Giving up on Gnucash

Neil Williams linux at
Sat Apr 23 03:58:35 EDT 2005

On Saturday 23 April 2005 3:40 am, Stephen Fisher wrote:
> Have followed this thread for the past couple days, I am very
> disappointed.
> In my opinion Rod started this thread raising some very good issues,
> specifically that: gnucash is not terribly user friendly, lacks some
> key functionality, and needs a gui overhaul. All very valid points.

And points that are being addressed in the G2 port.

The developers are not unaware of the failings of Gnome1.4.

> There have been a few good responses to his note,

The reason for this imbalance is simple: The good responses were complete, 
succinct and neutral. It's far easier to respond emotionally than to actually 
provide a reasoned and responsible solution.

> but unfortunately far 
> too many in my opinion have trod the familiar path of too many
> gu=nucash threads. It the first sign of criticism the community goes on
> the attack: how dare you criticize this fantastic free software, how
> dare you question the fine volunteers slaving away in their free time
> on the project, and the when all else fails lets beat the dead horse
> again debate on the merits of double entry book keeping. 
> entirely misses the point. 

Not entirely, but this sort of discussion does become circular quite quickly.

> Rod wants an easy to use, user friendly, 
> reasonably featured accounting solution to manage his finances. gnucash
> in its present form is not the answer for him. In explaining why he
> hoped it would help those coding gnucash to improve the product. I few
> respondents got it. Sadly, many have not.

It's time to stop all the emotion and politics, please confine future 
responses to the problems and their solutions.

As has been said before, what is needed is 

1. a clear and unemotional list of problems and difficulties. 
2. a reasoned and helpful response from the developers and others on the list.
3. feedback on that response that is limited to discussion of the proposed 
solution and clarification.

> For all the fanaticism out there about gnucash and I would say linux in
> general, until the community grasps that the user not the coder is the
> most important link in development,

The user is not more important than the developer.
The developer is not more important than the user.
Most of the developers ARE users.

Currently, GnuCash suffers a relative lack of developer time and that is why 
users like Rod are having to wait or go elsewhere for the code they want.

This is a community and it works on sharing, equality, openness and 
responsibility. Users of free software have a responsibility to contribute - 
even if it is just submitting bug reports, replying sensibly on the mailing 
list or making a donation. If a user forgoes that responsibility and then 
complains, it is understandable that the response from the community is not 
completely helpful or positive.

This is a necessary and unavoidable result of volunteer effort.

> To those coding gnucash, keep up the good work. I await your future
> efforts.
> To Rod, thanks for input.

It is useful to hear why someone doesn't get on with the current version but 
it is not generally helpful to be emotive, political or to start ranting. I 
believe that most of Rod's points HAVE been addressed already in the G2 port 
but it is understandable that he may not be able to wait for the release.

GnuCash is a large and sometimes complex beast. It takes time to develop or 
fix. Currently, the handful of developers, (i.e. single digits), offer their 
free time to not only complete an overhaul of the user interface but to add 
new features, debug old code and solve new and old problems. It is inherent 
in such a process that the old code stagnates a little - there have been few 
changes in the UI in recent releases - and this can be frustrating for users.

It won't be long before G2 is available - then we'll have a whole *new* list 
of bugs to deal with!


Neil Williams

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