Intro + a bug

Mike or Penny Novack stepbystepfarm at
Wed Aug 8 12:16:21 EDT 2007

>[[Maybe a bit off-topic for this mailinglist, but I thought it could give some 
>additional background]]
>... and some are already. A fine example is The  Gimp (, 
>an alternative image manipulation program for Photoshop. Whether it truly can 
>replace Photoshop is a long debate, but in itself it's a very good image 
>manipulation program. Originally written for *nix, but also running on 
>Windows for quite some time now. The Gimp also uses GConf and as such uses 
>the same common directories.
Not "off topic" at all (open source projects need to help each other out)

If "the Gimp" shares this problem (inability of the gconf routines to 
cope with ALL legal Windows directory names) I haven't seen it reported 
-- say from when "the Open CD" folks were testing "the Gimp". But this 
may well be the consequence of the rarity of Windows users chosing an 
account name with an asterisk in it. Can anybody here identify the 
address of the team working on "gnome for Windows" because they should 
be made aware that there is a problem affecting their project.

The implication is that the problem isn't FIXABLE (can't make GnuCash 
work completely properly for all legal Windows user account names) but 
that doesn't mean it should be "no action". One possibility would be for 
the "first time" routine to check whether the directory it is being 
asked to set up is "legally named" (as far a gnome is concerned) and if 
not, temporarily pasues the process to explain the problem. Might 
suggest that the user either:
1) abort (option provided) to allow the system administrator to allocate 
another user account whose name would not be a problem (tell what the 
"illegal" characters are). The Windows user would then use this other 
account for GnuCash.
2) allow to proceed (option provided) warning the  what the user what 
won't work (there may be more things than just being unable to save 
preference changes. That might not be totally unacceptable while the 
person LEARNS about GnuCash. An administrator can always later copy the 
books to another user's data area.

Alternatively, if it is decided that account names that will cause 
problems are so rare that not worth a coding effort, then at least 
something in the "read me" for the Windows install. Yes I know people 
tend not to read those until AFTER encountering difficulties, but if 
they then look and see an explanation of "Problem with some legal 
Windows account names" telling them what to do at least it won't be a 


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