Gnucash 2.6.10 question - Why WebKit ?

Arno nvana_31 at
Tue Dec 29 07:12:56 EST 2015

Dear John,

I like building apps from source, but not the fundamentals of the O/S like GTK or Webkit anything in that area. As far as I can see rebuilding these items almost involves rebuilding the distribution. 

I am only telling you that GNUcash is the hardest app in my list to build because of the Apple WebKit requirement. As far as today I does not compile/work any more for me. it used to be an issue on CentOS 6 that only 2.4.x would work, now both versions don't work...

I think there will be many more people in the world running into this compilation problem with GNUcash. Why not make WebKit optional ? It would save alot of troubles for people not willing to run a beta test OS like Fedora or Ubuntu.

Greetings, Arno

On Mon, 28/12/15, John Ralls <jralls at> wrote:

 Subject: Re: Gnucash 2.6.10 question - Why WebKit ?
 To: "Arno" <nvana_31 at>
 Cc: gnucash-user at
 Date: Monday, 28 December, 2015, 11:26 PM
 > On
 Dec 28, 2015, at 1:56 PM, Arno <nvana_31 at>
 > Dear
 > Thanks for
 your email. I have indeed been trying to 'tweak' the
 2.4.13 version which I have been using for years on CentOS 6
 to build on CentOS 7. 
 > I did manage, by doing nasty tweaks in the
 'configure' files of GNUcash (for example changing
 the requirement for 'libgtkhtml-3.14' (which I
 don't have the .pc pkg-config file for) to
 'libgtkhtml-4.0', to build the executable. 
 > By tweaking I am
 able to build a binary for GNUcash 2.4.13, but it
 doesn't work. 
 > It gives me the dreaded 'GTK2 / GTK3
 symbols issue '* 22:37:49 OTHER <Gtk> GTK+ 2.x
 symbols detected. Using GTK+ 2.x and GTK+ 3 in the same
 process is not supported'. 
 > As 2.6.x needs a WebKit version I
 don't have and 2.4.x does not normally compile (and with
 tweaks gives the GTK2/3 issue), I contacted the GNUcash
 mailing list.
 > And
 for me I don't really need the fancy clickable reports,
 I only use GNUcash for our company to do the bookkeeping.
 Opening the reports in Firefox or Chromium would be fine for
 > I have the
 feeling GNUcash is halfway in between a web based app and a
 normal app and that makes it overly complex.
 > Maybe make 3.x web
 based only ? Then the user can decide if he likes to use
 Firefox, IE or Chromium.
 > ---
 > Ps. Yes: I have been trying to remove all
 the 'open_url' and callback kind of functions from
 GNUcash 2.6.10, but it seems for the outsider like me a job
 for weeks to resolve all the complications of that change. 
 > Upto now I was
 able to stay far away from using repos like EPEL on CentOS 7
 which has given me many unresolvable dependancy issues over
 the years I did use it on RHEL 5 and 6.
 > Yes: I have also been trying to
 install WebKit in my /opt/devel/libs directory just for use
 with GNUcash, but I can't compile WebKit linked to GTK2
 as I have a GTK3 system it seems. I thought about compiling
 GTK2 (and all the reqs) myselves but that seems like a mile
 too far for me. (Then I will run GNUcash in Wine or in
 VMWare if it is not Wine proof).
 > But to me (as a Linux advocate) it seems
 strange to have to run a Linux app under virtualisation like
 Wine, VMWare or Docker with all the overhead involved.
 > ---
 > I tend to compile
 all the needed apps myselves and install them in /opt. These
 are for example the libs I needed for Mplayer, Xine, VLC,
 Kodi 14 & 15 which have been installed in
 > a52dec        libaudiofile 
 libmicrohttpd  libtinyxml    portaudio
 > cpptest     libbluray     
 libmms     libungif      qjson
 > enca        libcdio     
 libmodplug     libusb        sdl1
 > faad2        libdca      libmpeg2 
    libva           sdl2
 > fame       
 libdreamdvd   libmpeg3 
    libvorbis     sox
 > ffmpeg        libdrm     
 libmpg123     libx264   
 > fftw       
 libdv      libnfs     libxcb       
 > flac        libdvbcsa   
   libogg     libxmlccwrap  taglib
 > fluidsynth  libdvbpsi      liboggz 
    libxrandr     trousers
 > frei0r        libdvbsi++     
 libpciaccess     lirc       
 > fribidi 
    libdvdcss      libpng     mad 
 gettext     libdvdnav      librtlsdr 
    mjpegtools    v4l-utils
 glew        libdvdplay      libsamplerate  mlt   
 > gperf 
       libdvdread      libsidplay1 
    mp4v2           vorbis-tools
 > id3lib        libextractor 
 libsidplayfp     musepack      wavpack
 > jack        libfaac     
 libsigc++     openal        xorgmacros
 > jasper        libjpeg     
 libsndfile     opencv        xvidcore
 > lame        libjpegturbo  libssh 
    openexr       yajl
 > libao        libjs      libtheora 
    pcre           yasm
 > libass        liblzo2     
 libtiff     polkit        zziplib
 Please remember to copy the list on all
 Geert has already
 replied to you showing that it's not only possible to
 build on Centos7 but that he has a nightly build set up on a
 Centos 7 machine from which you can download a ready-to-go
 No surprise that
 you got the Gtk2/3 mixing error with gtkhtml-4, but if you
 like to build apps and their dependencies from source I
 don't see why you say that gtkhtml3 is unavailable: Its
 sources are readily available on
 GnuCash isn't a web app
 and most of our users would rebel if it was: The security
 aspects of placing sensitive financial data on the web are
 manifold. We simply chose HTML as a convenient way to make
 pretty reports. You're right that the reports could be
 written out to file and loaded in an external browser,
 though most people would find it rather clumsy. 
 John Ralls

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