Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:11 am
Thanks for taking the time to give us your impressions !
Hmm, I need to look more into details with my KDE desktop configured in english (currently in french), but I think "Add" and "Modify" are fairly standard... Will investigate, though. Can you think of some clearer terms ?
Huh ? Nope, a single click should definitely be enough, this is really strange... Or maybe there is a standard setting in KDE system settings that overrides this ?
Touché ! We definitely need to clarify these terms, and I realize there is indeed a lot of confusion there.
* Validated: when importing operations, they are not immediately considered valid. Skrooge requires you to manually validate them (unless you choose to automatically validate imported operations in the settings).
* Pointed and Checked: During the reconciliation process, you start by pointing operations that appear on your account's position. Pointed operations appear half greyed. Once all operations on the account's position are pointed, you finish the reconciliation. Pointed operations are then set to "Checked".
I thought we used "Edition Panel" everywhere... will check. And since the action button really commits changes, I'd rather stick to "modify" or "update".
Another english native user suggested "Ending Balance", this change will be implemented in the next version.
I know... there have been some discussions already with Stéphane (the main developper) on that, but he's having issues with this. Feel free to add your contribution to the linked bug report.
We chose not to ask for confirmation since you can undo virtually everything, even after the file was closed. If you delete something incidentally, you can always undo the deletion.
Agreed. This "subcompletion" mechanism in KDE is called with ctrl+T in the field, but I find this really suboptimal (especially in an application with a tabbed interface). We'll see what we can do there.
Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:04 am
'Final Balance' is the term commonly used.
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Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:24 pm
Skrooge, a personal finances manager powered by KDE4
Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:37 am
Thanks for the quick reply.
I get the feeling that some of these issues have been discussed already. Is there another forum I should be looking in?
I think there is something about the layout or method that causes this confusion rather than terms on the buttons. If I cognitively parse the buttons, it is clear enough what Add and Modify should do. The problem is, it becomes a cognitive exercise every time, and that's a pain (also see KDE UI design philosophy). Perhaps if Add is only available when a blank row is selected and Modify is only available when an existing row is selected ... ? (The tradeoff would be having to Duplicate-Modify in order to create a new item based on an existing one rather than just Add, but there is already a Duplicate action on the right click menu, plus I think copy-then-modify is a very common workflow for users doing this type of action in other software. Actually, the Modify button is already grayed out when a blank area is clicked, so Skrooge is halfway there already.)
I'm actually running the standard Linux Mint (a Gnome system) until the Mint team releases their Helena KDE version (any day now). So maybe that has something to do with it.
Thanks for the explanation.
I hate to get into semantics, but English-wise, this is a really weird usage of "pointed". Is there some other term that can be used? If I may suggest some word changes...
Status column -> Reconciled or Reconciliation column
Account position -> Account balance, ending balance, final balance or similar (as has been discussed)
(no reconciliation status) -> Tooltip: "This operation has not been reconciled. Click to set to checked. Ctrl-click to force status to reconciled."
Pointed -> Checked (yeah, I know it currently means something different). Tooltip: "This operation has been checked, but reconciliation has not been completed. You can use reconciliation mode to reconcile operations that you have checked. Click to uncheck. Ctrl-click to force status to reconciled." (With the more consistent wording, it seems intuitive that reconciliation mode would be used to complete the reconciliation process, so perhaps some of this wording would now be unnecessary.)
Checked -> Reconciled. Tooltip: "This operation is reconciled."
So basically, as you go through your account statement and check each item in the statement, you set the corresponding operation in Skrooge to Checked. When all items have been Checked, the Reconcile button is activated (assuming that the balance on the statement matches the balance in Skrooge, i.e. the delta is zero) and when pressed, all Checked items become Reconciled. Maybe it's just me, but saying it this way makes more sense than having to figure out several extra terms (pointed, position, status, etc).
Now I came up with another question. Let's say I have several transactions in Skrooge that occurred AFTER the date on my bank statement. How do I reconcile the transactions that occurred BEFORE the date of my bank statement? The delta will never be zero (except by coincidence the net total of the new transactions equal zero). Do I have to force the older transactions to Reconciled?
Perhaps here's another term change:
operation -> transaction
True. I'm still nervous that I accidentally delete something and then don't notice until it's past the undo history limit. Maybe I'm just paranoid?
Sat Sep 25, 2010 9:18 am
I'd like to add a few things I encountered when I first tried Skrooge a couple of days ago.
First of all, the different values under Import / Export > Edit regular expressions could really use a tooltip and/or a mention in the Skrooge handbook. Especially the terms number, mode, status, quantity, sign, idtransaction and idgroup could use some clarification. Now I assume that mode refers to ATM or bank transfer or some other specification of mode. Is that correct? And what about the other values? I tried experimenting, but the results weren't clear to me.
Second, when importing a .csv, my bank has a separate field (Dutch "Af" or "Bij") to define whether a certain amount is added or subtracted, instead of adding a '-' in front of the amount where a negative is meant. Is there a way for the importer to recognize this or do I need to parse my .csv some other way?
Also, the csv I get from my bank has both a comment field and a field giving a name and description of the payee, in addition to a field with the payee account number. Now I can only import two of those three with the currently available payee and comment fields. Is the a way to either merge name/description with the comment value or (even better) to add a new column to the operations?
Another thing is the starting amount... would it be possible to somehow add in the current balance and have Skrooge calculate the starting amount? Although I could probably use a calculator for that myself, but still.
These were a few of my first troubles, I hope you will be able to either build upon this or tell me what I'm doing wrong So far Skrooge looks quite promising and I hope to use it more frequently once these initial problems have been ironed out.
Oh, and on another note: is it possible to address some of the suggestions of the poster above me?
Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:21 pm
I will add tooltips
Yes, this is correct.
Tooltips will clarify meaning of each key words.
I will try to find a solution for this kind of file.
The workaround is to create an new column merging the other ones in Open office for example.
If in regular expression, you associate more then one column of you csv file with "comment", then columns will be merged.
Do you know that you can import some columns of your csv file as property too ? (Disable "Automatic search of the columns" to test it)
This is not planed. Do you know that all amount fields have got a calculator included ?