Your offer to help (was: Re: gnucash-devel Digest, Vol 131, Issue 21)

Yawar Amin yawar.amin at
Mon Feb 24 19:16:38 EST 2014

Hi Elise,

On 2014-02-23 12:38, Elise Scher wrote:
> I would like to help with the project on a part-time basis.
> I know a bit of C, having written some small programs in C.
> My English is very good. I grew up in Massachusetts and live near Stanford
> University.
> I would like to learn and help, please.

Thank you for your kind offer. GnuCash is written partly in C, in kind of a weird style, as John said. _But_ it's also partly written in Scheme, which is a higher-level language which many people enjoy programming in. Incidentally, Scheme was born in Massachusetts (MIT to be exact), so you are almost neighbours.

I like to think of GnuCash as being made up of a financial 'engine' written in C, with the good bits added on top of that in Scheme. Others have different ways of looking at it. Whichever way you want to approach it, in my opinion we definitely need help getting the codebase (C and Scheme) under a solid test framework so that we can have confidence in its correctness. I'm kind of trying to do that myself right now on the Scheme side.

Other things we need help on are dealing with bug reports in our bug tracking system. Anyone is allowed to create a new bug report, but not all bug reports are created equal (so to speak). Some sit in the tracker for years without any progress. One way to help would be to try to push for details, ask the developers see if a fix is feasible, and if not to just close the bug as 'WONTFIX'.

Another thing we can always benefit from is better documentation. Unfortunately the documentation is written in an (you guessed it) esoteric format called DocBook. There has been talk recently of formatting it in a simpler way like AsciiDoc[1] or Markdown.[2]

So we can always use more help.



[1] Which, by the way, O'Reilly is now supporting for their authors as a formatting method.

[2] Which almost every technical site on the internet seems to support.

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