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Chequebook Balancer Deluxe


Disclaimer

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.

You may have used tools like Quicken or Microsoft money to help balance your chequebook. This program is similar except it is more extensible and customisable. It does the usual things, maintaining a database of people and companies you write cheques to and your monthly recurring charges.

The program is composed of replaceable modules defined by Java interfaces. This way savvy users can customize it or extend it to their heart’s content.

It also has a few features the commercial programs do not. It can tell you your actual balance, what your balance would be if all outstanding cheques suddenly cleared and your projected balance for any date in the future.

The interfaces include:

The program tracks which cheques have cleared, mainly by examining a bank statement, paper or electronic. However, it also can often guess which cheques must have cleared from knowledge of regular monthly charges and your bank balance snapshots when you do a cash withdrawal.

The program makes extensive use of Class.forName to allow the end user to attach new modules that replace or build upon the standard ones provided. The source code for the standard implementations is made available to help people write variants, or cannibalise bits of the existing implementations.

JMoney

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