GUI - accounts vs. transactions

Kevin Finn
Wed, 4 Oct 2000 21:50:05 -0500

On Wed, 04 Oct 2000, Bill Gribble wrote:
> The fundamental unit of display in the register is the transaction.
> In any display mode, the transaction's date, description, and number
> are shown.  the key to understanding the register display is to note
> that the register generally shows a single account, and for each
> transaction, splits affecting that account ARE NOT SHOWN.  The only
> time you can directly see the split affecting "this account" is from a
> register for another account.  In double line mode ONLY, you can also
> see the Memo for the split affecting "this account".  Toggling between
> "multi-line" (which shows all splits except for the ones in "this"
> account) and "double line" mode can be disconcerting until you
> understand this.

     I share some of the same confusion as Terry in at least one regard.  I've
been making entries into my checking account for my paycheck, which also show
up in my Income account for Gross Pay.  Actually, I've only made one real
entry; since that original entry I've just been duplicating the last paycheck
when looking at my checking account in the register, and changing the Memo
field.  Now when I look from the perspective of the Income account, all of the
Memo fields still show the memo from the original transaction that was the
basis for the duplicates (I'm using Double Line mode, BTW).  This is a little
disconcerting; at least in that it violates the "principle of least surprise".
     The reason that I say this is I had been under the impression (granted,
without thoroughly reading the manual) that each register view was really just
a different way of looking at the same transaction.  So since the transaction
date, Description, and income/expense matched up, it is surprising that the
Memo fields do not.
     The explanation that I'm really looking at two different splits of the
same transaction certainly makes sense in terms of double-entry bookkeeping,
but it does make things more confusing to the user in this case.  Since the
primary goal of double-entry has already been subverted (because the monetary
amount is copied into the various splits automatically, rather than entered
twice by the user to ensure that the amount is correct), is there any way that
the Memo fields could be similarly copied between splits in the case of
duplicated transactions?  
     Or if there's an easy way to get duplicated transactions to come out
looking right that I've missed, please let me know.



Kevin Finn