Category Archives: Common

Why KDE, and Kate

I’ve been using and contributing to KDE on-and-off for a while, but our friends over in Gnome land were already busy by the time I got into the game. So why did I conceptually commit to KDE, and thence Kate? Consistency.

I grew up on VAX/VMS where it was possible – and even easy – to mix Ada code with C and Pascal, mix in a CLI that used the standard parser, generate error messages that looked and *were* like every other message in the system. Everything felt integrated.

And the editors? Ah yes, the editors. VAX EDT was where I started, and I *loved* the fact that I used the same editor whether I was writing a VAXmail, posting a VAXnote, or editing a file. So it was a bit of a dilemma when I encountered VAX Emacs, with all its seductive extensibility. I ended up using Emacs for serious editing, and EDT for everything else…that was hateful. Eventually, TPU and its precocious offspring LSE restored the status ante, and my sanity.

Scroll forward a few years, past Windows NT 3.5 and Visual Studio where I got hooked on GUIs, and we get to Qt and KDE libs. Even though there were several KDE text editors in those early days, it was a reasonable bet we’d rationalise, and I’m delighted to say we did (even when Kmail’s default isn’t KWrite – at least the look’n'feel was the same). I even went round making every Find and Replace dialog throughout KDE the same.

So we get to Kate. Right out of the box, even in its Kate 3 incarnation, I loved Kate. Standalone was good, in KDevelop it was even better. I didn’t miss the relative lack of extensibility because well, it did pretty much everything I wanted. And then I changed job…

Evolution of Kate Development (Take 2)

Dominik’s video is cool, but we agreed that perhaps the names should be around and we can have a bit higher resolution to make them readable ;)
Therefore here is a second take of the video, this time with names and 720p. (I have no luck with music, therefore, silence)

You only get to see the video if you visit our blog page here.
Direct HD link to YouTube here.

Command to create it (if YouTube eats it):

gource --multi-sampling --seconds-per-day 0.02 --auto-skip-seconds 0.1 --camera-mode track --stop-at-end -b 000000 --hide filenames,dirnames --disable-progress --date-format “%Y-%m” --viewport 1280x720 --output-ppm-stream - -r 60 | ffmpeg -y -r 60 -f image2pipe -vcodec ppm -i - -vcodec libvpx -b 10000K -threads 4 kate-gource.webm

One great man less :(

Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie died at home this weekend.

Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie

As the creator of the C programming language and one of the main developers of Unix, he impacted the life of me and other developers a lot.

Even today, 30 years after their initial creation, many people work on Unix like systems (like Linux or Mac OS) and develop in (Objective) C(++).

For me C was one of my starting languages for my real programming work and even today I analyze the whole day software written in C for embedded systems that control our modern world, be it the flight control of airplanes or engine control of cars.

Without his initial ideas and work, today there would be no Linux kernel, no Mac OS, …

We all owe him a lot. He changed the world.

Thanks for your great inventions! You won’t be forgotten.

Just two impressive Ritchie cites:

“Unix is simple and coherent, but it takes a genius – or at any rate a programmer – to understand and appreciate the simplicity.”

“The greatest danger to good computer science research today may be excessive relevance. If we can keep alive enough openess to new ideas, enough freedom of communication, enough patience to allow the novel to prosper, it will remain possible for a future Ken Thompson to find a little-used Cray/1 computer and fashion a system as creative, and as influential, as Unix.”