Price Editor vs Security Editor

Geert Janssens janssens-geert at
Fri Oct 15 11:33:23 EDT 2010

On Friday 15 October 2010, John Ralls wrote:
> Hmm. I can see why your workflow would find the price and security editor
>  setup confusing. I don't think that having an "add security" function in
>  the price editor is the right thing to do, because just adding a security
>  doesn't really get you anywhere: You also need an account to hold that
>  security. Not only that, but for transactional purposes, prices created by
>  the price editor have no effect AFAICT. You create a new price when you
>  enter a transaction involving an exchange between securities (usually
>  between a security and the default currency, but also between currencies
>  for those folks who have to do business in more than one.)
Since recently I know of one use case where using the price editor directly 
makes sense and this is the use case that started this whole investigation for 
me: suppose I have all of my accounts in EUR, so there's no currency 
conversion involved in any transaction, but I wish to generate a report in say 
GBP. The report will show all 0's if there's no price available for EUR in 
GBP. To fix this, a price can be set up via the price editor. Such a use case 
is rather rare, but makes sense for example if my books are still in BEF, 
while this currency has been deprecated in favor of EUR. The same situation 
exists for other deprecated currencies (not only for the European currencies).

As you can see, I entered the Price and Security Editor story from a 
completely different angle and got all confused.

> My workflow when I buy a new security is to first create an account; the
>  account editor has a way to select an existing security or to create a new
>  one, which I use. Once the account is created, I return to my cash account
>  and enter the buy transaction. A dialog box comes up asking for the
>  price/exchange rate or the number of (e.g.) shares in the other account
>  bought or sold. That creates the first price entry. (Subsequent purchases
>  or sales will sometimes bring up the "exchange rate" dialog, sometimes
>  not. In the not cases I have to go to the security account and adjust the
>  transaction, which also creates a new price entry.) I seldom use the price
>  editor except to run Finance::Quote.
Yes, this is obviously the workflow for which the the current Price and 
Security editor were designed.

I still think though that a New security button makes sense as it adds room 
for alternative workflows. Perhaps a user prefers to first enter prices for a 
series of securities in one go, say reading them from the newspaper in front 
of him. So that would lead him to the Price editor. While entering prices, he 
may notice that since his last GnuCash session, he has bought a new security. 
With the New security button inside the New price window, he can simply 
continue from there. He can later create the new account when he's entering 
his bank statements. Without the button, he'd have to switch to the Security 
editor, and create a new security there first. Obviously that works also, but 
is less streamlined. This is just one example, other users have other workflow 
preferences. I like it when a tool encourages that.

The new button adds flexibility, and at the same time doesn't interfere with 
the existing workflow, so I would see it as a good addition.

Probably for after 2.4 though.


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