[GNC] GnuCash Reconciliation Documentation

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[GNC] GnuCash Reconciliation Documentation

David Cousens
I've just had a look at the sections on reconciliation in the GnuCash guide.

4.4  https://www.gnucash.org/docs/v3/C/gnucash-guide/txns-reconcile1.html
5.4 https://www.gnucash.org/docs/v3/C/gnucash-guide/cbook-reconacct1.html
5.8   https://www.gnucash.org/docs/v3/C/gnucash-help/acct-reconcile.html
7.5
https://www.gnucash.org/docs/v3/C/gnucash-guide/cc-together1.html#cc-together-reconcile2


To my mind there is a lot of informationout of sequence.

4.4 Is primarily discussing the reconciliation flags in transactions and
then goes off in 4,4,1 ia a discussion of the reconciliation setup windows
and the reconciliation winow itself a lot of which is subsequently repeated
without the screenshots in 5.8 and then again in 7.5 with a lot more
discussion about the process. 5.4 is a general discussion of the purpose and
function of reconciliation in the context of a checkbook.

This gives the impression that there is essentially something different
about the reconciliation of a bank account or a credit card account as
compared with any other account and the same information is maintained at
three dirfferent points.

I would propose restricting 4.4 to a discussion of the flags on individual
transactions with a link to the complete discussion as proposed below under
section 5.8 and then, consolidating the introduction from 5.4, discussion of
the windows from 4.4, and the process of reconciliation of any account
under 5.8  as a general section on account reconciliation and the process
under 7.5 into a general section on reconciliation of accounts including
specific references to specific account types ( e.g credit card where the
interest payment is discussed etc) as required and then just provide a link
to this section from the current 7.5 and 5.4.

I would appreciate any feedback regarding this proposal from the doc
maintainers, developers and users re the value in doing the above and  any
alternative suggestions  or ideas with a view to rewriting the above
sections a little more coherently.

David Cousens



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Re: [GNC] GnuCash Reconciliation Documentation

GnuCash - User mailing list
David,

The various sections covering reconciliation have always made my head hurt. I agree that something should change.

You note that reconciliation is a generic concept, which I agree.

Because it is a general concept that might apply to any account, I think the description of the process actually belongs in Guide chapter 4 (Accounts). Details about the field itself should be moved somewhere in the chapter on transactions, although I don't have any spot in mind ATM.

I also agree that the reconciliation sections in particular account types ( "Checkbook", which eventually will be replaced with an "Assets" chapter; "Credit Cards", which will eventually be replaced with a "Liabilities" chapter; don't know about others) should refer to one main section on reconciliation.

However, I strongly object to putting the core of this text into the Help. As I've noted elsewhere, and attempted to implement, the Guide should contain the fullest description of Gnucash use, with the Help focusing on "What does this button do?" kinds of assistance.

Thus, I would recommend putting the lion's share of the text in Guide chapter 4, and streamline all the rest drastically, with references as appropriate. Be aware that if you undertake this, it will be a lot of work to arrive at one clear narrative--and that if you are moving a lot of text around the files, your changes may get held up by objections related to translations.

David T.

On January 27, 2019, at 7:31 AM, David Cousens <[hidden email]> wrote:

I've just had a look at the sections on reconciliation in the GnuCash guide.

4.4  https://www.gnucash.org/docs/v3/C/gnucash-guide/txns-reconcile1.html
5.4 https://www.gnucash.org/docs/v3/C/gnucash-guide/cbook-reconacct1.html
5.8   https://www.gnucash.org/docs/v3/C/gnucash-help/acct-reconcile.html
7.5
https://www.gnucash.org/docs/v3/C/gnucash-guide/cc-together1.html#cc-together-reconcile2


To my mind there is a lot of informationout of sequence.

4.4 Is primarily discussing the reconciliation flags in transactions and
then goes off in 4,4,1 ia a discussion of the reconciliation setup windows
and the reconciliation winow itself a lot of which is subsequently repeated
without the screenshots in 5.8 and then again in 7.5 with a lot more
discussion about the process. 5.4 is a general discussion of the purpose and
function of reconciliation in the context of a checkbook.

This gives the impression that there is essentially something different
about the reconciliation of a bank account or a credit card account as
compared with any other account and the same information is maintained at
three dirfferent points.

I would propose restricting 4.4 to a discussion of the flags on individual
transactions with a link to the complete discussion as proposed below under
section 5.8 and then, consolidating the introduction from 5.4, discussion of
the windows from 4.4, and the process of reconciliation of any account
under 5.8  as a general section on account reconciliation and the process
under 7.5 into a general section on reconciliation of accounts including
specific references to specific account types ( e.g credit card where the
interest payment is discussed etc) as required and then just provide a link
to this section from the current 7.5 and 5.4.

I would appreciate any feedback regarding this proposal from the doc
maintainers, developers and users re the value in doing the above and  any
alternative suggestions  or ideas with a view to rewriting the above
sections a little more coherently.

David Cousens



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Re: [GNC] GnuCash Reconciliation Documentation

David Cousens
David

Agreed the Guide is the place Reconciliation process discussion apart from
the button by button type description of the interface which should be in
the help.

 I noticed you referenced Ch4 as Accounts. In the V3 guide at present Ch3 is
Accounts and the succeeding chapters deal with detail within Accounts with
Ch 4 being transactions. Is this how it will appear in the reorganization of
the guide.? I will check it out in the master on Github. Perhaps a start
would be to try and consolidate the process descriptions in one place. I
like the use of a concrete example in the Check Book discussion with numbers
as it gives people a better handle to relate to there own use. I will have a
go at trying to shift the Window descriptions into 5.8 in the help and move
the process-example descriptions there into the guide.

I have followed a bit of the discussion around transalations. I'll review it
to see if there is any way of minimising the disruption. While it is perhaps
a short term consideration, longer term I feel it is also important to
structure the help and guide to minimize information duplication, simplify
maintenance (including translation), and improve accessibility to the
information.  I've had a look at Geert's wiki page on the experiment using
itstool for the documentation but really couldn't glean enough. It seems to
be oriented more towards translating short strings which works for the
program and may work better for the help than the guide which will tend to
have more prose. The other factor is examples. I guess one could run GnuCash
with the appropriate locale setting but that will not change account names
etc into another language only the interface

I am not underestimating the work and effort involved. I have some
reservations about embarking on it but nothing ventured nothing gained. I am
not planning on rushing into it but perhaps doing it in a series of small
moves to get the overall structure in place first, then trying to get the
coherent narrative out of it. Is there any documentation on the planned
changes in structure to the guide available or an outline for where it is
headed?

David Cousens



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Re: [GNC] GnuCash Reconciliation Documentation

David Cousens
In reply to this post by GnuCash - User mailing list
created Bug 797068 to cover above proposed changes
https://bugs.gnucash.org/show_bug.cgi?id=797068

David Cousens



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Re: [GNC] GnuCash Reconciliation Documentation

GnuCash - User mailing list
In reply to this post by David Cousens
Clearly, I am muddled. You are right that the accounts chapter precedes transactions, and that sequence will hold for the future, although the numbering will change. 
As for a blueprint for the Guide, I am using bug 687820, which puts out a specific arrangement and configuration of chapters.  I have just added a new comment on that bug listing the final proposed sequence, just to be clear. 
David T. 

 
 
  On Mon, Jan 28, 2019 at 7:10, David Cousens<[hidden email]> wrote:   David

Agreed the Guide is the place Reconciliation process discussion apart from
the button by button type description of the interface which should be in
the help.

 I noticed you referenced Ch4 as Accounts. In the V3 guide at present Ch3 is
Accounts and the succeeding chapters deal with detail within Accounts with
Ch 4 being transactions. Is this how it will appear in the reorganization of
the guide.? I will check it out in the master on Github. Perhaps a start
would be to try and consolidate the process descriptions in one place. I
like the use of a concrete example in the Check Book discussion with numbers
as it gives people a better handle to relate to there own use. I will have a
go at trying to shift the Window descriptions into 5.8 in the help and move
the process-example descriptions there into the guide.

I have followed a bit of the discussion around transalations. I'll review it
to see if there is any way of minimising the disruption. While it is perhaps
a short term consideration, longer term I feel it is also important to
structure the help and guide to minimize information duplication, simplify
maintenance (including translation), and improve accessibility to the
information.  I've had a look at Geert's wiki page on the experiment using
itstool for the documentation but really couldn't glean enough. It seems to
be oriented more towards translating short strings which works for the
program and may work better for the help than the guide which will tend to
have more prose. The other factor is examples. I guess one could run GnuCash
with the appropriate locale setting but that will not change account names
etc into another language only the interface

I am not underestimating the work and effort involved. I have some
reservations about embarking on it but nothing ventured nothing gained. I am
not planning on rushing into it but perhaps doing it in a series of small
moves to get the overall structure in place first, then trying to get the
coherent narrative out of it. Is there any documentation on the planned
changes in structure to the guide available or an outline for where it is
headed?

David Cousens



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Re: [GNC] GnuCash Reconciliation Documentation

David Cousens
David

I've had a good look at the Accounts chapter. Even though it seems a logical
place in reality it won'tmake sense there as the information in the ch4
Transactions section is really needed to make sense of the reconciliation
process as while you reconcile an account, it is the transactions.

In the last chapter structure in the bug 687820 discussion, I would think a
logical position might  be as follows
.
.
.2. The Basics
2.1 Accounts
2.2 Transactions
*2.3 Account Reconciliation*
3. Asset Accounts
3.1 Checking Accounts
3.2 Investments
3.3 Other Assets

The second possibility is a separate chapter inserted either before or
after:

8. Multiple Currencies
9. Budgets

David Cousens



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