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I'm planning to build a payment receipt/booking application for a media company with several branches in different locations.

The application should be able to move data across the network/internet to a central database where the

administrator/accountant in a different location will be able to see the result of the entire job for the day from each branch.

Application will run on windows environment.

Will be able to send result of the booking to a Point Of Sales printer for print output.

Now, I'm confused about choosing the right programming language to accomplish this task.

I'm between beginner/intermediate level in PHP, I know HTML/CSS and JavaScript. I have tried to do this in PHP but, I'm face with several challenges and I fear for the POS part since PHP application run on the web browser.

I don't know if python will be best suited for this and how long will it take someone with my experience level to pick up python.

Any suggestion will be highly appreciated.

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closed as not constructive by gnat, Walter, World Engineer, Jalayn, StuperUser Oct 16 '12 at 10:33

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OK, but why not just use existing software to do this? It would not be cost effective to develop such a stack and only use it for a few sites with one customer. –  Angelo Jan 3 '12 at 19:15

4 Answers 4

Python and PHP perform similar tasks in similar ways. One isn't going to be more effective than the other for this project, because there's nothing about this project that's specific enough to require a specialized language.

Personally, I think the problem you're describing sounds perfect for a web solution, and that you'll just need to work around the issues you experienced in PHP in order to implement said solution. If you're having problems with the implementation in PHP, it's only likely to get way harder in Python, since you have significantly less experience there. The good news is that pretty much everything you're describing here is considered a solved problem in most languages, so it's only going to take you a little while to determine how to overcome your project's specific challenges.

Keep at it!

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Than you sir. That was really helpful. But I don't know if PHP application can work with a Point Of Sales printer? –  Festus Dec 4 '11 at 17:24
You're probably going to need to do some command line work to get the PHP app to work with the POS printer, but there are a number of ways around it. I can't speak to the specifics of what you're trying to accomplish, because I don't know them, but that's probably a question that's better suited for stack overflow. –  EricBoersma Dec 4 '11 at 17:40

Python and PHP can perform the same tasks, given the context that you said in here. I would say that you can pick up the project using PHP, since you have more experience with it.

That said, I don't know what specific problems you think you may encounter when developing that specific app, but it sounds great for a web application. If you need some help overcoming certain problems with coding in PHP, you can use a framework so you can manage your code with ease, develop faster, be a little bit less error-prone.

If your problem is the presentation, you can also use some great CSS frameworks or boilerplates available that can ease the load for you, focusing on the quality of your web application.

If the problem is the POSP (as I just read in the comments), there are guides and tutorials on how to manage printing inside web browsers. A List Apart has a great article about using print stylesheets - you'd need some basic CSS knowledge and you'll be set.

Since I cannot post direct links...

PHP Frameworks:

Great TOC about PHP frameworks: phpframeworks.com

(My personal favorite being Codeigniter (codeigniter.com)

CSS Frameworks:

  • twitter.github.com/bootstrap
  • 960.gs
  • cssgrid.net

HTML Boilerplates

  • html5boilerplate.com

Printing stylesheets

  • alistapart.com/articles/goingtoprint/
  • coding.smashingmagazine.com/2011/11/24/how-to-set-up-a-print-style-sheet/
  • webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/css/print-stylesheet.shtml


If you need some special interface with the printer (not just browser-based printing, that's what the Print Stylesheets are good for), you might need a PHP extension or application.

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Thanks for the links –  Festus Dec 4 '11 at 18:34

A bit of meta-advice.

The programming language is not so important. Pick the one you know best. I suppose both PHP and Python are well enough supported to access whatever other reasonable systems you'll need to access (POS printers included).

Pay more attention to the architecture of your system. Failure modes, incomplete and delayed data from branches, data conflicts and making them impossible, and general way to push and pull the data around — that what I'd be most concerned about. With data literally equaling money, as in this case, I'd be extra careful with data quality and integrity.

(And, working with money, don't forget rounding errors, perfect sums, and non-floating-point representation, of course.)

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There are number of ways in php to build the payment receipt. One way is to create pdf generator and write are the receipt data to that pdf. Second way is to refer some existing forums, that could be the best way of getting answer. I would like to suggest you to refer the following link for this answer Click Here For more information!

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