[GNC-dev] New Account Hierarchy Setup Assistant Questions

David T. sunfish62 at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 12 18:00:33 EDT 2018


I’d like to start by noting that this assistant is possibly one of the very first things a new user will encounter when they start GnuCash for the very first time, and it is this user upon which I am most focused.

> On Sep 12, 2018, at 3:31 PM, Frank H. Ellenberger <frank.h.ellenberger at gmail.com> wrote:
> Am 12.09.2018 um 17:52 schrieb David T. via gnucash-devel:
>> 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.
> While doing debugging it is often required to create example books and
> it is important to get reminded of all potential book options. So I am
> strictly against removing here something. IMHO every assistant crippling
> options is incomplete and often distracting users.

So, what you’re saying is that ALL the new users of GnuCash have to figure out these settings so that YOU are reminded of the multitude of options available on creation of a new file. I don’t think that’s how it should go.

> But perhaps you could do some anaytics:
> Which fields are required, suggested, advanced, special*;
> for all-users or business-only?

My original email noted that this ENTIRE screen is advanced information that a new user doesn’t need to know in order to create a new book. I know this because I can simply click “Next” on the assistant (without touching ANY of the settings on ANY of the FOUR sub-screens embedded in this step), and the assistant will create a new file perfectly fine. In another message on this thread, Adrien noted specific examples in the recent past where these settings have led to (real) user frustration. ISTM that deferring decisions about these settings won’t hurt a new user trying to get started with GnuCash.

Taking this a little further, I will note that two of these settings *cannot* be set in the NAHS assistant: it is an impossibility for a user to set either the Customer or Vendor Tax Table options from the NAHS, given that there are no tax tables in the file from which to select.

> Then create a suggestion for improving by reordering and grouping. Add
> an intro text per group and review the current tooltips and default values.

I would rather have these settings removed from the assistant altogether. That was (and remains) my suggestion. Advanced users can learn to use the settings in Preferences and Properties.

> Are settings irreversible after entering data? Theń they need a warning.

Which I have raised elsewhere. The place to raise the alert isn’t in this assistant. Adrien’s point regarding allowing users to change settings that will mess up their data files raises the bigger question about why there are such options in the GnuCash ecosystem in the first place. Perhaps these should be considered bugs in need of fixing, rather than requiring extensive documentation. 

> * IMHO special options are at least
> in book options: Use Split Action Field for Number. Traditionally
> Transactions are numbered, but some user wish to number splits instead.

Perhaps this is a reflection of the jurisdiction in which you live, but most users in the US setting up GnuCash for personal use will NOT be concerned with numbering their transactions or their splits. To be honest, given that the definition of “split” is rather specific to GnuCash (based on discussions over terminology I’ve seen in the past on the lists), I have a difficult time believing that a new user is going to know the difference between numbering transactions versus numbering (the GnuCash concept of) splits. 

> in Preferences->Accounts: Reverse Balance Accounts: The traditional
> selection is "Credit Accounts", but some users wish a different view.

I don’t understand why you bring this up here; it’s not on the NAHS assistant.

> For this special options the current tooltips do not give enough
> information.
> This changes should then go into the assistent.

I am trying to get the assistant to be more focused on getting a new user started with a set of books; adding even more detaiil to it goes the opposite direction.

> Regards
> Frank

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