Having graduated, I am waiting for work to start in August so I don’t have much to do. I made a list of ideas for side projects and I decided to start with making a better system for ordering liquor. Currently, the process of ordering liquor in the state of Michigan is quite tedious. It involves logging into a site with a horrible UI and manually typing in liquor codes that are assigned by the state along with the quantity required. With this, you have to write down what you need on paper, look up all of the liquor codes, and manually input them into a form that has horrible error handling. The entire process is just bad and really needs a refresh.
I decided to try to solve this problem by creating an app that allows you to scan barcodes and it would automatically look things up and make ordering super easy. I started by getting a physical barcode scanner. After implementing several solutions such as Zxing and the built-in methods in iOS, they all had bad performance. I tried a few ‘commericial grade’ solutions and they actually worked very well, but they have no pricing options for individuals. That’s when I decided to simply use a bluetooth barcode scanner. You can find them for a reasonable price and it’s very quick.
It took quite a while to re-learn Swift and the new changes and additions in XCode, but I have finished working on the internals of the app. One of my first experiences programming was actually developing an iOS app, but at that time I had no idea what any object-oriented concepts were. Going back through everything makes a lot more sense and I finally understand how to properly implement UITableViews. At the moment, I am working on creating an API to submit the orders to the state website as well as a site using React to easily look up and add items to an order. The app and site will be able to work together in the end.