windows/sqlite3 issue

Elizabeth Dodd edodd at
Thu Jan 13 05:31:35 EST 2011

On Thu, 13 Jan 2011 09:57:08 +0100
Geert Janssens <janssens-geert at> wrote:

> On Thursday 13 January 2011, Elizabeth Dodd wrote:
> > On Wed, 12 Jan 2011 09:23:09 -0500
> > 
> > Derek Atkins <warlord at MIT.EDU> wrote:
> > > OH!  I see the problem!   You stored your data file in
> > > your .gnucash directory!  I'm sorry to say but your data is gone,
> > > overwritten by gnucash's meta data.  See the FAQ:
> > >
> > > _anymore.3F__It_just_says:_parser_error_:_Start_tag_expected.2C_.27.3C.27
> > > _not_found
> > > 
> > > I'm afraid you will need to start over again and this time try
> > > saving your data to a non '.gnucash' directory.
> > 
> > Obviously one never gets caught here more than once but...
> > 
> > Thoughts on this
> > 
> > 1. Why does gnucash reinstall / upgrade write over the my_data
> > file? Is this necessary?
> When you Install/Update GnuCash, nothing is overwritten anywhere. The
> problem occurs while running GnuCash.
> And even then it won't overwrite your date file, unless you choose to
> put your data file in the one spot that gnucash reserves for it's
> internal housekeeping. This location is /home/<user>/.gnucash on
> linux and is a hidden directory there. So on linux and friends it
> very rarely happens a user would choose that directory to store a
> data file. On windows I believe this directory is c:\Documents and 
> Settings\<user>\Application Data\.gnucash
> Again a location you wouldn't come up with yourself to store your
> data file. I am intrigued why people then still occasionally use that
> location. I do suspect (but haven't verified) that this path is
> suggested by default when a user uses GnuCash for the very first time
> to save a data file. If so, then that's something we should
> definitely fix.
> > 2. Should upgrade script firmly remind someone to save / backup to
> > removable media before proceeding?
> It could, because having a backup of your data is always a good idea.
> It would not solve the current problem though as it is totally
> unrelated to Installing or Upgrading.
> > 3. Should a *new* install suggest a default place to save data so
> > those who just save to /home/me/somewhere find their data
> > in /home/me/gnucash and those who wish to make a different choice
> > are free to do so?
> > 
> That indeed would make more sense. If the problem is indeed as I
> suggest, this would already reduce the risk quite a bit.
> Another thing that would help is if GnuCash would use a unique
> extension for its metadata files. Currently for each datafile you
> have, there's an equivalent metadata file in .gnucash/books/ with
> exactly the same name in some circumstances. This is why your data
> file will get overwritten if you choose to save it in that directory,
> the metadata is only written when GnuCash closes (so *after* you have
> saved your book) and into .gnucash/books. If you chose to save your
> data file in there, the meta data overwrites it since the metadata
> file can use the exact same name. This would be fixed if we chose to
> add a different extension to the metadata file, like .gcm (for
> GnuCash Metadata).
> Geert

when we find a generally acceptable solution I'll make it an
enhancement request in bugzilla

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