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Project Help: Student Attendance Tracker (Non-Assignment)  RSS feed

 
Mitchell Jordan
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Hello, World!

This being my first post, I just wanted to say hi and get some input on my latest time-waster.

Being full-time faculty at a local community college, I am now REQUIRED to take attendance. I, personally, am atrocious at keeping track of sign-in sheets and the like.

I figured that I could use a mag-stripe reader, scan student IDs, and use the data to log attendance. So far, so good. I have the reader, it enters data as a keyboard (in ASCII, with carriage return linefeed terminator).

But here I hit the wall: My last programming course was around 8 years ago, and I have been dealing with microcontroller code (spin, arduino) since. My C++ is rusty, my Java is non-existent. But I feel i NEED java, to make the code portable.

My request is this: I do not wish to make one/all of you write code for me, I need to relearn this. I would ask if anyone would have suggestions on framework/implementation.

I started using Netbeans, and it is "shiny", but my inexperience shows.

Essential functions for program:
-have a student database
>First name
>Last Name
>timedate in/out
>*other such fields, I can probably figure it out
-be able to edit the student database from gui (add-remove student only)
-be able to scan student ID and log swipe to database
-be able to view and print reports by class and/or student

To the lot of you folks here: thanks for looking, and I hope to hear from you.
 
Knute Snortum
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This is a big project for a beginner. You may want to get help.

My understanding is that JavaFX has replaced Swing for creating GUIs, so look into that.

You probably don't need a framework unless you want a web interface.

This sounds like a fun project. I might be able to help you "offline" if you don't get enough support here, or if the support you need is more in-depth. My email is knute (at) snortum (dot) net.
 
Mitchell Jordan
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Knute, thanks for the quick reply.

Yes, this is huge. It is a definite case of necessity begetting invention.

I wanted to clarify something. I used the term database earlier. That is inaccurate. The intended scope of this utility is a copy-per-instructor basis. So each instance of the program would link to a <text,binary,csv,unknown> file for storing/retrieving data. I am not looking to create an enterprise-level network database for data.

Progress as such is this: (swing)
-gui window displays
-exit button closes program
-tabbed panels exist for
*Log Attendance
*Manage Classes
*View/Print Reports

I intend to look at javaFX and see how it compares.

Small next steps:
Make log attendance read card swipes and parse name data. (basic string search,delineated)
Echo name data (formatted) after card swipe
Display current date and time being recorded
Echo time data with name echo
Create array (database) for students
Make select array fields visible in app and update after each swipe (realtime)
Figure out how to make/print reports

I have an idea what I want. I am trying to 'not code' as much as possible. I see my 'whats' as each of my steps.

I will update this thread as I progress, I appreciate suggestions, and will be using you (everyone) as a sounding board.

Many thanks.
 
Tony Docherty
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Mitchell Jordan wrote:I wanted to clarify something. I used the term database earlier. That is inaccurate. The intended scope of this utility is a copy-per-instructor basis. So each instance of the program would link to a <text,binary,csv,unknown> file for storing/retrieving data. I am not looking to create an enterprise-level network database for data.

You can still use a database on a local system. To keep things simple you could use Derby as an embedded database, however if you don't have much data to store I'd consider using an XML file.
 
Winston Gutkowski
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Mitchell Jordan wrote:I have an idea what I want. I am trying to 'not code' as much as possible. I see my 'whats' as each of my steps.

And, as far as they go, they're not bad.

A couple of tips I would offer:

1. Write out, IN ENGLISH, a narrative of what this system is supposed to do, not how it's supposed to do it. I realise that you've had a stab at it, but your list appears to be searching for design components rather than describing the system requirements.
The best projects I've worked on have usually had a good "mission statement" - ie, a few pithy sentences that outline WHAT the project is for, that is understandable to everyone involved, even non-programmers.

2. Keep the display (ie, the GUI) completely separate from your business logic. GUI code, whether Swing or web-based, tends to be complex, verbose, and error-prone, which is why, even after 35+ years, I still loathe it . Furthermore, you can usually test application logic without it. A few strategically placed I/O modules that simply print to the console, or accept input from it, are usually all you need to test that something works, and you can worry about buttons and icons and scrollbars and tables and mouse events at a later date.

You might also be interested in the WhatNotHow (←click) page.

HIH

Winston
 
Campbell Ritchie
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You have got some good suggestions here.

And welcome to the Ranch
 
Winston Gutkowski
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:And welcome to the Ranch

Indeed. Missed that.
Welcome, Mitchell!

Winston
 
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