-edition by the Paris Institute of Occitan Studies.

© J. F. Blanc, 2013. | See also: My entry at Brandyourself