2011-01-12 GnuCash IRC logs

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00:16:04 <mib_eu31ou> I'm fairly new to using GnuCash, and I want to send my data to my accountant, who uses Quicken. Whenever I try to export, I get this message that GnuCash could not obtain the lock for my file
00:16:33 <mib_eu31ou> It says "That database may be in use by another user, in which case you should not export the database. Do you want to proceed with exporting the database?"
00:17:32 <mib_eu31ou> When I say yes, it says my file already exists, and asks if I want to overwrite it. I'm afraid to say yes, for fear that I'll lose all my data.
00:18:28 <mib_eu31ou> Is this normal? Should I just overwrite, and if I do, will it export my data into a format usable by other accounting software? Thanks!
00:28:33 <jsled> it sounds like you're selecting your open datafile as the file you want to export to.
00:28:39 <jsled> which … would be incorrect.
00:28:51 <jsled> how are you initiating the "export"?
00:44:01 <mib_eu31ou> my file is open, and i'm going to File>Export>Export Accounts.
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00:55:30 <jsled> and then?
00:55:53 <mib_eu31ou> and then i get the error messages i listed above.
00:56:27 <jsled> regardless, "Export Accounts" just creates a new datafile with just your account tree … no actual transactions or information your accountant would actually want. you probably want to find a suitable report, and export that as html
01:37:25 <mib_eu31ou> okay. thanks.
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06:36:55 <CaMason> how can I get the sum of balances in an accounts + all sub accounts for a time period?
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08:13:43 <warlord> indigo: Ah, yeah, the SX formula can not deal with extra principal payments.
08:14:54 <warlord> mib_eu31ou: Most likely you just need a Balance Sheet, P&L (Income Statement), and a Transaction Report.
08:15:22 <warlord> CaMason: I'm not sure I understand your question -- can you go into more detail about what you're trying to do?
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08:15:37 <CaMason> I found a way to do it with transaction report
08:16:02 <CaMason> I'm doing a VAT return - I needed to get the sum of all of my income accounts and then expense accounts
08:17:01 <CaMason> between 2 dates :)
08:19:13 <warlord> Sounds like a P&L or Income Statement
08:20:26 <CaMason> yes it pretty much is. The VAT thing has to be split in a strange way, so I used transaction report to generate 4 HTML files for me
08:21:05 <CaMason> the net value of EU purchases actually has to go into 2 boxes on the return :s
08:34:21 <indigo> is there an exponentiation operator i can use in an SX?
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08:39:58 <warlord> indigo: Um, not that I know of offhand. Why do you need one?
08:40:33 <indigo> if i had one, i could replace pmt() with a function that does what i need
08:40:59 <indigo> well, not a function, but an expression of my own specification
08:42:02 <warlord> The hardest problem is 'get-account-balance-as-of-date'
08:42:35 <warlord> You could certainly create an exponentiation function.
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08:45:17 <indigo> i don't think i'd need to get an account balance, although that would make the formula easier
08:46:38 <indigo> as long as my payments are regular, the formula can calculate the loan balance. The problem is just that the functions don't include a way for me to specify my monthly payment
08:47:25 <indigo> writing such an expression without the help of a function would require (1+rate)^i somewhere though
08:47:48 <indigo> where would i look to add an exponenation function?
08:50:47 <fell> warlord: about http://lists.gnucash.org/logs/2011/01/2011-01-07.html#T10:16:54 I think we should set in htdocs/trunk/news/news-script.php:113 $cutoff to 1 or 2. Since the announcements contain a complete changelog they became really big.
08:55:36 <kimmo> camason, shouldn't you account for VAT already when you make the entries?
08:56:03 <CaMason> I do
08:56:40 <CaMason> this is for the VAT return. I needed to show gross sales + EU purchases net, and gross purchases + EU purchases net
09:00:01 <warlord> indigo: take a look at the current implementations?
09:00:34 <warlord> fell: I wish we could set it based on # lines instead of # entries.
09:02:17 <indigo> warlord: i was hoping for a hint on where those are
09:08:52 <warlord> fin.scm
09:09:42 <indigo> ah, thanks
09:18:59 <fell> Well, counting lines would be the better solution as we have short service announcements and long release announcements. But how often do you push service anns.? Then with cutoff 5 you could post 4 service announcements and there would also be a release ann.
09:21:56 <warlord> Probably not often enough ;)
09:23:45 <warlord> Why are people still being hit with the "I stored my datafile in .gnucash/books and now it's gone" issue? Shouldn't we KNOW that's a bad place and not let user's choose that path?
09:27:33 <kimmo> heh
09:27:43 <kimmo> ~/gc-data/
09:29:25 <warlord> Seriously, I think that if the Save-As dialog gets a string with '/.gnucash/' in it, we should pop up a dialog to confirm before allowing it through.
09:29:48 <fell> yep
09:30:21 <kimmo> yeah
09:30:46 <kimmo> maybe anything that has a ^. pathpart?
09:30:58 <warlord> c.f. the gnucash-user "windows/sqlite3 issue"
09:31:12 <warlord> I think dot-paths are fine, just not dot-gnucash
09:31:30 <kimmo> sure, but if it's just a confirmation, not a plain deny?
09:31:33 <warlord> I suspect that the dot-gnucash path is a default for first-time installers.
09:31:42 <kimmo> ah
09:31:58 <warlord> Well, a confirmation with a very stern warning and the default response being 'cancel'
09:32:13 <warlord> c.f. the FAQ on this topic.
09:32:43 <fell> ~/.* should be forbidden, but e.g. ~/documents/.finance should be allowed
09:33:21 <indigo> why would someone do such a thing?
09:33:35 <kimmo> fell, access restriction is not enough, you have to hide the file too?
09:34:05 <fell> indigo: The girlfriend must not know the price of the gift
09:34:07 <kimmo> I really, really can not think of a reason why anyone would save their data files in any app in a dot-path
09:34:08 <warlord> fell: I think it's perfectly reasonable for a user to create ~/.gnucash-data
09:34:32 <kimmo> fell, the girlfriend must also not know their password, and not be able to see the recent-files-list
09:34:46 <warlord> kimmo: they shouldn't.. but gnucash doesn't prevent it.. and in some cases it seems to default to ~/.gnucash/books which is just Bad.
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09:36:39 <fell> kimmo: would you explain that in the documents and on the user list?
09:37:31 <kimmo> I'd rather not get into a pointless flame war
09:37:55 <kimmo> besides, ~/Documents, capitalized, is the proper place for documents
09:37:55 <kimmo> ;)
09:38:59 <warlord> Proper according to whom?
09:39:10 <fell> Win9x?
09:39:17 <warlord> (kimmo, you did bring this flamewar upon yourself)
09:39:38 * warlord was just trying to prevent users from shooting themselves in the foot too easily.
10:07:47 <fell> Bug 639322
10:08:56 * indigo curses the finite precision of currency
10:10:01 <warlord> heh
10:10:04 <warlord> thanks fell
10:11:01 <fell> welcome warlord
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10:27:14 <CaMason> is it possible to save report settings?
10:27:32 <warlord> CaMason: Sure. Change the report name and then click "Add Report"
10:28:06 <CaMason> well, GNUcash crashed
10:29:11 <CaMason> I'll try again
10:29:19 <warlord> Cool! Get a stacktrace and file a bug report!
10:29:37 <CaMason> crash again. Howto on windows?
10:29:52 <warlord> http://wiki.gnucash.org/wiki/Stack_Trace
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10:30:50 <CaMason> I know why.. I was messing around with reports before and created 'saved-reports-2.0' as a folder
10:32:07 <warlord> Oh, that would be a problem.
10:32:57 <CaMason> hm can you not update a report?
10:33:31 <warlord> No. You have to rename it again and re-save it
10:34:12 <CaMason> ok. I suppose I could edit the file and delete the old one
10:36:29 <warlord> That wouldn't work -- the new one "depends" on the old one.
10:37:35 <CaMason> I see. I deleted both anyway and started again :)
10:37:56 <CaMason> that would benefit from a bit of a cleanup though
10:39:21 <warlord> Yeah, deleting both works.
10:39:37 <CaMason> this is beautiful - seeing all my figures match up for the past year. Time for dividends!
10:42:04 <indigo> i'm starting to believe it's not possible to create a formula that calculates loan payments in the general case
10:42:22 <indigo> you can be all ideal about it, but then your bank will round something differently
10:42:42 <indigo> the only real solution is to download the schedule from the bank, and create a function that returns those values.
10:46:24 <warlord> indigo: Or get it close and just adjust it when you get your statements.
10:46:48 <indigo> yeah, the lookup function seems more elegant though
10:47:11 <indigo> though, it seems like what they are doing is rounding the monthly interest rate to 7 sigfigs
10:47:23 <indigo> just a guess based on experimentation.
10:48:14 <indigo> if currency came in real numbers we wouldn't have this problem
10:49:14 <indigo> what do i owe you? oh, $12341234321/18014398777917439
10:51:34 <indigo> tell you what...just give me $6.85e-7*pi and we will call it even.
10:54:24 <jsled> will you take $ e^{iπ}+1 instead?
10:55:02 <indigo> i think we will have to solve IRC character set issues before this real number currency becomes pratical
10:55:25 <jsled> we have. it's call utf-8. :)
10:55:30 <jsled> called, even.
10:55:59 <indigo> well, we still have to agree on utf-8 out-of-band before we can exchange financial data
10:56:11 <CaMason> May I just say that GNU Cash owns.
10:56:17 <CaMason> Sod Sage, Quickbooks etc.
10:56:32 <CaMason> My accountant nearly burst with excitement when he saw it
10:57:35 <indigo> yeah.
11:01:31 <CaMason> one issue I have is, creating a report based on 'income statement' seems to be overwriting the standard 'income statement' report
11:02:14 <warlord> Nah, everyone uses UTF8 these days.
11:03:10 <warlord> CaMason: What do you mean by "creating a report based on 'income statement'"?
11:03:14 <warlord> Are you creating a new .scm file?
11:03:25 <CaMason> I opened income statement, changed some settings, changed the title, then clicked add
11:04:39 <CaMason> The new report now exists under 'Custom', but the original 'income statement' under 'Income and Expense' has change to 'Income Statement 2009'
11:05:09 <warlord> Hmmm... That seems... WRONG.
11:05:21 <CaMason> indeed
11:05:26 <CaMason> I'll delete it all and start again
11:05:54 <warlord> Changing a report should NOT change anything in the Reports list.
11:06:09 <CaMason> ok, 'Income and Expense -> Income Statment' exists.. I'm going to open it and customise it
11:06:10 <warlord> (er, changing through the UI -- if you modify the .scm all bets are off)
11:06:48 <CaMason> this is in gnucash gui
11:06:56 <warlord> right
11:07:00 <CaMason> ok, it's all customised. Should I now change the 'report name' ?
11:07:15 <CaMason> in options -> general
11:07:23 <CaMason> There's report name and report title
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11:08:30 <warlord> I'm ... not sure.
11:08:41 * warlord just leaves the reports opens.
11:08:43 <warlord> open
11:08:59 <CaMason> I'll change the name. So it's now "Income Statment 2009"
11:09:13 <CaMason> click Apply.. now 'Add Report' is available. I click that.
11:09:40 <CaMason> infobox saying it's saved, and will be under 'reports -> custom'
11:09:57 <warlord> right..
11:10:24 <CaMason> and it is. All good. But, 'Income and Expense -> Income statement' is now 'income statement 2009' and has all of those options I configured
11:11:04 <warlord> What version of GnuCash?
11:11:22 <CaMason> http://dl.dropbox.com/u/136067/random/incstate.png
11:11:37 <CaMason> 2.2.9
11:12:46 <CaMason> Possibly some kind of naming clash?
11:14:26 <CaMason> I'll try it with a completely unrelated name
11:16:47 <CaMason> aha now THAT was different
11:17:43 <CaMason> it's showing up seperately in 'custom' and the original 'income statement' is there
11:18:09 <indigo> so hrm...the number of possible interpreters i get searching for "scheme" is overwhelming...if I wanted to test a function i'm defining in fin.scm interactively, is there a tool I can install to easily do that?
11:18:56 <warlord> indigo: guile
11:19:19 <indigo> ah, i knew that
11:19:33 <warlord> CaMason: Hmm, 2.2.9?!? Wow, never seen that issue before.
11:19:35 <indigo> ironicaly, guile doesn't come up in apt-cache search --names-only scheme
11:20:16 <warlord> CaMason: That's very very interesting.. Can you test 2.4.0 and if it still happens there file a bug report?
11:20:41 <warlord> indigo: cant help you there. You're in DebianLand.
11:20:57 <CaMason> will do in a few :)
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11:37:29 <CaMason> will 2.4.0 work OK with my 2.2.9 data file?
11:42:55 <warlord> CaMason: it should.
11:43:02 <warlord> There were no XML data file changes.
11:43:14 <CaMason> ok, installing :)
11:44:50 <CaMason> oh, one can delete custom reports in this version
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12:03:29 <indigo> how do people read scheme
12:03:37 <indigo> it's making my head hurt
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12:05:05 <warlord> Use a good editor that helps you map parens
12:05:25 <indigo> doing that, still hard :)
12:05:35 <warlord> You get used to it.
12:05:44 <warlord> It's certainly better than syntactic whitespace
12:07:19 <indigo> bah
12:07:27 <indigo> don't be a hater
12:08:15 <indigo> i bet half the neurons in learning to read scheme go to understanding the convention for indenting
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12:16:44 <warlord> I dunno -- I learned scheme at 18 so it's been a long long time.
12:17:02 <warlord> (and there aren't any indentation conventions -- I usually just let emacs do it for me)
12:26:50 <indigo> is there somewhere an index of operators and their documentation?
12:27:12 <indigo> i found the guile reference manual, but i'm finding it hard to find the page that documents a particular thing, like - or let* or if
12:27:27 <sjjh1> Hi! As it seems, there is no possibility in gnucash to place standing orders (I hope thats the right translation for the German term "Dauerauftrag") via HBCI. But if I got it right, this feature is yet implemented in AqBanking.
12:27:44 <sjjh1> So, will it be implemented anytime (near) in gnucash?
12:27:51 <sjjh1> I couldn't find anything in bugzilla (propably used the wrong search term?). I only found an newslist entry from the year 2000, where it was said, that it will be soon there...
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12:31:58 <warlord> indigo: google for "MIT Scheme Reference"
12:32:55 <warlord> sjjh1: I don't know what a 'standing order' is. Are you saying it *is* implemented in AqB (I'm not sure what you mean by "yet implemented in AqB")
12:35:02 <indigo> ok, so here's my scheme solution to loan repayment: http://pastebin.com/rSBHZqHm comments welcome
12:35:35 <indigo> it is the first scheme i've ever written, so don't judge me :D
12:36:35 <indigo> also there is (define (round-cents n) (* 0.01 (round (* 100 n))))
12:36:37 <sjjh1> warlord: a standing order is when I tell my bank, that they should pay every month/whatever a amount of money to for example pay for a rent
12:36:44 <sjjh1> yes, I ment, it is implementet.
12:37:19 <indigo> sjjh1: i don't know about HBCI, but it is possible to schedule gnucash to create transactions periodically
12:37:31 <sjjh1> warlord: here somebody explained the term: http://lists.gnucash.org/pipermail/gnucash-devel/2000-August/000500.html
12:38:14 <sjjh1> jes, but if I got it right, then you have to open gnucash and have to place the order. Gnucash will just remind you. Or did i get it wrong?
12:38:50 <indigo> it will usually ask for confirmation, then actually make the transaction
12:38:58 <indigo> i believe there is an option to not even require confirmation
12:39:10 <sjjh1> In my case, I manage my bank accounts via HBCI, so I have to use HBCI for it.
12:39:29 <indigo> you can't schedule the transactions through some other means?
12:39:29 <warlord> indigo: you shouldn't hard-code .01/100 -- you should grab the SCU/fractoin from the account/currency. Or use gnc-numeric's rounding APIs
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12:40:21 <warlord> sjjh1: I have no idea. HBCI only applies to Germany, so maybe ask on gnucash-de mailing list if there's a developer who wants to work on it?
12:40:41 <indigo> sjjh1: for example, i use my bank's web banking to schedule the transfer, and i also create a scheduled transaction in gnucash so that gnucash will automatically record that transaction each month.
12:41:16 <sjjh1> indigo: the "special" thing about the standing order is, that my bank will place the sheduled regulary order. I don't have to tell it them every month. so i don't know how it could work with this sheduled transactions from gnucash.
12:42:10 <indigo> sjjh1: yes, that's what the scheduled transactions functionality in gnucash does. All it doesn't do is actually tell your bank to make the transaction; you have to do that some other way.
12:42:23 <warlord> indigo: Other than the 'round-cents' it looks good to me.. Except, of course, that we don't have a "principal as-of date" function, either.
12:42:37 <indigo> warlord: well, that's what this function is.
12:42:59 <sjjh1> indigo: I see. I've heard about this workaround. But I yet have no webinterface account. And I don't want to habe one. :-) I would like to use only gnucash for my money :-)
12:43:21 <sjjh1> warlord: thx, I'll ask there. Maybe they know more.
12:43:34 <warlord> indigo: you're assuming you always send the same pre-payment amount.
12:43:45 <warlord> it would be better to determine it from the account balance.
12:43:50 <sjjh1> yes. it is to pay for a flat.
12:43:52 <warlord> sjjh1: they will.
12:44:07 <sjjh1> so it will stay the same
12:44:28 <sjjh1> (if "my" problem was the topic^^)
12:44:58 <warlord> indigo: the way I would do it is "compute the p/i split based on account-balance as-of post-date"
12:51:33 <indigo> warlord: yeah, two problems with that: 1) i'd have to learn the gnucash api, 2) if I don't run gnucash for a while, and multiple SX are to be created, i have to be sure they are created in order so each sees the correct balance
12:55:26 <warlord> indigo: True, but GnuCash DOES create them in order. :)
12:55:49 <indigo> huh.
12:56:32 <indigo> well, i will consider that for future work, when i'm more comfortable with scheme and the gnucash api :D
12:56:51 <indigo> i think first i'm going to tackle some reporting
12:59:10 <warlord> ok
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13:18:31 <indigo> somehow i've got it so when i change the SX to use my function, when i hit "OK" in the SX editor, gnucash eats 100% cpu forever and the window never closes
13:18:52 <indigo> any way to get a hint on where it's stuck?
13:20:38 <warlord> break in with gdb and get a backtrace?
13:24:47 <indigo> seems stuck in schemeland.
13:28:06 <warlord> Well, sounds like you need to add some debugging prints to your scheme to trace it.
13:28:20 <indigo> indeed :(
13:28:22 <warlord> (debugging scripting languages is hard)
13:28:41 <indigo> it evaluates wonderfully with guile
13:29:01 <indigo> and just so you know, python has a debugger that works much like gdb.
13:29:04 <warlord> well, gnucash might be expecting sometihng else.
13:29:38 <warlord> sure, and guile has a debugger, too, but how well does it work when integrated as a scripting language?
13:30:02 <indigo> if i (display "foo") in fin.scm, does that end up in gnucash's stdout?
13:30:26 <warlord> I believe so. I dont think it ends up in the trace file.
13:30:33 <jsled> yes. also, you can use (gnc:debug …) and such
13:30:54 <jsled> (wrappers for the gnucash's use of glib logging)
13:31:07 <jsled> I might mis-remember the form of the name, but you should be able to find examples
13:31:15 <warlord> Okay, this treasurer guy has too much time on his hands and refuses to respond to the list. So I shall refuse to respond to him again
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13:48:35 <indigo> so eh
13:48:56 <indigo> when i click "OK" in the SX editor, apparently gnucash calls my function with i = 2008926815.0
13:49:59 <indigo> can that be right?
13:52:09 <warlord> That looks pretty suspcious..
13:52:15 <warlord> It's pretty close to 2^31
13:52:49 <warlord> I wonder if it's the equivalent of "floating point -1.0"?
13:54:35 <indigo> do you think it's anything i'm doing?
13:54:42 <warlord> I dont know.
13:54:47 <indigo> huh.
13:54:53 <warlord> jsled is the SX expert
13:55:04 <indigo> well, i'll modify the function to stop calculating after the principal reaches 0
13:57:08 <warlord> not a bad idea.
13:58:12 <indigo> this time it called it with i = 908815591.0
13:59:34 <warlord> WEIRD. Maybe an uninitialized variable?
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13:59:47 <warlord> Run GDB and set a breakpoint just before it calls your function?
14:04:32 <indigo> that would require digging into the C source, a path that is a bit too long for me to follow right now
14:04:50 <indigo> probably i've invested enough time trying to make this SX work that it would have been faster to just manually enter all the payments for my loan.
14:05:03 <indigo> but hey, i'm learning scheme :)
14:05:46 <warlord> :)
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14:15:20 <indigo> so, it very almost works now.
14:16:20 <indigo> if i throw a (display...) in fin.scm and run it with guile, calling my function, i get the correct result
14:16:36 <indigo> if i make an SX, it's a penny off on the 8th payment
14:16:56 <indigo> do guile and gnucash use exactly the same scheme interpreter?
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14:35:37 <indigo> ah! the problem is my function isn't being called with the interest rate i specify
14:36:05 <indigo> the SX has loan_principal( 102392.64 : 0.005416667 : 675.19 : i ), but the interest rate that actually is given to the function is 0.00541666
14:37:26 <indigo> is that a feature or a bug?
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15:21:27 <warlord> looks like a rounding error in the 9th decimal place.
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15:21:52 <indigo> i'm not sure where it's rounding or why
15:22:08 <indigo> if i specify it as 0.065/12 i get more precision
15:24:22 <indigo> also 0.005416667 is exactly representable as a decimal and as a native floating point number
15:25:13 <indigo> anyway i should do some real work today, and so i gave it 0.065/12 which is accurate enough that it's wrong only once in the life of my 30 year loan
15:30:44 <warlord> sounds good to me.
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18:18:06 <fell> warlord: Why are so many files not doxygened? Low level undocumented or doxygen came later?
18:19:25 <jsled> doxygen came much later
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18:21:11 <fell> Thanks, then I will enable it for files, i touch.
18:26:13 <warlord> yeah, doxygen came MUCH MUCH later.
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22:27:06 <pwnguin> hi, been using gnucash for a couple years now, but ive got a small annoyance
22:27:57 <pwnguin> the scheduled transaction the loan druid built doesn't match up with my loan
22:28:56 <pwnguin> i think it's because the interest for each payment depends on the number of days between payments
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22:29:14 <pwnguin> thoughts on how i could fix it?
22:44:56 <felle> pwnguin: could you search the mailing list archives? IIRC something similar was discussed not so long ago.
22:56:02 <indigo> pwnguin: ironically i was dealing with the same general issue today.
22:56:39 <indigo> though, in my case the numbers didn't match because i had in the past contributed more than the usual payment towards principal
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23:50:57 <pwnguin> felle: will do