Report customization nightmare

Mike Leone turgon at
Wed Jun 30 12:56:16 EDT 2010

On 6/30/2010 12:38 PM, Derek Atkins had this to say:
> Mike Leone<turgon at>  writes:
>> On 6/29/2010 3:41 PM, Derek Atkins had this to say:
>>> Mike Leone<turgon at>   writes:
>>> 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.
> Really?  I'd like to see a list of necessary reports that GnuCash
> doesn't already have.  As a non-programmer you should be able to help by
> coming up with the set of requirements for included-reports.

I have no idea; I don't have a need for reports like that. But I have 
seen any number of emails on the list about "How do I customize this, 
that, or the other report". Perhaps GnuCash has all the reports 
necessary that the average user needs; the emails indicate that a 
noticeable number are not finding the reports they need. Or how to 
re-fashion the existing reports, the way they want them.

> You seem to be implying that absolutely anyone needs to be able to
> create a report, and I HIGHLY disagree with that!

No, I am saying that when you do need (or even just want) to do it, it 
is not as straightforward as it could, and probably should, be. It 
wasn't for me, and I have only a very slight desire (not even need) for 
a report that only shows me what I want it to show me.

> My point remains, tho, that the average user should not have to create a
> custom report.

A GnuCash custom report would also be a customized version of an 
existing report. Which - as you may have seen in my email exchanges 
about getting a report that listed only expenses (and not income, or 
P&L) - can be problematical to get.

> GnuCash should provide the reports that they need (at
> least in SOME form -- it may not be 100% what they need, but as per your
> previous example I don't care if the report has two lines that you don't
> want -- you can learn to ignore them).

I have learned how to ignore it; for me, it's a non-issue, as I only use 
it for limited, personal finance matters. If I had to hand it in to my 
boss or as an official document to an auditor or a legal party, that 
would be a different story, don't you think? "Oh, just ignore the parts 
that don't apply to you" is not how I want to represent myself in such a 

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