Patch for guide file "ch_basics.xml"

Geert Janssens janssens-geert at
Thu Oct 14 06:11:17 EDT 2010

On Wednesday 13 October 2010, jh wrote:
> Hi Geert,
> > * Summarybar content. This is currently an option in the Accounting
> > Period tab. I find it very confusing in there. The two options that can
> > be set here have no relation to the accounting period whatsoever. So I
> > propose to move this option to another tab. The Miscellaneous options tab
> > already has some Summary bar related parameters (position). Perhaps it's
> > better to group them there ?
> AFAIK, the 'Profits' in the summary bar are calculated over the
> 'accounting period'
> Juergen
I knew that, but thank you for bringing it up as it raises another small 

(I'm wearing my reviewer's hat here, please don't think I'm criticizing you or 
anybody else. I'm just deliberately questioning everything about GnuCash and 
the documentation to find rough spots.)

The thing is, you know that and I know that. But does a new GnuCash user also 
know that ? You see, I didn't find a mention of that in the preferences 
documentation. And neither is it explained when the summary bar is first 
introduced in chapter 2.3.3.

That's one point: we should probably explain in a little more detail what the 
summary bar is all about. Perhaps it's in there somewhere already and I missed 
it. If so, I think a link from the summary bar introduction in the basics 
chapter to the detailed information later on would be useful.

Back to my original question: should the summary bar options be stored under 
"Accounting Period" or not ?

As you mention, there is a link between the summary bar and the accounting 
period indeed. But the two options you can change in themselves have nothing 
to do with the accounting period.
If you'd have asked me a week ago to change what information the summary bar 
displays, I would never have searched for it under Accounting Period. In the 
existing tabs, there is no tab called Summary Bar, so I would probably first 
have looked under General, then under Windows, then under Accounts (the 
summary bar is in the Accounts window after all) and then start clicking the 
other tabs one by one.

Really, I mentioned this because the location of these options struck me as 
rather unintuitive even while understanding the relationship.

I don't have a good alternative though. So for now I'd suggest to only move 
the Summarybar options below the date options. Start/End date are two 
parameters I much stronger relate to the accounting period and are the first 
two I'd want to configure for it.


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