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Rating: 3 votes, 4.00 average.

The pointlessness of gnuCash

Posted 12-18-2008 at 11:12 PM by lumak
Updated 12-20-2008 at 02:06 AM by lumak

Generally this points to gnuCash on slackware BUT I feel it goes towards everything.

gnuCash doesn't work.

I don't mean that if you actually get it compiled and running it doesn't work. I mean it doesn't work to begin with. A program should either be easy to compile and install with minimal fuss or it should be prepackaged binaries to install. gnuCash is neither!

From slackware's end here is a list of required dependencies.
- libgsf-gnome
  o libbonobo
  o libgnomevfs2
     + gnome-mime-data
     + gconf2
       o ORbit2
- libgnomeui
  o libbonoboui
     + libgnomecanvas
        - libgnome
        - gail
  o gnome-keyring
     + libtasn1
- libgtkhtml3
- goffice
- slib
- swig
WHAT THE HELL!? is this any type of reasonable dependency list for a standard linux system after a full install? NO
some would say then, "Why don't you install gnome and then install it" I don't like gnome for this reason!

This is the reason that applications should NOT use gnome libraries. Gnome is badly designed to begin with and has no business causing so many nonstandard dependencies. Gnome libraries seem in many cases to take existing standard libraries and make pointless interfaces to 'smooth' out the code built with them.

Where was I... gnuCash... too many dependencies. I actually installed all them too (taking great care to choose versions and build scripts compatible with slackware 12.2)! the ./configure goes through without a hitch. Towards the end of the compile it complains
/usr/lib/ undefined reference to `gsf_input_gnomevfs_new'
/usr/lib/ undefined reference to `gsf_output_gnomevfs_new'
What the hell! everything is there!

OK OK one could point out the --disable-gui configure flag
That just fails the config step with
configure: error: conditional "GTKHTML_USES_GTKPRINT" was never defined.
Usually this means the macro was only invoked conditionally.
I'm done with this. I had gotten gnucash working on slackware 11 and 12.0 before but this is too much. I know they originally intended to focus on features instead of fighting with appearance coding so they went with gnome... But I bet it doesn't even save them any time at all! All that stuff is back end and once it's done it just requires tweaking. Look at how much gnome libraries change, they can't even keep the library names consistent and things are constantly being depreciated... More importantly... WHY THE HELL ARE YOU USING GCONF?! this is such a pointless piece of software! there is a reason people don't like the windows registry. We don't need something like it on linux to take over our machines.

I'm sure I could come up with more things to complain about but gnucash angers me too much to care anymore.
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Total Comments 4


  1. Old Comment
    Hehehe. Nice read and absolutely true. I have always been interested in GNUcash but never was interested enough to continue after I attempted to fulfill just the first dependencies.
    This is basically not the problem if you're using a dependency-resolving package manager like apt etc. At least if someone manages to build the package for once to put in into the repository
    I'd say they just don't give a **** about non-Gnomers or non-Buntuers. But try compiling other gnome software and you are very probably going to feel similarly.
    Posted 12-19-2008 at 02:15 PM by General Failure General Failure is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Just an up date... gnucash actually builds quite nicely from the slackbuild scripts and I'm shocked, it actually doesn't require a recompile of libgsf to obtain the -gnome portion.
    Posted 05-23-2009 at 11:31 PM by lumak lumak is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Just in case you were wondering, it's no better under Slack 13.37. And it won't build at all under Slack 13.1, unless you're willing to install newer versions of GTK+-2..
    Posted 05-13-2011 at 05:52 AM by bstern bstern is offline
  4. Old Comment
    I did not have issues with 13.1... That is... I installed it at the start of 13.1 which was probably an older version with lesser requirements. I don't know how Pat und the team can keep a whole OS strait.

    I'm wondering how it's going to go with 13.37 and GSB3.0 x.X

    At least the newer versions of goffice don't require the gnome bindings of libgsf.
    Posted 05-14-2011 at 02:37 AM by lumak lumak is offline
    Updated 05-14-2011 at 02:40 AM by lumak


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