Glossary

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The glossary explains some often used terms.

Since version 2.6.15 GnuCash's Tutorial & Concepts Guide includes a glossary. This page contains additional terms useful for developers, documentation writers, and translators.

" " ... @

$ 
is the starting symbol of variable names under Linux, similar to %variable% under Windows.
$HOME 
contains the path to your home directory.
Windows Note: $HOME is at %SYSDRIVE%\Documents and Settings\%USER%\.
For example, if your system is installed on drive "C:" and your username is "foo", $HOME is C:\Documents and Settings\foo.

A

AqBanking 
a library, which implements the german Home Banking Computer Interface HBCI and Electronic Banking Internet Communication Standard EBICS, besides OFX Direct Connect and Paypal. It is the successor of openHBCI. See AqBanking for use in GnuCash.

C

Chart of Accounts 
A listing of all the accounts available in the data file. The chart of accounts consists of balance sheet accounts (assets, liabilities, stockholders' equity) and income statement accounts (revenues, expenses, gains, losses). The chart of accounts can be expanded and tailored to reflect the operations of the company. The GnuCash chart of accounts can be selected from the File menu.


CSV 
Stands for Comma Separated Values. CSV files are used to store data in plain text. Each line of the file is a record and each record can be comprised of multiple fields separated by commas. More information can be found at Wikipedia

D

DBMS 
Data Base Management System, like mySQL or PostgreSQL
DocBook 
a Semantics markup language for technical documentation based on XML. The content can then be published in a variety of formats, including HTML, XHTML, EPUB, PDF, man pages, Web help and HTML Help, without requiring users to make any changes to the source. Urs Lindegger has a nice introduction while the official documentation is available with DocBook: The Definitive Guide.
Doxygen 
a tool for the automated generation of source code documentation. doxygen.org says that "Doxygen is a documentation system for C++, C, Java, IDL (Corba and Microsoft flavors) and to some extent PHP and C#."

G

GAAP 
The Generally Accepted Accounting Principles are the rules by which Business Accounting has to be done, especially in the U.S. and some other countries. For international standards see International Accounting Standards (IAS) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). You should also compare your locale standards like e.g. for Germany Grundsätze ordnungsmäßiger Buchführung.
GConf 
Gnome's Configuration Sytem has been used by GnuCash <=2.4 to store its configuration. In 2.5.x it was replaced by GSettings.
GNOME
pristine derived from GNU Network Object Model Environment is a desktop environment, from which Gnucash uses a bunch of libraries.
GSettings
Since GnuCash 2.5 the tool to store the users configuration data. It uses the native data store of the operating system:
Linux
DConf since Gnome 3.0 dropped GConf,
MacOsX
Defaults. Use the command-line defaults(1) to modify prefs when GnuCash isn't running.
Windows
Registry.
gtk+ 
the GIMP Tool Kit. It is the underlying graphical library that is used by GIMP, the GNU Image Manipulation Program, but also by the whole Gnome desktop. gtk.org says that "GTK+ is a multi-platform toolkit for creating graphical user interfaces. Offering a complete set of widgets, GTK+ is suitable for projects ranging from small one-off projects to complete application suites."
guile 
GNU Ubiquitous Intelligent Language for Extensions is an interpreter for the Scheme programming language, packaged as a library which can be incorporated into your programs. Other interpreters for Scheme are e.g. MIT Scheme, UMB Scheme, Luna, Hobbit, and many others.
Guppi 
a GNOME-based framework for graphing and interactive data analysis. This library created the pie charts and bar charts in GnuCash. Unfortunately, its development has been abandoned.
g-wrap 
a tool for creating Scheme interfaces to C libraries and vice versa. (replaced by swig for SVN-trunk and gnucash >= 2.2.0 anymore.)

H

HBCI/FinTS 
a bank-independent online banking protocol used by German banks. HBCI (Home Banking Computer Interface) has been developed by the German Central Banking Committee ZKA (Zentraler Kredit-Ausschuss). The standard is publicly available and is used by approx. 50% of German banks, but nowhere else in this world. Since 2002 it is called „Financial Transaction Services“ (FinTS). In GnuCash it can be used via AqBanking.
HTML
The HyperText Markup Language is usually used for websites, but also the GnuCash reports.

I

IRC 
Internet Relay Chat is a form of instant communication over the Internet. It is used for GnuCash to enable group (many-to-many) communication in a discussion forum, called channel. IRC in itself additionally also allows one-to-one communication. you can find the connection information at IRC

L

LibOFX 
an Open Source library for OFX (see below). It was created by one of the GnuCash developers (Benoit Gregoire), originally to be the OFX interface for GnuCash.

M

MT940 
a financial information standard defined by SWIFT and used by several European banks. It is also used internally in HBCI. Unfortunately, you can't download the MT940 standard, but some banks (like this one) publish it on their web site.

O

OFX 
the Open Financial eXchange format. This is a financial information standard (i.e. a file format standard) documented at http://www.ofx.net/DeveloperSolutions.aspx
OpenHBCI 
was an Open Source implementation of the German HBCI. It was replaced in 2004 by AqBanking.

P

PHP
originally Personal Home Page, now PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor is the server sided scripting language in the pages of www.gnucash.org.
Python
a programming language, which can be used to write extensions to GnuCash, if support was enabled at build time.

Q

QOF
Abbreviation of the Gnucash internal module Query Object Framework.

S

Scheme 
a functional programming language, a dialect of Lisp. There's a little more information at http://www.swiss.ai.mit.edu/projects/scheme/, where they'll tell you that "Scheme is a statically scoped and properly tail-recursive dialect of the Lisp programming language invented by Guy Lewis Steele Jr. and Gerald Jay Sussman.", but there are several tutorials like anotherSchemeTtutorial. Use your preferred web search to find them.
SWIG 
The Simplified Wrapper and Interface Generator is 'a tool that connects programs written in C and C++ with a variety of high-level programming languages', here for creating Scheme interfaces to C libraries and vice versa. (Replacement for g-wrap since gnucash 2.2.0 )

X

xacc
Abbreviation of XAccountant.
XAccountant
The Motif based ancestor of Gnucash.
XML 
The eXtensible Markup Language can be seen as an abstraction of HTML. It is often used to store e.g.
  • structured data like your GnuCash file or
  • technical documentation in Docbook.
For details see the W3C Recommendation.

[ ... ~

~ 
In a path name it has the same meaning as $HOME.