[GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

Adrien Monteleone adrien.monteleone at lusfiber.net
Wed Sep 12 14:45:29 EDT 2018


I think there are some misunderstandings here.

> On Sep 12, 2018, at 1:18 PM, Mechtilde <ooo at mechtilde.de> wrote:
> Hello,
> what is the problem of a program to have functions than you use.
> If you look into the German translation i use all functions that are
> translated and some few more which have up to now no ducumentation and I
> have no time to do it.
> So we should first document functions wehre the documentation is
> missing. There is enough work to do.
> In my opinion you should know how accounting works if you start an
> accounting programm like GnuCash.

That would be ideal, but in reality, many people learn and discover double-entry accounting by first using GnuCash.

> Sorry for my pour English. I can't write all thoughts why I disagree to
> slim the start assistant or such things. We need such a programm also
> for business use.

Personally, I don’t think it needs to be slimmed if it can be improved. But if it can’t be improved, than I too advocate removing those screens and simply set sane defaults. An experienced business user knows where to change them. (and some even are set to be ’new defaults’ for ’new books’ so even that isn’t an issue)

> I hope somtimes I can finish esp. the translation of the lasst chapters
> but I'm not willing to do a new translation as a whole. that is waste of
> time and motivation.

And that is an excellent point. There is a separate discussion about the best way to proceed so that translators are not frustrated by making a large change in the documentation as well as lowering the barrier for people to get involved in the documentation and translation. I don’t think anyone wants to make any one else’s life more difficult. The discussion is centered around *improving* the process.

> Am 12.09.18 um 17:33 schrieb Adrien Monteleone:
>> As someone who has helped other people get started using GnuCash (and remembering my own first steps) I agree completely with these points. Those book preferences are not self explanatory. (perhaps bugs in their own right) A new user is left to either trust the defaults and move on, pause and revisit the startup process several times while they track down help info and digest it, or give up in frustration. (I’ve seen the latter three times—you may or not be surprised how many people do *not* want to read a book before they start using a piece of software, I chose the second option personally)
>> Unless the startup assistant (wizard, druid, whatever) can be redesigned as an explanatory walk through to choose these settings, that part should be removed and the defaults chosen for the user.
> We can improve some concrete parts of the assistant but in general I
> thinkthat gives all information a user need to start.

Only to experienced users. Completely new users are going to be confused by these settings. As I noted, from personal experience trying to help people get started with GnuCash, they had no clue what these options accomplished.

If the assistant can’t or shouldn’t be changed (or in the meantime till it is) then at the least, the setup documentation I think *should* explain these options at that point - not leave it up to the reader to find those other relevant sections, or redirect them away from the setup section.

>> As for trading accounts, I turned them on after the fact for tracking commodities as additional currencies. I’ve never bought or sold any since doing that, but I’ve played with turning the setting on and off to experiment with the setting’s effect on some reports and I’ve never noticed any issues. (but again, I only have opening balance transactions in each currency) If turning Trading Accounts off after entering buy/sell transactions is bad news, then I would think the option to do so should be disabled.
> many people using GnuCash needs Trading Accounts. If you don't need it
> then you have no obligation to use it. But other people must have toe
> possibility to use it.

I did not mean to imply not to have the option. If turning [ON] the option, then using those accounts, and then turning [OFF] the option is dangerous to your data, then GnuCash should not allow you to turn the option [OFF] at that point. (or should at least give you fair warning of the potential dangers)

David T.’s initial post on this was with respect to how confusing this can be for *new* users, not experienced accountants. And I don’t think any one is advocating reducing functionality for anyone.


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