Mike Alexander mta at
Thu Mar 1 23:59:10 EST 2012

--On March 1, 2012 9:09:38 AM -0800 John Ralls <jralls at> 

> F::Q hasn't published an update to CPAN since October 2009. Paul
> Fenwick has moved the repo to github [1], but hasn't pushed anything
> in a year.
> I propose that we fork Fenwick's repo to our Gnucash Github account,
> apply the outstanding patches, and adjust update-finance-quote to
> pull tarballs from there.
> Mike, you seem conversant with the F::Q code, are you up for
> maintaining the GC fork?
> As an aside, longer term it would be good to come up with a quote
> retrieval mechanism that doesn't pull in an extra scripting
> dependency and has something a bit more robust than screen scraping
> for data retrieval.

Sure, I can maintain F::Q, but I don't have a Windows machine so I 
can't do much with packaging it for Windows.  I also can't put the new 
version up on CPAN, of course, which means that the installer script 
for MacOSX and other Unix variants will have to be changed.  If we 
install it ourselves where do we put it?  I suspect that adding 
packages to CPAN's directories behind its back isn't consider entirely 
kosher.  I see that the Windows install script uses ppm to install it 
which would have to be changed too.  I'm not really up on Perl all that 
much, how hard is it to install private packages into an arbitrary Perl 

Rewriting it would be non-trivial.  The whole package is about 11,000 
lines of Perl code (including comments).  This includes modules for 
nearly 50 quote sources, some of which could probably be skipped, but 
it's still a fair amount of code.  I also don't think you could 
entirely avoid screen scraping.  Many of the quote sources don't 
provide a way to get the data otherwise.  They probably don't encourage 
that since they want you to see their ads.

I agree that the current situation is not really tenable, but forking 
it isn't quite as easy as it seems at first glance.  I don't know what 
the right answer is.


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