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Gnucash v1.4.0 Released

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the balancing-the-books dept.

Announcements 140

Ur@eus writes: "The Gnucash team has released the 1.4.0 version of their wonderful Quicken-like personal finance manager. This is the first stable release since the move from Motif to GNOME. You find Gnucash 1.4.0 at Gnucash.org" This plugs a major gaping hole in Linux software: I've been using gnucash for a year now, and it's made great leaps in terms of features and stability. It isn't quicken, but its close enough for most of us. If you're having problems with the main link, try this mirror.

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140 comments

Re:first (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#992040)

Must be the same fellow doing the moderation... let me attempt to explain. That most recent post of mine was clearly off-topic, and should have been marked as such. This post, on the other hand, is clearly flamebait, goatfucker. Let's try to get it right this time.

huh ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#992041)

What is this Quicken thing ?
And is Gnucash an extension to regular cash, only you can make copies and everyone can get rich quickly ?

Why can't it do transactions? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#992042)

Why couldn't you just hook up a perl/python script up that connects to your respective Internet bank site? Then you could run your transactions through that as if you had typed them on the web by hand. Just get GnuCash a API and build a template.

Re:Looking into the future (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#992043)

Actually, gnucash is a lot more than an account manager. It's a real accounting engine, and we have real accountants helping us make it more and more like what they expect to see. It's built to be useful for a lot more than just account tracking, and as such is built on a more solid accounting infrastructure, even now, than Quicken.

Yes, a networked, multiuser version is in the future, and Palm connectivity is important, and better on-line integration through OFX and QIF imports is on the way, but up until now we've been focusing on getting the single-user interface and the accounting infrastructure solid, and that's a pretty big problem. There are still a lot of features for the single user version that are important for even casual users, and those have fairly high priority.

Bill Gribble

Re:GNU software is intended to be used on a GNU OS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#992044)

They can't relax with their hamsters

Re:OFX Is the Missing Piece (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#992046)

Two problems here:
  • The GnuCash developer assigned to the OFX feature tried a bass ackwards implementation and ran screaming because parsing the XML was too hard. Whiner.
  • I have yet to find a bank that offers this without charging you a fortune for the privlege. Yes, I'd work on an OFX implementation if I found such.

Re:One advantage Windows has... (1)

whoop (194) | more than 13 years ago | (#992048)

Microsoft could take a page and name things w_something. It's better than reinventing every regular word to their own convoluted meaning. For many people, SQL is that Microsoft database thing, and Office is not a place to do business, but a means of running virii on your computer. Exploring is no longer something adventurers do, travelling to far off lands. Now it means to crash/reboot your computer. And we see what they are doing with their open specs for Kerberos. Open, unless you do anything with them. And the "industry-standard Kerberos" unless you want to use them with any other platform. I'll take a little unimaginative g* or k*, there are less disasterous repurcutions.

Re:One advantage Windows has... (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 13 years ago | (#992049)

My first thought had to do with e-commerce; perhaps a module for Apache or some SSL thing for taking credit card numbers online.

--

Re:GNU software is intended to be used on a GNU OS (1)

mAIsE (548) | more than 13 years ago | (#992051)

Why are BSD people always so damned uptight ?

Re:Trolling for NetBSD (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 13 years ago | (#992054)

Posted by 11223:

It utilizes a virus approach - it simply ports itself to the penguin in question, and eats itself from the inside.

Re:NetBSD, FreeBSD, OpenBSD (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 13 years ago | (#992055)

Posted by 11223:

No - I disagree. While I don't know what a 'teh shell' is, I can assure you that NetBSD stands out as a platform. While FreeBSD is the OS of choice for Proprietary [bsdi.com] Systems [apple.com], NetBSD provides honest-to-goodness Open Source software on almost every platform - and we don't need to hide in Canada [openbsd.org] either.

Re:Trolling for NetBSD (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 13 years ago | (#992056)

Posted by 11223:

Here at NetBSD we've been alpha testing a new feature that does penguin-eating.

Re:Helix Code Inclusion? (1)

Peter Teichman (4503) | more than 13 years ago | (#992059)

Yes, the plan is to put it into the distribution. I'm not sure how soon that will be, though. It will probably be in our next set of new packages.

Peter

Re:VersaCheck and non-magnetic ink (1)

Booker (6173) | more than 13 years ago | (#992061)

You can bet that I'll have disclaimers in the package. :)

This debate rages on Usenet every so often... the short answer is that the bank will accept & process almost anything, but they might charge you extra if their automated system can't handle it.

I've used VersaCheck without problems, but only for 3-4 checks per month.

I've heard that some banks use OCR anyway, instead of the magnetic reader.

---

Re:THe Paranoid View... (1)

elflord (9269) | more than 13 years ago | (#992062)

So, now that everyone is making Windows-type applications or porting them right over, what's to keep Linux from becoming a Windows clone?

Regardless of what applications you choose ( and in linux, you can choose ) to run, the underlying operating system is extremely robust. Linux is not and will never be a windows clone. It is a robust, well designed operating system.

The problem with Windows is certainly not the fault of the applications that run on it. I wouldn't complain if all of those apps ran on Linux. The main problem with Windows is that the core operating system itself is unreliable.

With KDE and GNOME, the desktop is almost as easy as Windows. Will there be a time when there's no distinction?

Well, hopefully, there'll be no difference between Linux and Windows in terms of ease of use. However, there will always be a key difference -- in Linux, you can choose. You can run KDE, or GNOME, or the bloat-whiners like yourself can even run TWM and use Xterms.

Linux could end up just like Windows

No, it couldn't unless someone sabotaged the kernel.

BTW, I could go on and on about how QT/KDE is really better designed than Win32, but that's another topic in itself.

Re:THe Paranoid View... (1)

afc (12569) | more than 13 years ago | (#992067)

I read your post over and over again, and could not quite figure out what is the point you're driving at. Assuming, for the sake of argument, that you're not just trolling your way around Slashdot I have to question you:

With KDE and GNOME, the desktop is almost as easy as Windows.

And is this a problem? Is it any worse because it is esier to use? IMHO, KDE and GNOME are already bloated pieces of software You know, bloated, when referring to software has become, through annoyng repetition in otherwise sterile arguments, become a meaningless expression. And of course it has no intrinsic absolute value, but you already knew that. I mean, GNOME is more "bloated" than, say FVWM, but then again it aims to do a lot more than the latter.

Perhaps if you could expand a little bit more on how the proliferation of "Windows-type" (you might have meant GUI? User friendly?) apps will make Linux worse...

"There can be only One!" checking software! (1)

jabber (13196) | more than 13 years ago | (#992068)

That's what "Quicken" makes me think of. Highlander, the 'Quickening' (not the bad sequel but the idea from the original film). It (Quicken) doesn't seem like a good financial name at all. PC Teller would be better in my mind.

Anyway, GNUcash sounded like eCash first time I saw it. "What?? An open source electronic currency?? What will those zealot freaks think of next? A non-profit government?" :)

Re:I'll admit it... (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#992070)

I was able to export QIF format from MS Money when I moved to GnuCash a few months ago. I had to select "Strict QIF compatibility". This was with MS Money 2.0a, YMMV.

the GNU name (1)

Tiro (19535) | more than 13 years ago | (#992075)

This is a tad offtopic, but here goes.

Should anyone be able to stick the letters GNU at the front of his software programme's name? It seems to me we should courteously leave it to the FSF to distinguish *their* software (or software recommended by them) with this Mark.

Maybe its just me, but if a piece of software like Gnucash has nothing to do with the FSF, it should be called Gplcash or something. (I realize the ability to say it like "new cash" would be lost :)

Are there plans for? (1)

Rombuu (22914) | more than 13 years ago | (#992076)

You know, the best thing about the various versions of MS Money are that they will synch with your brokerage / bank account. You can download you statements and clear them against you account within the program, make sure your balances are accurate, etc... Does anyone know if it is possible or could be implemented in Gnucash?

Re:One advantage Windows has... (1)

FascDot Killed My Pr (24021) | more than 13 years ago | (#992077)

"...is that they know how to name their programs to make them attractive to the general public.

Why is this an advantage? There is a subset of people (call them "intelligent") that doesn't make snap judgements based on the name of something. So making a name change as you suggest will only increase marketshare among the non-intelligent. And who wants to support idiots when the fun part is creating code?
--
Compaq dropping MAILWorks?

Whatever (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 13 years ago | (#992079)

One of the things that bugs me about Quicken is the feature bloat. That, and the fact that the QIF format is so freakin' brain dead.

Of course, I was turned off by GnuCash because of the dependance on Motif and half a dozen obscure libraries.

I see the problem this way: commercial software caters to the lowest common denominator in order to sell the most units. Free software caters to the programmers' favorite toys (whether it be language / libraries / environment / etc.) in order to make it the most fun to write and use. The best software of either type finds a happy medium between these extremes.

Re:Doesn't that say it all........ (1)

/ (33804) | more than 13 years ago | (#992080)

MS actually tried to buy out Quicken back in 1995 or so, but it was nixed by the appropriate regulating authorities on antitrust grounds. They've since tried winning on their own product's merits, but without much success.

Re:Not "Quicken?" enough (1)

Pont (33956) | more than 13 years ago | (#992081)

So I would expect that in a few years, Intuit will be saying, "Well, it's not GNU Cash, but it's still pretty good, and if you buy it, we
make money because we're such nice people..."


What's so great about that scenario? The goal of open source is not to put commercial software out of business. It's to insure high quality in critical software.

I see the purpose of projects like this as knocking on the commercial developers heads and saying, "Hello! Anyone in there? There's a good market out here that you're going to completely miss." If Quicken had already been ported to Linux, then GnuCash wouldn't be very important at all. Quicken is not like a web browser or a word processor, where the file formats it uses determine what all the other software on all other OS's must conform too. QIF is simple anyways. Quicken does not hold the key to some important internet or multimedia protocol. It's just a program a lot of people use.

The important thing about GnuCash is that now more people can abandon Windows (or Mac) and move to Linux/BSD/anything that can binary emulate Linux.

There is no need for all software in the world to become open source. Open Source has its advantages, to be sure, but if a commercial product can maintain high-quality without it, then what's the problem?

Re:One advantage Windows has... (1)

Tower (37395) | more than 13 years ago | (#992083)

And here I thought Quicken was a dumb name all these years 8^) It never did imply anything to me...

I'll agree that GnuCash is a pretty lame name, but hey - programmers aren't usually marketing. That's who names the products...
at least it's better than OldCash...

I'll admit it... (1)

Tower (37395) | more than 13 years ago | (#992084)

[
I'm an M$ Money user. Great for what I've needed, and the CD came 'free' with a computer (well, my friend's system, but he uses Quicken, so never instlled this one). I've been using it for a couple years now, and don't want to switch over, but this is one of the last apps tying me to Windows (Eudora and games are the others)... It really does do a good job of stock + account tracking, especially with the automatic updates and tax information. GnuCash seems to only import Quicken files... anybody know if they are planning to import Money files also?

Of course, I use Quicken Turbo Tax on the Web for yearly taxes (free through my Mutual Fund...).

Oh well... (waiting for the day when my NT box can be another Linux or BSD box in my cluster...

Re:Just Gnome? (1)

Tower (37395) | more than 13 years ago | (#992085)

At least KDE compiles on AIX with little effort. Window Maker is a beast...

KDE isn't really all that 'ugly', and you can customize it to be whatever you want. You don't have to have desktop icons, the panel, etc, etc, etc... it's pretty easy to do...

KWM is faster than WM on my system, too. I've got the space to spare - drives are cheap.

Re:I'll admit it... (1)

Tower (37395) | more than 13 years ago | (#992086)

I'm using Money98 now (was using 20 (I think) before that)... It doesn't want to let me do that, though it claims that it will import qif files... of course, the help online isn't all that great, though it claims that it can export qifs... haven't had that much luck with the more complicated things, though (simple checkbook worked alright, but the interweaving of accounts and funds was bad... (old Money). Not sure if this was a M$ export problem or a Quicken import problem... though I figured that Quicken should be able to import its own file format...

Re:"There can be only One!" checking s [Off Topic] (1)

Lifewolf (41986) | more than 13 years ago | (#992087)

It (Quicken) doesn't seem like a good financial name at all.
PC Teller would be better in my mind.

While I agree the "Quicken" name alone fails to instantly conjure images of simple personal money management, to me "PC Teller" is worse. The first thought that occurs to me upon seeing "PC Teller" is the slight-of-hand team comprised of one large guy who talks a lot and one small guy who doesn't talk at all. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't trust them with my money.

I've been using Versacheck with an inkjet (1)

georgeha (43752) | more than 13 years ago | (#992089)

Will all banks accept checks with non-magnetic toner? (OCR capable) -- I bought a package by VersaCheck but am nervous about using it for the first time.

I've been using Versacheck with a laser printer and inkjet (Canon BJC-4300) for about a year, I ran out of checks one day and couldn't wait 2-3 weeks for new ones to arrive.

Unfortunately, every Versacheck printed check I've sent out has been accepted by my bank.

I do notice the occasional one get's misplaced in the statement, but the money still gets removed.

My bank is HSBC in upstate New York.

George

Re:MICR ink? (1)

georgeha (43752) | more than 13 years ago | (#992090)

I've been using Versacheck for about a year, maybe 200 checks, and every one has been accepted and the money taken out of my account.

George

Re:One advantage Windows has... (1)

British (51765) | more than 13 years ago | (#992092)

The names between Windows apps and their Linux counterparts are radically different. They are as poorly named(could we just have a few more apps that have X at the beginning) as console emulators(Nosefart being the worst)

Re:Doesn't that say it all........ (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 13 years ago | (#992093)

Quicken's budgeting still pretty much sucks.

I've also noted that Intiut seems to be increasingly putting in bloat rather than new functionality. The last version had lots of graphical wing-dings, but no real improvements in usefull functionality.

Unfortunately, until Gnucash can transparently talk to my bank, it'd be difficult to switch.

Quicken does keep track of acrrued interest, though. At least, it does for my loans... Admittedly, it can be a royal pain-in-the-ass to figure out.

Re:GnuCash changed my life... (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 13 years ago | (#992094)

That's exactly my experience upon first purchasing Quicken 1.0 for DOS back around 1990.

Good financial software is damn important.

Unfortunately, Quicken seems to be bloating rather than improving these days.

Re:Doesn't that say it all........ (1)

waterwingz (68802) | more than 13 years ago | (#992095)

a "commercially-funded competitor" .. like maybe Micro$oft Money ???

Re:Check Printing (1)

Paranoid Diatribe (68959) | more than 13 years ago | (#992096)

Three cheers for this dude!!!

I use that shitty software, VersaCheck. I can't stand the damned thing. It has to be the worst piece of software that need to use. To think that I paid good money for it makes me even more furious.

If you need beta testers for this program, I'll gladly volunteer. I'll even write real checks to see if they clear the bank! :)

Re:Check Printing (1)

zeet (70981) | more than 13 years ago | (#992097)

At work we use a special check printer for printing checks. This is a Lexmark laser printer with a modified cartridge that can print the Magnetic Image Character Recognition type on the bottom of the check. However, many newer banks may process these characters optically, so this special ink may not be needed.

Re:Doesn't that say it all........ (1)

wass (72082) | more than 13 years ago | (#992098)

a "commercially-funded competitor" .. like maybe Micro$oft Money ???

Okay, thanks for the example. I don't use financial software, so I'm not aware of how these packages compare. Could anyone comment on the features offered by each of these? (Quicken vs. Money)

I vaguely recall MSFT Money being a more recent product than Quicken. So, how long did it take to catch up to the level of Quicken? Note, that this time should be from the time that MSFT started funding it, which may have actually been much earlier than when they first announced the product.

Helix Code Inclusion? (1)

Hendershot (82780) | more than 13 years ago | (#992101)

Is there a chance that this will make it into Helix Code's Gnome distro? I have been using Helix's stuff for about 3 months and I love it. This would mean I can actually keep track of the money I spend on caffiene!

Online bill pay/download (1)

stevenma (85965) | more than 13 years ago | (#992105)


Quicken is still the one app that ties me to Windows. I look at gnucash from time to time but the one feature that's really a time saver in Quicken is the ability to download your transactions AND pay bills. In one step I can download all my latest visa/mastercard/discover/back accounts/stock accounts/stock quotes and transactions.

Now I have no idea if this is some proprietary deal these company's have with Quicken (wouldn't be amazed if it were that way) but if not I'd LOVE to see that feature added! I wouldn't use quicken if I had to type in every transaction I made each day.. to me that seems like as much work as a paper/pen register.

Re:Doesn't that say it all........ (1)

Jeff Bell (88747) | more than 13 years ago | (#992106)

It isn't quicken, but its close enough for most of us.

Gnucash simply doesn't have all the features users are looking for

Neither does Quicken.

There were lots of things for which I still have to use a spreadsheet; Quicken doesn't do them for me. For instance, keeping track of accrued interest on loans where I'm payed ahead. I'd also like it to enter a scheduled transaction with an amount equal to the balance on my creditcard account as of the 20th of that month, but transactions can only haved fixed values in Quicken.

One reason that I'm thinking of changing to GnuCash is so that I can possibly add the features that I would like to have.

-Jeff Bell

Re:Does it support transaction download? (1)

kindbud (90044) | more than 13 years ago | (#992107)

That's very good. And very worthwhile. And three or four years behind the current "state of the art."

It's the one gripe I have with PayMyBills.com - no downloading from within Quicken itself. I must take the extra steps of downloading the QIF from the website, and then launch Quicken, import the file, and merge it by hand to my checking account (duplicates seem to creep in every time I do this, maybe I'm doing something wrong, like forgetting the last period I downloaded from PMB)

My bank, credit cards, and brokerage accounts are updated in one step from within Quicken - download, import, merge is handled with no muss, no fuss. And I have yet to see any duplicates.

I know, I know, I'm too demanding. :) But thanks for pointing out the QIF import feature. I will give GNUcash a look-see.

Is transaction download (in general) good? (1)

/dev/zero (116295) | more than 13 years ago | (#992112)

I enter my own data, then check it against the monthly statement. This way, I can easily catch any discrepancies, as the account will not balance.

Seems to me that by just importing your financial institution's transaction record bypasses this [IMHO] essential step.

Gordon.

Re:One advantage Windows has... (1)

_Swank (118097) | more than 13 years ago | (#992113)

and I'm sure that anyone who saw it on the shelf (assuming it was packaged) would think "Cash for gnus??

How the hell do you automatically associate a product known only as "Quicken" with something that has anything to do with money much less the spot-on "balancing one's books?" Without any mention of money in the title, I dare say you are good. Real good. Of course maybe you already know that Quicken is personal finance management software due to marketing and seeing the box. Only after that do you automatically associate Quicken as you do. I suspect that if Gnucash was to do the same (and I'd doubt they'd use a plain brown box) you'd be rescued from the horrible confusion that non-windows software continues to thrust upon you (oh wait, look at their homepage..."The GNU way to manage your money").

Now the name may not be "pretty" but if that's how you're picking your software you probably shouldn't be using Linux, or *BSD, or whatever the heck you're using that's not Windows (wow, does that name ring nicely in my ears...it's like my "Window" to the internet...). Now if only there was some software to speed up my connection...maybe this here "Quicken" package thingee will do the trick...

KMoney? (1)

idot (130605) | more than 13 years ago | (#992114)

I saw this [kde.org] message in the KDE mailing list.

Maybe just vapor, but who knows - a KDE based finance application was "announced".

----Message----

Look for a professional personal finance package to be previewed at Linux World in mid-August.

Shawn

Just Gnome? (1)

Plastic Puller (135870) | more than 13 years ago | (#992115)

Here are three things I don't like:

Windows

Gnome

KDE

But I do like the idea of using GNUCash. Will this work for window managers like Window Maker? Being required to install Gnome just to make this run seems like a waste. I left the Windows world because of bloat, and the last thing I want to do is install Gnome (or KDE, which is bloated _and_ ugly).

Flame away.

[Q] Web-based version of ledger like GNUCash ?? (1)

pjbrewer (140003) | more than 13 years ago | (#992116)

Anyone know of _good_ examples of web-based ledger managers like quicken/GNUcash?

Something open source or GPL that could be integrated into online games (trade type games, or trade portions of simulated worlds) would be best.

There are doubtlessly a number of applications for something like this!

Re:the GNU name (1)

Ur@eus (148802) | more than 13 years ago | (#992117)

If I am not mistaken the copyright of Gnucash is donated to the FSF, so Gnucash actualy is a GNU project. Anyways I think that FSF don't mind as long as your software is all LGPL/GPL, hey, it is free marketing for them :)

Re:Doesn't that say it all........ (1)

Xiphoid Process (153566) | more than 13 years ago | (#992118)

This is really very unfair. this is only version 1.4, it is still a very very young product. When given equal development time/energy, free software usually meet and surpasses the feature set of commercial apps (see bash vs. dos command shell for an example) and is in a completely separate realm in terms of stability. Give this project time to mature and you will be very nicely surprised.
- Josh "Yoshi" Steiner

---
Xiphoid Process Records - http://xiphoidprocess.com
San Francisco based electronic music.

Re:One advantage Windows has... (1)

Ian Wolf (171633) | more than 13 years ago | (#992119)

Windows Apps aren't necessarily named more appropriately than their Linux cousins. However, Windows Apps Developers usually have an easier time marketing their products. Quicken isn't the most obvious title for a finance application, but Intuit has put a lot of marketing effort into "branding", which they have largely been able to accomplish.

Unfortunately for the linux community those kinds of resources are few and far between (I wont get into whether or not this is a good thing). To make matters worse, the average linux user has to choose from a seemingly limitless expanse of applications for each and every computing need. While this in my mind isn't a bad thing in and of itself, the fact that many of these applications are often buried in obscurity by their relatively nondescript names makes things much worse.

BTW, While I don't think its the "flashiest" name for it. I think GnuCash is a fitting name for the program.

THe Paranoid View... (1)

suwalski (176418) | more than 13 years ago | (#992120)

So, now that everyone is making Windows-type applications or porting them right over, what's to keep Linux from becoming a Windows clone?

I know this is frequently mentioned, but it's very valid.

With KDE and GNOME, the desktop is almost as easy as Windows. Will there be a time when there's no distinction? IMHO, KDE and GNOME are already bloated pieces of software. I know Linux needs them for advancement into less-computer-literate groups, but there's a price to pay.

Linux could end up just like Windows (albeit cheaper).

Just offering a paranoid view,
--Pat

Re:One advantage Windows has... (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 13 years ago | (#992121)

Ah, the lovely arrogance of the Slashdotter. This is a similar sentiment to "I don't need chrome on my desktop, just give me command lines" and "Don't make Linux easier! That will just let them in."

What this type of person doesn't realize is that appreciation of aesthetics (including naming aesthetics) is an important part of being human. If people like you ran the world, we'd all be living in gray concrete houses, completely modular. If you want a bigger house, just put two blocks together! Isn't that efficient? Two stories, just stack them up!

If you haven't figured it out by now (probable), intelligence is not a function of how austere [dictionary.com] a lifestyle you can stand.


--

Re:One advantage Windows has... (1)

Prior Restraint (179698) | more than 13 years ago | (#992122)

"Gah-nu" indeed. ... Gnome (aka Gah-nome)...

I'll admit up front that I've never heard RMS pronounce "Gnu," but it's my understanding of English that when a G is followed by an N, the G is silent, as in "gnat," or "gnarled." The only time I heard someone pronounce the G in "gnu" was Gary Gnu from "The Great Space Coaster," and I always thought it was a deliberate mispronunciation.

"Where no gah-nus is good gah-nus..."

Re:NetBSD is unAmerican (1)

fredbevins (181968) | more than 13 years ago | (#992123)

So what is American exactly?

linux sure as hell isn't

Linux kernel = Finland
BSD kernel = Berkeley

What makes things like netbsd good is not the distribution, the distribution isn't important. BSD inherently has a better kernel. Long live America. (and the Regents of the University of California)

Re:GNU software is intended to be used on a GNU OS (1)

fredbevins (181968) | more than 13 years ago | (#992124)

Your logic is severely flawed, in fact you have no logical sense at all. What the hell does slashdot have to do with the GPL?

One up (1)

KeyShark (195825) | more than 13 years ago | (#992126)

I'm happy that they finally came out with a decent finace program for linux. I think that's the one area that microsoft had up on linux. --

Re:Trolling for NetBSD (1)

KarmaHo (197482) | more than 13 years ago | (#992132)

Yeah, idiots with tremendous uptime. Last I checked the number one machine was upfor over 1400 days, running NetBSD of course. Then again, you may prefer 3D acceleration performence to stability.

Re:NetBSD is unAmerican (1)

Marce1 (201846) | more than 13 years ago | (#992135)

was that soccer or rugby?

-Sorry - football in America or American football?

Re:first (1)

Marce1 (201846) | more than 13 years ago | (#992136)

You are clearly trying to effect a new moderation level;

Moderator -bait

It is clearly not working.

Perhaps you are, in fact, just baiting yourself?
A passed master... :)

Re:Does it support transaction download? (2)

Amphigory (2375) | more than 13 years ago | (#992139)

paymybills.com (the only one of these kind of things I use) does it through QIF files. I believe GNUCash supports this feature. I know gnofin (the one I use) supports it).

--

yeah, probably (2)

MenTaLguY (5483) | more than 13 years ago | (#992140)

A lot of banks will accept checks written on the back of an envelope with magic marker, even, as long as all the requisite information is there.

Now, that being said, if it looks like an OCR-capable check, but it doesn't work in the OCR equipment, I don't know how they'd deal with that.

Better than "GnoCash" (2)

Booker (6173) | more than 13 years ago | (#992141)

The gnome version of GnuCash started out as "GnoCash" I believe... let's just say "GnuCash" is a step in the right direction. :)

---

Re:yeah, probably (2)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 13 years ago | (#992142)


" A lot of banks will accept checks written on the back of an envelope with magic marker, even, as long as all the
requisite information is there. "

They *will* accept such checks, but they usually
charge a fee equal to the fee for a returned check.

Quicken has run on linux for a LONG while (2)

HomerJ (11142) | more than 13 years ago | (#992143)

Most people tend to then "if Quicken doesn't run thouse wine, then it won't run". That's not the case. Executor has been running Quicken for MacOS for many moons.

ARDI [ardi.com] has beed selling their Linux version for $75 that INCLUDES the MacOS version of Quicken, and says if has full compatbility, with the execption of the online banking options.

No, I don't work for ARDI, or to tell the truth, own Executor. But if GNUCash doesn't quite float your boat, and are stuck in Windows for the sole fact of Quicken, this wouldn't be a bad program to try. And at only $75 including Quicken, not a bad deal. I just don't want to see people not use linux, because they don't know that Quicken will run in linux, and that's the only program that's keeping them in Windows.

Also on a site note, I do use GNUCash. It's served me well in managing what little money a lowly student can make =) I'd give GNUCash a try before you fork over the $75 to run Quicken though Executor.

MICR ink? (2)

jabber (13196) | more than 13 years ago | (#992144)

Back when I was working my way through College as a retail clerk, I was told that the MICR #s used a special ink which made the numbers more visible to automated readers (i.e. the little box we fed the checks through for validation).

How accurate is this? Is the ink really magnetic/metalized for this purpose? If so, it may be a significant problem to home users. If, OTOH the recognition is purely optical, nevermind. :)

In any case, thanks for your efforts. I hope the right people take notice and include it in Gnu$$.

Re:Trolling for NetBSD (2)

Mullen (14656) | more than 13 years ago | (#992145)

You don't know what those machines are doing. They could be idle for weeks or months. The only way to judge and OS is to run one and know exactly what it is doing.

Not "Quicken?" enough (2)

CodeShark (17400) | more than 13 years ago | (#992146)

It isn't Quicken, but its close enough for most of us...

Z'okay that it's not a clone of Quicken, because (--Open Source Zealot Mode On--) GNUCash comes with source code. Has the eyes of the world to search out bugs, suggest features, etc. Forkable at will. And the best reason to use it and help with the development process? The completed product(s) can't be closed and taken proprietary, so I can count on being able to have/fix the latest and greatest version(s) without the chains to corporate America.

So I would expect that in a few years, Intuit will be saying, "Well, it's not GNU Cash, but it's still pretty good, and if you buy it, we make money because we're such nice people..."

Certainly helps the linux desktop alternative (2)

hardaker (32597) | more than 13 years ago | (#992149)

As I've been considering what it would take to make my parents move to linux, I've had to think of all the things they currently do with their desktop that they couldn't do with a linux system. One of the largest problems has always been Quicken. Wine has never been able to run it sufficiently. The last time I looked at gnucash it wasn't quite up to the job. I'm looking forward to seeing the new version.

Fortunately, I don't think many people rely on online-banking connections with Quicken but I suspect this will become more of a stumbling block as time goes on. It would be nice to have a linux app take care of this functionality as well.

Now... If I can only convince them that kmail (or something) is better than Eudora then I could administrate their machine from home rather than having to drive over there all the time.

Re:Just Gnome? (2)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 13 years ago | (#992150)

Will this work for window managers like Window Maker?

It should - I use GTK apps all the time in WindowMaker. You might want to waste the space and install the bare minimum GNOME packages anyway, just in cash the progs get huffy when you install them. However, I don't seem to have any GNOME packages on my system right now, and the GTK apps run fine.

GnuCash changed my life... (2)

DoktorMel (35110) | more than 13 years ago | (#992151)

Try this some time:

Imagine you're basically lazy, not math-ooriented (English major), bad with money, and hate using MS Windows.

GnuCash changed my life.

I started keeping track of every single little thing I spent a few months ago with this software and finally, after 27 years of floundering and fearing my own finances, I have the money demon whipped. This is not merely good software, this is important software. Get it. Use it.

Needed features (2)

georgeha (43752) | more than 13 years ago | (#992152)

  • Check Printing, like Versacheck. I love printing my own checks.
  • Palm Pilot conduit. I love my Palm.


I glanced at the web page, but couldn't see if they had these options.

George

Re:Doesn't that say it all........ (2)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 13 years ago | (#992153)

I used to work for the CoreStates Bank PC banking department before they were bought by First Union. So I had to know both Quicken & Money from the inside-out. Unfortunately, that was over 2.5 years ago so I can't quite remember it all. But here are some basic similarities and differences:

Similarities:

Both of them let you create accounts, enter transactions, transfer funds and pay bills. Both of them let you set up various reports to track expenses and investments. Although the programs looked different, the functionality was pretty much the same and you could use either one comfortably given enough time.

Differences:

IMO Quicken is much easier to install and set up. Setting things up in Money (ie new accounts, internet connection) depends a lot upon using wizards even if you have enough experience to do something without them. Quicken uses some "step through" menus like wizards, but they're avoidable. Again, this is a personal preference.

The best thing about Quicken is that it doesn't delete your npclog, which is a text file that gets concatenated (by Quicken) with your upload/download data. If you understand the codes in the npclog (which aren't too tough to understand), you can see what payment/transfer instructions you sent out and what cleared check #'s and stuff you received. If there is a discrepancy between your records and the bank's records, the npclog can easily clear up who made the mistake. I once saved my mom $120 in erroneous overdraft charges by printing out the npclog and showing the local friendly banker how she transferred money before the cutoff time of 3pm even though the bank didn't recognize it in time.

Money (as of Money 98 anyway, but probably Money 2K, too) deletes your npclog after a short while. There is a trick to catch it before it gets deleted, but try explaining the procedure to "Joe AOL" to get him to send you a copy of it.

The only sucky thing about Quicken is that it prefers IE over Netscape for its internet functionality. It has something to do with using IE's DLLs. If it wasn't for Quicken, I wouldn't have IE installed.

So, to summarize....buy Quicken and fsck Micro$oft.

Re:Doesn't that say it all........ (2)

wass (72082) | more than 13 years ago | (#992154)

Don't be so quick to knock GNUcash and free software in general. I'm not sure how long GNUcash has been around, but quality software packages aren't written overnight. Remember, Quicken's been around for many many years now (my Dad still uses an ancient DOS-based one, for fears of winxx crashes and corruptions). So they can add some features between releases, to keep Quicken a decent product. GNUcash is developing everything from scratch, and so it didn't have this existing code base to work upon.

Anyway, suppose a commercially-funded competitor to Quicken formed today. Also suppose they had a team of software engineers as large as Quicken's, and they were working full time. The question is, how long would it take for them to produce a financial software package with stability, functionality, and usability mostly equivalent to Quicken's? Could they get their first version out within 6 months? A year? I'm not sure how long it would take, but I imagine that their first few product releases would be sub-par, and it would take time before they had a decent comparable product.

That said, we'll see how GNUcash and other free-software packages with direct closed-source commercial counterparts develop over time. It'll certainly be an interesting show.

Re:Does it support transaction download? (2)

ChrisLynx (102341) | more than 13 years ago | (#992156)

From http://www.gnucash.org/features.php3

"Intuit® Quicken® QIF files can be imported, and are automatically merged to eliminate duplicate transactions."

For those not familiar, QIF files are one of the choices for download of a month's worth of credit card transactions.

Re:Does it support transaction download? (2)

gbrandt (113294) | more than 13 years ago | (#992157)

GNUCash is a great step for Linux in general. However, to call it 'Quicken Like' is like calling a moped 'Car Like'. Quicken is a fully matured program that manages many different function in financial tracking and planning. GNUCash is an account tracker.

Maybe PhreaKash? (2)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 13 years ago | (#992158)

Well, Maybe the name PhreaKash might get more attention.

Might be a problem, the name may trigger SPAM filters looking out for FreeCash offers.

One advantage Windows has... (2)

Chiasmus_ (171285) | more than 13 years ago | (#992159)

is that they know how to name their programs to make them attractive to the general public. For example, the name "Quicken" seems to imply that it will "Quicken" the process of balancing one's books--which it does, if you compare it to using a typewriter and a four-function calculator.

On the other hand, "Gnucash" has got to be one of the worst names, ever. When I saw the name, my first thought was "cash for Gnutella, because they're charging now," and I freaked out. Then I thought, "Well, maybe it's just a GNU thing that has something to do with making payments online." I had to actually read down to figure out that it was the GNU money-managing software--and I'm sure that anyone who saw it on the shelf (assuming it was packaged) would think "Cash for gnus?? Is this another stupid video game like 'Lemmings?'"

Re:One advantage Windows has... (2)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 13 years ago | (#992160)

but it's my understanding of English that when a G is followed by an N, the G is silent, as in "gnat," or "gnarled."

In the sane, normal world, you are correct, but check out this entry [tuxedo.org] in the Jargon File.

And while I'm on the subject, even the great Knuth is not immune. TeX [tuxedo.org] == "Tekh". I mean, why be so damn deliberately difficult? Why not "tecks"?


--

Re:One advantage Windows has... (2)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 13 years ago | (#992161)

Damn right! I detest many of the namings in the Linux community, many who feel they have to be oh-so-clever by making unpronouncable names. At least Linus had the excuse of a foreign language. What's RMS' excuse? "Gah-nu" indeed. "Napster" is easy on the tongue and memorable. Gnome (aka Gah-nome) is absolutely idiotic and difficult to say.

I simply don't understand the hostility to easily pronouncable names in the Gnu community.


--

Re:Trolling for NetBSD (2)

fredbevins (181968) | more than 13 years ago | (#992162)

So true, and likewise, much of what goes into Linux isn't GNU either, it's bits and pieces of BSD that no one could create themselves. So whenever you look at your docs and see "(c) The regents of the university of california" remember, we were here first

Doesn't that say it all........ (2)

Mr. Troll (202208) | more than 13 years ago | (#992163)

It isn't quicken, but its close enough for most of us.

This seems to sum things up. For all the good that free software gives users, it so often falls short. Gnucash simply doesn't have all the features users are looking for. It does have many useful features, but before wide acceptance of software like this can occur, someone somewhere must have the proper motovation to make it "perfect". And this is where i believe it is nessary to have a "pay for play" segment in the software market. At this time, it appears that a pure freeware world simply can't work.

Re:THe Paranoid View... (3)

whoop (194) | more than 13 years ago | (#992164)

Just what is it about everything that people whine about "bloat?" If you don't want one coherent set of desktop apps, run twm or leave Linux in console mode and play color-yahtzee. Windows 9x/nt, on the other hand, is pretty much useless/impossible in dos mode as it comes from Microsoft. I can see people calling Windows stuff "bloat" because it crawls even when you have a 500+ Mhz processor and 64+ MB of RAM. I have run KDE (1 and 2) in various environments from a 300 Mhz K6 to my current Athlon 550. Seeing as pretty much any modern computer has 64 or more MB of RAM, KDE (and I'm sure GNOME as well) run perfectly well. Sure, if you try running it on that 486/33 with 4MB RAM it will be slow. But for those with a computer that was new in the last five years, it's fairly sufficient to handle KDE/GNOME.

The beauty of Linux is you can shut things off, uninstall, etc to tailor it to how you wish. Windows, you must take it all (including those damn AOL/AT&T/Earthlink shortcuts). If you have specific things you wish to label bloat, say so. But remember you can just skip them altogether. If it's just because you don't like them or do not wish to run them, that's not a good enough reason to bitch about it.

Re:Just Gnome? (3)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 13 years ago | (#992165)

Perhaps it relys on gnome-print...

Indeed, it uses gnome-print for check printing, and presumably printing other reports as well.

I've run older 1.3 versions of GnuCash under a bunch of different window managers, including enlightenment, icewm, windowmaker, and kwm. You need to have the gnome librarys installed, including the "development" libraries (headers, etc.) if you're compiling GnuCash from source. Other than that you really don't need gnome, although you may want to have some of the gnome utilities around if you're interested in playing around with themes (GnuCash will use gtk/gnome themes, which can improve the aesthetics over the default according to your taste).

GNU software is intended to be used on a GNU OS. (3)

FPhlyer (14433) | more than 13 years ago | (#992166)

You are absolutely right on this account. Perhaps "plugs a major gaping hole in GNU software..." would have been better way to put it. I personally use the Linux kernal myself, but if it can compile on one of the BSDs, then certainly it runs on more than just Linux.

I think that the reason why you see this Linux bias so often on Slashdot is pretty obvious and is actually understandable. GnuCash is, of course, GNU software and is governed by the GPL. Linux is also governed by the GPL. NetBSD is not, it is the BSD license. GNU is intended to be a *NIX replacement operating system/environment. Because of this, when a new piece of software or software version is released as part of the GNU project, it is going to be associated with a GNU operating system kernal (either Linux or HURD.)

I think you are going to have to get used to it... it's a Stallman thing.

Mac users need this too! (3)

imac.usr (58845) | more than 13 years ago | (#992168)

Quicken for the Mac is a pure piece of shit, full of bugs made worse with every "patch" and not even fully Y2K compliant, only saved from being dropped by Intuit via a personal intervention by Steve Jobs. What makes this so aggravating is that Bill Campbell sits on the goddamned board of Apple! I hope some enterprising developer (and yes, I would do it myself, if I had the skill) will either port this to the Mac OS, or create their own version. Fuck Intuit.

Sorry for the rant, I'm still pissed off about the whole Bungie/Microsoft thing...

Re:MICR ink? Yes, it is special, here's why... (3)

Fencepost (107992) | more than 13 years ago | (#992169)

MICR ink (actually almost always toner) is special, in that it contains much more iron than regular toner.

This is important because check readers aren't actually doing any kind of OCR - when they started using MICR lines OCR was a dream even on a very primitive level. The numbers (and the 4 special characters) look that way because when you run them past a reader the waveforms / signals they produce are very identifiable. Think of them as being an early version of a magnetic stripe, but non-writable.

Position is also very important - individuals don't see it, but for any business printing its own checks in any significant quantity it's critical that the position of every character in the MICR line be correct. If the positioning isn't correct, the (often poorly adjusted) readers at the central processing banks will spit it out as a damaged check, and it gets special handling. Consumers never really see this, but for businesses their bank can actually be charged for the extra processing, and they're willing to pass that charge along to the business printing unscannable checks.

Any check printed by a consumer on a home PC is going to be spit out like this, but I'm not sure the banks are set up to deal with extra fees for those - they probably have the cost of a certain percentage of checks being "damaged" factored into their fees. This is also the reason that they prefer that you not fold checks - folded checks are both less likely to read and more likely to jam in the readers.

Re:Just Gnome? (3)

(void*) (113680) | more than 13 years ago | (#992170)

No flames here. But Gnucash is written in such a way that the transaction engine is independent of the front end. In this way, it would be a relatively straightforward task to write the front-end for KDE, Windows or a console. The flexibility is all there, just waiting for some someone to write it.

Isn't that what they call us? (3)

Dungeon Dweller (134014) | more than 13 years ago | (#992171)

Man, that's what those old money people call us entrepreneurs. They look down on us and call us gnucash. What snobs!

Re:Just Gnome? (3)

Ur@eus (148802) | more than 13 years ago | (#992172)

The only thing you need is gnome-libs installed. Don't think you have to install any other component of GNOME. As for bloat, gnome-libs provides functionalty that many apps need, it would be more bloat for each and every app to implement such things themeselves.

Gnucash can read Quicken .QIF files (4)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#992173)

Gnucash can read Quicken .QIF files. I have downloaded .QIF (both Quicken 98 and 99) from my banks website and Gnucash recognized it outright :-). Check it out.

Check Printing (4)

Booker (6173) | more than 13 years ago | (#992174)

I believe that it does have check printing (experimental at this point, requires gnome-print) but that's only for printing date, payee, and amount on a check that's already been printed - just like Quicken does.

I'm working on an app to print checks under Linux like VersaCheck ('cause they pissed me off with their shoddy software, and their subsequent "tech support".) I did a cleanroom implementation of the MICR font, and I just finished up a Postscript program that will print the checks... I want to wrap a command line and a GUI app around all this so you can choose check formats, different accounts, etc. It's not done yet, but it's not vaporware, either - I promise. :) I guess I need to have it checked by a bank, too. :)

Also, I let the GnuCash guys know about what I'm working on so that they could incorporate it into GnuCash - haven't heard much back from them yet.



---

Re:Does it support transaction download? (4)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#992175)

I enter my paper receipts into GnuCash by hand, and then reconcile the GnuCash record with the bank/CC statement every month. If you just download from your bank and import, you're taking their word for the transactions you made. Better to compare from two different sources to find any discrepancies.

Looking into the future (4)

First Person (51018) | more than 13 years ago | (#992176)

These words may be the sentiments of a heretic, but here goes...

The Gnucash program is good attempt to duplicate popular account management programs. But other than being free, what's the point? A more radical approach might has started by saying: most Linux users are connected to the network and like to be constantly plugged-in. Let's build a network friendly UI (say using Java), that users can connect from their Palm Pilots or via web browsers on the road. Let's build in data transfer from Nasdaq for stock and mutual fund tracking (there is development level support currently). And let's allow the program to periodically email reports. This said, I welcome the announcement of this version, and in particular the engine, as a good starting point.

The nice thing about open source is that it provides a road for us heretics to enter the mainstream. All it takes is a few late nights of hacking.

OFX Is the Missing Piece (4)

ReconRich (64368) | more than 13 years ago | (#992177)

As many have commented, the ability to over-the-net transactions is what keeps people using Quicken (tm) & Windoze. Quicken uses a protocol called OFX http://www.ofx.net [ofx.net]. There may be some issues with incorporating this into GnuCash, They've been talking about it for a long time. BTW, it may already be in there, I've still got an old 1.3 version.

-- Rich

Does it support transaction download? (4)

kindbud (90044) | more than 13 years ago | (#992178)

I rely on Quicken to do the dirty work of entering most of my transactions in the ledger. I have switched my accounts to banks, brokers, credit cards that support this feature, because it relieves me of most of the work to balance my accounts with my statements. One click, enter a password, and my accounts are updated over the 'net.

No support for that, no sense in trying it out. I reordered my entire financial life around this feature. If it weren't for this, and for games, I'd be 100% non-Windows on my home PC.

Re:Does it support transaction download? (4)

fred_the_slow (136259) | more than 13 years ago | (#992179)

according to several reviewers, quicken and quickbooks by Intuit run fine on WINE.
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