[GNC-dev] Normalizing live data, a suggestion for discussion

Wm wm_o_o_o at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Feb 11 05:46:16 EST 2019

On 03/02/2019 02:01, David Cousens wrote:

> As Geert pointed out whole of program testing is very difficult and rapidly
> reaches a situation where complexity is equal to or greater than  the
> program complexity and this is really what gave rise to unit testing where
> you test individual components which do a specific function.

That can't fix a problem where an incorrect presumption was made in the 
first place.

> One area in which an example file  rather than a test file might be useful
> is in developing  the documentation. The guide section on Accounts
> Transaction following through to Personal Finances
> in escence constructs a simple file while doing the tutorial. Here though it
> is  the process of constructing the data in the file that is useful. A
> completed example file is not of great use.

I'd advise against using any file as the right file for documentation 
purposes.  There are just too many edge cases.

Something I think would be amusing rather than instructive would be to 
put all of the example tx in the docs into one file.  I doubt it would 
be useful to anyone other than an historian of finance programs but it 
would be fun to see what we ended up with.  If someone is thinking of 
presenting a paper at a conference try it, mention me if you are feeling 
generous :)

> It is also likely that most problems which are likely to require this depth
> of investigation are unlikely to show up in a test file unless you can
> execute a series of entries in a scripted manner i.e. interact with the gui
> from a script and this is not possible with GnuCash at the moment AFAIK.
> The problem is usually somewhere in the process of getting to the results in
> the file and what is in the file is merely a symptom of the problem.

gnc is a transaction stream application.  each time you open a file it 
starts from 0 and does addition and subtraction.  no more no less.

on top of that we have pretty stuff, convenient ways of adding new 
transactions to the stream, convenient ways of reporting the results of 
the stream.

nevertheless, it is still just a program interpreting a stream of 

gnc is a convenience.  I don't see why I should have to give live data 
to people I don't know in person ... and I don't even have super secret 
stuff like tax havens or a Donald Trump blow job account or a religious 

I just feel uncomfortable showing ordinary tx to people I don't know, it 
is that simple to me.

Q: Why does someone need to see *my* (or your) tx to fix a problem?
A: they don't

So, we are stuck.


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