Happy news arrived on the kwrite-devel mailing list with this post before Easter 😉
Kate has won the advanced text editor comparison in the Linux Voice magazine – Issue 2, yeah 😉
Nice to see that our work on Kate is awarded.
About Linux Voice: Seems to be some pretty new magazine about Linux & Open Source (Issue 2 says it all) and they promise to give 50% of their profit back to the Free Software community, developers and events. Hope that works out, it is a nice goal.
P.S. And yeah, this is just one comparison and no, lets not start the “editors wars, … edition” in the comments, there are a lot of text editors to choose between and depending on your needs and preferences Kate might not be your favorite 😉
Kate comes with a build plugin, which supports running make, or ninja, or actually any arbitrary command directly from within Kate. This is obvisouly useful when using Kate as development editor, and this plugin has seen several improvements for the 4.13 release.
A small change, but for affected developers a major improvement, is that Kate can now parse warning and error messages from the Intel compilers, icpc and icc.
So for those of you using icpc, Kate can now automatically jump to the line of code which caused the error. Actually you don’t have to wait for 4.13 for this, it is already available since 4.12.3.
Beside that, there are improvements which benefit all users of the build plugin. Let’s start with a screenshot, which already shows one of the major changes.
Up to 4.12, it was possible to create multiple “targets”, and each of these targets could contain a “Build” command, a “Clean” command and a “Quick” command. As of 4.13, the build plugin is not limited anymore to these three commands. As can be seen in the screenshot, every “target set” can now contain an arbitrary number of actual targets.
They are listed in a table widget. To add a target, click the green “plus”-button in the lower right. This will append a target to the end of the list. It can be edited by simply double clicking it (or pressing F2 while keyboard focus is in the table).
To delete a target, click the “minus”-button right next to the “plus”
One of the targets can be marked as the “default” target. This will typically be the target which runs “make all”. Additionally one target can be marked as the “clean” target, this will typically be “make clean”. For these two special targets separate keyboard shortcuts can be assigned, so they are always quickly available.
A whole set of actions which can be bound to shortcuts can be seen here:
Now to the actually interesting part: building something.
There are multiple ways how to start building a target.
The default and the clean targets can be built directly using keyboard shortcuts, in the screenshot above I assigned F8 to the default target.
To build another than the default target, you can select the target you want in the table and then build it by clicking the blue “check”-button next to the “plus” and “minus” buttons.
For keyboard users, there is a quick-select dialog. It shows a list with the names of all targets, which can be filtered by typing part of the target name. That’s a really quick way to build any of the available targets. Here’s a screenshot:
Once building has started, the output is displayed in the log view.
As can be seen, there is only one output tab left, where the “level of detail” can be adjusted using a slider. While building, the plugin automatically switches to the log display.
Also new, there is now a simple status display, which tells you which target is currently being built or was built previously.
Next to it, there is yet another way to start a build, the “Build again” button. Once some target has been built, using this button the same target can be built again. Oh, and there is now also a button to cancel a build, in case you forgot the assigned keyboard shortcut.
When building has finished, the output tab automatically switches to a parsed output mode, which lists the warning – and error messages. By double clicking on one of them or using the keyboard shortcut of your choice, I assigned F9, you can jump directly to the line of code which caused the error.
All that together, should make the build plugin even more useful than before.
Have fun compiling !
Kate Part gained 17 new default styles in addition to the existing 14 default styles. These changes are available for Kate based on the KDE frameworks 5 initiative and currently live in ktexteditor.git module.
Default Styles are predefined font and color styles that are used by Kate Part’s syntax highlighting. For instance, Kate Part always had a default style for comments. Therewith, the comments in all syntax highlighting files look the same (by default, a gray color). Or keywords are by default always bold and black.
However, during the last years it became apparent that the list of 14 default styles were not always enough. Consequently, lots of syntax highlighting files defined their own hard-coded colors. For instance, doxygen comments were hard-coded in a dark blue color. The problem with hard-coded colors is that they do not adapt when changing the default styles. Hence, doxygen comments were barely readable on a dark color scheme.
Therefore, a discussion took place on kwrite-devel (thread 1, thread 2, thread 3) that ended in 17 new default styles and a categorization of these as follows (the new default styles are bold):
Category “Normal Text and Source Code”
dsNormal: default for normal text and source code.
dsKeyword: Used for language keywords.
dsFunction: Used for function definitions and function calls.
dsVariable: Used for variables, if applicable. Example: $foo in PHP.
dsControlFlow: Used for control flow highlighting, e.g., if, then, else, return, continue.
dsOperator: Used for operators such as +, -, *, / and :: etc.
dsBuiltIn: Used for built-in language classes and functions, if applicable.
dsExtension: Used for extensions, such as Qt or boost.
dsPreprocessor: Used for preprocessor statements.
dsAttribute: Used for attributes of functions or objects, e.g. @override in Java, or __declspec(…) and __attribute__((…))in C/C++.
Category “Strings & Characters”
dsChar: Used for a single character.
dsSpecialChar: Used for an escaped character in strings, e.g. “hello\n”.
dsString: Default for strings.
dsVerbatimString: Used for verbatim strings such as HERE docs.
dsSpecialString: Used for special strings such as regular expressions in ECMAScript or LaTeX math mode.
dsImport: Used for includes, imports, modules, or LaTeX packages
Category “Numbers, Types & Constants”
dsDataType: Used for data types such as int, char, float etc.
dsDecVal: Used for decimal values.
dsBaseN: Used for numbers with base other than 10.
dsFloat: Used for floating point numbers.
dsConstant: Used for language constants, e.g. True, False, None in Python or nullptr in C/C++.
Category “Comments & Documentation”
dsComment: Used for normal comments.
dsDocumentation: Used for comments that reflect API documentation, e.g., the default style for /** */ comments.
dsAnnotation: Used for annotations in comments, e.g. @param in Doxygen or JavaDoc.
dsCommentVar: Used to refer to variables in a comment, e.g. after @param <identifier> in Doxygen or JavaDoc.
dsRegionMarker: Used for region markers, typically defined by BEGIN/END.
dsInformation: Used for information, e.g. the keyword @note in Doxygen.
dsWarning: Used for warnings, e.g. the keyword @warning in Doxygen.
dsAlert: Used for comment specials such as TODO and WARNING in comments.
dsOthers: Used for attributes that do not match any of the other default styles.
dsError: Used to indicate wrong syntax.
Existing Syntax Highlighting Files
If the new default styles are not used, syntax highlighting files are backwards compatible to Kate Part in KDE SC 4. However, the plan is to use the new default styles where applicable to avoid hard-coded colors. To this end, the kateversion attribute in the language element will be set to 5.0 (yes, Kate Part’s version changed from 3 to 5 to match KDE frameworks 5) to avoid loading incompatible syntax highlighting xml files in older Kate Part versions. Example:
With the new default styles, the Default Styles tab looks as follows:
In comparison, the KDE 4.x version looks like this:
The new default style colors are not fixed yet, so improvements and additional color themes we can ship with Kate Part by default are a welcome addition!
A Note at 3rd Party Developers
There are other implementations (such as in Qt Creator or for Haskell). If you developers read this, we encourage you to add these default styles as well once Kate Part 5 is released (stable). Otherwise, the new syntax highlighting files may not be compatible.