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Brinance reports

Reports? Didn't notice the option about reporting? Well, that's good because there aren't any. The file format was designed to be simple enough so that it wouldn't need any built-in functions for reporting. The intent is that you can use the standard UNIX command line tools to pull whatever information you like out of the brinance account files.

First off, you should know about the GNU extensions to grep, particularly -A and -B. If you're in the know, move on. You specify how many lines to display BEFORE the match with -B, and how many lines to display AFTER with -A. So, you can use a command line like so:

[loco@erebor]% grep -B 1 -A 1 rent ~/.brinance/account0
#ski rental
#1155: renter's insurance
#1164: Allstate: renter's insurance
#1168: rent
#1176: rent
#1185: rent
#1190: rent

Notice that this command puts an extra '--' line in between each match, but only if they're not adjacent in the file. What we've got here is every instance of the word "rent", along with its whole transaction (the line before and the line after). Notice it picks up any time I entered r-e-n-t, so I also got ski rental, renter's insurance, etc. Being a little tricky with regular expressions could fix that though.

Another example. I always type a check number, followed by a colon (':') to indicate I wrote a check. Maybe I want to know some of the things I bought with checks.. I could use this command line:

[loco@erebor]% egrep "^#[0-9]{4}:" ~/.brinance/account0
#1138: GameCube
#1139: car payment
#1140: cash
#1141: groceries
#1142: PCS bill
#1143: car insurance
#1144: automatic grokker
#1145: rent
#1146: Car insurance Allstate
#1147: Renters insurance Allstate
#1148: PCS bill
#1149: car payment
#1150: rent
#1151: gas
#1152: mother's day flowers
#1153: car payment
#1154: PCS bill
#1155: renter's insurance
#1156: car insurance
#1158: rent

This pattern ("^#[0-9]{4}:"), if you're not familiar with regular expressions, specifies to print any line that starts with a hash ('#'), and is followed by exactly four digits and a colon. I had to use egrep for this pattern to work, but it's pretty much the same as the standard grep.

Anyway, these two examples are just to give you a starting point with generating some reports with the brinance account files. Let me know what you come up with.

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