Giving up on Gnucash

Alex Kohl alextedkohl at
Thu Apr 21 21:31:15 EDT 2005

I am sorry to say that after struggling with Gnucash
1.8. for several weeks that I am going to have to
switch back to Quickbooks.

I'd like to tell people why I am making this change so
that people know why this application is not as
popular as it could be. To those who tell me to "send
patches" I am just a man trying to run a business and
do not have time to start hacking inside my accounting
software. If that is what it takes to get things
working I'll just take out my credit card and buy a
program that does what I need today.

I really liked the idea of a non-commercial finance
program. I knew that Gnucash would not try to display
ads, secretly collect my private data or otherwise do
things that were not in my interest. What I had not
anticipated was that Gnucash would lack the most basic
user interface functionality or that its developers
would be completely engrossed in features that they
considered interesting while ignorning real world

Perhaps a concrete example would help. Let us look at
"Bug 144383: font size?" which has been open in NEW
status since 2004-06-15. I can barely read the text in
GnuCash on my 17 inch monitor. One would think that
there would be some sort of option to control the size
of the font. I would personally think that this would
be present in version 1.0. But apparently this is not
as high a priority as OFX Direct Connect or embedding
Scheme scripts inside of GnuCash. Not all of us have
21 inch monitors or 21 year old eyes. If I can't read
my reports they aren't of much use.

Another problem is that in the Accounts Payable
register the vendor column takes up an enormous amount
of space and can't be resized (except to make it
larger.) I can't read the Transfer column or (horror!)
the Debit column. How am I supposed to get anything
done if I can't figure out how much money is moving
around? Every time I try to resize the vendor column
it just bounces back.

I wish I could believe that GnuCash were ready for
public consumption but I would just be fooling myself.
Until GnuCash, and free software in general, decides
to tackle those issues that are important to those who
use the software as opposed to those who enjoy writing
it Microsoft, Intuit and other for-profit writers of
proprietary software will continue to dominate.


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