some implementation questions

Subscribe to some implementation questions 6 post(s), 3 voice(s)

Avatar (SF) samuel 4 post(s)

hi there,

my name’s sam. about a week ago i went searching for an application to search ebay items and snipe on them on my computer. i run a mac os x system, so my options were slim. of what i found, JBidWatcher was the only software that actually worked. however, it’s java base made it a tad slow and the user interface wasn’t very mac os-like (no offense). so, i decided i would build an application of my own! now, i’m having some trouble with some things and was wondering if you’d be willing to help. i’ve taken a look at your code and i don’t understand how you’re accomplishing a few things. this is probably derived from my lack of knowledge of java, so i’d be a very happy person if you could perhaps explain how you’re accomplishing the bidding procedure for ebay. i could go bidding on items to find out how ebay’s system works, but i’d rather a true and tried system be put into place rather than my guesswork.

to summarize: if you wouldn’t mind, and have the time, i’d be quite grateful for a quick rundown of the general bidding procedure for an item on ebay.


ps, i tried emailing you using cyberfox at users dot sf dot net but the email bounced.

Avatar Morgan Schweers Administrator 1,204 post(s)

Erf… I’ll try to get to this in a little while, it’s a bit complex.

I’ve heard the ‘not mac os-like’ a lot, but nobody seems willing to drill down and tell me what it is. I try very hard to make the program as OSX-like as possible, and VERY much like to know where I’ve failed. I spent a bunch of time on Apple’s interface guidelines page for that, with some very custom code to manage the menu bar, and app packaging, and everything… Help me out, tell me what I’m still doing wrong!

I think instead of ‘’ it’s ‘’, but they seem to map to the same machine. What kind of a bounce was it, if you kept it at all?

By the way, the current version sucks MUCH more CPU time than the previous version did, because I mistakenly diked an optimization out.

Anyhow, I’ll try to address the bidding details in a later post, when I get home.

The basic idea is that you submit a bid, it challenges with a hidden key (form, input type hidden, name=key (iirc, I don’t have the source in front of me where I am)), you re-submit, and it bids.

You need to be logged in as the user, tracking cookies, following redirects (and the cookie changes that happen from redirect to redirect), but that’s really the core of it. There’s details about quantity, and stuff, but that’s only for dutch auctions.

— Morgan Schweers, CyberFOX!

Avatar (SF) samuel 4 post(s)

it is a loaded question and i’m sorry if i’m asking too much.

regarding the mac os-ness of JBidWatcher: a lot of the things that make it seem foreign in the os stem from the fact that it wasn’t built from the tools provided by apple. it’s often the little things, but they quickly add up. for example, the toolbar icons shouldn’t have boxes around them, and they should have text underneath describing their function. then it’s all got to be customizable to what fits my needs. for an example of what toolbars act like, you can look at most mac applications. things like mail are a good example. this standard toolbar is evident all around and it’s consistency that makes a mac app what it is. it’s a lot of things like this. here’s a few more:

mac apps almost never have status text just there. status is usually indicated visually, and in the case where text is needed, it’s kept to a minimum.

many of the prefs seem superflous. for example, there doesn’t seem to be a real need to specify where the save file is. all mac os applications should save such data in the user’s library automatically. in addition, that arrow box for more prefs is nonstandard.

the text colors thing just clashes and seems like something you’d see on windows. i had an idea that in my app the list of items would have background highlighted styles to represent various states.

the “select” box is something i’ve never seen before. the mac equivalent would be a rounded search box that upon entering text the results would become filtered (ie the nonmatching results disappear).

i have a 1024*768 resolution and the text to the right of the select box runs into it.

and just in general the whole interface seems overly complex. i can maybe post some pictures of the interface i have in mind and it’s a whole lot simpler.

a lot of the things i don’t think will be able to be resolved in a java app. the menu bars are completely non-standard and match few other apps. on the other hand, a blank cocoa based app with zero code comes with a menubar that has all the standard functions and is organized just like other apps.

despite apple claiming java has equal ground with other apps, from what i’ve seen on mac os x, it seems java apps are at a severe disadvantage.

anyway, getting back to the topic, i’m writing this app only partially because what you’ve made doesn’t fit my needs. JBidWatcher an amazingly functional application, and i can accomplish anything i would want to with it. a lot of the reason i’m writing my own is to learn objective c. before this, i was only experienced in c++ and even then not in creating apps with real guis. in the end, i plan on making this application free for all and releasing the source.

so i wouldn’t mind your help. and like i said, don’t feel rushed. i’m still busy figuring out other bits of the code.


Avatar (SF) samuel 4 post(s)

oh, and about the bounce, here’s the error i got

Permanent Failure: 550-Postmaster_verification_failed_while_checking

Avatar (SF) Dave Brand 1 post

I believe the bounce message you got means that your mail server doesn’t have a “postmaster” account configured. Sourceforge seems to have a thing about that.

Avatar (SF) samuel 4 post(s)

hmmm, comcast is my outgoing smtp server, so it would seem like they would have that, but who knows.

anyways, i thought i’d post some screen shots of what i’m accomplished so far. however, SF doesn’t allow inline html, so i’ll just post the links


sniping (this part needs interface work):