13 Replies - 345 Views - Last Post: 24 January 2020 - 10:01 AM

#1 RobHowdle   User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 1
  • View blog
  • Posts: 48
  • Joined: 03-December 19

Project Scoping

Posted 23 January 2020 - 08:15 AM

Hi all,

Figured I'd ask the pros on this one, one of these projects I'm trying to make work simply doesn't work. Original developer has done a right pigs ear of it, it's running local databases to store saved phrases but that's running through xamp which needs to be install on each device, it's half built in laravel and half something else and I quite simply don't understand how this thing is working.

Using the TinyMCE editor because the client wants to be able to add phrases and sentences to each section of a report. They are using the editor because they want to be able to alter the phrases before they've saved that report. They also need a section to draw sketches within and save that to the database as well.

Once all the sections are done and drawings are done they want to export that to word so they can alter it further if they want to and export all the phrases for that report into a template document.

So what I need to do is firstly figure out the best language to create this in so I can see how long it will take me before I speak to my boss.
What would people suggest?

1) Has to be local - No internet connected needed
2) Has to be able to save phrases and call those phrases, ability to edit those phrases etc
3) Multiple reports should be able to access all these phrases
4) Must be simple for the user.
5) Needs to be able to export to a word document.
6) Needs to be able to add something in so the client can use a tablet to draw designs and plans etc and save those so they can be imported into the report.

By simple I mean if there was a choice between using Notepad for building a website or Visual Studio, they'd use notepad.

Could anyone offer any suggestions on what language would be best to do this app in? Again I must stress I am new to the game software wise but I am happy to go over the top to learn new languages and get this sorted, I'm also STILL working as a one man team which is always great :')

Any advice would be much appreciated

Thanks
Rob

Is This A Good Question/Topic? 0
  • +

Replies To: Project Scoping

#2 modi123_1   User is offline

  • Suitor #2
  • member icon



Reputation: 15488
  • View blog
  • Posts: 62,032
  • Joined: 12-June 08

Re: Project Scoping

Posted 23 January 2020 - 08:28 AM

The simple answer, and I know I have stressed this before, is you don't. This is such a fundamentally bad project it is rotten from the ground up.

Yes, I am aware this is for a client, and yes I am aware you mentioned in the lounge thread the client wants this done before February, but you cannot allow this to go out the door as a production ready package. This isn't a cute case of "lol, looks like I shouldn't have used vb6 and foxpro on this.. oh well" this is grossly wrong and needs to stop before more time, money, and effort is poured into a rat hole.


Quote

local databases to store saved phrases but that's running through xamp which needs to be install on each device, it's half built in laravel and half something else and I quite simply don't understand how this thing is working.

As an aside, if you are not sure how this is built it will be hard for folk to recommend any option.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#3 RobHowdle   User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 1
  • View blog
  • Posts: 48
  • Joined: 03-December 19

Re: Project Scoping

Posted 23 January 2020 - 08:35 AM

So would you say the concept of the project just isn't doable the way they want it? I was hoping to speak to the boss about just completely scrapping it and completely starting again and it basically taking as long as it needs to because I certainly wouldn't be putting my name to this project that's for sure.

I'm not sure if the concept of the project is simply unachievable with their requirements or if it could be done another way possibly using a different language that would be more suited for the project.

Thanks
Rob
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#4 modi123_1   User is offline

  • Suitor #2
  • member icon



Reputation: 15488
  • View blog
  • Posts: 62,032
  • Joined: 12-June 08

Re: Project Scoping

Posted 23 January 2020 - 08:49 AM

I know I mentioned this in another thread, and I certainly haven't actually tracked what the 'concept of the project' is, but from what you wrote this is beyond wrong.

The point where you have a mobile app that requires a local webserver to be installed (XAMPP) to work you have failed. I don't know if it is a case where the developer only had a hammer in their toolbox so every problem was solved like it was a nail, or what, but this is bad.

XAMPP is a web server, and a mobile app is definitely not a web server.
XAMPP has security issues, is a huge foot print, and consumes a lot of resources. Three things mobile apps SHOULDN'T do.
XAMPP creates app permission issues, or requires super extraneous requirements.

Xamarain, Swift, or Java to create the app would all be a little hard to miss for this feller, but some how they did.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#5 RobHowdle   User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 1
  • View blog
  • Posts: 48
  • Joined: 03-December 19

Re: Project Scoping

Posted 23 January 2020 - 08:59 AM

Essentially, the idea for the project is that a company who Surveys houses, examines them and inspects them to give a value of price. The client came to us saying their process for creating the report and typing it all up is long and painstaking. A lot of the descriptions they can give for majority of the properties are the same and they want an app where they can create a report, have saved bits of text that they can basically just stick into the relevant parts of text in the right places. If you image in like one of those "fill in the blanks" sort of things except you have a selection of things to fill in those blanks.

Once the user has added all the text they would go into the report sections and they just want to "press a button" to have that text be added into that section of the report, they do want the ability to edit that text if they choose and to add other bits of text as well to that so they can merge different bits of text together.

finally once they have created the report they want to export it to a .docx file so if they need to they can edit it further.

I think what the previous developer has done is he has had a look at one of the developers before him, looked at the stuff the other developer did who was pretty good and a lot of stuff he did was in laravel and I think he has just attempted to copy what he's done without actually knowing what to do. The amount of times I spotted him just browsing reddit for "how to...." was ridiculous. I think he went with XAMPP simply because it was the easiest to set up. Really bad call from the recruitment side!
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#6 modi123_1   User is offline

  • Suitor #2
  • member icon



Reputation: 15488
  • View blog
  • Posts: 62,032
  • Joined: 12-June 08

Re: Project Scoping

Posted 23 January 2020 - 09:11 AM

Yup.. all of that can be accomplished with a minimal amount of mobile app UI, sqlite, and the like.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#7 RobHowdle   User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 1
  • View blog
  • Posts: 48
  • Joined: 03-December 19

Re: Project Scoping

Posted 23 January 2020 - 09:22 AM

Doing some research on the best programming languages for Mobile App Development, funny, Laravel is not listed on any list I've found. Common one seems to be Java, PHP, C# and C++. The client has said they use windows devices (I was originally told they're using tablets but apparently they are using desktops, laptops and may get tablets later on) so I'm thinking it would be worth doing it in C#. Anyone is free to chip in if they think that's a bad idea or if it could do it in a better more suited language - I don't want to make more work for myself if I don't have to
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#8 modi123_1   User is offline

  • Suitor #2
  • member icon



Reputation: 15488
  • View blog
  • Posts: 62,032
  • Joined: 12-June 08

Re: Project Scoping

Posted 23 January 2020 - 10:02 AM

If you keep good segregation of code for code reuse a C# desktop app would work fine on a desktop or laptop, an the logic could be recycled in a Xamarin mobile app.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#9 astonecipher   User is offline

  • Senior Systems Engineer
  • member icon

Reputation: 3062
  • View blog
  • Posts: 11,753
  • Joined: 03-December 12

Re: Project Scoping

Posted 23 January 2020 - 11:05 AM

View PostRobHowdle, on 23 January 2020 - 10:22 AM, said:

Mobile App Development, funny, Laravel is not listed on any list I've found. Common one seems to be Java, PHP, C# and C++.

Out of these, only one is actually a mobile language and two others can be used for mobile development.


There are so many questions regarding this project and I don't have time to cite them from work. You need to do a discovery and find out use cases, all of them. Non functional requirements drive more architecture than functional requirements do.

They want it to be mobile, iPad if I remember correctly? That means built on a Mac. Do you have that to build it or does that need to be sourced?
Should it live locally or should it be centrally served? An iPad has networking capabilities so that doesn't mean no internet access. Drag and drop tends not to work too well on mobile devices from a UX perspective. You can however make it database driven and tie certain questions to certain typical responses, it makes it tedious from the backend, but it is do-able.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#10 Skydiver   User is offline

  • Code herder
  • member icon

Reputation: 7230
  • View blog
  • Posts: 24,513
  • Joined: 05-May 12

Re: Project Scoping

Posted 23 January 2020 - 04:21 PM

That app sounds a lot like what my last two house inspectors, and the insurance adjuster had on their laptops.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#11 modi123_1   User is offline

  • Suitor #2
  • member icon



Reputation: 15488
  • View blog
  • Posts: 62,032
  • Joined: 12-June 08

Re: Project Scoping

Posted 23 January 2020 - 05:01 PM

@skydiver - man, you must know XAMPP really really well then! :D ;)
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#12 Skydiver   User is offline

  • Code herder
  • member icon

Reputation: 7230
  • View blog
  • Posts: 24,513
  • Joined: 05-May 12

Re: Project Scoping

Posted 23 January 2020 - 09:59 PM

Real men use Hyper-V hosting a real LAMP stack. If I was going to be a resource hog and a glutton for punishment, might as well go all out. Docker and XAMPP is for wimps. Using VirtualBox instead of Hyper-V was too easy. :D ;)
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#13 RobHowdle   User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 1
  • View blog
  • Posts: 48
  • Joined: 03-December 19

Re: Project Scoping

Posted 24 January 2020 - 01:50 AM

It's for windows, again this is why clients giving accurate information I think is so important. Originally they wanted it on tablets so the previous guy only made it for a tablet as they said that's what they use. I have since found out they don't actually have windows tablets - they "might" get some at a later date but for now it's a desktop computer and a laptop.

To be fair, if it's done properly I'd have thought it wouldn't matter that much in a sense of "this doesn't work for PC" since their devices are all on the same OS and have good spec that can run an app. I was having my first go at creating a very basic app in C# and Xamarin last night, just something that has 2 radio boxes and a button, one box selected and you press a button and it shows a message, different message for the other button etc and it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. That said I'm going to be doing some more research in how to get a very basic version of this system running properly, just adding some text into a box, saving it to an SQLite database, calling it from another page and then exporting to word.

They haven't said anything about wanting it across multiple platforms IE iPads and Android Devices etc and I don't want to make more work for myself if I don't need to but I will look into it a bit further to see if there is anything I need to do to future proof it if they want anything more adding to it.

I do hope if I get the go ahead for it I can get this working, not only working but working PROPERLY. Real industry standard type of thing not just one of those "It'll do" sorts of things!

thanks
Rob
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#14 astonecipher   User is offline

  • Senior Systems Engineer
  • member icon

Reputation: 3062
  • View blog
  • Posts: 11,753
  • Joined: 03-December 12

Re: Project Scoping

Posted 24 January 2020 - 10:01 AM

That's good progress and at least a POC.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

Page 1 of 1