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Software bird flies the nest

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Mar. 2nd, 2009 | 08:42 pm
mood: proud

Back on Friday (2009-02-27), I finished something that I'm very glad to have done. I released a new version of a software package, jGnash 1.12.0.

jGnash is a personal finance program. You know, like Quicken. It doesn't have as many bells and whistles as Quicken for Windows, but it should meet most people's needs. And, unlike Quicken, jGnash has the same functionality on a Macintosh that it has on Windows. jGnash works on Linux, too, where Quicken, last I heard, isn't available at all.

And jGnash is open source. And free.

This particular new release is especially relevant to Macintosh users, as I will explain below.

 

The principal author of jGnash, one Craig Cavanaugh, has moved on to creating releases in the 2.x series: he's currently up to 2.1.0. But jGnash 2 isn't as Mac-friendly as jGnash 1; it won't run on a Mac unless you first install a bunch of other stuff.

jGnash 1 had (note past tense) some problems on the Mac, too. Everything on the "Reports" menu was non-functional. That's where I came in. I fixed that. With this new release, the reports work on Mac OS X (10.4, aka "Tiger", and above) just as they do elsewhere.

I can't confidently claim perfect portability even now, but to my knowledge, there are no longer any major Mac-specific problems in jGnash 1.

In addition to coding the fixes, I undertook the "release engineering" process: getting the program from where it works on a developer's computer, like my own, to where it's ready and available for ordinary users to download (in the case of jGnash, from SourceForge). There's more to this than you might think.

And it's the release engineering process that turned into a real slog, for me, this time. I have experience with that kind of work, from when I was employed by SAS Institute; but I hadn't done it on an open-source project before. So most of the specific steps were new to me.

Ordinarily, I would have relished taking on the challenge of learning those new skills. But I've been having a hard time with some personal stuff in the last couple of months, and sometimes, I just couldn't summon up the energy to tackle whatever step was next. I was depressed, is what it was.

But I perservered, and I got there, and now it's done. "Shipped." "Out the door." Mission accomplished.

Can you tell that I feel good about this?

If you're interested, you can view information about jGnash, in the form of a Wiki, here, and browse all the versions available for download here.

 

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Comments {3}

annmeeker

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from: annmeeker
date: Mar. 3rd, 2009 02:08 am (UTC)
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Congratulations! Big pat on the back. And you tell me this the day I finish sorting all the tax stuff for my accountant in Quicken? Well, it'll be there next year. From all of us tax-challenged people, thank you!

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skyeyedoc

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from: skyeyedoc
date: Mar. 3rd, 2009 11:27 am (UTC)
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Big thank-you for posting about this. I've been on the lookout for something of this sort for some time, and will be trying a build on Ubuntu very soon. This week it's been a test WordPress blog server. Woo-hoo!

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Quicken substitute

from: macgipt
date: Mar. 3rd, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)
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I'm looking forward to trying this. I certainly get tired of buying updates that I don't need to keep a checkbook.

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