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This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

This is a simple project. You write a hydrid (Applet/application) to manage a grocery shopping list. There are several things you can do:

The Applet will have to be signed because it will need to use the Persistence / Preferences features of Java to store the list. You will also need signing to permit the printing. Storing each item in a JTable will make it easy to align components and handle long lists. You might have a look at the source code for Vercheck to see how JTables and Preferences work.

To save paper you would want to print multiple columns, so that normally the entire list will fit on one sheet of paper.

You could make a little bit of money from this by embedding Google Ads on the web page containing the Applet. Each time people updated their shopping list, they would be exposed to an ad.

If you want to get fancy, you permit the completed list to be uploaded to a cellphone or PDA (Personal Digital Assistant). This way a partner at home can prepare the list and send it on to someone on the way home from work. The cellphone app also does calculations to compute unit prices. A simpler version might use JavaMail to send an email containing a formatted/unformtted copy of the list.

There are many shopping list programs out there. Take them for a spin to get idea for features to copy and mistakes to avoid.


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