Archive for January 18th, 2010

KMyMoney Exports: Don’t Use Double-Quote Marks

So when I entered that impact socket in KMyMoney 0.9, which is how I do my exceedingly simple bookkeeping, I entered it just like that: 1-1/16″.

That worked fine, right up to the point where I exported the summary of transactions report in CSV (comma-separated-values) format and tried to open it as an OpenOffice spreadsheet: only the first third of the file made it into the spreadsheet.

Having screwed up exactly like this before, I knew where to look: CSV format wraps fields with double-quote marks and KMyMoney isn’t bright enough to escape the double-quote mark, resulting in a broken file. That may be fixed in the current version (1.0.2 right now), but I’m still running Xubuntu 8.10 with some KDE-based programs spliced in because KDE 4.x still has problems with rotated dual monitors.

That escape mechanism is actually part of the CSV standard, such as it is:

Fields with embedded double-quote characters must be enclosed within double-quote characters, and each of the embedded double-quote characters must be represented by a pair of double-quote characters.

I knew better than that, but it’s an easy mistake to make.

What really ticked me off, though, is that KMyMoney breaks the transaction into two parts (it’s a double-entry bookkeeping system, after all) and, even after I changed the double-quote to the word inch, refused to update the other half of the transaction. Furthermore, I couldn’t get access to that half; the only description I could find had inch.

Had to delete the whole entry and add it back to get it right… which was better, long term, than hand-editing the CSV file every time.

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