How to contribute to gnucash (was: Re: reconcile workflow)

Geert Janssens janssens-geert at
Thu Jun 10 04:57:15 EDT 2010

On Tuesday 8 June 2010, Anthony Dardis wrote:
> Thanks, Geert. I've filed a bug report/enhancement request.

> I can't supply a patch. I can code, but I don't have the knowledge or
> skills to work on GnuCash yet. If you have advice about how to get
> started, let me know. I know some C but I am not fluent in it. I
> downloaded Scheme; I've written some Lisp, but again, no fluency. Python
> is my favorite language at the moment, but I see that there's no Python in
> GnuCash. I've never worked on a big project like this.
> Tony
When I started working on GnuCash, it had been quite a while since I had 
written any code, so my skills were quite rusty.

In the beginning I spent a lot of time simply code reading, following certain 
code paths to see where they led.

Additionally, I asked a lot of questions on the mailing list and irc about 
things I didn't understand and used the developer's documentation that can be 
found on the gnucash website.

By the way, while learning that way I also took the opportunity to improve the 
developer's documentation here and there (fixing spelling mistakes, adding 
some documentation to undocumented functions once I understood them). Those 
are useful and valuable contributions someone who is new to gnucash 

Then I also started browsing the bugzilla database looking for bugs I cared 
enough for to attempt to fix them. I'll have to admit I wasn't very succesful 
in the beginning though, simply due to the complexity and size of the code.

Of course, while code contributions are always welcomed, there are many other 
areas of gnucash that can use a helping hand. Here are some examples:

- User documentation. It has a number of imporant holes in the information, 
like the business objects. And some parts haven't been updated to reflect 
changes in the most recent release.

- Translations of documentation, user interface, website.

- Bug triaging. There are many bugs in bugzilla that would need to be 
analyzed, need more info or perhaps are duplicates of others.

- Improve the gnucash wiki. Got some clever way to use gnucash ? Solved a 
problem in a way that is not documented ? Share it with other gnucash users 
via the wiki.

There are probably many more ways to help, I have just provided some examples. 
Generally, whatever you feel is important to you and can be useful for others 
in the gnucash community or improves the gnucash experience in general is 
considered a welcome contribution.


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