Draft, State of the GnuCash project, part II: What can you do to help?

Benoit Grégoire bock at step.polymtl.ca
Thu Nov 13 23:55:07 CST 2003

On Wednesday 05 November 2003 16:37, Linas Vepstas wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 03, 2003 at 01:27:01PM -0500, Benoit Gr?goire was heard to 
> >
> > 1  Introduction
> >
> > The goal of this document is to guide potential contributors to where
> > their contribution is most useful.
> >
> > response, and will avoid current developers spending time on
> > superfluous=20 emails:
> My overall impression is that much of what you are dealing with (if not all
> of it) are 'project management' issues that a 'project manager' would deal
> with.
> I suspect that my definition of 'project manager' is much more expansive
> than yours.  However, this document that you just prepared is the kind of
> document that only a project manager would care about, read, or write ...

True enough, but the time I have to spend on gnucash is way too sporadic to do 
it well (The delay between my two documents and my inability to keep up with 
all the people who contact me have made that pretty clear didn't it ;).  I 
want to try to get more people on board and help get them organized.  While 
that is indeed part of project management, it's only a part.  

That objective is ambitious enough for now.

> >  Help with other projects on which GnuCash depend for many
> > features
> Can you add the following:
> -- a new/improved gtk2 tree implementation? The current gtk2 tree is
> complex, hard to use, and fails to provide many important features.  The
> old ctree was much nicer ....

Ok, but we need at least a bullet point list of the missing stuff.

> >  Improve graphing support
> > GnuCash currently uses the Guppi graphing engine=20
> Add gtkplot (from the gtkextra package) as a candidate alternate
> technology.


> > 2.1.2  Small projects for new developers to learn the codebase.
> >
> >  Adopting a bug
> > Not all bugs are hard to find or fix.  Some didn't get fixed simply
> > because=
> We need a "screen team" that can review bugs, and sort them into
> duplicates/fixed, and easy/hard.  So that the appropirate people can
> work on them ...

I clarified the definition

> >  Eliminating deprecated functions(code refactoring in the engine)
>  There is a wording problem here.  It should say something like
> "change/update code that uses deprecated engine functions so that it
> no longer uses deprecated functions".
> The 'refactoring' (if any) occurs outside the engine.
> Most of these changes do not require any refactoring at all.
> Refactoring should only be done by more experienced people who already
> know how a module works, and not by beginners.

Ok, I reworded it.

> Note that some of the old file-import/backwards-compat code uses
> the deprecated functions, and that is OK, that code doesn't need
> to be changed.

Well I'm not sure I agree, as may main gaol with this (aside from stability) 
is to make the API easier to understand.  One obvious way to do that is to 
get rid of deprecated functions.  The other (tough is may sound gratuitous) 
is to rename functions whose meaning have drifted over time.  The ones 
related to commodity/currency handling are especially confusing.

> Note also: I'd like to discourage these kind of changes until the gnome2
> port is complete, and/or that these changes be done in the gnome2 branch
> only. Otherwise, it will become very hard for the gnome2 port to move
> forward, and merge back into the main tree.

Considering that the final merge is probably going to occur in the relatively 
near future, I doubt it's going to be a problem.  But I take good note.

> >  Wiki team leader and editor
> I'm trying to add some additional security to the gnucash server, which
> if all goes well, I would then be willing to run a wiki on it.  If you are
> interested.   At the moment, I'm paranoid about being rooted.

I think hosting the wiki on sourceforge will be most convenient, so don't 
worry about it.

> and, appearently, the acting gnucash project manager.


> You might discover, for the better or the worse, that being a project
> manager can be a lonely job.   The developers never tell you what they're
> doing, you have to ask them.  When you put together a list, such as the one
> above, it can seem sometimes that no one really cares... people probably
> won't provide feedback ...

Oh, I know.  However, perhaps it is best that I am not reminded ;)

> Anyway if/when you get an html'ed version of this, I'd like to post it on
> the website.  In particular, I want to get rid of/replace the current
> totally obsolete link to the gnucash projects list.
> I'd also like to change the web link "how you can help" to look like a
> somewhat modified version of this doc.

That's the idea, once it's "release ready" ;)  In the meantime all the 
suggestions you made that I didn't reply to have been integrated in the 
document in some way.  I'll upload it later tonight.

Benoit Grégoire, http://step.polymtl.ca/~bock/
Président, Comité Jeunesse de l'Association des Diplômés de Polytechnique.

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