[GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

David T. sunfish62 at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 12 10:38:42 EDT 2018


As I begin the process of migrating text from the Help to the Guide (cf. Bug 796855), I am working on the Help information regarding the New Account Hierarchy Setup (NAHS) assistant, and I have a couple of questions about the second screen of the assistant, the “New Book Options” screen. 

First off, while I respect the intent to allow users the option to set these preferences from the creation of their file, I wonder whether this is misguided. To wit: all of these options are quite technical in nature, and all of them can be set at a later point by opening the appropriate preferences. Adding these options here adds complexity that can easily be deferred to a later point. While it is true that this assistant runs whenever a user chooses File->New (meaning that an experienced user might wish to add these settings from the assistant), I am willing to hazard a guess that most users will invoke this assistant *only* when they first start using GnuCash, and *only* when their heads are already swimming with the overwhelming experience that is GnuCash. Asking a new user to choose whether to use Trading Accounts or to Use Split Action Field for Number is IMHO pointless. They aren’t going to be able to make an informed decision. 

<aside>I’ll note that this becomes an obvious issue when I attempt to write the help section for the screen. I am left either with writing a huge explanatory section on the details of each of these settings, which detracts from the flow of the NAHS narrative, or with adding a generic note that advises users to accept the defaults and read about the details in other sections of the Guide.</aside>

So, for the new user, the only real effect of this screen is to introduce confusion and questions. Can it be removed from the assistant?

Related to this screen, my second question has to do with the “Use Trading Accounts” setting. Can it be turned off once it has been enabled in a given GnuCash file?

ISTR that this option is a one-way street—i.e., that, once turned on, it can not be turned off again. Is this still the case? If it is still true, then I would strongly suggest that this option shouldn’t be placed on the NAHS Assistant, since a new user won’t be aware of this.


More information about the gnucash-devel mailing list