No file or file required ?

Geert Janssens janssens-geert at
Sat Dec 19 11:23:46 EST 2009

Ok, I think I understand this better now. Thanks for explaining Derek & Yawar.

I agree with the paradigm idea. Indeed in GnuCash you typically work in one 
document. That wasn't very clear to me, as I use GnuCash for 3 different 
businesses. But even then I only work on one business at the same time and 
there is only one document per business. So indeed GnuCash users don't tend to 
frequently open new documents.

So I'll write an enhancement request in that sense.


On Saturday 19 December 2009, Yawar Amin wrote:
> On 12/18/09 7:06 AM, Geert Janssens wrote:
> > [...]
> > "Enforcing" a "file" to be selected from the start, or disallowing any
> > action if no "file" is available is one way to deal with this. In case of
> > a db "file" or an sqlite "file", all changes are written to the backend
> > immediately, for the xml "file" a separate log is kept to which all
> > changes are written immediately as well. So indeed, having a file
> > available at all times helps to prevent data loss.
> MS Access forces the user to either create a new DB or open one on
> startup. So does KeePass/X.
> > [...]
> >
> > So for GnuCash this could translate as: allow the user to have unsaved
> > data (start with option --nofile or as a result of the first run). In
> > this case, GnuCash should save the changes to a file anyway in a location
> > that is determined a build time (likely somewhere in a tmp directory).
> > This log can be in the old xml log format, but when sqlite becomes the
> > new default file format, making the GnuCash internal log file an sqlite
> > file would make more sense. Should GnuCash have to recover from a crash,
> > it could use this internal log for that purpose.
> >
> > What do others think ?
> I think this paradigm works well when users start up the program, and
> _typically_ open and close several documents throughout the `lifetime'
> of the program. But when they typically only use one document the whole
> time they're using the program, it makes more sense to force them to
> choose or create that document up-front. I think this neatly describes
> what people do with QuickBooks, MS Access, KeePass, and GnuCash. Of
> course there are probably other reasons, like the data loss risk you
> mentioned.
> Yawar

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