RFP: Generic Comparison Report

Adrien Monteleone adrien.monteleone at gmail.com
Sat Feb 10 12:52:58 EST 2018


As I noted in another thread, I'm interested in tackling this. I have a few
other ideas I want to try as well. (multi-step Income Statement and
Analytic/Activity style Income Statement)

Chris, thanks for the link. I'll take a look at Grid also.

While it is good to have a 'flexible and cover many use cases' report, most
people aren't going to be thinking in those terms. Users are more likely
going to want a Balance Sheet and then want it to be multi-column, or an
Income Statement and then see each month or quarter. So there should be
default reports with those names that do this. Ideally, those current
reports should be modified to include the new options rather than creating
separate new reports. (less clutter in the report menus the better)

I'm in the middle of Mardi Gras festivities at the moment, but I'll dive in
on Wednesday.


On Sat, Feb 10, 2018 at 1:32 AM, David T. via gnucash-devel <
gnucash-devel at gnucash.org> wrote:

> Chris,
> I think that users would like to know what is happening on this front.
> Users are very interested in these developments, and there are far more
> readers on users, who may have additional suggestions for use-cases and
> features. Given the fact that there are current threads on the user list
> that ask this very question, it seems to me unhelpful to split this off to
> the devel list, where those users will not learn of this.
> For what it’s worth, I have yet to see or use the new transaction report,
> since my system hates both me and custom reports. I doubt most normal users
> are aware of the new version of the report and its features, for the same
> reasons.
> David
> > On Feb 10, 2018, at 11:24 AM, Christopher Lam <christopher.lck at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > Hi D
> >
> > Wish to move to devel, technical and policy details abound.
> >
> > There's already work done to enable periodic subtotals comparison. This
> feature has been named "Subtotal Summary Grid". This is done by reusing and
> augmenting the (most excellent) transaction report's grouping and
> subtotals. I'm not sure whether this allows 100% coverage of users'
> requirements for periodic comparison, but I suspect it would.
> > For example, setting accounts = expense accounts (+ children),
> primary-key = account, secondary-key = date, secondary-subtotals = monthly,
> subtotal-summary-grid = enabled -> will provide a nice 2D grid whereby
> Y-axis = accounts, X-axis = monthly expense subtotals. This feature will
> reuse the subtotals already generated within the transaction report,
> therefore any errors in subtotals are not from my code. Example at
> https://imgur.com/a/unDAD <https://imgur.com/a/unDAD>
> > Unfortunately it was completed after string and feature-freeze for
> upcoming 3.0 -- I'm afraid that inclusion into 3.0 isn't guaranteed yet.
> Although, as I have notified devs, if this feature is renamed "Grid", it
> could be written into 3.0. The translated string "Grid" already exists.
> >
> > If you wish to experiment, the code is currently available at
> https://github.com/Gnucash/gnucash/pull/266/commits/
> 4d2ee75b4fa138c0534ae739089d4df70d6d4117 <https://github.com/Gnucash/
> gnucash/pull/266/commits/4d2ee75b4fa138c0534ae739089d4df70d6d4117> -
> (note, this commit link isn't permanent).
> >
> > C
> >
> > On 10/02/18 13:35, D via gnucash-user wrote:
> >> Hello,
> >>
> >> I want to raise a discussion here about the creation of a generic
> comparison report.
> >>
> >> I would preface this discussion by saying that, although I am a long
> time user of Gnucash, I have repeatedly demonstrated my utter inability to
> generate useful code for the project, so any ultimate action on the results
> of this discussion would have to be applied by someone else.
> >>
> >> As we have seen recently, and as I have seen repeatedly over the years,
> one of the more common requests for reporting is to be able to see numbers
> from different time periods in order to evaluate a financial situation.
> >>
> >> As far as I can tell, other than the multi column report, nothing of
> the sort exists in Gnucash. I started thinking that it might be good to
> begin the process of detailing what features might go into such a report in
> order to make it generally useful, with the idea of perhaps stirring up
> someone's interest in creating such a report.
> >>
> >> Some initial ideas include:
> >>
> >> * Definable periods. Should be able to set the unit period, with
> options for common units (month, quarter, year).
> >> * Definable numbers of periods.
> >> * Definable accounts, but with some common groupings (Assets,
> Liabilities, Investments... Are there others?)
> >> * Perhaps the option to use another report as a template? I have no
> idea how that might work, but the fact that folks seem to want side by side
> balance sheets suggests this to me.
> >>
> >> Does anyone else think this would be helpful? Is it a reasonable idea?
> Is it something that someone in the community with Scheme skills is
> interested in pursuing? Are there other elements that would make this a
> better idea? Are there elements that are absurdly difficult or impossible?
> >>
> >> Cheers,
> >> David
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