Advice For a Future Project


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Thread: Advice For a Future Project

  1. #1
    Howard Lesmeister Guest

    Advice For a Future Project


    My name is Howard Lesmeister. I'm in the process of buying a software program.
    The program is a Handicapping program for Horse Racing called Multi-Strats.
    The owners of the program where forced out of business 5 years ago due to
    personal problems. Before I make the purchase and receive the Source Code
    I am doing a lot of homework on the program and trying to get the best answers
    as possible. The main question I have is that the program is written in DOS
    BASIC and in order for me to make this program profitable and to be a program
    of the future it will have to be converted to a WINDOWS Version. It this
    possible? And if so can you help me? Is there any way to find out how much
    would be involved in the conversion without purchasing the source code to
    see if it would be worth my money and time. Please let me know. Thanks Howard



  2. #2
    michiel de bruijn Guest

    Re: Advice For a Future Project

    "Howard Lesmeister" <HowserLL@aol.com> wrote in message
    news:3d461820$1@10.1.10.29...

    > The main question I have is that the program is written in DOS
    > BASIC and in order for me to make this program profitable and to be a

    program
    > of the future it will have to be converted to a WINDOWS Version. It this
    > possible?


    Although conversion would technically be possible, this approach is not
    really recommended due to the tremendous differences between the DOS and
    Windows environments, as well as the changes and improvements to the BASIC
    language made over the past five years.

    Your best bet (no pun intended...) would be to create a Windows version from
    scratch. This would not necessarily need to be done in BASIC; any Rapid
    Application Development (RAD) environment for which you can find a competent
    programmer will do. Your options would typically be any Microsoft .NET
    language (VB, C#, etc.), Borland Delphi, Microsoft VB6 or C++. Major factors
    in this decision would be total cost, development time and suitability for
    the intended audience. With regard to the latter, for example, if you plan
    to make your software available for download by dial-up users, a .NET
    language would not be a very good option at this time due to the size and
    limited existing distribution of the runtime. A good programmer/consultant
    can brief you on the pros and cons of the various solutions for various
    situations -- never trust anyone who already has all the answers without
    listening to your exact question.

    Whether using the source code to the old DOS version as a functional
    reference for the new program makes sense depends very much on how much
    proprietary information is in it. If the DOS code has some unique algorithms
    or methods to process information in it, it may be worth it. Otherwise, just
    giving your programmer some literature on the subject may already be
    sufficient to implement this aspect of the program. Any user interface
    (screen presentation and printing) code originating from a DOS program is
    pretty much useless under Windows, as it needs to be re-done completely
    anyway due to technological differences between the platforms.

    Bottom line: don't invest in the existing source code before you've spoken
    to a competent programmer about the cost etc. of creating the program you
    actually want. To find such an individual, try locating some businesses in
    your neighbourhood that recently had contract programming work done for
    them, and ask them for references. Browsing newspaper (classified) ads,
    yellow pages, etc. might also help, but don't forget to ask for and check
    out references before committing to anything.

    '//mdb




  3. #3
    Rick Price Guest

    Re: Advice For a Future Project


    "michiel de bruijn" <mdb+devx@x42.net> wrote:
    >"Howard Lesmeister" <HowserLL@aol.com> wrote in message
    >news:3d461820$1@10.1.10.29...
    >
    >> The main question I have is that the program is written in DOS
    >> BASIC and in order for me to make this program profitable and to be a

    >program
    >> of the future it will have to be converted to a WINDOWS Version. It this
    >> possible?

    >
    >Although conversion would technically be possible, this approach is not
    >really recommended due to the tremendous differences between the DOS and
    >Windows environments, as well as the changes and improvements to the BASIC
    >language made over the past five years.
    >
    >Your best bet (no pun intended...) would be to create a Windows version

    from
    >scratch. This would not necessarily need to be done in BASIC; any Rapid
    >Application Development (RAD) environment for which you can find a competent
    >programmer will do. Your options would typically be any Microsoft .NET
    >language (VB, C#, etc.), Borland Delphi, Microsoft VB6 or C++. Major factors
    >in this decision would be total cost, development time and suitability for
    >the intended audience. With regard to the latter, for example, if you plan
    >to make your software available for download by dial-up users, a .NET
    >language would not be a very good option at this time due to the size and
    >limited existing distribution of the runtime. A good programmer/consultant
    >can brief you on the pros and cons of the various solutions for various
    >situations -- never trust anyone who already has all the answers without
    >listening to your exact question.
    >
    >Whether using the source code to the old DOS version as a functional
    >reference for the new program makes sense depends very much on how much
    >proprietary information is in it. If the DOS code has some unique algorithms
    >or methods to process information in it, it may be worth it. Otherwise,

    just
    >giving your programmer some literature on the subject may already be
    >sufficient to implement this aspect of the program. Any user interface
    >(screen presentation and printing) code originating from a DOS program is
    >pretty much useless under Windows, as it needs to be re-done completely
    >anyway due to technological differences between the platforms.
    >
    >Bottom line: don't invest in the existing source code before you've spoken
    >to a competent programmer about the cost etc. of creating the program you
    >actually want. To find such an individual, try locating some businesses

    in
    >your neighbourhood that recently had contract programming work done for
    >them, and ask them for references. Browsing newspaper (classified) ads,
    >yellow pages, etc. might also help, but don't forget to ask for and check
    >out references before committing to anything.
    >
    >'//mdb


    Essentially I agree with the above with a few exceptions. While .NET is
    a good choice, Java is also a viable alternative as well. For web deployment,
    PHP may allow quick deployment with good connectivity to a number of databases.
    Basic is a procedural language whereas the Windows world is event driven.
    The conversion and addition of an interface is not trivial.

    Not being a horse player, my knowledge of handicapping is limited but if
    my memory is correct, the handicap is based on the horse's performance in
    previoous races, the type of track the races were run on and other factor's.
    Final odds are figured with all of the horses handicaps compared together.
    This sounds like you may need a database (that you could sell downloadable
    updates to) to hold the information on the horses. Access is an easy choice
    for self contained - MySQL for internet use. This fact could be a partial
    reason for the original application failing.

    I think, all things considered, that you should partner with a good, experienced
    designer/programmer to do the scratch development. There are lots of guys
    who can do this type of development in the evenings after a day job. I do
    this all the time. Your job is to know enough about handicapping (or partner
    with someone who does) to convey what the application needs to do and how
    it needs to do it to your developer. Use cases might be a good communication
    tool for this.

    There is a ton of junk software for sale out there and buying a failed basic
    app is probably not the best way to go. There is probably a reason it failed
    and if it involves not being able to figure out the really tough pieces you
    don't need it.


  4. #4
    Steve Guest

    Re: Advice For a Future Project


    I would essentally agree. If the application was written in DOS / BASIC then
    it more than likely didn't take advantage of concepts like the Internet.
    If your goal is to develop this into a viable Windows or even Web app, then
    the original source code will be of little use aside from digging out calculations.
    (Which can most likely be found much more easily out of reference materials.)

    Basically you'd need to hire a developer to try and find all of the "logic"
    in the old application, then provide it to someone who knows the business
    to analyze & update as necessary, then your developer would literally need
    to write it from scratch. Copy & Paste is *not* an option when dealing with
    older procedural DOS code and COM. Basic and Visual Basic share the same
    name, and for the most part have similar syntax, but are completely different
    beasts. (Mainly because DOS and Windows are completely different beasts)

    Your better bet might be to have someone that is familiar with the industry
    look at the original app at runtime, assess what it does, and any other details
    that are needed, then hire a developer to develop a solution around those
    requirements.

    Steve.

    "Rick Price" <rprice453@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >
    >"michiel de bruijn" <mdb+devx@x42.net> wrote:
    >>"Howard Lesmeister" <HowserLL@aol.com> wrote in message
    >>news:3d461820$1@10.1.10.29...
    >>
    >>> The main question I have is that the program is written in DOS
    >>> BASIC and in order for me to make this program profitable and to be a

    >>program
    >>> of the future it will have to be converted to a WINDOWS Version. It this
    >>> possible?

    >>
    >>Although conversion would technically be possible, this approach is not
    >>really recommended due to the tremendous differences between the DOS and
    >>Windows environments, as well as the changes and improvements to the BASIC
    >>language made over the past five years.
    >>
    >>Your best bet (no pun intended...) would be to create a Windows version

    >from
    >>scratch. This would not necessarily need to be done in BASIC; any Rapid
    >>Application Development (RAD) environment for which you can find a competent
    >>programmer will do. Your options would typically be any Microsoft .NET
    >>language (VB, C#, etc.), Borland Delphi, Microsoft VB6 or C++. Major factors
    >>in this decision would be total cost, development time and suitability

    for
    >>the intended audience. With regard to the latter, for example, if you plan
    >>to make your software available for download by dial-up users, a .NET
    >>language would not be a very good option at this time due to the size and
    >>limited existing distribution of the runtime. A good programmer/consultant
    >>can brief you on the pros and cons of the various solutions for various
    >>situations -- never trust anyone who already has all the answers without
    >>listening to your exact question.
    >>
    >>Whether using the source code to the old DOS version as a functional
    >>reference for the new program makes sense depends very much on how much
    >>proprietary information is in it. If the DOS code has some unique algorithms
    >>or methods to process information in it, it may be worth it. Otherwise,

    >just
    >>giving your programmer some literature on the subject may already be
    >>sufficient to implement this aspect of the program. Any user interface
    >>(screen presentation and printing) code originating from a DOS program

    is
    >>pretty much useless under Windows, as it needs to be re-done completely
    >>anyway due to technological differences between the platforms.
    >>
    >>Bottom line: don't invest in the existing source code before you've spoken
    >>to a competent programmer about the cost etc. of creating the program you
    >>actually want. To find such an individual, try locating some businesses

    >in
    >>your neighbourhood that recently had contract programming work done for
    >>them, and ask them for references. Browsing newspaper (classified) ads,
    >>yellow pages, etc. might also help, but don't forget to ask for and check
    >>out references before committing to anything.
    >>
    >>'//mdb

    >
    >Essentially I agree with the above with a few exceptions. While .NET is
    >a good choice, Java is also a viable alternative as well. For web deployment,
    >PHP may allow quick deployment with good connectivity to a number of databases.
    > Basic is a procedural language whereas the Windows world is event driven.
    > The conversion and addition of an interface is not trivial.
    >
    >Not being a horse player, my knowledge of handicapping is limited but if
    >my memory is correct, the handicap is based on the horse's performance in
    >previoous races, the type of track the races were run on and other factor's.
    > Final odds are figured with all of the horses handicaps compared together.
    > This sounds like you may need a database (that you could sell downloadable
    >updates to) to hold the information on the horses. Access is an easy choice
    >for self contained - MySQL for internet use. This fact could be a partial
    >reason for the original application failing.
    >
    >I think, all things considered, that you should partner with a good, experienced
    >designer/programmer to do the scratch development. There are lots of guys
    >who can do this type of development in the evenings after a day job. I

    do
    >this all the time. Your job is to know enough about handicapping (or partner
    >with someone who does) to convey what the application needs to do and how
    >it needs to do it to your developer. Use cases might be a good communication
    >tool for this.
    >
    >There is a ton of junk software for sale out there and buying a failed basic
    >app is probably not the best way to go. There is probably a reason it failed
    >and if it involves not being able to figure out the really tough pieces

    you
    >don't need it.
    >



  5. #5
    Joe \Nuke Me Xemu\ Foster Guest

    Re: Advice For a Future Project

    "Steve" <stevepyn@hotmail.com> wrote in message <news:3d4ae125$1@10.1.10.29>...

    > I would essentally agree. If the application was written in DOS / BASIC then
    > it more than likely didn't take advantage of concepts like the Internet.
    > If your goal is to develop this into a viable Windows or even Web app, then
    > the original source code will be of little use aside from digging out calculations.
    > (Which can most likely be found much more easily out of reference materials.)


    I do remember people being able to migrate most of their "engine"
    code from MS Basic to VB 1/2/3 essentially unchanged, if the UI
    code was kept separate from the "real work". Admittedly, this
    may have been less common than it could have been, since at the
    time most training materials appeared to advocate stuffing the
    logic into the event procedures, instead of splitting it out to
    modules that could potentially be reused in other projects. No,
    VB forms were new and cOOl, so they got used for *everything*...

    --
    Joe Foster <mailto:jlfoster%40znet.com> "Regged" again? <http://www.xenu.net/>
    WARNING: I cannot be held responsible for the above They're coming to
    because my cats have apparently learned to type. take me away, ha ha!



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