[GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

David T. sunfish62 at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 12 11:52:34 EDT 2018


> On Sep 12, 2018, at 11:21 AM, Mechtilde <ooo at mechtilde.de> wrote:
> Hello David T.
> Am 12.09.18 um 16:38 schrieb David T. via gnucash-devel:
>> Hello,
>> 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. 
> There are not only people starting with GnuCash for privat use with less
> experience of accounting. There are also people who want to use GnuCAsh
> for Business. They want to have the inforamtion for doing complex
> accounting in GnuCash.

> This Tutorial and Concept is for that business people too.

I understand this and agree. I fully expect that these options will be described within the Guide; my point is that the NAHS assistant presents options to new users that they are unlikely to comprehend and do not actually need to decide when they create a new account hierarchy. Presumably, experienced users will know where to access the settings that they can change after an initial hierarchy has been created.

>> <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.
> I myself got starting with Gnucash to map a complex buaisness accounting
> to GnuCash. That was also the starting point to do the translation to
> German, esp. of the Business part.
> IMO it is neccessary to have MORE information in the Documentation NOT LESS.

We are in total agreement here; my email isn’t about removing information from the documentation, but rather how the NAHS is structured. 

Since you have been active in translation of the documentation into German, I should alert you that I am process of a significant reorganization of the documentation, so as to put more of the analytical content into the Guide. The current editorial process is focused on moving most of Chapter 3 of the Help into chapter 2 of the Guide, and while I am mostly just moving the text from one file to the other, there are editorial changes that are being made on both sides to adjust to the new status. I sincerely hope that my edits will be clear, and that past translators will be able to migrate the translations without too much trouble.


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> Mechtilde Stehmann
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