Financial year handling

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Financial year handling

Yves-Eric Martin-2
Hi all,

I posted the message below to gnucash-devel about 2 weeks ago, but it
did not spark any reply there. Maybe I should have brought the matter on
the gnucash-user list first? Anyway, here it is:



Hi all,


I would like to help address the issue mentioned in the FAQ
http://gnomesupport.org/wiki/index.php/GnuCashFaq#Q:_The_fiscal_year_is_July_1-June_30.2C_how_can_I_change_that.3F

For businesses, the financial year is paramount, and not being
able to set it renders the "Current Financial Year Start" and
the likes totally useless.

Having seen quite a few requests for that feature in the list
archives, but only workarounds and no mention of anything
being done about it, I went ahead and, following the FAQ
pointer, made some changes in date-utilities.scm, to make it
easy to set the financial year starting month and day by
simply editing at the top of the file:

     ;; fin-year-start format: mm dd
     (define fin-year-start '(07 01))

 From there, "get-start-cur-fin-year" and cousins now return
the right value. See patch file attached.

While this makes it easy to set a global financial year,
it is of course far from a complete solution. We need a
way to set this per file, through the UI (maybe in the
"Book options" dialog accessed by File->Properties?), and
then date-utilities.scm should use the value from the UI
instead of the hardcoded fin-year-start... While it does
not sound like there should be much to do (but I may be
totally out to lunch here...), I am afraid this is way
above my head and I cannot take this any further myself.
Could anyone pick things up from here?

PS: "End Current/Previous Financial Year" options should
be called "Current/Previous Financial Year End" for
consistency with their "Start" counterpart.


Cheers,


--
Yves-Eric Martin

--- date-utilities.scm.ORIG 2005-09-18 01:30:40.000000000 +0900
+++ date-utilities.scm 2005-09-18 03:05:34.000000000 +0900
@@ -1,6 +1,7 @@
 ;; date-utilities.scm -- date utility functions.
 ;; Bryan Larsen ([hidden email])
 ;; Revised by Christopher Browne
+;; Improvement to financial year support by Yves-Eric Martin
 ;;
 ;; This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or    
 ;; modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as  
@@ -19,6 +20,14 @@
 ;; 59 Temple Place - Suite 330        Fax:    +1-617-542-2652
 ;; Boston, MA  02111-1307,  USA       [hidden email]
 
+
+;; fin-year-start format: mm dd
+(define fin-year-start '(07 01))
+
+
+(define fin-year-start-month (- (car fin-year-start) 1)) ;; jan == 0
+(define fin-year-start-day (cadr fin-year-start))
+
 (define gnc:reldate-list '())
 
 (define (gnc:timepair->secs tp)
@@ -435,13 +444,13 @@
 ;; FIXME:: Replace with option when it becomes available
 (define (gnc:get-start-cur-fin-year)
   (let ((now (localtime (current-time))))
-    (if (< (tm:mon now) 6)
+    (if (or (< (tm:mon now) fin-year-start-month) (and (= (tm:mon now) fin-year-start-month) (< (tm:mday now) fin-year-start-day) ))
  (begin
   (set-tm:sec now 0)
   (set-tm:min now 0)
   (set-tm:hour now 0)
-  (set-tm:mday now 1)
-  (set-tm:mon now 6)
+  (set-tm:mday now fin-year-start-day)
+  (set-tm:mon now fin-year-start-month)
   (set-tm:year now (- (tm:year now) 1))
           (set-tm:isdst now -1)
   (gnc:date->timepair now))
@@ -449,20 +458,20 @@
   (set-tm:sec now 0)
   (set-tm:min now 0)
   (set-tm:hour now 0)
-  (set-tm:mday now 1)
-  (set-tm:mon now 6)
+  (set-tm:mday now fin-year-start-day)
+  (set-tm:mon now fin-year-start-month)
           (set-tm:isdst now -1)
   (gnc:date->timepair now)))))
 
 (define (gnc:get-start-prev-fin-year)
   (let ((now (localtime (current-time))))
-    (if (< (tm:mon now) 6)
+    (if (or (< (tm:mon now) fin-year-start-month) (and (= (tm:mon now) fin-year-start-month) (< (tm:mday now) fin-year-start-day) ))
  (begin
   (set-tm:sec now 0)
   (set-tm:min now 0)
   (set-tm:hour now 0)
-  (set-tm:mday now 1)
-  (set-tm:mon now 6)
+  (set-tm:mday now fin-year-start-day)
+  (set-tm:mon now fin-year-start-month)
   (set-tm:year now (- (tm:year now) 2))
           (set-tm:isdst now -1)
   (gnc:date->timepair now))
@@ -470,53 +479,42 @@
   (set-tm:sec now 0)
   (set-tm:min now 0)
   (set-tm:hour now 0)
-  (set-tm:mday now 1)
-  (set-tm:mon now 6)
+  (set-tm:mday now fin-year-start-day)
+  (set-tm:mon now fin-year-start-month)
   (set-tm:year now (- (tm:year now) 1))
           (set-tm:isdst now -1)
   (gnc:date->timepair now)))))
 
-(define (gnc:get-end-prev-fin-year)
+(define (gnc:get-start-next-fin-year)
   (let ((now (localtime (current-time))))
-    (if (< (tm:mon now) 6)
+    (if (or (< (tm:mon now) fin-year-start-month) (and (= (tm:mon now) fin-year-start-month) (< (tm:mday now) fin-year-start-day) ))
  (begin
-  (set-tm:sec now 59)
-  (set-tm:min now 59)
-  (set-tm:hour now 23)
-  (set-tm:mday now 30)
-  (set-tm:mon now 5)
-  (set-tm:year now (- (tm:year now) 1))
+  (set-tm:sec now 0)
+  (set-tm:min now 0)
+  (set-tm:hour now 0)
+  (set-tm:mday now fin-year-start-day)
+  (set-tm:mon now fin-year-start-month)
           (set-tm:isdst now -1)
   (gnc:date->timepair now))
  (begin
-  (set-tm:sec now 59)
-  (set-tm:min now 59)
-  (set-tm:hour now 23)
-  (set-tm:mday now 30)
-  (set-tm:mon now 5)
+  (set-tm:sec now 0)
+  (set-tm:min now 0)
+  (set-tm:hour now 0)
+  (set-tm:mday now fin-year-start-day)
+  (set-tm:mon now fin-year-start-month)
+  (set-tm:year now (+ (tm:year now) 1))
           (set-tm:isdst now -1)
   (gnc:date->timepair now)))))
 
+(define (gnc:get-end-prev-fin-year)
+  (let ((now (gnc:get-start-cur-fin-year)))
+      (gnc:secs->timepair (- (gnc:timepair->secs now) 1))
+      ))
+
 (define (gnc:get-end-cur-fin-year)
-  (let ((now (localtime (current-time))))
-    (if (< (tm:mon now) 6)
- (begin
-  (set-tm:sec now 59)
-  (set-tm:min now 59)
-  (set-tm:hour now 23)
-  (set-tm:mday now 30)
-  (set-tm:mon now 5)
-          (set-tm:isdst now -1)
-  (gnc:date->timepair now))
- (begin
-  (set-tm:sec now 59)
-  (set-tm:min now 59)
-  (set-tm:hour now 23)
-  (set-tm:mday now 30)
-  (set-tm:mon now 5)
-  (set-tm:year now (+ (tm:year now) 1))
-          (set-tm:isdst now -1)
-  (gnc:date->timepair now)))))
+  (let ((now (gnc:get-start-next-fin-year)))
+      (gnc:secs->timepair (- (gnc:timepair->secs now) 1))
+      ))
 
 (define (gnc:get-start-this-month)
   (let ((now (localtime (current-time))))

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Re: Financial year handling

Nicholas Lee
On 9/30/05, Yves-Eric Martin <[hidden email]> wrote:
> For businesses, the financial year is paramount, and not being
> able to set it renders the "Current Financial Year Start" and
> the likes totally useless.

Gnucash has had this problem for at least five years that I've been
using it.  I stopped worrying about it and just started setting the
dates manually in my personal accounts.

Note: I can't recommend Gnucash for business use, SQL-Ledger is far
better.  So at the end of the day setting the "financial year default"
isn't so important to me now.

--
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http://stateless.geek.nz
gpg 8072 4F86 EDCD 4FC1 18EF  5BDD 07B0 9597 6D58 D70C

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Re: Financial year handling

Derek Atkins
Quoting Nicholas Lee <[hidden email]>:

> Note: I can't recommend Gnucash for business use, SQL-Ledger is far
> better.  So at the end of the day setting the "financial year default"
> isn't so important to me now.

I guess it depends on your requirements.  When I looked at SQL-Ledger
(before I wrote the gnucash business features) I was quite disapointed
with it.  Besides, I didn't want to have to set up a web server and
secure it in order to run my business finances, and BOY could I not
ask someone like my /mom/ to do that!!!

-derek
--
       Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
       Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
       URL: http://web.mit.edu/warlord/    PP-ASEL-IA     N1NWH
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Re: Financial year handling

Nicholas Lee
On 10/25/05, Derek Atkins <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I guess it depends on your requirements.  When I looked at SQL-Ledger
> (before I wrote the gnucash business features) I was quite
disapointed

SQL-Ledger has improved a lot since then, and with respect to your
work unfortunately the business component of Gnucash hasn't .
Furthermore its not really a generalised business application, at
least in my business environment it wasn't usable.

> with it.  Besides, I didn't want to have to set up a web server and
> secure it in order to run my business finances, and BOY could I not
> ask someone like my /mom/ to do that!!!

As opposed to Gnucash? ;)

Seriously, I expect any tech-guy who might look at gnucash for a
business system would now be better served using SQL-Ledger.  I would
further suggest that any Mum-type person without access to a tech-head
would be better served getting something like MYOB.

Its not that hard to setup SQL-Ledger, but regardless of how much
easier it might be to install Gnucash. Gnucash is much harder to use.

In my experience for the last several years as both a management
accountant and a tech-guy, personal finance system and business
finance system don't really match. I think its important for projects
like gnucash and kmymoney to focus on their core feature sets and
goals.

--
Nicholas Lee
http://stateless.geek.nz
gpg 8072 4F86 EDCD 4FC1 18EF  5BDD 07B0 9597 6D58 D70C

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Re: Financial year handling

Derek Atkins
Quoting Nicholas Lee <[hidden email]>:

> On 10/25/05, Derek Atkins <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> I guess it depends on your requirements.  When I looked at SQL-Ledger
>> (before I wrote the gnucash business features) I was quite
> disapointed
>
> SQL-Ledger has improved a lot since then, and with respect to your
> work unfortunately the business component of Gnucash hasn't .
> Furthermore its not really a generalised business application, at
> least in my business environment it wasn't usable.

Did you give any feedback about how it wasn't usable in your environment?
Did you file any bug reports about the issue(s)?

>> with it.  Besides, I didn't want to have to set up a web server and
>> secure it in order to run my business finances, and BOY could I not
>> ask someone like my /mom/ to do that!!!
>
> As opposed to Gnucash? ;)

Why, yes, actually.  "yum install gnucash" gets it installed (presuming you
didn't already install it when you installed the OS) and then it's
on the desktop.  Then they just need to run it.  Et voila, they're
using GnuCash.

> Its not that hard to setup SQL-Ledger, but regardless of how much
> easier it might be to install Gnucash. Gnucash is much harder to use.

Can you be more explicit?  Without user feedback there's no way
to improve the program.

> In my experience for the last several years as both a management
> accountant and a tech-guy, personal finance system and business
> finance system don't really match. I think its important for projects
> like gnucash and kmymoney to focus on their core feature sets and
> goals.

I'm sorry you feel that way.  I know lots of other people who feel
differently, including the many happy users of gnucash (both as a
personal finance program and a business finance program).

-derek

--
       Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
       Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
       URL: http://web.mit.edu/warlord/    PP-ASEL-IA     N1NWH
       [hidden email]                        PGP key available

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Liz
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Re: Financial year handling

Liz
In reply to this post by Nicholas Lee
On Tue, 25 Oct 2005 08:33, Nicholas Lee wrote:
> SQL-Ledger has improved a lot since then, and with respect to your
> work unfortunately the business component of Gnucash hasn't .
> Furthermore its not really a generalised business application, at
> least in my business environment it wasn't usable.
 
A lot of frustration exists with a couple of issues. Long term users are
waiting patiently for the G2 port, because until then the new features won't
be implemented.

>From months of list reading these are things that concern list users
1. End of financial year close issues
2. Invoice printing including font choice and Fancy invoice customisation
3. Connecting with PalmOS
4. Choosing a customer or vendor when doing invoices or payments is clumsy
5. Cheque printing
6. Multi-user version

I guess that a lack of a multi-user version is the biggest problem for most
business use although no problem for a small business.

Liz

--
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Re: Financial year handling

Graeme Nichols
In reply to this post by Derek Atkins
Derek Atkins wrote:

> Quoting Nicholas Lee <[hidden email]>:
>
>> Note: I can't recommend Gnucash for business use, SQL-Ledger is far
>> better.  So at the end of the day setting the "financial year default"
>> isn't so important to me now.
>
>
> I guess it depends on your requirements.  When I looked at SQL-Ledger
> (before I wrote the gnucash business features) I was quite disapointed
> with it.  Besides, I didn't want to have to set up a web server and
> secure it in order to run my business finances, and BOY could I not
> ask someone like my /mom/ to do that!!!
>
> -derek

I concur with Derek. SQL-Ledger is grossly over-rated. Also, the mailing
list support is nowhere as good as for gnucash. If you want simple
support you will be directed by Dieter to the (deficient) FAQ. There is
absolutely no documentation. If you want more advanced support you will
be, mostly, directed to buy the manual, which is expensive. I'm not
complaining, Dieter has to make a living. Gnucash is streets ahead in
the main.

--

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Kind regards,

Graeme.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Once you've tried to change the world you find it's a whole bunch easier
to change your mind.
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Re: Financial year handling

Adam Rosi-Kessel
In reply to this post by Liz
Elizabeth Dodd wrote:
>>From months of list reading these are things that concern list users
> 1. End of financial year close issues
> 2. Invoice printing including font choice and Fancy invoice customisation
> 3. Connecting with PalmOS
> 4. Choosing a customer or vendor when doing invoices or payments is clumsy
> 5. Cheque printing
> 6. Multi-user version

I would have to add to this list "Recurring invoices." I run a tiny ISP and
at the end of the month have to manually go through each customer and
generate a new invoice for each customer, even though the monthly charges
don't change. It makes what should be a 1 minute automatic task into a 1-2
hour. This is probably a subpart to #4 above (or the #4 could be made more
general).

(Unless I'm missing a better way to do this--but responses to my posting a
few weeks ago with this question indicated that there isn't).

Adam


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Re: Financial year handling

Derek Atkins
Quoting Adam Rosi-Kessel <[hidden email]>:

> I would have to add to this list "Recurring invoices." I run a tiny ISP and
> at the end of the month have to manually go through each customer and
> generate a new invoice for each customer, even though the monthly charges
> don't change. It makes what should be a 1 minute automatic task into a 1-2
> hour. This is probably a subpart to #4 above (or the #4 could be made more
> general).
>
> (Unless I'm missing a better way to do this--but responses to my posting a
> few weeks ago with this question indicated that there isn't).

Bug #95780 and bug #114421.

> Adam

-derek

--
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       Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
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Re: Financial year handling

Adam Rosi-Kessel
Derek Atkins wrote:

> Quoting Adam Rosi-Kessel <[hidden email]>:
>
>> I would have to add to this list "Recurring invoices." I run a tiny
>> ISP and
>> at the end of the month have to manually go through each customer and
>> generate a new invoice for each customer, even though the monthly charges
>> don't change. It makes what should be a 1 minute automatic task into a
>> 1-2
>> hour. This is probably a subpart to #4 above (or the #4 could be made
>> more
>> general).
> Bug #95780 and bug #114421.
I understand that you're aware of most of the pressing needs for gnucash,
and I also appreciate all the work you've done so far. But that older bug is
now more than three years old. It seems to me that if you add up all the
time spent by people doing these sorts of repetitive tasks, and then you
value that time (say, at their effective billable rates for their day jobs),
there should be more than enough support (cash?) to get this stuff done.

There was a "call for help" a couple of years ago, right? And I guess that
didn't really result in any major sea changes for the gnucash development
overview? I'm just trying to figure out if there's anything we can other
than wait for new releases, and try to submit helpful bug reports as they arise.

Adam


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Re: Financial year handling

Nicholas Lee
In reply to this post by Derek Atkins
On 10/25/05, Derek Atkins <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Did you give any feedback about how it wasn't usable in your environment?
> Did you file any bug reports about the issue(s)?

Maybe on the mailing list. I don't recall exactly. I did have have
some conversations about you about some features. I think in the end I
discovered SL got out of my way and did the job, were as GC couldn't.

I recall maybe the biggest issue was dealing with Sales Tax.

> > As opposed to Gnucash? ;)
>
> Why, yes, actually.  "yum install gnucash" gets it installed (presuming you

I was a little tongue in cheek with that comment.  Most of the time
involved with a package is spent after the install period. The install
time really isn't that important, plus the slow progress of G2 is
making gnucash risk being dropped from some distributions.

> I'm sorry you feel that way.  I know lots of other people who feel
> differently, including the many happy users of gnucash (both as a
> personal finance program and a business finance program).

I don't doubt you. I guess my slight unhappiness stems from my opinion
that gnucash might be further along being a better Personal Finance
application if it had concentrated on that solely.

--
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http://stateless.geek.nz
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Re: Financial year handling

Brian Rose-2
In reply to this post by Adam Rosi-Kessel

>>>From months of list reading these are things that concern list users
>>1. End of financial year close issues
>>2. Invoice printing including font choice and Fancy invoice customisation
>>3. Connecting with PalmOS
>>4. Choosing a customer or vendor when doing invoices or payments is clumsy
>>5. Cheque printing
>>6. Multi-user version
>
>
> I would have to add to this list "Recurring invoices."...

And budget support.
Also, what would happen if the engine and
functionality was separated from the GUI?
Then provide good docs and an api for building a
frontend using a web page, KDE, Gnome2,
OS X, ... Secondly why not provide similar support
for extensions like Mozilla has, that can
be easily installed by the user? I would be more
open to reading docs and using an
API to "scratch my itches", compared to
downloading the gnucash source and studying it
for a while to know how my first attempt at a
module is going to affect everything else
before I can contribute. It seems very daunting
and time consuming. I have been reading
the devel lists for a week now and threads gone
and on and on. Is there a "benevolent
dictator/leader" or a specific milestone map or
are the developers just doing what seems
best to each of themselves?

Sincerely,
Brian
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web . design . photo

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Re: Financial year handling

Brian Dolbec
On Thu, 2005-27-10 at 20:58 -0700, Brian Rose wrote:

> >>>From months of list reading these are things that concern list users
> >>1. End of financial year close issues
> >>2. Invoice printing including font choice and Fancy invoice customisation
> >>3. Connecting with PalmOS
> >>4. Choosing a customer or vendor when doing invoices or payments is clumsy
> >>5. Cheque printing
> >>6. Multi-user version
> >
> >
> > I would have to add to this list "Recurring invoices."...
>
> And budget support.

in progress

> Also, what would happen if the engine and
> functionality was separated from the GUI?

just being completed in the gnome 2 port.

> Then provide good docs and an api for building a
> frontend using a web page, KDE, Gnome2,
> OS X, ... Secondly why not provide similar support
> for extensions like Mozilla has, that can
> be easily installed by the user? I would be more
> open to reading docs and using an
> API to "scratch my itches", compared to
> downloading the gnucash source and studying it
> for a while to know how my first attempt at a
> module is going to affect everything else
> before I can contribute.

There is a move to streamline things so that it is easier to support a
Documented API for extensions/plugins.

>  It seems very daunting
> and time consuming. I have been reading
> the devel lists for a week now and threads gone
> and on and on. Is there a "benevolent
> dictator/leader" or a specific milestone map or
> are the developers just doing what seems
> best to each of themselves?
>
> Sincerely,
> Brian

The primary target right now is to finish converting the code to use the
gnome 2 interface as well as replace some no longer developed dependency
apps.  After that they will continue to add features, recode/streamline
ares, etc..

As for devs concentrating their efforts in certain areas.  It is only
natural to work on the areas that interest them the most and or are
better capable of coding.  Also since the devs are scattered all over
the world it is hard to turn around, look at his/her screen and know
what your partner is up to to know if changes you are about make to a
specific are of code will screw him up.

If you hang around long enough you will see that Derek seems to be the
primary leader.


--
Brian Dolbec <[hidden email]>

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Re: Financial year handling

Beth Leonard
In reply to this post by Brian Rose-2
On Thu, Oct 27, 2005 at 08:58:59PM -0700, Brian Rose wrote:
>
> and on and on. Is there a "benevolent
> dictator/leader" or a specific milestone map or
> are the developers just doing what seems
> best to each of themselves?

Derek Atkins is the leader.  He's declared that the G2 Port is *THE*
most important thing right now.  Nothing else should distract the
G2 devels from working on G2.  If G2 doesn't happen Gnucash may
be dropped from major distros, and none of the rest of it will matter.

It's been a while since I've been up on the devel list, but my
impression is that other devels are free to disagree, they don't
*have* to work on G2, as long as they don't interfere.

I think Derek wants to do quite a few other projects, but given that
this is people's financial data, any changes should work.   Do no
further harm.

Gnucash is not currently ideally factored as a program.  I know there
are people who want to change that (after G2) to make it easier for
other devs to join, but it's a big task, and while
re-factoring is going on it's hard to get other work done.

(Of course Derek is free to speak for himself, but I do my best to
lighten the tech-support load.  Most of the time other people
get to questions before me though.  I only can check my e-mail
about once a day nowadays.)

--Beth
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+                             Beth Leonard                          +
+       O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave              +
+       O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?        +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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