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Horváth Donát
Horváth Donát

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What to ship to client as a freelancer - source, app, library?

Hi Guys! I am pretty new at programming and I have a blank spot which bother me. I can write some basic code now. My workflow is: make a command-line tool project in Xcode, add the libraries etc what I need, write the code and unit tests (in C++) and then build the app. After the build I have an app which after a double click does it's job on my computer in Terminal. It's OK.

What I can't see is how to make it something which I could send to client (for now friends of course), submit to App Store etc. For example if I get a job as a freelancer something like this:

"I need an application which get the videostream from my webcam, and highlight every circle object in the image real time using OpenCV."

I can do this, but what should I send to the client if I am a freenlancer? The souce code? The application? A library? I guess it's part of the agreement, but I still don't know which is the usual case?

Discussion (4)

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chrisachard profile image
Chris Achard

If the client is technical (i.e., can integrate the code into their own projects themselves), then you can just deliver the code (in a github repo for example, or as a zip file, etc).

However, if the client wants the whole thing as a pre-made app in the App Store - there's quite a bit more work that goes into that.

Once you have the library working as a command line tool, then the next step is to use XCode to make a new project with a UI of some sort. There's a lot of tutorials out there about that - so follow one of those to make a simple UI first. Then, you should just be able to drop in your code to do the actual algorithm.

Good luck!

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hordon profile image
Horváth Donát Author

Thank you very much Chris! Some edge case came into my mind: what if the client would like to use my app on Mac and Windows as well? I should write the same app in Swift and in C# too or is there something in-betweener solution in case like this? Is it a common practice to use different language to the UI and the to actual algorithm? For example if my code is in C++ does it make sense to make the UI in Swift or it's a no-no?

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chrisachard profile image
Chris Achard

C++ can be compiled to both Windows and Mac (usually, with some work perhaps), and you can make a library for it that can be used on either.

Then, you'll have to create a UI for each. You can either do that by making a separate one for Mac (in swift), and Windows (in C#), or by trying one of the variety of ways that you can do it on both (like Electron).

You'll have to compile your C++ to a binary for Mac, and a binary for windows, but you should be able to reuse most of that code for each.

Does that help? I'm a web and mobile dev mostly - so I can't point to great tutorials, etc - but I do know that if you can compile your C++ code once for Mac, and then once for Windows - then you should be able to use that as a library from whatever UI you choose to build.

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hordon profile image
Horváth Donát Author

Thanks again Chris, yeah that helped a lot! Now I will try to implement this with a simple project :)