Archiving old transations

Colin Law clanlaw at
Fri Jun 21 03:54:49 EDT 2013

On 20 June 2013 22:42, Jonathan Kamens <jik at> wrote:
> 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.

How long does it take to load the file with no tabs open?  Time for
how long it shows "loading user data" on the startup screen (with no
tabs open).

> 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.
> *snort*
> 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
> <>.

Is that 21 MB of compressed xml?

> 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.

Since you quoted me I assume that this is addressed to me.  I do not
have any users, I am just a user like most here.  Even the developers
do not have users, they just allow and help others to use the software
that they have developed, mostly in their spare time.   They are under
no obligation to do anything for anyone.  Telling them that they are
rude and patronising is not likely to encourage them to help you.
More likely the contrary in fact.

> Just solve the problem, for pete's sake.

I think the reason that it has not been addressed is that most do not
see it as a problem that needs to be fixed.  I certainly do not want
to archive old data out of my main file.  I like to have access to my
complete history so I can easily search for old data.  I often find
myself, for example, searching to find when I bought something, and
love that fact that I have 15 years historical data easily available.

Colin Law

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