Development of a Graphical User Interface on an X Window Platform for Hotel Software
Christ, Oliver R.
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For my Senior Individualized Project I chose to do developmental work at Nixdorf Microprocessor Engineering GmbH, a subsidiary of the large German hard- and software-manufacturer Nixdorf Computer. My internship lasted about two months, from the middle of October until Christmas, 1989. During that time I worked for the "ASW Hotel/Catering" section on the project "Development of New Hotel Software under UNIX", which emphasizes integrating X Window based graphical user interfaces, fourth generation database languages, and object oriented programming ( C + +) into an user and maintenance friendly approach for mainframes in a way presently only known to some microcomputers. It was my goal to learn as much as possible about the hard- and software components involved, and to gain "hands-on" experience with the computer systems which are usually beyond my reach. But at the same time I tried to give a hundred percent in realizing the section of the project for which I was responsible. What made this job so exciting was the combination of tasks which went far beyond the actual design and coding of the software itself. A major part of the time was spent on exploring the capabilities of the relevant graphical and networking development tools, which were just appearing on the market at that time. Most of the software was just released or was supplied as beta-and pre2 release versions, and in many instances a significant amount of research was required to adapt it to our needs. Through my general knowledge in computer science and object oriented systems gained in coursework at Kalamazoo College, on the one hand, and through experience with UNIX based systems gained during my Career Development, on the other hand, I was able to function as an integral member of the small team entrusted with the project. In the following I will try to reflect my involvement in the project and to give insights into the underlying concepts.