Freecoins conduit (again)

Derek Atkins warlord at
Thu Dec 4 15:58:55 CST 2003


Quoting Will McDonald <will at>:

> Searching the list archive I found a number of discussions (about 1
> apiece in 2000, 2001, 2002) about creating a (Kpilot, in my case)
> conduit to sync GnuCash and freecoins (or some PalmOS app), but no
> conclusion. I'd love this functionality, and thus am considering being
> the next victim to try to code this (apparently ever-elusive) library.
> My questions:
> * Has there been any actual development out there that I missed?

Not as far as I know..  I've seen the same messages as you, but I've never
heard of a completed conduit.

> * Is there any sort of gnucash synchronization out there for anything
>   else?

Not as far as I know.

> * What is the best way to work with gnucash? From the discussions (and
>   the architecture explanation) it seems like the Palm data should be
>   turned into queries and run through the Engine, with the conduit
>   potentially making (via a user prompt?) final decisions about what to
>   insert, etc. Is this correct?

There are a number of ways to deal with it..  The easiest thing to do in the
short term would be to create a way to export your chart of accounts
to the palm, and then use the QIF or OFX importer to bring transaction
data out of the palm and back into GnuCash.

In other words, your conduit would just output a regular QIF or OFX file
and then you can use the existing importer to pull the data into your
gnucash file.

Honestly I see little reason to have much in your pilot except, perhaps,
for current balances.  I see the pilot as a useful tool to keep real-time
track of actual transactions which then get loaded into Gnucash during
sync (at which time the txns and balances are reconciled on the pilot
and you return to a clean state.

> * Is there a howto/tutorial/documentation on the Query API somewhere?

No, not really...  There are some docs in the sources, but generally
(at this time) the sources (and headers) are the canonical documentation
for developers.  If you'd like to help with documenting the APIs that would
also be welcome ;)

> For my uses it would suffice for the palm to first "push anything new
> since the last sync" then "pull anything new since the last sync" and
> just do brain-dead duplicate resolution (if time && account && value...
> all match), so this is the direction I plan on starting.

Ok, I'll bite -- Why do you need all your transactions on the pilot?

> Any and all help, pointers, or discussion about best practices, design,
> or how to get started with gnucash development are more than welcome.
> And if someone has unloved conduit code lying around, that's helpful
> too.

Well, many of the developers sit on #gnucash, so you're welcome to come there
to ask questions.  You can also ask them here.  As for "best practices, design,
[etc]" there are a lot of docs in the source tree, the mailing list archives,
and in the heads of the devs.

The developer documentation has not been a high priority (when compared to
a gnome2 port or user docs)....  So YMMV.

> Thanks,
> -will


       Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
       Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
       URL:    PP-ASEL-IA     N1NWH
       warlord at MIT.EDU                        PGP key available

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