cbb-0.40a -- A Check Book Balancing Program for Unix

cbb-0.40a -- A Check Book Balancing Program for Unix

Post by Curtis L. Ols » Wed, 19 Oct 1994 00:37:46

I am pleased to announce the second alpha release of ``cbb'', a check
book balancing program written specifically for Unix.  It is
implemented in two parts.  The data base ``engine'' is written in Perl
and the graphical front end is written in Tcl/Tk.

The primary changes from the last release are:

    - much better entry field key board bindings

    - memorized transactions (i.e. type the first few characters of
      the description, and the rest is automatically filled in for you.)

    - better category handling.

    - Added an automatic install script.

I consider this software still in the ``alpha'' stage.  There is still
quite a bit of work left to be done, but since the package is advanced
far enough to be usable, I am releasing it to the net.  Hopefully
others will be able to find it as useful as I do.

I embarked on this project primarily because I was incredibly sick of
having to reboot my Linux machine just to run windows and Quicken.
(Now don't get me wrong, Quicken is a fine program and is sold for a
fine price, but I hated having to stoop down to ``window's'' level in
order to keep track of my money.)

Since I am in the process of developing this software, I welcome all
questions, comments, suggestions, complaints, assistance, etc., etc.

I am including the ``README'' for those who are interested in further


The latest version is always available at:


Note, this program requires specifically:  perl 4.036 and wishx.  (wishx
is the tclX interpreter -- i.e. extended tcl/tk)  If you run
Linux/Slackware installing the perl (d-series), and tclX (tcl-series)
packages should satisfy this requirement.

So far I have been very encouraged by the results.  Here's a quick
run down of the current features:

    - Ability to import quicken export files.

    - Ability to enter transactions.  Automatically calculates the running

    - Some input accelerators.  i.e. +/- in the date and check # fields work
      as in quicken.  Category completion:  type the first few characters of
      the category, and the rest will be filled in from the category list.

    * Entry field keyboard bindings!

    * Better category handling.

    * Memorized transactions to speed entry.

    - Simple, but functional undo.

    - Ability to handle ``quicken style'' splits.

    - Balancing:  Ability to enter a statement starting/ending balance, select
      uncleared transactions, verify start balance + transactions = end balance,
      then clear all selected transactions.

    * Now, a little documentation!

    * An install script.

Planned features (future work)

    - Transfers between accounts.

    - Export in quicken format.

    - Include many more error/sanity checks.

    - Interactive category editor ... right now you must use a text editor :)

    - Generate various reports.

    - Work on increasing performance.

    - Clean up a lot of things ... certain traditional interface things act
      funny or aren't included yet.

    - A more sophisticated multilevel undo?

Things that would be nice but are far in the future (probably)

    - Ability to manage budgets.

    - Ability to handle recurring transactions

    - A text based front end?

    - ??? ... The possibilities are endless :)


Tcl & Tk is available via anonymous ftp from:
   ftp.cs.berkeley.edu:/ucb/tcl/[tcl7.3.tar.Z tk3.6.tar.Z]
   ftp.neosoft.com:/pub/tcl/distrib/[tcl7.3.tar.gz tk3.6.tar.gz]
   ftp.uu.net:languages/tcl/[tcl7.3.tar.Z tk3.6.tar.Z]

Extended Tcl 7.3b can be down loaded by anonymous FTP from:

Perl is available via anonymous ftp from:


Type "make install"
Answer the questions.


Here is the manual install procedure ... for those that are

0.  Make sure you have installed Tcl/Tk, Extended Tcl, and Perl.

1.  Uncompress/untar the distribution file.

2.  Copy ``cbb'' and ``engine.pl'' to some place in your path.
    (i.e. /usr/local/bin)

3.  Make sure they are both executable.  (i.e. mode 755)

4.  Make sure the first line of the file ``cbb'' specifies the location
    of your wishx interpreter.
    Likewise, make sure the first line of the file ``engine.pl'' specifies
    the location of your perl interpreter.

5.  Copy ``default.cat'' to someplace where ``cbb'' can find it (not
    necessarily  in your path ... i.e. /usr/local/lib/cbb/default.cat)

6.  Find the line towards the beginning of the file ``cbb'' that reads
    ``set def_cat_path .''  Replace the ``.'' with the ``directory''
    you used for the previous step.

``demo.cbb'' provides a *lame* example data file to help get you
going.  Make sure you are in the directory where you unpacked the
distribution and type ``cbb demo'' (without the .cbb extension) to
start cbb and load the sample data file.  Or, just type ``cbb'' and
open up the data file from within the application.

Let me know what you think!!!  Thanks,


Try Linux ...                                                    \__[0]__/


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