Easier custom reporting (maybe Lua)?

Sébastien de Menten sdementen at gmail.com
Tue Oct 25 01:17:28 EDT 2016

On Sun, Oct 23, 2016 at 8:08 PM, Geert Janssens <geert.gnucash at kobaltwit.be>

> On Sunday 23 October 2016 09:24:19 John Ralls wrote:
> > > On Oct 23, 2016, at 8:53 AM, Sébastien de Menten
> > > <sdementen at gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > Would it be feasible in gnucash to use the guile/scheme report
> > > system to call an external process (a command line program) that
> > > would return the proper html to display in the report ? The
> > > external program could take arguments generated by the options
> > > system of the report (the GUI that is used to customize a report).
> > > If so, we could have a more open system for report generation.
> > > Piecash could be used by pythoneers but others could use a mix of
> > > sql + any external program to build reports.
> > >
> > > Does this make sense ? Or are there blocking issues I am not aware
> > > of ?
> > Yes, it's possible: The quote retrieval code works by calling a perl
> > program, gnc-fq-helper, from Scheme. We'd need someone fluent in
> > Scheme to write the external interface code. Such a report wouldn't
> > have access to the in-memory state of the database, though, so it
> > would be current only with the SQL backend or a freshly-saved XML
> > file.
> >
> Possible maybe. Desired I'm not sure.
> There is an important difference between gnucash calling gnc-fq-helper
> or adding an api to call whatever program on the system. The difference
> being gnc-fq-helper is a script that comes installed with gnucash and
> can't normally be altered by any user except someone with administrator
> rights on the system. It's been verified by the developers to not do any
> nasty things on your system.
> Adding an option to call whatever program on the system opens a
> potential security hole. You are suddenly asking gnucash to run totally
> unverified code. I'm not looking forward to this for various reasons.
The idea is more about a better integration between gnucash and 3rd party
reporting extension. The unverified program gnucash woud call could anyway
be called externally by the user, via the command line (i.e. it does not
change a bit the security or I am missing something...). But thank to this
better integration with gnucash, the user experience would be dramatically
improved !
Seen the complexity of today's legacy  reporting system in gnucash, that is
not expected to be reworked in the coming months/years due to
understandably higher priorities  (engine and backend), this integration
via guile/scheme looks like a promising venue doable in a couple of

Any scheme gnucash guru willing to scratch this itch ? My own scheme
practice is under 15y of dust...

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