GnuCash CLI v0.0.1

Neil Williams linux at
Tue Jul 12 16:37:01 EDT 2005

On Tuesday 12 July 2005 6:17 pm, Derek Atkins wrote:
> If it's really targetting at gnucash users, to provide a CLI
> to adding new items, then it might well deserve to be part of
> gnucash.

This will be 100% targetted at GnuCash users - yet how many users will use it 
regularly? Also, it can be more than *just* a data entry point for GnuCash - 
it's built around queries and data manipulation - a basis for data mining and 
customised data handling / reporting.

There are plenty of packages that have "recommended" or "optional" add-on 
utilities. There aren't many that I can think of that have BOTH GUI and CLI 
programs within one package - beyond config and help switches.

> However the part of me that thinks "no" is the fact 
> that it's not modifying the gnucash backend directly, but rather
> it's creating a QSF file that you later have to import.

My main problems with accessing the backend directly are, upon reflection, 
potential user issues:

1. Direct manipulation of existing data files significantly increases the 
testing burden for this CLI. It is far easier to spot simple errors in a GUI 
display than to create a CLI display that can do the same.

2. Some users' data files get v.large - loading in a CLI is not going to be a 
whole lot faster than a GUI (once the GUI is started), that may defeat the 
purpose of the CLI.

Having the output as a separate file under user control is a less risky 
proposition, IMHO, as it can use the checks and balances of importing to 
catch errors that CLI users may not spot. Provided CashUtil simply adds 
incrementally to a single file, it shouldn't be much hassle to import the 
file when there is time.

Packages can readily suggest related packages, it's just a case of asking each 
package maintainer to mention that cashutil is a CLI for GnuCash.

The more I think about it, the more I think it will work best as a separate 
unit. I'll setup an SF project for cashutil at the weekend and bug reports / 
queries can be handled on the QOF-devel mailing list and SF pages, as with 
Pilot-QOF. It should be available as a package in time for G2.


Neil Williams

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