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It exhibits tips on how to drill down and simplify person stories whilst designing electronic instruments and purposes. This goes into an endless loop, dispatching events from the underlying operating system to your applications and updating appropriate bound variables. Just as in the pre-Win32 days when we used the cooperative multitasking of Windows 3. Other methods may work equally well.
This time-slicing problem crops up when doing a real transaction over the Internet. Unfortunately, this is normal behavior as the current release version of Perl is not yet threaded. However, the newest development version of Perl does incorporate a threaded architecture, so you can expect this limitation to be removed shortly. I noticed that the Perl shipped with the Caldera Open Linux 2.
Dozens of widgets are available for use in your programs. For our application, I only used a few: filemenu, Optionmenu a drop-down select box , LabEntry a text box with related label , and NoteBook, for the configuration control. If you look through the source code, you will see the general outline of the way things are done in most pTk applications.
First, I declare all the global structures that I will use. This is important, as they will need to be within the scope of the callback routines used. See Listing 1. I then declare a MAIN block for the program.
See Listing 2. Every widget will attach at some level to this window:. Nothing fancy here. We then create a frame for the menu bar. A frame keeps parts of the program together logically, and for geometry management, lays out your controls on the screen. Before a widget can be seen on the screen, you must call a manager to lay it out for you.
Each frame can only have one type of manager for its widgets; however, each frame can have multiple frames, making possible quite complex schemes. Of course, more are possible in larger applications. Additional options within the menu bar widget allow you to attach colors, checkboxes, and hotkeys to the menu items, as well. Menus under pTk are lists of actions with associated commands, usually contained within a frame. First, you need to create the menu bar frame:. Multiple top-level items would be added the same way. Now we need to add a few commands to the menu:.
Note the way commands are bound to the widgets.
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Whenever a user selects an item, the bound command is executed. The left frame is first populated with a drop-down list called an Optionmenu , with the various transaction types available:. The -options parameter is a reference to an array defined globally; refer to Listing 1 of accepted transaction types. We then populate the rest of the frame with LabEntry widgets. These little gizmos are fantastic, housing commonly used labels, entry fields, and bound variables in one convenient widget. Like every other widget, you must call the geometry manager to make it visible.
It is also pretty obvious that the LabEntry widget is calling its own geometry manager behind the scenes for us. The right-hand frame is populated with a series of Label widgets for displaying the output of the transaction. Note the grid manager used to place the labels in a column. The bottom frame is no more complicated, and consists of only three widgets: two LabEntry widgets for showing the state of the transaction both sent and received and a button to actually perform the processing.
The button is bound to the processTransaction routine, which is straightforward.
See Listing 3. The only thing left to do is to start the event processing, which should look familiar by this time:.
To configure the file dialog boxes, each routine needs a list of the file types to accept:. See Figure 1. To actually execute the dialog, simply call getSaveFile:. You can specify the initial file name for the dialog, as shown above. Only if the user answers affirmatively will the filename be returned. Once we have the filename, we can then save and load the configuration. We are using an extremely simple file format, basically a mini-Perl program, thanks to the Data::Dumper module. This is where the interpreted nature of Perl shines. To write out the file, we open it, print the text provided by Dumper, and then close it.
Reading it back in is simple as well. Slurp up the file, and then use the eval function to interpret the file. One really cool widget in the pTk system is the NoteBook see Figure 4. The doConfig callback subroutine actually implements the system. The -ipad options tell the system how much internal padding to leave around the widgets contained within the box.
To actually use the NoteBook, you must now add pages to it:. Again, we use the LabEntry widget to make a labeled text-entry box. The return value is the text of the button that the user pressed to end the dialog. That just about covers the example program, which is available electronically in the listings archive for this issue.
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To run the program under Windows, double-click on the file name ptkpos. The ActiveState installation program for Windows associates the. Under Linux, you first need to make the program executable.
You can then use the K file manager and click on the program, or execute it from the command line directly. This module simulates the transaction process by providing data that you could expect to receive if you were to send the data to a real validation system. It does, however, check to see if the credit card could be a valid card: if so, it returns an authorization code, otherwise it will be declined. To use the application for real transactions, you must replace the stub with an active link to a real online gateway system.
To configure the system, select File Configuration from the menu bar. Fill in the User and Password fields as provided by PaymentNet, or leave it blank to use the simulator. For testing, leave test. Port is the default and should never need to be changed. If you are processing transactions from behind a firewall always a good idea when doing electronic commerce you need to set the Proxy settings.
Consult the PaymentNet documentation for full details on how to do this. The application supports only a limited subset of the PaymentNet system. In particular, PaymentNet supports various forms of check processing. It should be possible to support other payment gateways relatively easily, though doing so is not currently planned.
You can find more information as well as the payment-transaction module on how to do so at the Commerce-Store. There are quite a few exploration tools available for both Perl and pTk. I encourage you to take a look at some of the Web sites presented here, as well as the example programs that come with the distribution. Nick Temple is an entrepreneur who has recently relocated to Silicon Valley to pursue the startup dream. The founder of The Temple Group, Ltd. Since the article was written, a number of things have changed in the online payments world.
PaymentNet has changed their name to Signio, and then purchased by Verisign. You may know them now as Verisign Payment Services. Here are the steps that you will need to follow:.
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