Are There Plans For A GUI Overhaul?

John Ralls jralls at
Tue Oct 18 04:56:41 EDT 2016

> On Oct 18, 2016, at 8:13 AM, Paul Phillips <paul at> wrote:
> Hi John,
> Indeed it is a shame, and I regret causing the discord and suspicion.  Please accept my apologies.
> Thanks for your insight and the link to the SFC.  I shall get in touch with them.
> The only other way of engaging with the GnuCash project without the need of either a contract or management oversight is to create a fork.  It would therefore obviously be completely optional whether the dev team adopted any of the changes.  But if the fork development matched the Gnucash roadmap and project guidelines, the chances of merger would presumably increase.
> However the key to enabling this to succeed is the user base, and as a fork, the user base starts from scratch.


There are forks and then there are Github forks. The latter is one usual way for "outside" developers and documentors to contribute, submitting their work through a Github pull request (which is a bit different and much easier to use than the traditional git email pull request used by the Linux project.

The other kind of fork is what happened with Open Office a few years ago: Unhappy with the way Oracle was managing the product, a large chunk of the development team took the code base and created a new product, Libre Office. I think that's what would have to happen with a "commercialized" GnuCash: The "commercial" team would have to create a new product to work on to guarantee that the paid-for work actually gets released in a product. 

I've put "commercial" in scare-quotes because the new product would still be limited by the provisions of the GPL and the GnuCash project would be able to merge any changes that they liked into the Free version. Both because of that and the limitations of the GPL the "commercial" entity would have to find some other way of monetizing the product; that's normally done on open source projects by selling support. IMO that's a hard nut to crack: Developers, documentors, and managers are expensive and the "commercial" entity would need a pretty hefty cash-flow; a reasonable-sized team might run as much as $1M/year once overhead is included.

John Ralls

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