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The Kate Text Editor in 2021

Friday, 31 December 2021 | Christoph Cullmann

COVID-19 Pandemic

Unfortunately, like the year 2020, for many people this was again no easy year. A lot of us and our families & friends are still directly or indirectly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Like last year, I still hope the future will look less bleak now that vaccination is on the rise and perhaps we even have a bit luck with less deadly virus mutations in the future.

Coronavirus. SARS-CoV-2
Alexey Solodovnikov (Idea, Producer, CG, Editor), Valeria Arkhipova (Scientific Сonsultant), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Contributions to Kate in 2021

From Kate’s development perspective this year looks fantastic. If you track a bit the development via our merge requests overview page or even better participate yourself in our projects, you might have already noticed it ;=)

The Kate Icon

Accepted Merge Requests of 2021

Compare this to the state of the years 2020 and 2019 below.

Accepted Merge Requests of 2020

Accepted Merge Requests of 2019

Naturally 2019 is very unfair, as there only the Kate main & website repository did use GitLab, still, a nice increase in contributions even compared to 2020!

This doesn’t even cover all work, smaller bug fixes are just pushed without extra request and some requests naturally are rather minimal while other are “the real thing”, aka some big new feature.

I still think the switch to GitLab was a real booster for getting contributions in. Whereas Phabricator was already a big step up from just Review Board, the current GitLab instance is really a massive upgrade.

And this is not just something cool for new contributors more used to what the have on GitHub, it is a real bliss for maintainers like me, too. You can easily read the diffs of many smaller merge requests on your phone or tablet even in your coffee break at work or if you like to sit around like myself often in some coffee shop ;) You can even nicely trigger the merges from there, after a lot of hard work from our fantastic administrator team even now with proper GitLab CI integration that first will properly compile and test the stuff!

Contributors of the year 2021

You can view more or less all contributors to Kate and Co. on our teams page, at least so far they are visible out of the version history of the Git repositories or GitLab requests. I think it is really impressive that 116 people contributed to our projects this year! First time contributors in that time frame are marked bold.

Waqar AhmedChristoph Cullmann
Jan Paul BatrinaKåre Särs
Mark NauwelaertsJonathan Poelen
Ahmad SamirAlexander Lohnau
Phu NguyenYuri Chornoivan
Dominik HaumannIgor Kushnir
Laurent MontelIlia Kats
Carl SchwanMéven Car
Krzysztof StokopMarcell Fülöp
Friedrich W. H. KossebauNibaldo González
Nicolas FellaFabian Wunsch
Alex TurbovGary Wang
Volker KrauseJan Blackquill
David FaureHeiko Becker
Jack HillMichal Humpula
David BryantAlbert Astals Cid
Andreas GratzerDenis Doria
artyom kirnevDenis Lisov
Aleix PolNate Graham
Robert HoffmannDaniele Scasciafratte
David EdmundsonFrancis Laniel
Héctor Mesa JiménezKai Uwe Broulik
Marco RebhanMartin Walch
Milian WolffMufeed Ali
Pino ToscanoThiago Sueto
shenleban tongyingAda Sauce
Amaury Bouchra PiletAndreas Sturmlechner
Antonio RojasArek Koz (Arusekk)
Ben CooksleyChristoph Roick
Christopher YeleightonDaniel Tang
Eugene PopovFabian Kosmale
Weng XuetianWilliam Wold
Ömer Fadıl UstaAlberto Salvia Novella
Alex RichardsonAlexander Potashev
Allen WinterAndreas Abel
Andreas Cord-LandwehrAndrey Karepin
Anthony FieroniBoris Petrov
Christoph FeckChristophe Giboudeaux
Daan De MeyerDaniel Levin
Daniel SonckDavid Redondo
David SchulzFelipe Kinoshita
Frederik SchwarzerGustavo Rodrigues
Hannah von RethHeinz Wiesinger
Ismael AsensioJakub Benda
Janet BlackquillJavier Guerra
Johnny JazeixJonathan Lopez
Jonathan MartenKarthik Nishanth
Kevin FunkKsofix Alert
Luigi ToscanoLuis Taira
Mario AichingerMarkus Brenneis
Markus EbnerNicolás Alvarez
Olivier GoffartPani Ram
Pat BrownPaul Brown
Philipp ARoman Hujer
Tobias KündigWagner M Cunha
Wale AfolabiWes H
Yuhang ZhaoYunhe Guo
hololeap hololeapoldherl oh

I hope to see even more bold marked entries on our teams page end of the next year! We really need more people that help us to both fix our existing bugs and extend on the solid base of features we have. Everybody is welcome to join!

But already now, to all people contributing: THANKS A LOT!

Great new stuff in the editor in 2021?

Below I picked just two things I heavily use, this is not the full list of cool new stuff we have. There are that many nice improvements everywhere, like fuzzy filtering in a lot of places, a redone faster search & replace in files, the new HUD & redone quick open, git blame support, …., I just wanted to highlight a few things ;=)

If you are more interested in that stuff, just take a look at the blog posts of this year!

Everybody will have other stuff they like. Some people love the new HUD and will use it the whole day, I use it rarely, mostly to trigger stuff I can’t remember where we put that in the menus ;=) On the other side I use the whole day the project plugin with the search in files plugin and “pgrep somestuffyousearch”.

Improved Project & Git Handling

A lot of improvements went into the project plugin that has now very nifty Git management capabilities, too. See below me working on this blog post inside Kate ;=)

The Kate Mascot

As you can see, one can nicely mix terminal usage Git commands with the cool new graphical overview of the current state & diffing.

Naturally you can add files via the GUI, too ;=) I am just used to type git add :P

I more or less use this daily at work and for my projects, it is really great. Finally you can easily diff stuff in Kate before commiting, you can write proper commit message there and more.

Improved LSP Integration

Another thing I use daily is the LSP client plugin. If LSP doesn’t click for you, it is the integration for code completion and more in a similar way like Visual Studio Code or Atom do it ;=)

The Kate Website

This plugin went a long way since the initial integration in release 19.12!

Other stuff that happened in 2021 for the project

Improved Website

Our website is now properly hosted on KDE maintained infrastructure and uses the common KDE styling like other KDE related websites. The current website infrastructure even supports proper translations and many of top level pages should now be available for non-english speakers, too.

You can easily contribute to this page via merge requests, if you like to write some blog post, too, feel free to submit one!

The Kate Website

There were several iterations until we arrived at the current state, thanks a lot (to Carl and naturally all others involved here)!

A big thanks to all the people that help to translate our websites (and tools), too!

I think the current setup of our page via Hugo is really great. The full content is managed in our Git repository, no extra databases to backup and fiddle with. All history of over 15 years of blog posts and pages nicely archived.

New Mascot

I know, this is nothing the normal user will really benefit from, but for our branding, it is nice to have some recognizable modern mascot. Head over to the mascot page to read the full creation history, I actually think it is kind of interesting.

The Kate Mascot

Thanks again to Tyson Tan, for both the mascot (old & new) and the current Kate icon!

New Year Wishes

For new year wishes, I can just copy over most of the text from last year.

Let’s hope 2022 will be a better year for the world!

And I hope we will see a further rise in contributors & contributions for Kate and KDE in general.

Let’s rock!

And on a personal note, I hope I get more motivated to e.g. update the Kate & Co. Windows versions again, too. I somehow did slack off on that area, some help with the Windows part of development/testing would be appreciated, too. Help there is welcome, I even was not able to finish my trivial fix for the translation packaging :(


A matching thread for this can be found here on r/KDE.