Report customization nightmare

Paul Schwartz pmjs1115 at
Tue Jun 29 16:21:41 EDT 2010

rather than moaning about the state of reports, etc., I choose to use Gnucash together with OpenOffice to get a very acceptable solution to accounting maintenance.

Perfect? Certainly not. But the best solution I have found.


--- On Tue, 6/29/10, Mike Leone <turgon at> wrote:

> From: Mike Leone <turgon at>
> Subject: Re: Report customization nightmare
> To: 
> Cc: gnucash-user at
> Date: Tuesday, June 29, 2010, 1:57 PM
> On 6/29/2010 3:41 PM, Derek Atkins
> had this to say:
> > Mike Leone<turgon at> writes:
> > 
> >>> The problem with scheme is of course
> unfamiliarity working with
> >>> the"functional" languages as most of us
> learned "procedural" languages
> >>> first and it's a different way of thinking.
> Not that some of our more
> >>> common languages can't be used both ways.
> While learning C I was
> >>> challenged to rewrite one of my simple
> programs so that it would be pure
> >>> "function evaluation" instead of "procedure"
> and yes it can be done.
> >> 
> >> The most important point is that requiring a
> "normal" end-user to
> >> learn an arcane programming language in order to
> get a customized
> >> report is really user-hostile, in my opinion. No,
> I don't have an
> >> alternate solution, but I do know that any of
> non-geek users who I
> >> might recommend GnuCash to, won't know how, nor
> will bother to learn,
> >> programming for just one application.
> > 
> > Opinions are in high supply around here. 
> Solutions, not so much.  We
> > have what we have, for better or for worse. 
> Until someone comes up with
> > a new solution, or offers to provide the effort to
> create a new
> > solution, we're kinda stuck with what we have. 
> We ARE making
> > incremental improvements (e-guile, webkit/css) but a
> full-on
> > report-system replacement is a large piece of
> work.  Are YOU going to do
> > it?
> Not being a programmer ... no, I'm not. :-) As I said, I
> don't have a better solution. But that does not invalidate
> my (and just about every one else's, apparently) claim that
> what we have is not all that useful, for a (large?) segment
> of current users.
> > The point of GnuCash is to provide an 85%
> solution..  It's not going to
> > supply 100% of everything that 100% of the users
> need.  Indeed, no
> > application can.  However it can certainly supply
> most of the needs to
> > most of the users.
> I wouldn't think that using guile to make custom reports is
> anywhere near an 85% solution. No offense.
> > In terms of reports, I would ask why all these so many
> users want to
> > write custom reports?  What's wrong with the
> existing reports that
> > already exist?
> Since many (most?) want to change them, then they must not
> be meeting the needs of many (most?) users. And without a
> solution that requires (possibly non-technical) users to
> learn a programming language to pull out something like just
> a specific subset of accounts, you won't really grow the
> user base beyond those technical types of users, who don't
> mind learning a programming language in order to run a
> summary report the way they want (that's just an example).
> Which may be fine, if that's where you (a generic you, not
> you personally) want GnuCash to stay.
> I will say that I could learn to program guile; I've
> programmed in other languages before. I won't, because I
> don't want to go through that much trouble for what is - to
> me - a non-work-related application. I don't need the info
> that much, to go through that much trouble on my own time.
> And so I don't use GnuCash to it's fullest potential,
> because it's too much effort for me to do so, for an
> application that I use for personal reasons.
> Just my opinion.
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