RFC - SX Projection Report ; Patch - SX enable/disable

Peter McAlpine peter at aoeu.ca
Tue Jan 30 22:23:48 EST 2007


I have found GnuCash to be a very useful tool for tracking my  
personal finances (THANK YOU!), but as others have brought up  
previously (http://wiki.gnucash.org/wiki/Budgets) there has  
historically been mixed success implementing a budgeting feature.

I should be clear right now that it's not my intention to attack the  
work that has gone into the budgeting features that exist in GnuCash  
now, nor do I want to start a large thread about long term plans for  
budgets in GnuCash. I have experimented with the recently added  
budgeting feature and am unable to have it meet my personal needs.  
After some thought I came up with an idea for a feature which would  
present me with the information I need in a way that I (as a  
accounting novice) can easily understand. I have started working on  
this feature already but was encouraged by Josh to post to the -devel  
list before I get too far (and thus this email).

My proposal is merely this: to add an "SX Projection Report"
Any subset of a SX's
Any subset of accounts
A starting date (present time or earlier)
A finish date (any time after the starting date)

A [read-only] report (formatted similarly to the register) which  
would show what the selected account(s) would look like if the  
selected SX(s) were applied to them from the start date to the finish.

Example Usage Scenario:
The user wants to see if she can afford a new car that has payments  
of $500/month, the user will input their regular SX's and add one  
more [disabled (see below)] SX for the $500/month car payments. The  
user could then generate the SX Projection Report and see the impact  
on her accounts out to some arbitrary date.

It's my hope that this feature would meet mine (and hopefully  
other's) budgeting needs in a way that would not commit GnuCash  
development to any particular budgeting philosophy or development  
track. If users aren't interested in the way the report does  
budgeting they can easily just ignore the report altogether.

In order to get up to speed on the GnuCash source, I have taken the  
time to implement (the diff is attached) a feature which would be  
helpful when using this report: the ability to disable/enable SX's.

I need to input SX's to select when I run SX Projection Reports,  but  
I may not actually want these SX's to show up on the SLR dialog yet.

I have added an "Enabled" checkbox to the SX Editor dialog (all SX's  
default to being enabled). If the SX is disabled it does not get  
picked up when the SLR runs. The disabled SX's are (will be)  
available when selecting SX's for SX Projection Reports.

I look forward to hearing your feedback regarding the patch and  
feature proposal.


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