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Re: Many hands make light work: what can we do to get 10 minutes of your time in 2016?

On Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 4:32 AM, ledger-smb-users <..hidden..> wrote:
> I appreciate your sensitivity on this but in the context of this
> discussion, but in this context, feel free to discuss it.

Good. It is ledger-cli. Written in C, and working surprisingly fast, it
has a command line interface although there's also a fork, hledger,
which can work with a browser GUI.

I have looked at Ledger-CLI because it was chosen as the basis for an open source non-profit-oriented solution.

It is well done for what it does.   One of the impressions that I got from it was that the direction we are moving, in the area of a clear separation of mechanism from interface, is a good one and that is one thing that LedgerCLI does very well (making it a very good for very small operations).

It maintains a 'database' in text format with different files for
payors/payees and for their commodities and their prices if you like to
maintain those, and for the accounts of course. it's all plain readable and relations between the
entities are clear and can easily be tracked down if needed.

Right.  It has to lock that so no concurrent access right?  I mean you can have a server which serializes requests and enters them one at a time, but you cannot have multiple readers and multiple writers at the same moment, as I understand it.  So the design limitations are different. If it works for you I won't be the one to bad mouth them or anything.  It's a good program for what it does.

However it is worth noting what we can learn from them.

Inputting is very fast and for repeating transactions you simple do a
search/copy/paste in your text document and change the date.

I wonder how hard it woudl be to make a ledger-cli-compatible import library for LSMB.  Not sure we could do the same tagging they do (our tagging system is different) but for basic format stuff should be easy I think.  I will add an enhancement item to do this.

If the commodity's price has changed you put a new, time stamped, entry
in the price list.

It's not for people who have no clue of computers and are only windows
GUI users, but for people like me, with some basic (and then some more)
understanding of computers it's very useable.

Reporting is quite comprehensive yet not straight forward, but here my
litlle bit more-than-basic understanding of computers plays out quite
well. Not to mention the free (as in free beer) support on the forum,
irc channel where the main developer chimes in on a regular basis.

Install is not straight forward but much less complicated than lsmb was.

It's not an ERP but that's not what I need.

I just need the expenses, income, stocks (oh, it does handle those also
in an elegant manner--no 'warehouses' though), sales and
receivables/payables and the reporting thereof, on a project basis.

If you remember (it's years ago) the project based reporting was my
main reason for starting with LSMB, but with ledger-cli that's covered
as well now.

However, before I leave this world, which won't be anytime soon if it
were up to me, I'm sure I'll have to go back to something like LSMB for
my successors to be able to continue the things I'm doing now with
ledger, so I'm still interested in the developments.
Hence my continued subscription to this list. :)

Thanks again for the discussion here.  It is worth seeing what we can learn from them as well.

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers

> > > After all, we can't be everything to everybody, which means it's
> > > definitely good to have alternatives to point people to.
> >
> > Right, it's no problem.
> >
> > > > By now probably things have changed in LSMB in that maybe there
> > > > is a confirmation step now, but I'm sure I would find another
> > > > way to do something seriously damaging to the database.
> > > >
> > >
> > > Actually, it would be very helpful, if you did that :-)
> >
> > Your sense of humour is appreciated. :)
> >
> Actually almost every time we have seen this, it has prompted database
> fixes, so seriously.....
> >
> > > > Then there was the install procedure which was really some
> > > > excercise in self-torture for a diy-er... I'm happy to hear that
> > > > things are going to improve, or already have.
> > > >
> > >
> > > Right. There's a direct relation between this point and the
> > > incorporation of Efficito, which offers a hosted  solution:
> > > there's a direct relationship between the complexity of the setup
> > > procedure and the desire to be not only an accounting system, but
> > > also to integrate invoicing, with PDF invoices, open item
> > > management, inventory management, fixed assets administration and
> > > so on, with the ability to mail customers and vendors directly
> > > from inside the system. (Although, granted, most users probably
> > > most heavily use the accounting side.)
> >
> > I sense a tiny amount of friction here with the open source model if
> > not 'home use' but understand the rationale.
> >
> Well, Erik's sentence above covers a breathtaking scope in terms of
> what we actually offer.

Yes, and it's the combination of you offering an open source solution
as well running a business based on it which made me hesitating
mentioning the other sulution that I'm using now.

> The setup complexity for a basic system for a given industry will
> eventually get solved for some definition of "setup."  THis could be
> done with vms or docker images, or better packaging.

With 'better' packaging you probably mean 'faster'? I agree.
VM Appliances would be an option, but not for me as I'm using Qubes OS,
but Docker images could work also.

> But if I
> understand Erik's points above that's a minority really of what we
> are talking about.
> First, people will want some new templates or the like.  Some of this
> can be improved as well.  But design is design and that is not
> something you can just drop in regardless of the technology used.
> But then we have things which are "setup" issues but are their own
> disciplines.  If you are slightly larger, how do you tune
> PostgreSQL?  Do you want backups?  An ability to restore to a point
> in time if something goes badly?  Where are these stored?  Want
> replication?  What then?

With the ledger-cli I'm using git for that. :)

> Then we get to emailing invoices.

No need for that.

> Here anti-spam best practices have
> changed a lot in the last decade  Do you want to keep up with that?


> Then there are other aspects.  Do you want training?


> Or is
> documentation and the email lists good enough?

If comprehensive enough: Yes.

> What about on-going
> support?

Well, of course. :)

> There are a lot of people for whom these extra burdens of running a
> system are really not very attractive.  That is effectively where
> Efficito comes in.

Fully understood.

> Are we the only vendor here?  No.
> Do we want to be the only vendor here?  No.
> Do we want people to run LSMB at home?  Yes.
> Are we here to help?  Yes.
> >
> > > > Thanks for introducing me to accounting however, I learned a
> > > > lot of this experience.-
> > > >
> > >
> > > Thanks again for following up on your original feedback! Happy and
> > > prosperous 2016!
> >
> > And to you too.
> >
> Thanks again!

You're welcome. Thanks for the elaborate reply.


> >
> > ario
> >
> >
> >
> >
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> > ..hidden..
> > https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/ledger-smb-users
> >

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Best Wishes,
Chris Travers

Efficito:  Hosted Accounting and ERP.  Robust and Flexible.  No vendor lock-in.
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