CurrCon Currency Converter Manual CurrCon Currency Converter Manual

The CurrCon Java Applet displays prices on this web page converted with today’s exchange rates into your local international currency, e.g. Euros, US dollars, Canadian dollars, British Pounds, Indian Rupees… CurrCon requires an up-to-date browser and Java version 1.7 or later, preferably 1.8.0_05. If you can’t see the prices in your local currency, Troubleshoot. Use Chrome for best results.
View the latest version of this manual online at http://mindprod.com/applet/currcon.manual.html.
Introduction Displaying Exchange Rates
Benefits Updating the Exchange Rates
Disadvantages FX Sources
Shopping Carts Comparison of CurrCon with Oanda FxCommerce
How It Works Configuring
Details of the Applet Tags Daily Procedure
Examples Using Different Show Parameters Manual Procedure
Displaying Large Amounts Costs
Details of the show Parameter Links
Macros

Introduction

CurrCon stands for Currency Converter.

The currency converter lets you display prices/amounts in the native currency of the visitors to your website. The currency converter automatically selects the default currency to display based on the locale country setting of the browser. It currently supports 169 different currencies.

The CurrCon Currency Converter is available with Java source to download.

In other words, Americans automatically see American prices and Canadian see Canadian prices and the Dutch see Euros. Viewers can optionally view the prices on the page in another currency. Changing any currency selector on the page instantly changes all the prices on the page to that currency.

Unlike most currency converters, with this one, the user does not enter amounts to be converted. The values come from your web page. All prices on your web pages are instantly displayed in the user’s favourite currency without him having to do anything.

Benefits

Disadvantages

Shopping Carts

If you have a shopping cart website, CurrCon is probably not what you want. Why? What you want is shopping cart software than runs on you server that handles multiple currencies that knows the exchange rates charged by your various credit card companies and banks. It will not require your customers to have Java installed. Unfortunately, I cannot at this point recommend any particular package. You might find one by discovering a website what handles multiple currencies well and asking them what software they use.

I am working on a server-side version of CurrCon that does not need Java, however it still would not be suitable for use with shopping carts since it would not be integrated into the shopping cart software. Perhaps some shopping cart vendors will merge it into their products when I release it.

How It Works

Unlike most currency converters, this one requires no server-side support. It does not require JavaScript. However, it does require Java in the user’s browser. Each value displayed is a tiny Java Applet. All that is required is you upload the currcon.jar file to your website. It contains the latest exchange rates in compressed form and also the Java code to do the conversions.

If you change the currency choice anywhere on a page, automatically all the other displays on the page instantly follow suit. Try using the up down arrow to cycle through the possible currencies. Try it below:

$0.00 USD


To get a display like this:

$30.00 USD

You need to code some HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) that looks like this:

<!-- macro CurrCon C$AcN USD 30.00 -->

which expands to:


Normally you might display something simpler such as this:

$30.00 USD

To get that you code some HTML like this:

<!-- macro CurrCon cA USD 30.00 -->
which expands to this:
or even simpler like this:

$30.00 USD

To get that you code some HTML like this:

<!-- macro CurrCon A USD 20.00 -->
which expands to this:

Details of the Applet Tags

Typically to produce a CurrCon display, you need something like this in your HTML : You may also hand code the <applet tags yourself, without using the complexity of a macro preprocessor. What is all this gobbledgook? Happily most of it is just boilerplate. You can copy/paste standard templates and just change the amount.

In HTML5, you use the OBJECT tag that looks like this:

Examples Using Different Show Parameters

CurrCon Display Variations
How a $70 USD
Price is displayed
Format Letter Combination
$30.00 USD $AcN
$30.00 USD $A
$30.00 USD $Ac
$30.00 USD c$A
$30.00 USD C$A
$30.00 USD $AC
$30.00 USD A
$30.00 USD N
$30.00 USD C
$30.00 USD c
$1,200,000.00 USD cA
$1,200,000.00 USD cP

Displaying Large Amounts

CurrCon Display of Large Amounts
$1,000.00 USD 1000 USD
$1,000,000.00 USD 1,000,000 one million USD
$1,200,000.00 USD 1,200,000 1.2 million USD
$10,000,000.00 USD 10,000,000 10 million USD
$12,000,000.00 USD 12,000,000 12 million USD
$1,000,000,000.00 USD 1,000,000,000 one billion USD
$12,000,000,000.00 USD 12,000,000,000 12 billion USD
$12,300,000,000.00 USD 12,300,000,000 12.3 billion USD
$199,300,000.00 USD 19,930,000,000 19.93 billion USD, note rounding
$19,000,000,000.00 USD 19,000,000,000 19 billion USD
$19,000,000,000,000.00 USD 19,000,000,000,000 19 trillion USD
You can suppress the short forms by using code P instead of code A.

Details of the show Parameter

Letter What it looks like Changeable Width in Pixels Purpose
c $0.00 USD 54 Allows user to change the currency for all displays on the page. This was increased from 52 pixels on 2010-02-04 to handle wide abbreviations such as KRW.
C $0.00 USD 32 Compactly let’s user know what Currency is being used with a three-letter abbreviation, as a display that cannot directly changed.
N $0.00 USD 130 Spells out the currency Name being used in easy-to-understand words.
A $30.00 USD 76 Show the Amount converted into the user’s favoured currency. If there is no A in the show parameter, you need not bother specifying the currency and amount parameters.
P $1,900,030.00 USD 108 Show the Precise amount, converted into the user’s favoured currency. Does not use any of the short forms for large amounts.
$ $30.00 USD 30 Put a lead $/euro symbol etc. on the following amount.
You can use any combination of the letters c C N A P $, in any order, leaving any out. You need to add up the widths of each piece and put that in as the width of the entire Applet. Unfortunately CurrCon can’t add them up for you, since by the time it starts the amount of screen real estate is already fixed. For example:

Yuch, that’s too Complicated! Macros to the Rescue

Don’t give up yet. There are several possible alternatives to manually coding the <APPLET tags.

Displaying Exchange Rates

You can also use CurrCon to display exchange rates like this:
euro 1 Euro is €1.00 EUR $0.00 USD
sterling 1 British pound Sterling is 1.00 GBP
dollar 1 US dollar is $1.00 USD
dollar 1 Canadian dollar is $1.00 CAD
dollar 1 New Zealand dollar is 1.00 NZD

Updating the Exchange Rates

Exchange rates change daily. I update the exchange rate tables daily and post them on my website embedded at http://mindprod.com/applet/currcon.jar shortly aftter 1 PM Eastern time, when the bank of Canada posts them. You are free to download the latest versions every day and upload them to your website. Alternatively, you can use your own source and add the massaged serialized data to the jar yourself. I have written code to do this the Bank of Canada, the source I use on my own website. I could write you an automated extractor for other sources. Most likely I would charge $50.00 USD , but it depends on the complexity. In any case, I give you a fixed price ahead of time. It is not hard to do yourself using the two sample extractors I have written as models.

FX (Exchange Rate) Sources

You need to pick a source for your exchange rates.
Foreign Exchange Rate Currency Sources
Source Format Number of Currencies Format Notes
Bank of Canada CSV (Comma-Separated Value) 57 CSV downloadable file, very convenient. Relative to Canadian dollar. Official Government source, comes out 1 PM EST (Eastern Standard Time) each day. Has last 7 days of rates. This is the source I use at mindprod.com. Free. You can also pick them up indirectly already massaged into a jar file from the http://mindprod.com/applet/currcon.jar website each day.
Bank of Canada PDF (Portable Document Format) 57 Relative to Canadian dollar. Official Government source, comes out 1 PM EST each day. Has last 7 days of rates.
Bank of Canada RSS 57 RSS feed. One for each country Official Government source
oanda.com html 193 Requires licencing the feed.

Makers of the FxCommerce product that competes with CurrCon. It is illegal to use this site to feed data into CurrCon by screenscaping or copying from the screen. Their lawyer explained this in series of emails. Apparently, it would be legal if either you or I signed a licence agreement with them and paid a fee to use a special feed they have.

Oddly they even carry obsolete currencies, e.g. that of countries that have converted to the Euro.

You manually select which currencies you want, then it sends you a list of the exchange rates in HTML or CSV embedded in an HTML page. It is free to use, so long as you don’t actually make practical use of the information, so you can experiment with it for free.

If you curious about the history of how the US dollar (code USD) has been doing relative to the Canadian dollar (code USD), the Euro (code EUR) even the Iraqi Dinar (code IQD) see Oanda’s fxhistory. The US dollar is in deep trouble, but most Americans are unaware of what is happening. Money is fleeing America causing the value of the dollar to drop relative to other countries. The net effect is America has to pay more for imported goods which puts her still deeper in debt in a vicious spiral of debt.

University of BC html 26 HTML table screenscrape Updated each noon Pacific Time
US Federal Reserve Bank html 25 text in columns screenscrape Official government source.
CustomHouse html 26 HTML table screenscrape rates are one day behind.
Microsoft html 15 HTML table screenscrape Updated frequently
XE.com text 68 as an email in columns surrounded by extraneous text. Email would need to be extracted manually when it arrived. Xe is a commercial provider so you would need to licence the right to use these figures.
newspaper print ? you type them in daily using a csv file. This is a lot of work. It is error prone. The main advantage is no issue of paying royalties.

Comparison of CurrCon with Oanda FxCommerce

Oanda made a similar product to CurrCon called FXCommerce, but I cannot find any mention of it any longer on their website. They seem to not only have discontinued it, but disavow it ever existing.
Feature CurrCon FxCommerce
Requires special Code on the server?
Automatically selects user’s currency
Requires user to have JavaScript enabled
Requires user to have Java enabled
Requires user to reload page to see prices?
Lets you control font, color etc. of prices with style sheets?
Includes daily feed of exchange rate changes?
Cost free $30.00 USD
per month.
exists, and open source so it cannot ever be taken away from you.Defunct

Configuring

You will likely need my help getting started. I am opening to creating custom versions of the program.

CurrCon itself free but if you need help installing or configuring CurrCon, I am available on a consulting basis for a fee. I will help you configure CurrCon for your needs. I need to know which technique you will use to generate the Applet tags and what source you plan to use for the exchange rates. I need to know what program you use to upload to your website.

To help you get started quickly, I need to know which currency choices you want to offer.

currency for the possible choices
other downloads
You can configure the files to restrict the currency choices and control the default currency for each country.

The list of choices is limited by both what your exchange rate source offers and by the list of currency descriptions. To deliberately leave out a country, remove its line from countrytocur.csv. To deliberately leave out a currency, remove its line from currencydetails.csv.

The currency details list looks like this, with columns for abbreviation, decimal places, Unicode currency symbol, description:

Key Files Used by CurrCon
File Purpose
com\mindprod\currcon\countrytocur.csv Country code to Currency code conversion lookup table. In other words, which currency do people use in each country?
com\mindprod\currcon\CurrCon.java CurrCon Java Applet source. Uses the exchs.ser file prepared each day to display prices as an Applet embedded in HTML.
com\mindprod\currcon\currcon.jar The jar containing the CurrCon java Applet and the exchs.ser digested daily exchange rates. It is a compact 13K for fast loading. It is freshly prepared each day with the new exchange rates and uploaded to the website. Alternatively, you can just borrow mine from my website if you have no customisation.
com\mindprod\currcon\CurrConAux.java CurrConAux main Java program source. Prepares the exchs.ser digest of exchange rates each day from the bank of Canada file.
com\mindprod\currcon\currencydetails.csv Details about each currency, its name, how many decimal places you use to display it, what symbol to use for the dollar sign if any.
com\mindprod\currcon\daily.bat Run daily to prepare jar for uploading to the website.
com\mindprod\currcon\dailym.bat Run daily to prepare jar for uploading to the website, if you handle your exchange rates manually..
com\mindprod\currcon\seven_day_exchange_en.csv File downloaded each day to the C:\com\mindprod\currcon directory from the bank of Canada website http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/markets/csv/exchange_eng.csv containing the daily exchange rates for various countries with the currencies labelled using ISO (International Standards Organisation) 4217 codes.
com\mindprod\currcon\exchs.ser The massaged and predigested exchange rates in a compact form ready for the CurrCon Applet. It is included in the currcon.jar prepared each day and uploaded to the website.
com\mindprod\currcon\manual.csv Only used if you want to manually control the exchange rates. A list of currencies and their current exchange rates.

Daily Procedure

  1. Once only, get a computer-savvy person (possibly me) to adjust the file daily.bat for you to customise it for your computer.
  2. Any time after 1 PM Eastern time, when the Bank of Canada posts the new exchange rates, run daily.bat. It will download http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/markets/csv/exchange_eng.csv to the C:\com\mindprod\currcon directory. Then it will merge the various data files and produce a new currcon.jar file.
  3. Upload com\mindprod\currcon\currcon.jar to your website.
If you see errors, most commonly it is the Bank of Canada changing, adding or deleting country codes. I will usually notice the problem within 24 hours and post a new version to handle the change. Sometimes it is a temporary problem, e.g. An exchange rate was not available for the Myanmar Kyat today.

Manual Procedure

If you want complete control of the exchange rates (perhaps to pad them with a fee, or to hold them more stable than they really are), you can run CurrCon in manual mode.
  1. Once only, get a computer-savvy person to adjust the file dailym.bat for you to customise it for your computer, e.g, to use your favourite text editor.
  2. Each day, or as often as you want to change the exchange rates, edit the file com\mindprod\currcon\manual.csv. It is a CSV file with one line per currency (and two fields per line) that you want to support. It would look something like this:
    CAD,0.98473
    EUR,1.57104
    GBP,1.98306
    USD,1.0
    Use the upper case three letter codes for the currencies you want to support from the list in currencydetails.csv. The numeric value is the value of one unit of the currency in US dollars. The GBP (Great Britain Pound) and Euro will be greater than 1. The MXP Mexican peso will be less than 1. USD US dollars will be exactly 1. You need lines for the currencies you want to support, including USD. You can get the exchange rates from a newspaper or from one of the online sources.
  3. Once only, prune out currencies you don’t want to support. There is no need to prune currencies you don’t want to support from the other files such as currencydetails.csv and countrytocurr.csv.
  4. Run dailym.bat.
  5. Upload com\mindprod\currcon\currcon.jar to your website.

Costs

CurrCon is free. It comes with source, and your right to modify it and use it throughout your company. I will help you get it going, but if you require modifications or extensive help, I will help you for a negotiated fee. Even someone with the most basic knowledge of Java should have no problem getting CurrCon working or doing minor customisations, like reducing the set of currencies supported. Since customising means running the Javac compiler and and ant script it is likely beyond the reach of a someone without Java experience, unless they use it unmodified.
PackageVersionReleasedLicenceLanguageNotes 
currcon
CurrCon Currency Converter
4.5 2011-12-29 free Java
more infoprecismanualscreenshotbrowse source repository
for the current version of CurrCon Currency Converter.
Currency converter for web pages.
download 2.3MB zip for CurrCon Currency Converter Java source, compiled class files, jar and documentation to run on your own machine as an Applet.

Runs on any OS that supports Java e.g. W2K/XP/W2003/Vista/W2008/W7-32/W7-64/W8-32/W8-64/W2012/Linux/LinuxARM/LinuxX86/LinuxX64/Ubuntu/Solaris/SolarisSPARC/SolarisSPARC64/SolarisX86/SolarisX64/OSX.

First install the most recent Java.

To install, extract the zip download with WinZip, (or similar unzip utility) into any directory you please, often J:\ — ticking off the use folder names option.

To check out the corresponding source from the Subversion repository, use the TortoiseSVN repo-browser to
access currcon source in repository with [Tortoise] Subversion client on wush.net/svn/mindprod/com/mindprod/currcon/.

download ASP PAD XML program description for the current version of CurrCon Currency Converter.

$1989.00 US donated so far. If the CMP utilities solved your problem, please donate a buck or two, or donate to one of the charities featured in the footer public service ads throughout the website and get a tax receipt.

CurrCon Currency Converter is free. Full source included. You may even include the source code, modified or unmodified in free/commercial open source/proprietary programs that you write and distribute. Non-military use only.
 
 
Currcon overview
currency
currency codes
Currency Converter Student Project
downloading CurrCon
How to configure your country/currency in Vista
other downloads
today’s exchange rates

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http://mindprod.com/applet/currcon.manual.html
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