Archiving old transations

David T. sunfish62 at
Thu Jun 20 19:14:09 EDT 2013


Please note: I am merely another user of GnuCash, and possess neither programming nor accounting expertise. I offer my own end user perspective on the issues you raise.

I'm sorry you are having difficulties with your data file under GnuCash. 

As Open Source software, Gnucash is built, maintained, documented and supported by volunteers (like Colin Law, whom you skewer in your rant). The development team volunteer their time, their expertise, AND their code (hint hint) to benefit all users of GnuCash. 

Clearly, in the time since you wrote your script, there have not been any developers in the fold who have found the need to write a better (or even any) script to archive older transactions. That means that (contrary to your assertion) the perceived need for an archiving function is not as critical to others as it appears to be for you. Apparently yours is an extreme case.

Some solutions I have seen include:
* the aforementioned "deal with it" (non) solution, and 
* the accountant's method of running a balance sheet report, saving a copy of the account structure to a new file, and entering opening balance transactions for each account in the hierarchy.

Since you've already written a script to perform the archiving function (sucky though it might be), why didn't you submit it to the GnuCash project years ago, so that other developers might have built upon and perhaps improved upon it--and then incorporated it into the project?


 From: Jonathan Kamens <jik at>
To: gnucash-user at 
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 2:42 PM
Subject: Archiving old transations

OK, so once again my GnuCash data file is so large that I have to sit 
around twiddling my thumbs waiting for GnuCash to start up every time I 
need to do any bookkeeping.

This prompted me to do what I do every time this becomes a large enough 
problem for me to notice it, which is to search yet again to see if the 
folks who maintain GnuCash have gotten around to actually doing 
something about this problem.

This prompted me to find this chestnut posted by Colin Law to the 
mailing list last April:

    Usually this is not an issue as over the years the power of your PC
    will increase much quicker than the size of the file.

    For example in the years that I have been using gnucash the file has
    grown to a couple of Megabytes whilst my hard disk has grown from
    10GB to 400GB and my PC has quadrupled in speed.


Dude, my GnuCash file is *more than 21 megabytes*. It would be even 
larger than that if I hadn't already archived most transactions from 
2004-2006 **using the script I've posted here previously 

I'll be the first to admit that my script sucks. It's slow as molasses 
(especially when you run it over a 21MB GnuCash file!), it doesn't 
handle all sorts of edge cases, etc. The best I can say for it is that 
it's good enough for my purposes if I'm patient enough to let it finish. 
But really, I shouldn't have to maintain and use this sucky script, 
because given that this is an ability that users of GnuCash have been 
asking for Like Forever, someone should get around to actually doing 
something about it.

Stop telling your users that you know better than they do and they don't 
actually need the feature they say they need. That's rude and 
patronizing. Just solve the problem, for pete's sake.


A disgruntled long-time GnuCash user

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