Addition of HBCI support, Maturity of 1.7-branch, next stable release time frame?

Christian Stimming
Thu, 04 Apr 2002 11:21:56 +0200

Hi all,

In a message to this ML yesterday it was pointed out that there is an 
Open Source API for the German Online Banking standard HBCI available 
now. I had been looking forward to this since last summer, and 
eventually it seems like this API will actually be usable from within 

A note about the point of HBCI support: Roughly half of the banks in 
Germany use the HBCI standard as their online banking technology, so 
there is quite some demand for HBCI client software. There still doesn't 
exist ANY open source HBCI-capable software (Linux and/or Windows) out 
there in Germany, and there exists exactly ONE HBCI-capable proprietary 
software on Linux (Moneyplex by Matrica Price: EUR 59 and up). On 
Windows, there are a few more (of course), but they still are only a 
few. This means that IF we add HBCI-support in Gnucash, we would 
actually be the FIRST ONE to do this. Within all humility, this would 
probably give us press reactions up to the leading-edge computing 
journals ("First open source HBCI client ever available") and it might 
boost our user base in Germany by maybe a factor of 10.

However, when I think about implementing HBCI support in Gnucash, I 
started to wonder what development branch of Gnucash would be suitable 
to do this. Of course, one would say, this is a new feature and thus it 
should be developed on the 1.7 branch, since this is per definition the 
development branch. Additionally, quite a bunch of Gnucash internals 
have changed now in the 1.7 branch, so the development in 1.6 and 1.7 is 
quite different and preferrably we should only work within one branch of 
the two. On the other hand, the time frame of implementing HBCI support 
*and* getting enough users to test it would be to do that during the 
next ~3-4 months. AND once the HBCI support has reached a beta stage, I 
would definitely want to make a *new stable release* with precisely the 
HBCI support added (and giving us the press etc. echo mentioned above).

So I would like to ask the whole community:

* What do you think about the maturity of the 1.7 branch?

* What would need to be done before 1.7 reaches a beta-stable stage? 
This doesn't necessarily mean that all of the new user-visible features 
currently in 1.7 need to be stable and/or complete; we could very well 
postpone the completion of some of the user-visible features to a later 
point in time. But for the HBCI feature, we would need to have the 
internal new features of Gnucash to be definitely stabilized.

* What would be needed to make a new stable release from the 1.7 branch 
within the next 4-6 months?


Christian Stimming