Scope of GNUCash

Matt Graham matt_graham2001 at
Fri Feb 16 19:54:44 EST 2018

I have always assumed (without purpose or thinking about it) that Gnucash was "supposed" to be a "financial management" program, rather than more strictly an "accounting" program. So my original question was to clarify which it is supposed to be. (And if this has been answered, then I have completely missed it... sorry).

However, my question was flawed because the answer doesnt change any action I will do . GNUcash is useful to me, so that is enough. For extending out to the last 20% of what I want, I can either find a way to do it outside of gnc, or I can alter the gnc code to do it. If my stuff is out of scope, then no worries, it just wont go in the releases.

Im sorry if any of my posts come across as passive agressive, rude, defensive, angry, or demanding. Despite english being my first and only language, I am easily misunderstood.

For the tut guide on budgets, Im only putting in an example of how to use sub-accounts as virtual breakdowns of their money. So not going to mention virtual transactions unless virtual or budget accounts are implemented in gnucash (and Im not worried if they are or arent at this point).

If anything in this post sounds arrogant, passive agressive, or demanding, please know I didn't mean it that way.

Thanks and regards,

-------- Original message --------
From: Wm via gnucash-devel <gnucash-devel at>
Date: 17/2/18 01:50 (GMT+10:00)
To: gnucash-devel at
Subject: Re: Scope of GNUCash

On 14/02/2018 04:46, Matt Graham wrote:
> Not sure why you think I’m one  of the “demanding” people... I’m not actually asking for anything – I’m trying to figure out how this all works, what I really need, and how I can contribute to make it happen.... I don’t expect anything specific from the core dev group – I just want to fit in with their plans.
That's a bit passive aggressive, again.

> I am not sure why you think I’m defining the scope for anyone in these emails....

How about the headline "Scope of GNUCash" as a clue ?

 > I started this thread asking what the scope is (triggered because you
keep telling me that all the stuff I’m interested in is out of
scope...). I don’t expect to get a say – I just thought there would be
something that states it so that I can admit you are right (and stop
focussing on that) or get you to stop saying that things people want to
do “isn’t what GNUcash is for”.

yes, scope includes time.  if the thing you want is 35 years in the
future you my want to do something nearer now.

 > (Note: “We haven’t had time to implement that and probably wont get
time” is a very different statement from “we won’t implement that
because that isn’t what GNUCash is for”. The former => no worries I’ll
help out if I can to get it to happen. Until then, I’ll make do. The
latter => No worries, I’ll figure out a way to do it out of GNUCash and
I’ll stop asking about it. Again: I’M NOT DEMANDING ANYTHING – I’M

I am saying if you are prepared to wait a decade you might get what you
want.  I'm asking if you are a 10 year person or a 10 month person.

> So based on the questions I’m asking you (running around in circles?), I’m pretty confident I’m missing a lot of your points. I’ve read through a lot of the text accounting references you gave me a while ago about budgeting.... And it all seems pretty much in line with what Chris L and I were talking about ages ago. I was thinking along the lines of envelope budgeting with sub-accounts and tools to help that. Chris was talking about virtual transactions and how that would work. Both are described in various wiki’s and help docs found off the plain text accounting budgeting area: So if I understand your point, you are saying that I should be exporting my accounts to text, then using another program to implement such a system?

Not quite, you only need to export a bit of your accounts.  Otherwise, yes

>    1.  I would rather use GNUCash over the plaintext tools if it is an option. Mainly because of the convenience in layout, display and interaction with my data. GNUCash it already gives somewhere between 70-85% of what I would need/want from the ideal.

Me too!

>    2.  I could spend my time learning the command line tools..... or I could spend my time helping out with GNUCash to build in the functionality I want (and evidently lots of other people want – but I don’t say any of this meaning the dev’s should do it for me. I say it to fend off your constant assertion: “that’s not what GNUCash is for!!!”. I’m still confused on what you think GNUCash should be for....).

You're still waiting for us to reveal the secret master plan that has
already been revealed but was apparently in a foreign language (it
really has been said in this group in the last few days).  You probably
read it and thought, "nah, they can't mean that"

>    3.  If I am supposed to export from GNUcash regularly and then import to the command line tool to do stuff I’ll regularly want to do... then why wouldn’t I just use the command line tool for everything? Based on what you say, why do you use GNUCash at all??? What can it do that the command line tools can’t?

I happen to like gnc.  I only need to use the command line stuff
occasionally.  I use gnc most days.  I am very good at scripting, so
when I need to get stuff in or out it works for me.

> For David T: What I’m planning to put into the Tut and Concepts at the moment is a description of how to use sub-accounts for envelope budgeting – Similar to the “Poor Postgrad System” in this link (but for GNUCash):

gnc doesn't have the concept of virtual accounts in the same way ledger
and hledger do.  it simply WILL NOT WORK.

ledger and hledger allow multiple report views of balances. gnc simply
doesn't include that idea or concept at the moment.

> I hope I’m not being unreasonable (or being misunderstood) in all my posts. I am very grateful for the functionality and capability that GNUcash already has, and hopefully people aren’t getting offended when I ask my questions.
> Is it unreasonable to always be looking for a better way of doing things???

Of course not, it is, however, unusual to make a round wheel square and
vice versa.

What you want is a fine demand if you are happy to wait many years.


gnucash-devel mailing list
gnucash-devel at

More information about the gnucash-devel mailing list