This page describes various aspects of this software, adressed to both users and developers. The contents of this file:


This is release 0.3 of ichinscratchy. As such, it is software still its very early stages. It has bugs that I know of. It has bugs that I do not (yet) know of. I will continually work on this piece and invite everybody to contribute.

What it isn`t

Click and forget

It is a Linux console program. At the moment there is no gui. You will need a console and basic knowledge of using it. At the moment there is even no Windows build (maybe in the near future if enough people are interested).

Complete trading system with fool-proof portfolio management out of the box

Risk management on a portfolio level was introduced with v0.2.0. Allocation now depends on correlation between all markets. This algorithm is in its very early stage and very likely to change in the future. Money management and currency translation of different markets to you account´s currency was implemented in v0.3. The allocation algorithm now thinks in terms of "risk in account currency". Currently there is no possibility to connect ichinscratchy to your broker and execute all signals automatically. You can execute all signals manually, of course. This might change in the future. Honestly, do you trust me enough to connect your hard earned money to a software/website you just stumbled upon in the internet? DON`T DO THAT! ;-) By the way, I am a fan of the UNIX philosophy "one job, one tool". So the system concentrates on the number crunching. Fetching/preparing data is a different job. Doing evaluations of the orderbook is a different job. So for pre-/and postprocessing you should look for additional tools.

Data provider

As was mentioned, the program does not pull in data from any online sources. This interface is via .csv files that live within data/. This won't change anytime soon, so it is in the responsibility of the user to fetch and prepare the price data. That said, starting with the v0.2.0 release a data demo file for the German DAX30 was added so users can start experimenting with ichinscratchy right out of the box

Proprietary, black box

Look in src/ You will find everything there is about my program (and it is not very pretty, I admit :)) I do hope that you got a copy of the source code, otherwise someone violated the licence. In this case you can find the sourcecode on
If you don't trust me (and again, you shouldn`t if you want to trade your real hard-earned money), you can see how the software works. I tried to document each algorithm extensively. If you want to add features, you can do so (please consider giving your additions back to the community). Everything is under your control.

highly optimised

As mentioned, the software is in an very early stage. Main focus was on creating something that compiles and is useful. Absolutely no effort has been made to do any optimisations. This WILL change in the future :) The program is written in C and as such already pretty fast, given the lack of optimisation. However, there are a lot of tweaks that come to my mind when thinking how to make it even faster.

What it is

Starting point for a complete trading system

As the heading contradicts somewhat the second bullet of "What it isn't", I am somewhat proud of having the foundation of everything I want from my system implemented. Of course there is enough spit-and-polish left to do, a lot of features are on my to-do-list, but here is what the system is already capable of to do:

  • fully customizable automated Ichimoku Kinko Hyo Signal evaluation
  • additional (optional) market filters
  • arbitrary number of markets: you have the data, the system can do the number crunching!
  • v0.3 introduced currencies to the system: the concept of an account currency and markets in optionally different currencies that can be translated into account currency (given that you have data with conversion rates)
  • customizable portfolio allocation algorithm to balance the position size of new trades against existing positions in portfolio
  • customizable stop losses: chose a simple percentage stop or a volatility-based chandelier stop loss
  • automated recalculation of stop losses each day
  • portfolio and backtest/orderbook statistics

Signal generator for ichimoku entries and exits

Always stared at Ichimoku charts to see the signals? Manually traced all components if they do cross somewhere? Did that every evening for dozens of markets? Let your computer do the boring math. Choose your markets, feed your data in and push enter. See the signals, execute them. Alter the stop loss strategy to your needs.

capable to do backtests

Feed not only the last 100 oder 200 days, but the price data for the last, say, 10 years. Again, start the program. It is fast enough you won't make a coffee in the time of a 10year backtest :)

open and free: source code, databases, data import/export with .csv

As stated above: free and open source! Contribute if you like, use it for yourself if you want! (fix my bugs ;)) With v0.2.0 a lot of effort went into a full documentation of the sources in a doxygen compatible way- the full hyperlinked html/pdf reference now is part of /docs

capable to prepare candlestick plots files for processing with gnuplot

You do not have to stare at charts for hours. But still can, if you want :) Feed the market data of 50 markets into the system, plot the chart and see the "market weather" at one glance. Also great to check new signal implementations for sanity.

hobby project

If you read this far: kudos! I develop ichinscratchy in my sparetime. I do not want to spend my evenings staring at charts and reading through tons of market comments. (So I traded that for programming- hour after hour, day after day). I definitely wil trade the signals with my own money, continue to feed my blog with signals and charts, expanding my software until it fully fits my needs (which are a moving target, of course).

What it might become

framework that allows rapid prototyping of trading systems

This is my ultimate goal. When I started (don't remember why I did chose C at the beginning), I had to create the whole infrastructure for a trading system. As the code evolved, it became more clearly that I could abstract and generalize a lot of the code. Ultimately, I want the system to become a framework for the creation of trading systems. As you can see in the architecture below, a lot of effort went into the separation of the infrastructure from the trading system components.

highly optimised and faster than it is now (given that it is pretty fast considering the 0 optimisations)

What is fast should get faster. When time and feature wishlist allow, I will take some time to optimize the code. A good candidate are the database queries which are executed day for day at the moment. No need for that, given that those queries are the most time consuming part of the program.

an active project where users share their code and ideas for trading systems

Oh... that would be neat :) My first hope is to turn the one-man-show into a two or three-man (/woman) show.

using a web-based gui to lower the entry barrier

A lot of good old terminal programs have web guis nowadays. As this is more or less eye-candy for me, I acknowledge the fact that the linux console/mysql knowlegde are some kind of entry barrier for new and unexperienced users (I am NOT talking about trading experience).

memory leak free :))

Well...errm..just run valgrind. Its output is like...compiler lord of the rings I-III.

Intended users

To use ichinscratchy in its current state you should be:

  • bold to use linux, it`s command line and with at least very basic knowlegde of mysql
  • curious to play with the various config file options
  • best case: programmer familiar with C and willing to contribute :)

Software architecture

The following picture shows the basic structure of the program. It does not represent every function/variable but more the general flow. Each block consists of several functions.

architecture ichinscratchy

(c) 2016-2017 Denis Zetzmann
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