The Design of Software (CLOSED)

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BEGINER(What language)

 I was wondering if you could give me pointers as to what languages are best for use in retail application software(not e-commerce) i.e point of sale software. Also is using local web-based intranet applications the best route. The retail store only has 6 computers.
Nedu Ani Send private email
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
What are you familiar with?  That's usually the determiner.

If you are a rank beginner, it would be better to turn this over to someone who knows programming.  Or use QuickBooks.

My opinion: using a browser-based model for retail POS is a bad idea.  It's too slow and too fragile regarding user errors.
Karl Perry Send private email
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
I am strong with C C++ Java SQL and some more stuff, but my problem is I have not realy done anything that was not from the command prompt screen(mainly Linux), and I was looking for something that had GUI(windows or Linux).In lay-man words, I want to be able to have an icon on my desktop, click it and pop up a Point of Sale application

Thanks guys
Nedu Ani Send private email
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
You can design a Java GUI (graphical front end).  Or, if you want something more robust, you could try C#.  It would be fairly similar to Java for you to learn, but you get the full Windows Forms stuff for designing your front end.

You can get a free IDE for C# from Microsoft.  It's called Visual C# Express
Eric D. Burdo Send private email
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Thanks a lot eric.
Nedu Ani Send private email
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
For the "What language?" question, I suggest Python. Because it's easy to learn, has many free ressources and has some OO aspects Joel has been praising lately.
nvictor Send private email
Thursday, August 03, 2006
There are a ton of GUIs for C and C++: gtk, qt and wxWindows being the best known ones.

Allan Wind Send private email
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Are you talking about writing a system for your own store? I'm not sure that would be cost-effective

Python has a very nice Windows environment, and you can use wxWindows with it.
George Jansen Send private email
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Eric D. Burdo-

Java? I do not sure that is a good choice. I have nothing contra Java, but I see a lot of Java or PHP programmers that couldn't do nothing just copy&pasting (and as result they produce serious code like the following:

May be the good idea is to start from C/pascal learning?
Andrew Dashin Send private email
Thursday, August 03, 2006
I've seen copy and past programmers use every language.
Adam Carter Send private email
Thursday, August 03, 2006
I write POS systems for my day job (expand that acronym as you please).  A GUI is the wrong way to go in my opinion.  If these are dedicated Point of Sale terminals I think you'll be happier with text mode interfaces, because they're easier to navigate quickly at a terminal where the user is standing up.  Your clerks use their hands for a lot of things, and adding a mouse into that list of things is a mistake.

Instead I'd look at using curses or one of the wrapper libraries around it to make a good character mode application.  If you want a prettier administrative back end then a GUI is a fine choice for that.

Writing curses apps is a little hard at first, but after you've used it for a little bit you'll find that it comes very naturally.

On the terminals themselves, you can possibly make your life a lot happier by using a single central unix machine of some sort.  My bias is towards OpenBSD because it's a simple one-vendor solution, but if you need integration with cash drawers and receipt printers then there are a lot of vendors distributing Linux systems with all of the necessary hardware and drivers.  Somebody here even posted a link a while back to a couple of vendors.
Clay Dowling Send private email
Monday, August 07, 2006

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