I would suggest joining the LedgerSMB community if you are looking for an alternative. At the moment the code and UI are fairly similar but this is starting to change. LedgerSMB 1.2.0 will be released on Monday and will be the last of our releases where we merge security changes and work done elsewhere into the LSMB codebase. From here on out, we will be re-engineering the entire application in place.
I would suggest that one part of the problem with the UI is that the code is horrible, as others have suggested. Hence modernizing the UI is not really possible with the current codebase. While our user interface may not change drastically until 2.0, we are putting in place now the framework to make this sort of change feasible. In fact, after 2.0, it will be quite possible to re-theme the application however one would like using a combination of CSS and templates.
Our new architecture is more object oriented, more modular, MVC-like, etc. and hence will allow for better separation of interface from mechanism. It will also allow for full user-level security to be enforced (which the SQL-Ledger codebase does not).
One final comment. SQL-Ledger 2.8.0 was released yesterday. One of the surprises was an apparent license change (no longer GPL).
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