features list redux

Jon Lapham lapham at extracta.com.br
Sat Aug 2 10:40:15 CDT 2003

A while ago we added a "features list" and "what's new in v1.8" section 
to chapter 1.  The idea being that if the user wants to see an overview 
of everything that GnuCash can do, go to the features list, and to see 
the new stuff, go to the what's new.

So, anyway, I started to actually *read* these lists today.  :)

The features list I cribbed directly from README, and it has a lot of 
good stuff in there.  But, I think we should rearrange things a bit.

I'm thinking that rather than listing the items one at a time, maybe we 
should try to group them somewhat.  That way, people can easily just 
read the "major features" and skip some of the details.

I'm trying to imagine the thought processes of a new user thinking about 
using personal finance software:

  1) Is this going to be a pain in the ass to work with?
  2) Can this software deal with my investments?
  3) (outside US/Europe only) is this Yet Another Western World Only
     software package?

  99% of users have finished here  :)

  4) Can I use this software in my business?
  5) What kind of accounting features exist?


Now, tackling these questions in the form of a features list:

1) Easy to Use  (I think we should put this first.  We want to get 
people to try GnuCash, and the perception of most finance software is 
that is it difficult.)

   a) Documentation (we have decent online docs)
   b) Easy to Use Menus (conform to gnome human interface guidelines)
   c) Quick and Easy Account Reconciliation
   d) Mortgage and Loan Repayment Druid
   e) Import methods, interacts with your other software/banks
      (QIF, OXF, HBCI)
   f) Reports (pre-built, supports graphical views)
   g) Scheduled Transactions (no need to reenter repetitive txns)

2) Tracks your Investments

   a) Support for Stock and Mutual Fund account types
   b) Automated online stocks quotations (finance::quote)

3) International Support

   a) Translations (transalated into X langs)
   b) Multiple currency support
   c) International date handling

4) Business Features

   a) Integrated accounts receivable (customers and invoices)
   b) Integrated accounts payable (vendors and bills)
   c) Support for tax and billing terms
   d) Methods for tracking payroll

5) Accounting Features (what do you call this?)

   a) Double Entry (split transactions)
   b) Income/Expense Accounts
   c) Chart of Accounts
   d) General Ledger

There are still some features missing, I'm not sure where to put them:
"Written in C"
"File access is locked in a network safe manner"
"Provides byte-stream format"

  Jon Lapham  <lapham at extracta.com.br>          Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
  Work: Extracta Moléculas Naturais SA     http://www.extracta.com.br/
  Web: http://www.jandr.org/

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