GnuCash and Tiger

Posted by Thomas Gideon on 8 May 2005

I just upgraded my PowerMac G5 to Tiger yesterday. I was able to upgrade PostFix Enabler to a version that works under Tiger, and WordPress works just fine with the bundled version of Apache, though I had to restore my edits to /etc/http.conf.

Unfortunately, Fink is pretty badly busted under Tiger. My impression is that few, if any, of the package maintainers had access to the seed builds. While I have been slowly reducing my dependence on Fink and its packages, by finding native alternatives, there is one pretty critical holdout for me: GnuCash.

If this last application were a geek widget, I'd just suck it up and find an acceptable alternative. But I have been managing my household budget out of GnuCash for the better part of three years. I am spoiled for anything else and am not encouraged by comments I have seen in my searches on information for compiling/installing GnuCash under Tiger.

Worse, the GnuCash Fink package maintainer responded on the fink-users mailing list in a pretty snarky way.

Look, I appreciate that the guy has other commitments and that he's just maintaining a port of someone else's work, but he's got to understand that those folks who have been using GnuCash are diehard users, to say the least. Switching mail applications is not a big deal; moving years worth of personal finance, investment and tax data to some other application is pretty traumatic.

I am fortunate that Fink on my new PowerBook seems to have survived the Tiger upgrade unscathed. I retained my ability to upgrade and install source packages from the more comprehensive and usable Panther unstable trees. I am compiling GnuCash and its dependencies on that system as I type, though I would not be surprised if the build throws a show somewhere along the way.

I am doubly lucky that Panther is still running on my original PowerBook and in the worst case, I will move my GnuCash files there and use that system exclusively for managing my finances. Not fun, but at least I can tread water until Fink stabilizes enough that either the gnome1 version of GnuCash is installable/compilable again or the gnome2 version is.

Oh, and I checked VersionTracker for native alternatives. CheckBook and Accounts seem to be the best options, going by ratings, but are just too damn simple for my needs.

What about Quicken? I found remarks on fink-users from other GnuCash users and they were not encouraging. I don't want to spend $70 on a package I can't return if I can't stand it. Especially if in a few months, I can go back to using GnuCash, or perhaps find some other suitable native alternative.

Is it too much to ask for someone to make a not crappy (Quicken), powerful enough for real budgeting (GnuCash) financial application that runs natively on a Mac?