Feature Request: triggers or variable auto-transactions

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Feature Request: triggers or variable auto-transactions

Karl Hegbloom
I sometimes take 'direct deposit advances' from my bank.  When my weekly
paycheck is depositted, the bank system triggers an automatic repayment
of the advance plus a finance charge.

In GnuCash, I've learned how to set up an automatic transaction for the
paycheck deposit, but not one for the DDA repayment.  I don't do a DDA
every week, but some weeks I do it twice...  What I want is for GC to
automatically create the repayment transactions when there is an
outstanding DDA after the paycheck transaction is posted.  A static
automatic transaction is not quite the right thing.

Perhaps a special feature for posting a DDA could schedule the repayment
just as the bank does, to have it happen right after posting the
paycheck?  A dialog could take the initial information, like the amount
and the finance charge, then post the amounts to Assets::Current
Assets::Checking Account, Liabilities::Direct Deposit Advance::DDA
Advance and L::Dir::DDA Fees, plus create the one-shot scheduled
transaction.  Q: Can this be done using scheme and current GC features?

In thinking about this, it seems to me that a generalized mechanism for
creating this sort of dialog would be very useful.  If the widgets could
be done in a way that Glade can use them, and if Glade was designed (or
refactored?) so that it could run in a slightly restricted mode for this
sort of application, it would be cool.  By restricted, I mean like
filter the set of available widgets, and restrict it to filling out a
dialog box... ?  Or should it be allowed the full set of features?  I'm
not sure.

--
Karl Hegbloom <[hidden email]>

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Re: Feature Request: triggers or variable auto-transactions

Josh Sled
On Fri, 2005-08-19 at 12:48 -0700, Karl Hegbloom wrote:

> Perhaps a special feature for posting a DDA could schedule the repayment
> just as the bank does, to have it happen right after posting the
> paycheck?  A dialog could take the initial information, like the amount

Could you simply create both transactions when you post the DDA?  Since
the paychecks probably come on a set schedule, you can always figure out
when the next one would be, and you can post-date the repayment
transaction to that date.


> transaction.  Q: Can this be done using scheme and current GC features?

Certainly, anything can be done if you're willing to write it. :)  It
would probably be a bit more involved than simply re-combining existing
features with scheme, but not too much.


> In thinking about this, it seems to me that a generalized mechanism for
> creating this sort of dialog would be very useful.  If the widgets could

Also useful is the idea of a palette of template transactions --
divorced from the scheduled transactions -- which can be instantiated by
the user.  They would be slightly different from the
whole-transaction-autocomplete that we currently have, mostly by being
first-class participants, and being available for explicit creation.
E.g., here, you could have a "Take DDAdvance" template that contained
both the advance and repayment transactions, and you could create them
as a unit.

The special form-filling dialog that you mention would probably be
unnecessary once you can create a whole set of splits at once; in
effect, the transaction/splits *are* the dialog.  OTOH, perhaps it would
be nice to have a custom dialog jump up, especially if the
template-split values are computations of symbolic values...

I've been musing about writing that for a while, but there are many
other higher-priority things for me right now. If this is your itch,
then scratch away!

...jsled

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Re: Feature Request: triggers or variable auto-transactions

Karl Hegbloom
On Fri, 2005-08-19 at 16:24 -0400, Josh Sled wrote:

> On Fri, 2005-08-19 at 12:48 -0700, Karl Hegbloom wrote:
>
> > Perhaps a special feature for posting a DDA could schedule the repayment
> > just as the bank does, to have it happen right after posting the
> > paycheck?  A dialog could take the initial information, like the amount
>
> Could you simply create both transactions when you post the DDA?  Since
> the paychecks probably come on a set schedule, you can always figure out
> when the next one would be, and you can post-date the repayment
> transaction to that date.

But if I enter the transaction now, even if it is post-dated, won't that
affect the displayed account balance?  That would make it difficult to
monitor the present balance, and thus greatly increase the chances of an
overdraft, the very thing the DDA is meant to avoid.  It's a lot cheaper
to pay the service charge on the DDA than for an overdraft.

> > transaction.  Q: Can this be done using scheme and current GC features?
>
> Certainly, anything can be done if you're willing to write it. :)  It
> would probably be a bit more involved than simply re-combining existing
> features with scheme, but not too much.

I will need to spend a lot of time learning about the internals of
GnuCash then.  It cannot be possible otherwise, that's just the way it
is.  The question then is, should I begin with CVS GnuCash for GTK2, or
with presently released GnuCash?  I think it will take some time for me
to learn it since I've limited time available for that.  When will the
GTK2 version be releaseable?

> > In thinking about this, it seems to me that a generalized mechanism for
> > creating this sort of dialog would be very useful.  If the widgets could
>
> Also useful is the idea of a palette of template transactions --
> divorced from the scheduled transactions -- which can be instantiated by
> the user.  They would be slightly different from the
> whole-transaction-autocomplete that we currently have, mostly by being
> first-class participants, and being available for explicit creation.
> E.g., here, you could have a "Take DDAdvance" template that contained
> both the advance and repayment transactions, and you could create them
> as a unit.

Maybe I could simply create the scheduled transaction, and schedule it
to happen only once.  That seems easiest and now that it has occured to
me, almost obvious.

> [...] I've been musing about writing that for a while, but there are many
> other higher-priority things for me right now. If this is your itch,
> then scratch away!

Well, it's summer vacation, one month to go before fall term begins.
Right now my itch has more to do with my social life and
recreation.  ;-)

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Karl Hegbloom <[hidden email]>

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Re: Feature Request: triggers or variable auto-transactions

Josh Sled
On Fri, 2005-08-19 at 15:34 -0700, Karl Hegbloom wrote:
> But if I enter the transaction now, even if it is post-dated, won't that
> affect the displayed account balance?  That would make it difficult to

Both the present and future balances are displayed.


> I will need to spend a lot of time learning about the internals of
> GnuCash then.  It cannot be possible otherwise, that's just the way it
> is.  The question then is, should I begin with CVS GnuCash for GTK2, or
> with presently released GnuCash?  I think it will take some time for me
> to learn it since I've limited time available for that.

If you want something you can patch against your current build and have
it available now, then a 1.8.x release.  If you want something that may
get incorporated into the build going forward, look to the gnome2
branch.


>   When will the
> GTK2 version be releaseable?

When it's done.  Maybe hopefully in the next few months.


> Well, it's summer vacation, one month to go before fall term begins.
> Right now my itch has more to do with my social life and
> recreation.  ;-)

:)

...jsled

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