[GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

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[GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

GnuCash - Dev mailing list
Hello,

As I begin the process of migrating text from the Help to the Guide (cf. Bug 796855), I am working on the Help information regarding the New Account Hierarchy Setup (NAHS) assistant, and I have a couple of questions about the second screen of the assistant, the “New Book Options” screen.

First off, while I respect the intent to allow users the option to set these preferences from the creation of their file, I wonder whether this is misguided. To wit: all of these options are quite technical in nature, and all of them can be set at a later point by opening the appropriate preferences. Adding these options here adds complexity that can easily be deferred to a later point. While it is true that this assistant runs whenever a user chooses File->New (meaning that an experienced user might wish to add these settings from the assistant), I am willing to hazard a guess that most users will invoke this assistant *only* when they first start using GnuCash, and *only* when their heads are already swimming with the overwhelming experience that is GnuCash. Asking a new user to choose whether to use Trading Accounts or to Use Split Action Field for Number is IMHO pointless. They aren’t going to be able to make an informed decision.

<aside>I’ll note that this becomes an obvious issue when I attempt to write the help section for the screen. I am left either with writing a huge explanatory section on the details of each of these settings, which detracts from the flow of the NAHS narrative, or with adding a generic note that advises users to accept the defaults and read about the details in other sections of the Guide.</aside>

So, for the new user, the only real effect of this screen is to introduce confusion and questions. Can it be removed from the assistant?

Related to this screen, my second question has to do with the “Use Trading Accounts” setting. Can it be turned off once it has been enabled in a given GnuCash file?

ISTR that this option is a one-way street—i.e., that, once turned on, it can not be turned off again. Is this still the case? If it is still true, then I would strongly suggest that this option shouldn’t be placed on the NAHS Assistant, since a new user won’t be aware of this.

David


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Re: [GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

Geert Janssens-4
Op woensdag 12 september 2018 16:38:42 CEST schreef David T. via gnucash-
devel:

> Hello,
>
> As I begin the process of migrating text from the Help to the Guide (cf. Bug
> 796855), I am working on the Help information regarding the New Account
> Hierarchy Setup (NAHS) assistant, and I have a couple of questions about
> the second screen of the assistant, the “New Book Options” screen.
>
> First off, while I respect the intent to allow users the option to set these
> preferences from the creation of their file, I wonder whether this is
> misguided. To wit: all of these options are quite technical in nature, and
> all of them can be set at a later point by opening the appropriate
> preferences. Adding these options here adds complexity that can easily be
> deferred to a later point. While it is true that this assistant runs
> whenever a user chooses File->New (meaning that an experienced user might
> wish to add these settings from the assistant), I am willing to hazard a
> guess that most users will invoke this assistant *only* when they first
> start using GnuCash, and *only* when their heads are already swimming with
> the overwhelming experience that is GnuCash. Asking a new user to choose
> whether to use Trading Accounts or to Use Split Action Field for Number is
> IMHO pointless. They aren’t going to be able to make an informed decision.
>
> <aside>I’ll note that this becomes an obvious issue when I attempt to write
> the help section for the screen. I am left either with writing a huge
> explanatory section on the details of each of these settings, which
> detracts from the flow of the NAHS narrative, or with adding a generic note
> that advises users to accept the defaults and read about the details in
> other sections of the Guide.</aside>

So now the challenge of writing documentation will be shaping the functioning
of the application ? ;p

More seriously, your point is well taken, though I don't know the best answer.

>
> So, for the new user, the only real effect of this screen is to introduce
> confusion and questions. Can it be removed from the assistant?
>
> Related to this screen, my second question has to do with the “Use Trading
> Accounts” setting. Can it be turned off once it has been enabled in a given
> GnuCash file?
>
> ISTR that this option is a one-way street—i.e., that, once turned on, it can
> not be turned off again. Is this still the case? If it is still true, then
> I would strongly suggest that this option shouldn’t be placed on the NAHS
> Assistant, since a new user won’t be aware of this.

My memory is failing me. I remember these options got introduced in the new
book dialog for a specific reason. Something had to be decided at the start of
a new book. But for the life of me I don't remember what that was. Perhaps it
was exactly the trading accounts ?

As for num-for-action I think you can indeed switch this on an existing book.
However I'm not sure a user would want to do this: if the num field had been
used for transaction numbers (for example copied from a bank statement)
switching the number would suddenly move all of these to the split action
field and hide them from the register. This is usually not what the user
wants. So again this is an option that's better defined upfront to save the
user lots of corrections afterwards.

Geert


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Re: [GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

Mechtilde
In reply to this post by GnuCash - Dev mailing list
Hello David T.

Am 12.09.18 um 16:38 schrieb David T. via gnucash-devel:
> Hello,
>
> As I begin the process of migrating text from the Help to the Guide (cf. Bug 796855), I am working on the Help information regarding the New Account Hierarchy Setup (NAHS) assistant, and I have a couple of questions about the second screen of the assistant, the “New Book Options” screen.
>
> First off, while I respect the intent to allow users the option to set these preferences from the creation of their file, I wonder whether this is misguided. To wit: all of these options are quite technical in nature, and all of them can be set at a later point by opening the appropriate preferences. Adding these options here adds complexity that can easily be deferred to a later point. While it is true that this assistant runs whenever a user chooses File->New (meaning that an experienced user might wish to add these settings from the assistant), I am willing to hazard a guess that most users will invoke this assistant *only* when they first start using GnuCash, and *only* when their heads are already swimming with the overwhelming experience that is GnuCash. Asking a new user to choose whether to use Trading Accounts or to Use Split Action Field for Number is IMHO pointless. They aren’t going to be able to make an informed decision.

There are not only people starting with GnuCash for privat use with less
experience of accounting. There are also people who want to use GnuCAsh
for Business. They want to have the inforamtion for doing complex
accounting in GnuCash.

This Tutorial and Concept is for that business people too.

>
> <aside>I’ll note that this becomes an obvious issue when I attempt to write the help section for the screen. I am left either with writing a huge explanatory section on the details of each of these settings, which detracts from the flow of the NAHS narrative, or with adding a generic note that advises users to accept the defaults and read about the details in other sections of the Guide.</aside>
>
> So, for the new user, the only real effect of this screen is to introduce confusion and questions. Can it be removed from the assistant?
>
> Related to this screen, my second question has to do with the “Use Trading Accounts” setting. Can it be turned off once it has been enabled in a given GnuCash file?
>
> ISTR that this option is a one-way street—i.e., that, once turned on, it can not be turned off again. Is this still the case? If it is still true, then I would strongly suggest that this option shouldn’t be placed on the NAHS Assistant, since a new user won’t be aware of this.

I myself got starting with Gnucash to map a complex buaisness accounting
to GnuCash. That was also the starting point to do the translation to
German, esp. of the Business part.

IMO it is neccessary to have MORE information in the Documentation NOT LESS.

--
Mechtilde Stehmann
## Apache OpenOffice
## Freie Office Suite für Linux, MacOSX, Windows
## Debian Developer
## Loook, calender-exchange-provider, libreoffice-canzeley-client
## PGP encryption welcome
## F0E3 7F3D C87A 4998 2899  39E7 F287 7BBA 141A AD7F


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Re: [GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

Adrien Monteleone-2
In reply to this post by GnuCash - Dev mailing list
As someone who has helped other people get started using GnuCash (and remembering my own first steps) I agree completely with these points. Those book preferences are not self explanatory. (perhaps bugs in their own right) A new user is left to either trust the defaults and move on, pause and revisit the startup process several times while they track down help info and digest it, or give up in frustration. (I’ve seen the latter three times—you may or not be surprised how many people do *not* want to read a book before they start using a piece of software, I chose the second option personally)

Unless the startup assistant (wizard, druid, whatever) can be redesigned as an explanatory walk through to choose these settings, that part should be removed and the defaults chosen for the user.

As for trading accounts, I turned them on after the fact for tracking commodities as additional currencies. I’ve never bought or sold any since doing that, but I’ve played with turning the setting on and off to experiment with the setting’s effect on some reports and I’ve never noticed any issues. (but again, I only have opening balance transactions in each currency) If turning Trading Accounts off after entering buy/sell transactions is bad news, then I would think the option to do so should be disabled.

Regards,
Adrien

> On Sep 12, 2018, at 9:38 AM, David T. via gnucash-devel <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hello,
>
> As I begin the process of migrating text from the Help to the Guide (cf. Bug 796855), I am working on the Help information regarding the New Account Hierarchy Setup (NAHS) assistant, and I have a couple of questions about the second screen of the assistant, the “New Book Options” screen.
>
> First off, while I respect the intent to allow users the option to set these preferences from the creation of their file, I wonder whether this is misguided. To wit: all of these options are quite technical in nature, and all of them can be set at a later point by opening the appropriate preferences. Adding these options here adds complexity that can easily be deferred to a later point. While it is true that this assistant runs whenever a user chooses File->New (meaning that an experienced user might wish to add these settings from the assistant), I am willing to hazard a guess that most users will invoke this assistant *only* when they first start using GnuCash, and *only* when their heads are already swimming with the overwhelming experience that is GnuCash. Asking a new user to choose whether to use Trading Accounts or to Use Split Action Field for Number is IMHO pointless. They aren’t going to be able to make an informed decision.
>
> <aside>I’ll note that this becomes an obvious issue when I attempt to write the help section for the screen. I am left either with writing a huge explanatory section on the details of each of these settings, which detracts from the flow of the NAHS narrative, or with adding a generic note that advises users to accept the defaults and read about the details in other sections of the Guide.</aside>
>
> So, for the new user, the only real effect of this screen is to introduce confusion and questions. Can it be removed from the assistant?
>
> Related to this screen, my second question has to do with the “Use Trading Accounts” setting. Can it be turned off once it has been enabled in a given GnuCash file?
>
> ISTR that this option is a one-way street—i.e., that, once turned on, it can not be turned off again. Is this still the case? If it is still true, then I would strongly suggest that this option shouldn’t be placed on the NAHS Assistant, since a new user won’t be aware of this.
>
> David
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> gnucash-devel mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.gnucash.org/mailman/listinfo/gnucash-devel


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Re: [GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

GnuCash - Dev mailing list
In reply to this post by Mechtilde
Mechtilde,

> On Sep 12, 2018, at 11:21 AM, Mechtilde <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hello David T.
>
> Am 12.09.18 um 16:38 schrieb David T. via gnucash-devel:
>> Hello,
>>
>> As I begin the process of migrating text from the Help to the Guide (cf. Bug 796855), I am working on the Help information regarding the New Account Hierarchy Setup (NAHS) assistant, and I have a couple of questions about the second screen of the assistant, the “New Book Options” screen.
>>
>> First off, while I respect the intent to allow users the option to set these preferences from the creation of their file, I wonder whether this is misguided. To wit: all of these options are quite technical in nature, and all of them can be set at a later point by opening the appropriate preferences. Adding these options here adds complexity that can easily be deferred to a later point. While it is true that this assistant runs whenever a user chooses File->New (meaning that an experienced user might wish to add these settings from the assistant), I am willing to hazard a guess that most users will invoke this assistant *only* when they first start using GnuCash, and *only* when their heads are already swimming with the overwhelming experience that is GnuCash. Asking a new user to choose whether to use Trading Accounts or to Use Split Action Field for Number is IMHO pointless. They aren’t going to be able to make an informed decision.
>
> There are not only people starting with GnuCash for privat use with less
> experience of accounting. There are also people who want to use GnuCAsh
> for Business. They want to have the inforamtion for doing complex
> accounting in GnuCash.

>
> This Tutorial and Concept is for that business people too.

I understand this and agree. I fully expect that these options will be described within the Guide; my point is that the NAHS assistant presents options to new users that they are unlikely to comprehend and do not actually need to decide when they create a new account hierarchy. Presumably, experienced users will know where to access the settings that they can change after an initial hierarchy has been created.

>
>>
>> <aside>I’ll note that this becomes an obvious issue when I attempt to write the help section for the screen. I am left either with writing a huge explanatory section on the details of each of these settings, which detracts from the flow of the NAHS narrative, or with adding a generic note that advises users to accept the defaults and read about the details in other sections of the Guide.</aside>
>>
>> So, for the new user, the only real effect of this screen is to introduce confusion and questions. Can it be removed from the assistant?
>>
>> Related to this screen, my second question has to do with the “Use Trading Accounts” setting. Can it be turned off once it has been enabled in a given GnuCash file?
>>
>> ISTR that this option is a one-way street—i.e., that, once turned on, it can not be turned off again. Is this still the case? If it is still true, then I would strongly suggest that this option shouldn’t be placed on the NAHS Assistant, since a new user won’t be aware of this.
>
> I myself got starting with Gnucash to map a complex buaisness accounting
> to GnuCash. That was also the starting point to do the translation to
> German, esp. of the Business part.
>
> IMO it is neccessary to have MORE information in the Documentation NOT LESS.

We are in total agreement here; my email isn’t about removing information from the documentation, but rather how the NAHS is structured.

Since you have been active in translation of the documentation into German, I should alert you that I am process of a significant reorganization of the documentation, so as to put more of the analytical content into the Guide. The current editorial process is focused on moving most of Chapter 3 of the Help into chapter 2 of the Guide, and while I am mostly just moving the text from one file to the other, there are editorial changes that are being made on both sides to adjust to the new status. I sincerely hope that my edits will be clear, and that past translators will be able to migrate the translations without too much trouble.

David

>
> --
> Mechtilde Stehmann
> ## Apache OpenOffice
> ## Freie Office Suite für Linux, MacOSX, Windows
> ## Debian Developer
> ## Loook, calender-exchange-provider, libreoffice-canzeley-client
> ## PGP encryption welcome
> ## F0E3 7F3D C87A 4998 2899  39E7 F287 7BBA 141A AD7F
>
> _______________________________________________
> gnucash-devel mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.gnucash.org/mailman/listinfo/gnucash-devel

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Re: [GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

GnuCash - Dev mailing list
In reply to this post by Geert Janssens-4


> On Sep 12, 2018, at 11:19 AM, Geert Janssens <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Op woensdag 12 september 2018 16:38:42 CEST schreef David T. via gnucash-
> devel:
>> Hello,
>>
>> As I begin the process of migrating text from the Help to the Guide (cf. Bug
>> 796855), I am working on the Help information regarding the New Account
>> Hierarchy Setup (NAHS) assistant, and I have a couple of questions about
>> the second screen of the assistant, the “New Book Options” screen.
>>
>> First off, while I respect the intent to allow users the option to set these
>> preferences from the creation of their file, I wonder whether this is
>> misguided. To wit: all of these options are quite technical in nature, and
>> all of them can be set at a later point by opening the appropriate
>> preferences. Adding these options here adds complexity that can easily be
>> deferred to a later point. While it is true that this assistant runs
>> whenever a user chooses File->New (meaning that an experienced user might
>> wish to add these settings from the assistant), I am willing to hazard a
>> guess that most users will invoke this assistant *only* when they first
>> start using GnuCash, and *only* when their heads are already swimming with
>> the overwhelming experience that is GnuCash. Asking a new user to choose
>> whether to use Trading Accounts or to Use Split Action Field for Number is
>> IMHO pointless. They aren’t going to be able to make an informed decision.
>>
>> <aside>I’ll note that this becomes an obvious issue when I attempt to write
>> the help section for the screen. I am left either with writing a huge
>> explanatory section on the details of each of these settings, which
>> detracts from the flow of the NAHS narrative, or with adding a generic note
>> that advises users to accept the defaults and read about the details in
>> other sections of the Guide.</aside>
>
> So now the challenge of writing documentation will be shaping the functioning
> of the application ? ;p
>
> More seriously, your point is well taken, though I don't know the best answer.

I am sure you understand that my observations are meant as supporting elements for my proposal, not edicts from the docs writer.

>
>>
>> So, for the new user, the only real effect of this screen is to introduce
>> confusion and questions. Can it be removed from the assistant?
>>
>> Related to this screen, my second question has to do with the “Use Trading
>> Accounts” setting. Can it be turned off once it has been enabled in a given
>> GnuCash file?
>>
>> ISTR that this option is a one-way street—i.e., that, once turned on, it can
>> not be turned off again. Is this still the case? If it is still true, then
>> I would strongly suggest that this option shouldn’t be placed on the NAHS
>> Assistant, since a new user won’t be aware of this.
>
> My memory is failing me. I remember these options got introduced in the new
> book dialog for a specific reason. Something had to be decided at the start of
> a new book. But for the life of me I don't remember what that was. Perhaps it
> was exactly the trading accounts ?

But the question remains: does a new user (who won’t know what this means or signifies) need to make this decision at this point?

Or, to put it another way, if a user accepts the default setting, will they be unable to change it at a later point*?

>
> As for num-for-action I think you can indeed switch this on an existing book.
> However I'm not sure a user would want to do this: if the num field had been
> used for transaction numbers (for example copied from a bank statement)
> switching the number would suddenly move all of these to the split action
> field and hide them from the register. This is usually not what the user
> wants. So again this is an option that's better defined upfront to save the
> user lots of corrections afterwards.

But the same question holds: does a new user need to make this decision at this point?

Again, if a user accepts the default setting, will they be unable to change it at a later point*?

* Understand that the issue of _changing these settings back and forth_ should be discussed in the Guide at the spot where they are discussed in full—that is, in the proposed “Configuring GnuCash” chapter.

David

>
> Geert
>
>

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Re: [GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

Adrien Monteleone-2
David,

Maybe the place to discuss these settings *is* right up front when explaining the setup? (though I agree, the assistant itself should walk the user through the selection with more information)

Regards,
Adrien

> On Sep 12, 2018, at 11:01 AM, David T. via gnucash-devel <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
>
>> On Sep 12, 2018, at 11:19 AM, Geert Janssens <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Op woensdag 12 september 2018 16:38:42 CEST schreef David T. via gnucash-
>> devel:
>>> Hello,
>>>
>>> As I begin the process of migrating text from the Help to the Guide (cf. Bug
>>> 796855), I am working on the Help information regarding the New Account
>>> Hierarchy Setup (NAHS) assistant, and I have a couple of questions about
>>> the second screen of the assistant, the “New Book Options” screen.
>>>
>>> First off, while I respect the intent to allow users the option to set these
>>> preferences from the creation of their file, I wonder whether this is
>>> misguided. To wit: all of these options are quite technical in nature, and
>>> all of them can be set at a later point by opening the appropriate
>>> preferences. Adding these options here adds complexity that can easily be
>>> deferred to a later point. While it is true that this assistant runs
>>> whenever a user chooses File->New (meaning that an experienced user might
>>> wish to add these settings from the assistant), I am willing to hazard a
>>> guess that most users will invoke this assistant *only* when they first
>>> start using GnuCash, and *only* when their heads are already swimming with
>>> the overwhelming experience that is GnuCash. Asking a new user to choose
>>> whether to use Trading Accounts or to Use Split Action Field for Number is
>>> IMHO pointless. They aren’t going to be able to make an informed decision.
>>>
>>> <aside>I’ll note that this becomes an obvious issue when I attempt to write
>>> the help section for the screen. I am left either with writing a huge
>>> explanatory section on the details of each of these settings, which
>>> detracts from the flow of the NAHS narrative, or with adding a generic note
>>> that advises users to accept the defaults and read about the details in
>>> other sections of the Guide.</aside>
>>
>> So now the challenge of writing documentation will be shaping the functioning
>> of the application ? ;p
>>
>> More seriously, your point is well taken, though I don't know the best answer.
>
> I am sure you understand that my observations are meant as supporting elements for my proposal, not edicts from the docs writer.
>
>>
>>>
>>> So, for the new user, the only real effect of this screen is to introduce
>>> confusion and questions. Can it be removed from the assistant?
>>>
>>> Related to this screen, my second question has to do with the “Use Trading
>>> Accounts” setting. Can it be turned off once it has been enabled in a given
>>> GnuCash file?
>>>
>>> ISTR that this option is a one-way street—i.e., that, once turned on, it can
>>> not be turned off again. Is this still the case? If it is still true, then
>>> I would strongly suggest that this option shouldn’t be placed on the NAHS
>>> Assistant, since a new user won’t be aware of this.
>>
>> My memory is failing me. I remember these options got introduced in the new
>> book dialog for a specific reason. Something had to be decided at the start of
>> a new book. But for the life of me I don't remember what that was. Perhaps it
>> was exactly the trading accounts ?
>
> But the question remains: does a new user (who won’t know what this means or signifies) need to make this decision at this point?
>
> Or, to put it another way, if a user accepts the default setting, will they be unable to change it at a later point*?
>
>>
>> As for num-for-action I think you can indeed switch this on an existing book.
>> However I'm not sure a user would want to do this: if the num field had been
>> used for transaction numbers (for example copied from a bank statement)
>> switching the number would suddenly move all of these to the split action
>> field and hide them from the register. This is usually not what the user
>> wants. So again this is an option that's better defined upfront to save the
>> user lots of corrections afterwards.
>
> But the same question holds: does a new user need to make this decision at this point?
>
> Again, if a user accepts the default setting, will they be unable to change it at a later point*?
>
> * Understand that the issue of _changing these settings back and forth_ should be discussed in the Guide at the spot where they are discussed in full—that is, in the proposed “Configuring GnuCash” chapter.
>
> David
>
>>
>> Geert
>>
>>
>
> _______________________________________________
> gnucash-devel mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.gnucash.org/mailman/listinfo/gnucash-devel


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Re: [GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

Geert Janssens-4
Op woensdag 12 september 2018 18:11:05 CEST schreef Adrien Monteleone:
> David,
>
> Maybe the place to discuss these settings *is* right up front when
> explaining the setup? (though I agree, the assistant itself should walk the
> user through the selection with more information)
>
Well, on that part I agree at least. The current dialog was a clever-but-not-
so-user-friendly hack to get the options in. Unfortunately someone else will
have to try and remember why we did this in the first place. It wasn't me who
put them there. I merely streamlined it a bit at some point.

Geert


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Re: [GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

Mechtilde
In reply to this post by Adrien Monteleone-2
Hello,

what is the problem of a program to have functions than you use.

If you look into the German translation i use all functions that are
translated and some few more which have up to now no ducumentation and I
have no time to do it.


So we should first document functions wehre the documentation is
missing. There is enough work to do.

In my opinion you should know how accounting works if you start an
accounting programm like GnuCash.

Sorry for my pour English. I can't write all thoughts why I disagree to
slim the start assistant or such things. We need such a programm also
for business use.

I hope somtimes I can finish esp. the translation of the lasst chapters
but I'm not willing to do a new translation as a whole. that is waste of
time and motivation.


Am 12.09.18 um 17:33 schrieb Adrien Monteleone:
> As someone who has helped other people get started using GnuCash (and remembering my own first steps) I agree completely with these points. Those book preferences are not self explanatory. (perhaps bugs in their own right) A new user is left to either trust the defaults and move on, pause and revisit the startup process several times while they track down help info and digest it, or give up in frustration. (I’ve seen the latter three times—you may or not be surprised how many people do *not* want to read a book before they start using a piece of software, I chose the second option personally)

>
> Unless the startup assistant (wizard, druid, whatever) can be redesigned as an explanatory walk through to choose these settings, that part should be removed and the defaults chosen for the user.

We can improve some concrete parts of the assistant but in general I
thinkthat gives all information a user need to start.
>
> As for trading accounts, I turned them on after the fact for tracking commodities as additional currencies. I’ve never bought or sold any since doing that, but I’ve played with turning the setting on and off to experiment with the setting’s effect on some reports and I’ve never noticed any issues. (but again, I only have opening balance transactions in each currency) If turning Trading Accounts off after entering buy/sell transactions is bad news, then I would think the option to do so should be disabled.

many people using GnuCash needs Trading Accounts. If you don't need it
then you have no obligation to use it. But other people must have toe
possibility to use it.


Kind regards
--
Mechtilde Stehmann
## Apache OpenOffice
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## Debian Developer
## Loook, calender-exchange-provider, libreoffice-canzeley-client
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Re: [GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

Adrien Monteleone-2
Mechtilde,

I think there are some misunderstandings here.

> On Sep 12, 2018, at 1:18 PM, Mechtilde <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hello,
>
> what is the problem of a program to have functions than you use.
>
> If you look into the German translation i use all functions that are
> translated and some few more which have up to now no ducumentation and I
> have no time to do it.
>
>
> So we should first document functions wehre the documentation is
> missing. There is enough work to do.
>
> In my opinion you should know how accounting works if you start an
> accounting programm like GnuCash.

That would be ideal, but in reality, many people learn and discover double-entry accounting by first using GnuCash.

>
> Sorry for my pour English. I can't write all thoughts why I disagree to
> slim the start assistant or such things. We need such a programm also
> for business use.

Personally, I don’t think it needs to be slimmed if it can be improved. But if it can’t be improved, than I too advocate removing those screens and simply set sane defaults. An experienced business user knows where to change them. (and some even are set to be ’new defaults’ for ’new books’ so even that isn’t an issue)

>
> I hope somtimes I can finish esp. the translation of the lasst chapters
> but I'm not willing to do a new translation as a whole. that is waste of
> time and motivation.

And that is an excellent point. There is a separate discussion about the best way to proceed so that translators are not frustrated by making a large change in the documentation as well as lowering the barrier for people to get involved in the documentation and translation. I don’t think anyone wants to make any one else’s life more difficult. The discussion is centered around *improving* the process.

>
>
> Am 12.09.18 um 17:33 schrieb Adrien Monteleone:
>> As someone who has helped other people get started using GnuCash (and remembering my own first steps) I agree completely with these points. Those book preferences are not self explanatory. (perhaps bugs in their own right) A new user is left to either trust the defaults and move on, pause and revisit the startup process several times while they track down help info and digest it, or give up in frustration. (I’ve seen the latter three times—you may or not be surprised how many people do *not* want to read a book before they start using a piece of software, I chose the second option personally)
>
>>
>> Unless the startup assistant (wizard, druid, whatever) can be redesigned as an explanatory walk through to choose these settings, that part should be removed and the defaults chosen for the user.
>
> We can improve some concrete parts of the assistant but in general I
> thinkthat gives all information a user need to start.

Only to experienced users. Completely new users are going to be confused by these settings. As I noted, from personal experience trying to help people get started with GnuCash, they had no clue what these options accomplished.

If the assistant can’t or shouldn’t be changed (or in the meantime till it is) then at the least, the setup documentation I think *should* explain these options at that point - not leave it up to the reader to find those other relevant sections, or redirect them away from the setup section.

>>
>> As for trading accounts, I turned them on after the fact for tracking commodities as additional currencies. I’ve never bought or sold any since doing that, but I’ve played with turning the setting on and off to experiment with the setting’s effect on some reports and I’ve never noticed any issues. (but again, I only have opening balance transactions in each currency) If turning Trading Accounts off after entering buy/sell transactions is bad news, then I would think the option to do so should be disabled.
>
> many people using GnuCash needs Trading Accounts. If you don't need it
> then you have no obligation to use it. But other people must have toe
> possibility to use it.

I did not mean to imply not to have the option. If turning [ON] the option, then using those accounts, and then turning [OFF] the option is dangerous to your data, then GnuCash should not allow you to turn the option [OFF] at that point. (or should at least give you fair warning of the potential dangers)

David T.’s initial post on this was with respect to how confusing this can be for *new* users, not experienced accountants. And I don’t think any one is advocating reducing functionality for anyone.

Regards,
Adrien
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Re: [GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

Frank H. Ellenberger-3
In reply to this post by GnuCash - Dev mailing list
Am 12.09.2018 um 17:52 schrieb David T. via gnucash-devel:
> I understand this and agree. I fully expect that these options will be described within the Guide; my point is that the NAHS assistant presents options to new users that they are unlikely to comprehend and do not actually need to decide when they create a new account hierarchy. Presumably, experienced users will know where to access the settings that they can change after an initial hierarchy has been created.

While doing debugging it is often required to create example books and
it is important to get reminded of all potential book options. So I am
strictly against removing here something. IMHO every assistant crippling
options is incomplete and often distracting users.

But perhaps you could do some anaytics:
Which fields are required, suggested, advanced, special*;
for all-users or business-only?
Then create a suggestion for improving by reordering and grouping. Add
an intro text per group and review the current tooltips and default values.

Are settings irreversible after entering data? Theń they need a warning.

* IMHO special options are at least
in book options: Use Split Action Field for Number. Traditionally
Transactions are numbered, but some user wish to number splits instead.

in Preferences->Accounts: Reverse Balance Accounts: The traditional
selection is "Credit Accounts", but some users wish a different view.

For this special options the current tooltips do not give enough
information.

This changes should then go into the assistent.

Regards
Frank

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Re: [GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

GnuCash - Dev mailing list
Hello,

I’d like to start by noting that this assistant is possibly one of the very first things a new user will encounter when they start GnuCash for the very first time, and it is this user upon which I am most focused.

> On Sep 12, 2018, at 3:31 PM, Frank H. Ellenberger <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Am 12.09.2018 um 17:52 schrieb David T. via gnucash-devel:
>> I understand this and agree. I fully expect that these options will be described within the Guide; my point is that the NAHS assistant presents options to new users that they are unlikely to comprehend and do not actually need to decide when they create a new account hierarchy. Presumably, experienced users will know where to access the settings that they can change after an initial hierarchy has been created.
>
> While doing debugging it is often required to create example books and
> it is important to get reminded of all potential book options. So I am
> strictly against removing here something. IMHO every assistant crippling
> options is incomplete and often distracting users.

So, what you’re saying is that ALL the new users of GnuCash have to figure out these settings so that YOU are reminded of the multitude of options available on creation of a new file. I don’t think that’s how it should go.

>
> But perhaps you could do some anaytics:
> Which fields are required, suggested, advanced, special*;
> for all-users or business-only?

My original email noted that this ENTIRE screen is advanced information that a new user doesn’t need to know in order to create a new book. I know this because I can simply click “Next” on the assistant (without touching ANY of the settings on ANY of the FOUR sub-screens embedded in this step), and the assistant will create a new file perfectly fine. In another message on this thread, Adrien noted specific examples in the recent past where these settings have led to (real) user frustration. ISTM that deferring decisions about these settings won’t hurt a new user trying to get started with GnuCash.

Taking this a little further, I will note that two of these settings *cannot* be set in the NAHS assistant: it is an impossibility for a user to set either the Customer or Vendor Tax Table options from the NAHS, given that there are no tax tables in the file from which to select.

> Then create a suggestion for improving by reordering and grouping. Add
> an intro text per group and review the current tooltips and default values.

I would rather have these settings removed from the assistant altogether. That was (and remains) my suggestion. Advanced users can learn to use the settings in Preferences and Properties.

>
> Are settings irreversible after entering data? Theń they need a warning.
>

Which I have raised elsewhere. The place to raise the alert isn’t in this assistant. Adrien’s point regarding allowing users to change settings that will mess up their data files raises the bigger question about why there are such options in the GnuCash ecosystem in the first place. Perhaps these should be considered bugs in need of fixing, rather than requiring extensive documentation.

> * IMHO special options are at least
> in book options: Use Split Action Field for Number. Traditionally
> Transactions are numbered, but some user wish to number splits instead.

Perhaps this is a reflection of the jurisdiction in which you live, but most users in the US setting up GnuCash for personal use will NOT be concerned with numbering their transactions or their splits. To be honest, given that the definition of “split” is rather specific to GnuCash (based on discussions over terminology I’ve seen in the past on the lists), I have a difficult time believing that a new user is going to know the difference between numbering transactions versus numbering (the GnuCash concept of) splits.

>
> in Preferences->Accounts: Reverse Balance Accounts: The traditional
> selection is "Credit Accounts", but some users wish a different view.

I don’t understand why you bring this up here; it’s not on the NAHS assistant.

>
> For this special options the current tooltips do not give enough
> information.
>
> This changes should then go into the assistent.

I am trying to get the assistant to be more focused on getting a new user started with a set of books; adding even more detaiil to it goes the opposite direction.

>
> Regards
> Frank
>


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Re: [GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

John Ralls-2


> On Sep 12, 2018, at 3:00 PM, David T. via gnucash-devel <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hello,
>
> I’d like to start by noting that this assistant is possibly one of the very first things a new user will encounter when they start GnuCash for the very first time, and it is this user upon which I am most focused.
>
>> On Sep 12, 2018, at 3:31 PM, Frank H. Ellenberger <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Am 12.09.2018 um 17:52 schrieb David T. via gnucash-devel:
>>> I understand this and agree. I fully expect that these options will be described within the Guide; my point is that the NAHS assistant presents options to new users that they are unlikely to comprehend and do not actually need to decide when they create a new account hierarchy. Presumably, experienced users will know where to access the settings that they can change after an initial hierarchy has been created.
>>
>> While doing debugging it is often required to create example books and
>> it is important to get reminded of all potential book options. So I am
>> strictly against removing here something. IMHO every assistant crippling
>> options is incomplete and often distracting users.
>
> So, what you’re saying is that ALL the new users of GnuCash have to figure out these settings so that YOU are reminded of the multitude of options available on creation of a new file. I don’t think that’s how it should go.
>
>>
>> But perhaps you could do some anaytics:
>> Which fields are required, suggested, advanced, special*;
>> for all-users or business-only?
>
> My original email noted that this ENTIRE screen is advanced information that a new user doesn’t need to know in order to create a new book. I know this because I can simply click “Next” on the assistant (without touching ANY of the settings on ANY of the FOUR sub-screens embedded in this step), and the assistant will create a new file perfectly fine. In another message on this thread, Adrien noted specific examples in the recent past where these settings have led to (real) user frustration. ISTM that deferring decisions about these settings won’t hurt a new user trying to get started with GnuCash.
>
> Taking this a little further, I will note that two of these settings *cannot* be set in the NAHS assistant: it is an impossibility for a user to set either the Customer or Vendor Tax Table options from the NAHS, given that there are no tax tables in the file from which to select.
>
>> Then create a suggestion for improving by reordering and grouping. Add
>> an intro text per group and review the current tooltips and default values.
>
> I would rather have these settings removed from the assistant altogether. That was (and remains) my suggestion. Advanced users can learn to use the settings in Preferences and Properties.
>
>>
>> Are settings irreversible after entering data? Theń they need a warning.
>>
>
> Which I have raised elsewhere. The place to raise the alert isn’t in this assistant. Adrien’s point regarding allowing users to change settings that will mess up their data files raises the bigger question about why there are such options in the GnuCash ecosystem in the first place. Perhaps these should be considered bugs in need of fixing, rather than requiring extensive documentation.
>
>> * IMHO special options are at least
>> in book options: Use Split Action Field for Number. Traditionally
>> Transactions are numbered, but some user wish to number splits instead.
>
> Perhaps this is a reflection of the jurisdiction in which you live, but most users in the US setting up GnuCash for personal use will NOT be concerned with numbering their transactions or their splits. To be honest, given that the definition of “split” is rather specific to GnuCash (based on discussions over terminology I’ve seen in the past on the lists), I have a difficult time believing that a new user is going to know the difference between numbering transactions versus numbering (the GnuCash concept of) splits.
>
>>
>> in Preferences->Accounts: Reverse Balance Accounts: The traditional
>> selection is "Credit Accounts", but some users wish a different view.
>
> I don’t understand why you bring this up here; it’s not on the NAHS assistant.
>
>>
>> For this special options the current tooltips do not give enough
>> information.
>>
>> This changes should then go into the assistent.
>
> I am trying to get the assistant to be more focused on getting a new user started with a set of books; adding even more detaiil to it goes the opposite direction.

Most individuals who aren’t familiar with formal accounting should probably be using something other than GnuCash. If all you want to do is keep track of your credit card, demand bank account (“checking account” for us fogies who remember checks), and a couple of mutual funds then GnuCash is swatting flies with a sledgehammer.

That said, I think the only immutable parameter in setting up a new book is the root account currency, and that can be derived from the locale. How about renaming the NAHSA the "Advanced New Book Assistant" with its own menu item and have File>New just create a bare “Common Accounts” book for the current locale? We could pop up a dialog for opening balances on each of the bank accounts, cash-in-wallet, and the credit card.

Regards,
John Ralls

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Re: [GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

Graham Menhennitt-3
On 13/09/2018 9:03 am, John Ralls wrote:
> ... have File>New just create a bare “Common Accounts” book for the
> current locale? We could pop up a dialog for opening balances on each
> of the bank accounts, cash-in-wallet, and the credit card.

And that dialog could have an "Advanced settings" button.

Graham

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Re: [GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

GnuCash - Dev mailing list
In reply to this post by John Ralls-2


> On Sep 12, 2018, at 7:03 PM, John Ralls <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Most individuals who aren’t familiar with formal accounting should probably be using something other than GnuCash. If all you want to do is keep track of your credit card, demand bank account (“checking account” for us fogies who remember checks), and a couple of mutual funds then GnuCash is swatting flies with a sledgehammer.

I think that’s a little disingenuous; the user base for GnuCash is broad, as reflected in the mailing list archives. Perhaps we should put a banner across the top of the Home page that reads: “Abandon Hope, All Ye Non-CPAs.”  ;)

> That said, I think the only immutable parameter in setting up a new book is the root account currency, and that can be derived from the locale. How about renaming the NAHSA the "Advanced New Book Assistant" with its own menu item and have File>New just create a bare “Common Accounts” book for the current locale? We could pop up a dialog for opening balances on each of the bank accounts, cash-in-wallet, and the credit card.

Well, I imagine the idea behind the NAHSA was to try and streamline at least the creation of basic account hierarchies; shunting this aspect off to this ANBA then puts most users into the bidn of having to create all their accounts manually. If you take out the “New Book Options” step (and optionally the "Choose Currency” step as well) in the existing NAHSA, well, then, you’re giving users a means to create all those accounts automatically—without burdening them with these Advanced settings. Or, as Graham suggests, have the Advanced options be a secondary popup from the main assistant.

I guess in the meantime, I will attempt to write generic help text that will point out to the user that they can defer decisions on these settings, and cross reference them to (as-yet-unwritten) sections in the new Configuring GnuCash chapter.

>
> Regards,
> John Ralls
>

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Re: [GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

David Cousens
In reply to this post by GnuCash - Dev mailing list
On Wed, 2018-09-12 at 10:38 -0400, David T. via gnucash-devel wrote:

> Hello,
>
> As I begin the process of migrating text from the Help to the Guide (cf. Bug 796855), I am working on the Help
> information regarding the New Account Hierarchy Setup (NAHS) assistant, and I have a couple of questions about the
> second screen of the assistant, the “New Book Options” screen.
>
> First off, while I respect the intent to allow users the option to set these preferences from the creation of their
> file, I wonder whether this is misguided. To wit: all of these options are quite technical in nature, and all of them
> can be set at a later point by opening the appropriate preferences. Adding these options here adds complexity that can
> easily be deferred to a later point. While it is true that this assistant runs whenever a user chooses File->New
> (meaning that an experienced user might wish to add these settings from the assistant), I am willing to hazard a guess
> that most users will invoke this assistant *only* when they first start using GnuCash, and *only* when their heads are
> already swimming with the overwhelming experience that is GnuCash. Asking a new user to choose whether to use Trading
> Accounts or to Use Split Action Field for Number is IMHO pointless. They aren’t going to be able to make an informed
> decision.
David

There is plenty of real estate in the panelin the assistant. Perhaps adding a label there advising new users that these
options can be left at the default for the moment and changed later if required may be a better option, for those users
that don't read the help first (I am usually one). Since the second sets the default action when creating a new file, if
you edited it later you would have to rerun the new file assistant anyway to create a new file.  If someone is reading
the help while or before using the assistant, then the help should also reflect this advice for new users.
>  
>
> <aside>I’ll note that this becomes an obvious issue when I attempt to write the help section for the screen. I am left
> either with writing a huge explanatory section on the details of each of these settings, which detracts from the flow
> of the NAHS narrative, or with adding a generic note that advises users to accept the defaults and read about the
> details in other sections of the Guide.</aside>

This is where context type help could come into its own. It would require some code changes to implement fully but a
start could be setting up the button by button type functional description (for the present it could simply be in
another section of the same file (E.g. An appendix) and deferring the questions of links between files to later) and
accessed by internal links from the sections you are currently rewriting.  A user requiring more information could click
on a reference to a button, option choice etc. in the guide to preferrably open a new window or tab in the browser, read
it and then close the tab or window.

I would be happy to start working in parallel with you on implementing such an approach if you think it ccould help. It
would largely be a cut and paste exercise apart from creating the anchors and links to them.

DRC  (David Cousens)

>
> So, for the new user, the only real effect of this screen is to introduce confusion and questions. Can it be removed
> from the assistant?
>
> Related to this screen, my second question has to do with the “Use Trading Accounts” setting. Can it be turned off
> once it has been enabled in a given GnuCash file?
>
> ISTR that this option is a one-way street—i.e., that, once turned on, it can not be turned off again. Is this still
> the case? If it is still true, then I would strongly suggest that this option shouldn’t be placed on the NAHS
> Assistant, since a new user won’t be aware of this.
>
> David
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

John Ralls-2
In reply to this post by GnuCash - Dev mailing list


> On Sep 12, 2018, at 5:18 PM, David T. <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
>
>> On Sep 12, 2018, at 7:03 PM, John Ralls <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Most individuals who aren’t familiar with formal accounting should probably be using something other than GnuCash. If all you want to do is keep track of your credit card, demand bank account (“checking account” for us fogies who remember checks), and a couple of mutual funds then GnuCash is swatting flies with a sledgehammer.
>
> I think that’s a little disingenuous; the user base for GnuCash is broad, as reflected in the mailing list archives. Perhaps we should put a banner across the top of the Home page that reads: “Abandon Hope, All Ye Non-CPAs.”  ;)
>
>> That said, I think the only immutable parameter in setting up a new book is the root account currency, and that can be derived from the locale. How about renaming the NAHSA the "Advanced New Book Assistant" with its own menu item and have File>New just create a bare “Common Accounts” book for the current locale? We could pop up a dialog for opening balances on each of the bank accounts, cash-in-wallet, and the credit card.
>
> Well, I imagine the idea behind the NAHSA was to try and streamline at least the creation of basic account hierarchies; shunting this aspect off to this ANBA then puts most users into the bidn of having to create all their accounts manually. If you take out the “New Book Options” step (and optionally the "Choose Currency” step as well) in the existing NAHSA, well, then, you’re giving users a means to create all those accounts automatically—without burdening them with these Advanced settings. Or, as Graham suggests, have the Advanced options be a secondary popup from the main assistant.
>
> I guess in the meantime, I will attempt to write generic help text that will point out to the user that they can defer decisions on these settings, and cross reference them to (as-yet-unwritten) sections in the new Configuring GnuCash chapter.


It’s not a bit disingenuous. Consider the millions of mostly satisfied Quicken users out there, some of whom wander our way and wonder why they should have to learn about accounting just to track their bank accounts. IMO most of them would be happier with KMyMoney, which operates a lot more like Quicken does. GnuCash is a formal accounting program for people who want that. No need for a CPA, Accounting 101 at the local community college will suffice. There’s no reason for GnuCash to cater to people who don’t have that knowledge when there are alternatives that

So maybe the first thing to change in the T&CG is the first paragraph of the Introduction:
"GnuCash is the personal finance software package made for you. It is versatile enough to keep track of all your financial information, from the simple to the very complex. It is one of the few financial software packages that supports global currencies, and it is the only open-source program of its kind. Best of all, GnuCash is easy to learn and use!”

GnuCash isn’t at all a personal finance software package and it isn’t made for everyone. It’s a formal accounting software package and it’s made for people who run small businesses, are fiduciaries of some sort, have complicated finances, or are compulsive about using formal accounting. If it was easy to learn and use we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

Now back to creating a new book.

I didn’t propose shunting off creating the basic accounts to the ANBA. I proposed that File>New would create the accounts currently created by the set of accounts selected by default in the current NAHSA. It contains two bank accounts (“savings” and “checking” in the en_US one) and cash-in-wallet under Assets:Current Assets, A range of income and expense accounts, Equity:Opening Balances, and a single credit card account under Liabilities. The other add-ons are mostly trivial or insufficient (for an example of the latter, investment includes dividend income but not capital gains).

Regards,
John Ralls

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Re: [GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

David Cousens
In reply to this post by Adrien Monteleone-2
Adrien,

While I agree with the concept David T is proposing to streamline the process for new users and the thrust of your
comments about the new user experience, the new account heirarchy at least as it is currently implemented, will be used
by anyone creating a new set of books, whether they are experienced Gnucash users, experienced accountants, total
newbies or someone transferring from another program.

As a newbie you can get a perfectly usable set of accounts for exploring Gnucash by simply clicking Next through the
assistant then Apply and then saving the file.

Perhaps this needs to be made clearer to new users as well as informing them that any choices they make can be changed
later (except for the very few cases where this is not possible - I can't think of any but I personally don't currently
use the full capabilty set of GnuCash's features but I used more in the past).

If this was done up front, they could then easily skip through.

The suggestion John made of creating a simplified new file option with defaults based on the locale and an advanced
setup option using the NAHS Assistant seems to meet this need as well.  Even knowing what you want in a CoA requires a
fair understanding of your accounting needs as well as the functionality of GnuCash. Alternatively in other posts I
think both Frank and I have suggested a checkbox which by default disables selecting those options which a new user is
going to find confusing and provides default values.

I would have thought the CoA setup is not too bad. It comes with the common accounts selected, it does perhaps give the
new user a view that there is a lot more to explore. Some new users will be looking for business functionality and other
"advanced " functionality from the get go. There will always be a few new users who will be confused by having to start
the program.

Personally when evaluating software, I jump in without reading manuals first because I figure if the interface isn't
intuitive to a decent extent, I am not going to want to go too much further, unless I really have no other option.
Intuitive for an experienced computer user can however be very different for someone with limited experience. My wife
never reads manuals ever, she just asks me. I on the other hand consult my 5 year old grand daughter.

I share Mechtilde's concern that in making things easier for the new user we don't lose functionality for the
experienced user. We should hopefully look for mechanisms for doing both.

David Cousens




On Wed, 2018-09-12 at 10:33 -0500, Adrien Monteleone wrote:

> As someone who has helped other people get started using GnuCash (and remembering my own first steps) I agree
> completely with these points. Those book preferences are not self explanatory. (perhaps bugs in their own right) A new
> user is left to either trust the defaults and move on, pause and revisit the startup process several times while they
> track down help info and digest it, or give up in frustration. (I’ve seen the latter three times—you may or not be
> surprised how many people do *not* want to read a book before they start using a piece of software, I chose the second
> option personally)
>
> Unless the startup assistant (wizard, druid, whatever) can be redesigned as an explanatory walk through to choose
> these settings, that part should be removed and the defaults chosen for the user.
>
> As for trading accounts, I turned them on after the fact for tracking commodities as additional currencies. I’ve never
> bought or sold any since doing that, but I’ve played with turning the setting on and off to experiment with the
> setting’s effect on some reports and I’ve never noticed any issues. (but again, I only have opening balance
> transactions in each currency) If turning Trading Accounts off after entering buy/sell transactions is bad news, then
> I would think the option to do so should be disabled.
>
> Regards,
> Adrien
>
> > On Sep 12, 2018, at 9:38 AM, David T. via gnucash-devel <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > Hello,
> >
> > As I begin the process of migrating text from the Help to the Guide (cf. Bug 796855), I am working on the Help
> > information regarding the New Account Hierarchy Setup (NAHS) assistant, and I have a couple of questions about the
> > second screen of the assistant, the “New Book Options” screen.
> >
> > First off, while I respect the intent to allow users the option to set these preferences from the creation of their
> > file, I wonder whether this is misguided. To wit: all of these options are quite technical in nature, and all of
> > them can be set at a later point by opening the appropriate preferences. Adding these options here adds complexity
> > that can easily be deferred to a later point. While it is true that this assistant runs whenever a user chooses
> > File->New (meaning that an experienced user might wish to add these settings from the assistant), I am willing to
> > hazard a guess that most users will invoke this assistant *only* when they first start using GnuCash, and *only*
> > when their heads are already swimming with the overwhelming experience that is GnuCash. Asking a new user to choose
> > whether to use Trading Accounts or to Use Split Action Field for Number is IMHO pointless. They aren’t going to be
> > able to make an informed decision.
> >
> > <aside>I’ll note that this becomes an obvious issue when I attempt to write the help section for the screen. I am
> > left either with writing a huge explanatory section on the details of each of these settings, which detracts from
> > the flow of the NAHS narrative, or with adding a generic note that advises users to accept the defaults and read
> > about the details in other sections of the Guide.</aside>
> >
> > So, for the new user, the only real effect of this screen is to introduce confusion and questions. Can it be removed
> > from the assistant?
> >
> > Related to this screen, my second question has to do with the “Use Trading Accounts” setting. Can it be turned off
> > once it has been enabled in a given GnuCash file?
> >
> > ISTR that this option is a one-way street—i.e., that, once turned on, it can not be turned off again. Is this still
> > the case? If it is still true, then I would strongly suggest that this option shouldn’t be placed on the NAHS
> > Assistant, since a new user won’t be aware of this.
> >
> > David
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > gnucash-devel mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > https://lists.gnucash.org/mailman/listinfo/gnucash-devel
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> gnucash-devel mailing list
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Re: [GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

sunfish62
In reply to this post by GnuCash - Dev mailing list


On September 12, 2018, at 11:08 PM, John Ralls <[hidden email]> wrote:

>It’s not a bit disingenuous. Consider the millions of mostly satisfied Quicken users out there, some of whom wander our way and wonder why they should have to learn about accounting just to track their bank accounts. IMO most of them would be happier with KMyMoney, which operates a lot more like Quicken does. GnuCash is a formal accounting program for people who want that. No need for a CPA, Accounting 101 at the local community college will suffice. There’s no reason for GnuCash to cater to people who don’t have that knowledge when there are alternatives that
>So maybe the first thing to change in the T&CG is the first paragraph of the Introduction:
>"GnuCash is the personal finance software package made for you. It is versatile enough to keep track of all your financial information, from the simple to the very complex. It is one of the few financial software packages that supports global currencies, and it is the only open-source program of its kind. Best of all, GnuCash is easy to learn and use!”

 "Gnucash is the finance software package that's a bitch to learn and use! At least it's open source!" - - It has a definite ring to it!

;)

Seriously, I'll look at ways to make that a little less breathless.


>GnuCash isn’t at all a personal finance software package and it isn’t made for everyone. It’s a formal accounting software package and it’s made for people who run small businesses, are fiduciaries of some sort, have complicated finances, or are compulsive about using formal accounting. If it was easy to learn and use we wouldn’t be having this discussion.
>Now back to creating a new book.
>I didn’t propose shunting off creating the basic accounts to the ANBA. I proposed that File>New would create the accounts currently created by the set of accounts selected by default in the current NAHSA. It contains two bank accounts (“savings” and “checking” in the en_US one) and cash-in-wallet under Assets:Current Assets, A range of income and expense accounts, Equity:Opening Balances, and a single credit card account under Liabilities. The other add-ons are mostly trivial or insufficient (for an example of the latter, investment includes dividend income but not capital gains).

Indeed.

I wonder whether there's some better mechanism for getting users up and running with a set of books...

David

>Regards,
>John Ralls
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Re: [GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

Frank H. Ellenberger-3
In reply to this post by Graham Menhennitt-3
Am 13.09.2018 um 01:13 schrieb Graham Menhennitt:
> On 13/09/2018 9:03 am, John Ralls wrote:
>> ... have File>New just create a bare “Common Accounts” book for the
>> current locale? We could pop up a dialog for opening balances on each
>> of the bank accounts, cash-in-wallet, and the credit card.
>
> And that dialog could have an "Advanced settings" button.

Or in the current assistent on page 1 add a selection
* I am a newby and wish only basic settings [jump to page 5]
* I am a pro and want access to all settings [continue with page 2]

> Graham

Frank

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