cs445 - Fall 2013

Project - Questions And Answers


Many thanks to the following students who have contributed questions for this section:

  • Mohamad Alaliwi
  • Dundappa Hulkund

Q: Could a city have more than one hostel?

A: Yes, there may be multiple hostels in the same city.

Q: How many rooms maximum are there in a single hostel?

A: There is no limit to the numbers and rooms to speak of. For implementation purposes you should assume that a long integer is more than enough for a reasonable implementation.

Q: Do all hostels have the same number of rooms or each branch may have different number of rooms?

A: There is no rule: each hostel has its own number of rooms and beds.

Q: From where can I get this number of rooms for each hostel, user input or xml file?

A: The information about rooms and beds is not provided explicitly anywhere, as in there is no map of a hostel, not in the initial implementation of this project anyway. If there is information about a room and a bed in the inventory XML file, then it means that there is a room with that number and a bed with its own number in that room.

Q: How many beds maximum are there in a single room?

A: There is no limit to the numbers and beds in a room to speak of. For implementation purposes you should assume that a long integer is more than enough for a reasonable implementation.

Q: How many beds maximum a customer can reserve at one time?

A: A customer may reserve all the beds available.

Q: How many nights a customer can reserve for a single bed? Is there a limit?

A: There is no limit to speak of.

Q: What is the required info for making a reservation? First name, last name, email, and what else?

A: First name, last name, email address are the minimum for creating a user in the system. For a booking, credit card information is also required: CC number, expiration date, name on the card, security code (e.g. CVV2)

Q: Do we really need to send email from the application or just prove that we can?

A: Probably a message logged to /var/log/messages is sufficient to prove the point.

Q: What's the format of the notification message that will be sent to the customer's email address?

A: Makes no difference to me at this point. In reality the owner of Hostel 21 will want to tweak the template, which means that hardcoding the text of the message it is not a good solution for the long run. But don't spend much time on this.

Q: From where should I bring the "cool stuff" that can be done while in town? From the xml file?

A: Another thing that you don't have to worry about. Some sort of XML file is likely.

Q: Do different hostels have different cancellation policies? Where do I find the cancellation information?

A: Yes, each hostel can have their own cancellation policy. It should be included in the inventory XML file as children of <restrictions>, as in the following example:
  • <cancellation_deadline>48</cancellation_deadline> number of hours before the check_in_time on the day booking begins. If canceled at least these many hours *before* the check_in_time, then there is no cancellation penalty.
  • <cancellation_penalty>75%</cancellation_penalty> Percentage of the money charged for the booking that will be retained as a cancellation fee. The remainder will be returned to the customer.

Q: How do we resolve conflicts between data in the XML inventory file and existing data in the system?

A: Here's how:
  • Existing inventory that's not booked will be overwritten with data from the XML file.
  • Inventory that's already booked cannot be overwritten, instead the "load" command will print a list of all entries that cannot be processed.

Please note that there is no way to take inventory off circulation after it's been loaded, that's because the XML file doesn't provide any mechanism to indicate the action, such as "add" or "remove".

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