Kate in KDE 4.8

About half a year ago, Kate 3.7 was released as part of KDE 4.7. Now that KDE 4.8 is about to be released, let’s have a look at what Kate brings in KDE 4.8.

Bug Fixes

According to KDE’s bug tracker, about 190 issues were solved. Taking a closer look, lots of small issues were fixed, amongst them:

Heavily Reworked Code Folding

As part of the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2011, the code folding code was improved. The main goal was to eliminate wrong folding behavior and fix all crashes while making the code more maintainable. We are quite happy with the results: Given the robust behavior, it now was possible to remember code folding state past sessions and during document reload. So folded regions are not lost anymore.

Additionally, the visual appearance was changed to be rather decent.

Improved Vi Mode

Also as part of the GSoC 2011, Kate’s vi input mode was heavily improved.

Search & Replace in Files

The “Find in Files” plugin is now replaced with the new “Search and Replace” plugin: It basically contains all the features of “Find in Files,” but additionally has the following features:

  • either search in files-on-disk, or in all the opened documents
  • all search matches are highlighted
  • replace support: matches can be (selectively) replaced with other text

Line Modification Indicators

Kate has a shiny new line modification system. Read all about it in this dedicated article. Mandatory screenshot:

Document Variable (Modeline) Editor

Kate (and thus all applications use Kate Part) can be configured by using document variables, also known as modelines. Since it’s hard to remember all the available keys and values, a dialog helps out in the config dialog. You can read about all the details in this dedicated post (screenshots).

Documentation Updates

T.C. Hollingworth put a huge amount of work into the Kate and KWrite handbook. Thus, the documentation is much more up-to-date and we hope it helps to learn using Kate effectively more quickly. The official version is available on docs.kde.org.

Current State & The Road Ahead

Apart from the upcoming KDE 4.8 release, Kate turned 10 years old this summer. All in all, we can proudly say that Kate has a solid code base in its current state. The smart ranges were replaced by the moving ranges. Code folding is more clean with less bugs. Our plugins got a lot of updates. The documentation has improved. Of course, more help is always welcome. So if you are interested in Kate development, you are welcome to build Kate from sources and join our team by sending patches.

Thanks to everyone contributing to this great release :)

20 thoughts on “Kate in KDE 4.8

  1. Kate is one of my favorite KDE programs, I use it every day. Thanks a lot for improving it even further. Kate devs, you rock!

  2. I’ve used Kate in 4.8 beta and it really seems much better: code folding has not been broken any more and there are nice status colors for changed and saved/not-saved lines.

    Very cool, thanks!

  3. The new search UI seems really nice ! The last one was good, but that one will help us all be more efficient.
    I also see that the syntax highlighting has been updated and expanded, is there any means to use that work to add new language to the symbol viewer plugin (http://is.gd/8zWfa9) ? It’s a helpful plugin, but with to few languages support.


  4. I have used notepad++ in windows for 3 years. Now I switched to linux and kate for about a month. And really I regret why I am so late for linux. Everything here is free and unexpectedly super useful, easy, user friendly and perfect. Thanks for such awful program to creators and contributors.

  5. I use kate for years,
    never found a software that is good as kate where it comes to edit for web development.
    I like the approach of kate, that it isn’t have too many unuseful features, aand oon the other hand everything i need.


    1. What’s so nice about the new one in contrast to the old one, if I may ask?

      with respect to window tiling: did you try Settings > Configure Kate > Sessions > disable [ ] Include Window Configuration?

      1. The main thing I like about 4.8 folding is that it /works/. ;) 4.7′ would often end folds at grossly inplausible locations, sometimes mid-token. Almost like it gave up before finding the actual closing token…. :-\

        I did, and the problem remains. If it’s relevant, I made a Window Rule to help kwin tile properly: all Normal, Dialog, and Unmanaged windows are forced to not maximize, and forced to tile. Kate seems to obey this rule on startup(flashing in the correct position), then immediately maximize and untile itself.

  6. Linux user since 1999 here.
    Everyday that goes by, I’m reminded that I seriously hate this version of Kate prefer the KDE3 version…
    So much has changed, almost all the time for the worst…
    I have the “Documents” left pane. But where did the “Browse” pane go? Now I have to CTRL+O and __navigate__ for each file I need to load instead of just clicking on it in the left pane.
    Why did you change CTRL+mousewheel. Before, I could fast scroll with it. Now it zooms. Do you know how useless it is to have a shortcut for that? Once the code font size is okay with me, I don’t change it anymore or it will feel weird…
    More over, I wouldn’t complain that much if i you gave me an option to let me turn it on or off, IF YOU LET ___ME___ MAKE THE CHOICE…
    KDE 4 feels more and more like OSX.
    Wow. Such dumb. So stupid.
    I could go on, but I have work to do and you already wasted enough valuable time of mine.
    With KDE3 I could work fast and efficiently. Now I’m battling everyday with this useless piece of shit that is KDE4.
    No more donations from me to KDE4 and affiliated projects.
    Hello Trinity !

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