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Re: Freedom; Re: migration to sql-ledger

Hi Marjan,

On Fri, May 20, 2016 at 5:02 PM, Marjanw <..hidden..> wrote:
Hi all,

I think this discussion demonstrates there are different types of users.
We simply have to admit that!

Absolutely! I'm the last one to deny so. However, there are some things that can't be left to the user as a choice: if people want to use their browsers with unsafe encryption, Google and Firefox now won't let them anymore. The same applies to GPG which will soon be removing (or maybe has already removed) support for known-insecure algorithms. Shooting oneself in the foot that way isn't supported any more.

My point: The functionalities we offer should be in line with the requirements that our users have *as well as* the requirements that our users *should* have (e.g. universal legal and auditing requirements). Our users are very often not accounting professionals and like the encryption software users (who 99% will not be algorithm savvy), I think it's our role to help them not to shoot themselves in the foot.
Open Source software is all about freedom.

True. It's about the freedom to own your own software and modify it to suit your needs. The LedgerSMB project whole-heartily supports that concept: we're giving - free as in speech *and* free as in beer - to the community the software that volunteers have invested years of their life in - mostly without compensation of any kind (i.e. without being paid for it by anyone).
Freedom is an important drive for many of us to use Open Source software.
Yup. Same here. Although I can't help the feeling that for many people the fact that a lot of FOSS is 'free as in beer' remains an important property of the software.
Restricting freedom will make users unhappy.
Maybe. Can you say in what way LedgerSMB's development team doesn't abide by the Open Source movement's ideas according to your opinion?

In the end they will vote by their feet.
Why? They got the freedom they were promised! They can even edit the sources themselves which will allow them to do the foot-shooting, after all?
So I think the only satisfactory solution will be to offer our users the freedom to choose.
If we have users, which feel they need some form of editing, deleting/redoing a transaction,
and this is technically possible, we should not restrict them from doing that.

I disagree for several reasons:

 * encryption software won't offer you the option to use insecure algorithms and we should not offer methods that are legally or ethically banned
 * in this specific case, there's really no easy way to correctly implement this in our current code base
 * more options bear a maintenance cost to the development team *and* make the program harder to configure and understand for users -- we should not think lightly of introducing new options

Especially the last point is of great importance, I think. It's more important to have *working* software (at all) than have software with loads of options which works for some people some of the time. People will definitely leave when the software simply doesn't do the things they should expect it to do, if they need that software for their day-to-day work. And rightfully so.
Secondly I will advocate simple solutions.
So do I, but looking at the bigger picture, solutions with more options aren't simple; they become highly complex really quickly due to the sheer number of possible configurations.... And what to think of the new user who needs to understand all these options and decide what is applicable for their situation?
Adding a void flag to transactions to manipulate reports sounds opaque, construed.
/not/ showing the transactions will be a filter (an option :-) ) on default settings, they /will/ show.
If you really don't want transactions to show up, the most straightforward solution is:
they are simply not there!
We're not the only ones not supporting deletion of *posted* transactions: https://www.erp5.com/howto/erp5-developer-howto/erp5-HowTo.Delete.Accounting.Transaction

Some background: while the people speaking up here generally work for single-person businesses (by their own words), LedgerSMB is also being used by businesses (of o1bigtenor seems to be an example) who *do* require these anti-fraud measures, audit trails and cumulative-only posting system. For those businesses, we'd be end-of-the line if we'd implement transaction overwrite/transaction-delete. So, this isn't a matter of simply ignoring users, it's not unwillingness on my part; it has to do with balancing requirements from lots of people.
Just my two cents.

Thanks for your feedback, it's absolutely highly valued!



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