Category Archives: Developers

Kate Partly Moving to Gitorious

We are about to move the applications Kate and KWrite as well as the libraries KTextEditor and Kate Part to gitorious. Christoph is working on the migration right now in order to keep the development history. Things look good so far, so the migration is soon finished.
We have discussed a bit about the migration to gitorious on the Kate Developer Meeting and Christoph came up with this mainly because building only KTextEditor, Kate Part, KWrite and Kate is much faster and easier compared to building the KDE modules kdesupport, kdelibs, kdepimlibs, kdebase, kdesdk.
I myself remember the time where I started KDE development, and it took more than two weeks to have a first successful build of KDE. You have to learn so many things at once, like revision control, lots of so far unknown software, and what not. Talking to other developers verifies this. In other words: Getting into KDE development is not easy and straight forward.
Moving to gitorious removes this barrier for Kate development: You just checkout the Kate repository and that’s all you need. It would be nice if you join Kate development and contribute patches :)
What does that mean for Kate in KDE? Nothing changes. We will merge the changes in Gitorious back to the main KDE development line and vice versa.

Developer Meeting: More on scripting Kate

We are 10 people here at the developer meeting in Berlin. Kate, KDevelop as well as Okteta see a lot of commits. I’ll mainly talk about what’s happening in the holy Kate land, though :-)
Yesterday I closed a bug requesting an “unwrap” feature in Kate that works like “Tools > Join Lines” but maintains paragraph separation, i.e., empty lines are not removed. This feature is implemented now in javascript. Further infos:

To run the script simply switch to the command line (F7) and write “unwrap”. If you have further ideas about useful scripts, don’t hesitate to start hacking right away, see also

Fixes with regard to the scripting support in the last days are

Those fixes will be in KDE 4.4.1. More to come in other blog entries :-)

Kate XML Completion Plugin: Help Wanted

In KDE3 Kate had a plugin called “XML Completion Plugin”. It was able to list XML elements, attributes and attribute values and entities in a completion popup menu depending on the currently active DTD. For instance, it was able to complete all your KDE/docbook tags and, thus, was one of the best tools for writing KDE documentation.

Unfortunately, this plugin has not been ported to KDE4, yet. So this is a request for developers: Please someone pick it up and make it available for Kate in KDE4.

The location in svn is: trunk/KDE/kdesdk/kate/plugins/xmltools
Just enable this folder in the kate/plugins/CMakeLists.txt file and start porting it. The code completion interface changed quite a lot, but there are other plugins and good api documentation (KTextEditor interfaces, Kate Application interfaces) where you can have a look at how things work.

Having a working XML Completion plugin for KDE4.5 would be awesome.

Scripting Kate

In my last blog I explained Kate’s scripting features in KDE 4.4. To better understand how scripting can be used let’s look at some use cases.

  • join lines: This feature request wants the action “join lines” to not join different paragraphs, i.e. not remove empty lines. We have not implemented this wish, as there are probably users who prefer the current behaviour. This request can be fixed by writing a small script that joins the lines according to the user’s wishes.
  • reformat paragraph: An intelligent reformatter for paragraphs. Should be rather straight forward to implement.
  • XML tools: In KDE3, Kate once had a xmltools plugin. Unfortunately noone ported it to KDE4. The plugin provided lots of very useful features for xml editing. For example, you could select text and then wrap it with xml elements, e.g. “text” would become “<para>text</para>”. This is a perfect example for a command line script as well. Any volunteers? :)

Scripting also brings us closer to fixing the following reports:

  • macro system: Kate still does not have a macro system. A macro can be interpreted as a group of scripts, executed in a sequence (more or less). The vi input mode already supports pretty complex commands, and the code for scripting is all there. It’s just a matter of putting this together so it’s usable for users.
  • word count: maybe the word count features can be implemented by a script (too slow?). Problem is, that a script cannot show dialogs etc.

To make scripting an even better experience, we still need to implement binding shortcuts to scripts. Again: any volunteers? :)