A couple of suggestions

Suggest ideas on how to improve Metalogic Finance Explorer and comment on other users' ideas.
stacey
Posts: 4
Joined: 09 Aug 2010, 10:53

A couple of suggestions

Postby stacey » 09 Aug 2010, 11:10

Hi there,

Finance Explorer looks like just the thing for me. It definitely will make a difference to the way I organise my finances. I have a couple of (relatively trivial) suggestions that I would like to recommend.

1. The ability to change the currency from dollars to something else. Since I live outside of the us, I would like to change the currency symbol to that of where I live.

2. Adding a password to open the application. It makes me weary that the finance information is not protected or encoded in some way, and also that the application runs without any password request. I don't really want someone else coming along and snooping through my finances when I'm away from my pc!

3. I'm not sure how to delete entries/tables. Sometimes pushing the delete button on my keyboard works, other times it doesn't.

4. It's a bit disconcerting to not have the ability to right click. It would be nice to have delete/copy/paste functionality on a right click menu. This would make duplicating entries easier.

And finally (This is more of a wish than anything else)
5. The ability to automatically assign a category based on the description or note on the transaction. For example, every month I have an identical payment of bank changes. Could I not assign the category "bank charges" to not only this transaction, but every transaction that looks like this one too?

Thanks for the software. Is there any documentation on the ini file that's in the program directory? I'd like to know what other parameters it recognizes.
Regards,
Stacey

Metalogic
Site Admin
Posts: 188
Joined: 20 Feb 2010, 02:37

Re: A couple of suggestions

Postby Metalogic » 09 Aug 2010, 16:45

Hi Stacey,
Glad to hear you are finding Finance Explorer helpful.

1. Finance Explorer uses the currency symbol from Windows (setup in Regional Settings). If you are finding that the currency symbol is always "$", it could be that Windows is not setup correctly for your locale here is a link detailing how to fix that in Windows XP: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307938. On the other hand, if you are finding that for the most part the symbol is correct but certain areas still show the dollar symbol, could you let me know what those areas are?

2. I usually recommend that users add a password to Windows. That will protect both your data in Finance Explorer as well as all other personal information on your computer. Nevertheless, I have added this feature request to the list for consideration.

3. The delete button on your keyboard should always work. Keep in mind that if you are editing a cell, DEL will delete the text within that cell. If you are not editing then DEL will delete the entire entry. Could you provide an example where DEL does not appear to behave properly? That information will help investigate the issue.

4. I have added the right-click request to the list. Are you thinking mostly of right-clicking on the grid area and having some of the same options available from the menu as well as a new "duplicate entry" option?

5. This one is actually already on the list for a future version. You can look forward to seeing this feature in a future release (no time line yet).

The .ini does not hold a lot of information, only your bank's URL (used from the "favorite" button on the toolbar to give you a quick way to get to your bank's website to download your transactions.)

And as always, I recommend that you ensure that you are running the latest version (from Help>Check for Updates) as some of the issues may already be fixed.

Regards,
Metalogic
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stacey
Posts: 4
Joined: 09 Aug 2010, 10:53

Re: A couple of suggestions

Postby stacey » 09 Aug 2010, 23:31

Thanks for your quick response,

My windows installation is actually a simulation of windows XP in linux. It's a pretty empty build and hence the regional settings and passwords weren't set up. I'll definitely change my currency settings and add a password to my account.

I'm using Finance Explorer 4.2.1. I've found that pushing delete doesn't work when deleting "folders" on the left hand panel that I created. I created an empty credit card and could not delete it again. I noticed that the folder does not need to be empty in order for it to be deleted (I deleted all of the demo data this way), although when I went back to try and delete some of my own folders, the delete button didn't work. I concluded that It would let me delete the demo data, but not folders I created. Does that make sense?

By "the grid" do you mean the larger region where transactions are displayed, or the left where the folder tree is?
The layout is very windows explorer-ish (which is good), but it makes me naturally want to right click in both areas like I can in windows explorer.

What language is finance explorer written in? is there a chance of seeing a version for Linux anytime soon?

Metalogic
Site Admin
Posts: 188
Joined: 20 Feb 2010, 02:37

Re: A couple of suggestions

Postby Metalogic » 10 Aug 2010, 11:57

Hello again,
There were two post on the same day one from a Mac user using Parallels and another from a Linux also using Windows on a VM (VMware? VirtualBox?). It's interesting to see how varied the user base is.

You are correct, delete doesn't work on the tree. If you want to delete a bank account for example, highlight the Bank folder and then highlight the account on the right then delete. That should work. All data can be deleted, not just the demo data.

By grid I meant the Excel-like region on the right side.

I agree with you that the tree should have a context menu (right-clicks). You can look forward to that feature in a future version.

Finance Explorer is written in C++. Due to time constraints, there are no plans for a Linux version. The upcoming version however (which should be in beta within the next couple of months) should work better under Wine (http://www.winehq.org) although I haven't tried it.
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stacey
Posts: 4
Joined: 09 Aug 2010, 10:53

Re: A couple of suggestions

Postby stacey » 11 Aug 2010, 02:47

Hi there,

I'm using virtualbox. Wine (1.1.29) didn't work on my setup (PcLinux 2008 or knoppix 6.2).

I wouldn't mind being involved in the conversion from windows to Linux if you're interested, especially if the code is in c++, that's my forte :P

Thanks for the software. It'll definitely make my life easier.

Metalogic
Site Admin
Posts: 188
Joined: 20 Feb 2010, 02:37

Re: A couple of suggestions

Postby Metalogic » 11 Aug 2010, 12:52

Nice to hear that you are a fellow developer.

Did you mean that MFE didn't work on Wine on your setup or that Wine itself didn't work on your setup?

Some time ago, there was an effort to make MFE cross platform using wxWidgets (http://www.wxwidgets.org). It ended up being a lot of work and the effort was canceled. The reality is that our user base consists of a vast Windows majority and those using other OSs typically already run some sort of VM or dual-boot system. So realistically, the limited resources are better targeted at improving the Windows version than making it cross-platform and then building and supporting the additional platforms after that.

It's certainly not out of the question but definitely not in the near future. Once the new version is out, I would appreciate feedback on how it runs under Wine (if at all). If it requires relatively minor tweaks, I would be open to patching those.
Enjoy our software? Then please submit a review.

stacey
Posts: 4
Joined: 09 Aug 2010, 10:53

Re: A couple of suggestions

Postby stacey » 13 Aug 2010, 03:14

Apologies for the ambiguity; I couldn't get MFE to work with wine on my setup. The install works fine (most do), but the program itself immediately crashes when run in wine.

It's understandable that often Linux development is not viable just because the vast majority of the userbase is using windows. Most of the code I write is designed for both windows and Linux from the start, purely because our customers tend to swing towards Linux. This is definitely a special case though.

I don't mind giving feedback on the new version when it comes out :)

Metalogic
Site Admin
Posts: 188
Joined: 20 Feb 2010, 02:37

Re: A couple of suggestions

Postby Metalogic » 13 Aug 2010, 22:36

I will look forward to your feedback. The beta will be out this year (likely within two months).

I didn't expect the current version to be Wine friendly but hope the new one is (or at least friendlier). The grid on the current version is ActiveX based while the new version will have a C++ grid. Hopefully that helps Wine cope a little better.

As far as cross-platform development, my experience has been that the logic will port without too much problem but the UI code ends up being a throw away and start from scratch. That is, unless the UI was started from the beginning with a cross-platform technology such as wxWidgets, HTML, Flash, Qt, etc.

All the best,
Metalogic
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praewarn
Posts: 4
Joined: 12 Aug 2010, 19:44

Re: A couple of suggestions

Postby praewarn » 18 Aug 2010, 23:25

5. The ability to automatically assign a category based on the description or note on the transaction. For example, every month I have an identical payment of bank changes. Could I not assign the category "bank charges" to not only this transaction, but every transaction that looks like this one too?


I am also keen to see this change so am excited to see that you have it scheduled for a future release.
Can't wait!!

Metalogic
Site Admin
Posts: 188
Joined: 20 Feb 2010, 02:37

Re: A couple of suggestions

Postby Metalogic » 19 Aug 2010, 22:57

Thanks for the feedback praewarn. Evidently this feature will be useful to a lot of people. I have moved its priority to the top. It likely won't make it into the next version as that's already well underway but it is now scheduled for the following release.
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