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  • » Kate/KDevelop HackSprint Day 1

    Sun, 02/14/2010 - 01:58

    So, first day of the Kate/KDevelop hacksprint.

    We just talked and hacked at the rented flat,got to know each other and had a fun time. Everybody made it more or less in time, even last minute attendee Adymo from Ukraine, nice! Hacking-wise the productivity wasn’t that high, esp. for me, but a few patches got committed here and there.

    Right now I’m working on a little speedup for Kate, esp. for big MySQL files - lets see how it turns out. Cullmann showed me a few things I could do so maybe it works out, lets see.

    Over the next week I plan to push in user configurable include paths for the PHP plugin and do some more Snippets & Scripting work in Kate, lets see how it turns out. I’ll go home now, kinda sucks that I don’t stay with the others here at the flat but have to take a 1h ride into the city… Berlin is definitely too big :D

  • » FOSDEM 2010 - Day 1

    Sat, 02/06/2010 - 19:05

    Hey everyone!

    Just a quick blurb about my first day at FOSDEM so far:

    The City of Brussels

    All I have to say about the things I saw this morning is simply: Wow. What a city. I really like it’s … /”style”/?! Magnificent old buildings, no dull corners, everything is a bit organic, grown together. I really like it. When I drove with the bus to the University today I really got thinking: What could Berlin have looked like if not these sons of b*****s messed up our history… Oh well - off to better thoughts…

    The KDevelop talk by Aleix

    Yeah, I think Aleix really nailed this one! Imo it was really well done and the audience also received it well. I really liked how he first talked about some parts that are so good in KDevelop (“we know everything” ;-)) and then - BOOM - he showed it off :) There were some interesting questions from the audience as well, probably most notably something along the lines of:

    Eclipse has 300+ developers working on it - how do you manage to create something faster and better (for C++)

    He, I think the work of the past years starts to pay of finally! Kudos to all the other developers who worked on it.

    Another one asked me, whether there are any payed developers, or any kind of financial support at all. Well the answer is sadly: No, none at all… But imagine what we could do with KDevelop, if some of the core developers could get paid for working on it! Ah, wishful dreaming so far…

    FOSDEM generally

    It’s cool I think, pretty crowded with actually interested people. I mean sure, there is the odd guy requesting instant bug fixing (come on people: if you have a hand written list of bugs you want to see fixed, why wait for something like FOSDEM to get told that you have to report it to anyways?…). But there are also people you just stop by and tell you: Amarok is awesome! I really like KDE! KDevelop is amazing!

    PS: What really amazes me as well is how many people are buying T-Shirts! I alone, while looking after the booth, sold like 10+ of the Amarok shirts. And - imo - only real fans do that, no? Really appreciate the users who show their support that way.

    PPS: Lets just hope that our accommodation works out: Seems like people are already leaving tomorrow, not on Monday like I thought. And the hotel thought we would arrive yesterday… Yeah - I missed the beer event :’( Something I definitely have to improve next year!

  • » Snippets In KDevelop / Kate

    Wed, 02/03/2010 - 17:59

    Hey all!

    Just wanted to give you a little rundown on Snippets in Kate 4.4 (via the snippets_tng plugin) and KDevelop Beta 8 (soon to be released).

    Note: The Kate plugin was written by Jowenn and introduced me to all these nice features. For KDevelop I wrote a somewhat simpler yet imo better implementation. We will try to get the best of both worlds into KDE 4.5. Stay tuned!

    General Usage & Features
    • create a snippet repository (or download via GHNS [see below])
    • create snippets in that repository
    • insert snippets via the snippets view (i.e. double click), or (imo better/faster) insert them via code-completion (remember: CTRL + Space requests code completion at the current cursor position!).
    • snippet gets inserted (properly indented) and potential placeholders/variables get expanded. A variable is something like %{date} or ${email}. Also take a look at the API documentation.
    • variables that get inserted via “${…}” will be “selectable”, meaning you can jump from one var to the other by hitting TAB / Shift TAB
    • the %{...} vars will only get expanded and inserted, without getting selectable.
    • multiple occurrences of the same variable will be updated once one of them gets edited, something that is called “mirroring” in other editors.
    • once one edits ESC the cursor is placed at the end of the snippet or to the first occurrence of ${cursor} or %{cursor} and the user types something, the snippet-handler quits and you are left with your normal editor until you insert the next snippet
    • nested snippets (i.e. insert snippet than insert another one) should “just work”.
    Snippet Management
    • group snippets by file type, i.e. PHP snippets will only be offered during code completion when one edits a PHP file.
      Note: In KDevelop and KDE 4.4 nested documents are supported, e.g. create a CSS snippet and it will be shown inside the CSS parts of a HTML document or similar. This uses my HighlightInterface I wrote for KDE 4.4. I still have to rewrite some parts of the snippets_tng plugin for Kate so that it works there as well
    • group snippets in repositories, set an Author and a License of your choice
    • publish snippet repositories via GHNS: In Kate you can already download snippets from GHNS but we sadly don’t have any repos up on opendesktop… I’ll have to add some prior to KDE 4.4. Also we didn’t have enough time to implement uploading of Repos from inside Kate in time for KDE 4.4. So stay tuned for KDE 4.5. KDevelop currently has no support for GHNS, but I plan to fix this tomorrow or the next days - together with uploading from inside KDevelop, i.e. all the nice features of GHNS v3.
    • in KDevelop (and someday in Kate as well) you can simply select a part of your currently opened document and select the “create snippet from selection” in the ContextMenu - easy & fast!

    There’s much to do.

    • Highest priority right now for me is to get GHNS with all bells and whistles supported for KDevelop.
    • Then I’ll merge and integrate the Kate & KDevelop plugins as much as possible, so we have a reduce code base.
    • Also important is to make all shortcuts configurable
    • Another thing is: How could we improve interoperability even between e.g. editors like TextMate or Gedit? Both have snippets features and their bundles are available in the net. If we can support those we’d save us a lot of work

    Also, I should probably do a screencast… Not now though ;-)

  • » FOSDEM, 4.4 release party in Berlin, ...

    Thu, 01/28/2010 - 00:56

    Hey everyone, just a quick blurp:


    Yeah, I’ll go to FOSDEM! Will be my first time, I’m really looking forward to it. Esp. considering that it marks the end of my current semester. My current plan for the following days is:

    • visit relatives & friends
    • go to FOSDEM
    • get an immense overload of hacking at the Kate/KDevelop sprint
    • start working as an intern at KDAB

    Looks like the future will be much fun :)

    But back to FOSDEM: If you have any questions about Kate/KDevelop/PHP, visit me at the KDE booth. I’ll also attend Aleix’s talk about KDevelop for sure.

    4.4 release party in Berlin

    So well, Nighrose poked me on IRC and I added a short note about a small get-together on the 13th in Berlin. I’m reluctant to call it release party since it’ll be at the rented flat for the Kate/KDevelop sprint attendees, hence only a limited number of people can attend. But esp. other KDE/Qt/KDAB hackers in Berlin & vicinity are welcome. If you want to come by, take a look at the wiki notes about the “party” and contact me by mail.

    If anyone else has a bigger party planned, please tell us. We’d be a horde of 10+ hackers, ready to crash anything :)

  • » Kate polishing

    Thu, 01/21/2010 - 02:09

    Phew, I just finished some last-minute backports to the KDE 4.3.5 branch. Lets hope the bug fixes I and pletourn did are as good as they look. Expect a much more stable Kate for 4.3.5 & 4.4! We managed to fix two bugs which are potentially the cause for dozens of bug reports, all seemingly random. Lets see whether our fixes hold up to our hopes!

    Other than that: You should look forward to Kate scripting (with JavaScript) in 4.4. It’s dead simple but actually useful. In the utils.js file we ship with Kate there are now the following tools (all operate on the selection or - if none exists - on the whole document):

    • sort - simple sorting
    • natsort - natural sorting
    • uniq - filter duplicates
    • trim - remove leading & trailing whitespace
    • ltrim - remove leading whitespace
    • rtrim - remove trailing whitespace

    Do you have more ideas for such simple helper functions?

  • » progress in PHP support for KDevelop

    Wed, 01/20/2010 - 14:44

    Hey everyone. Been some time since I last blogged… I want to take the chance to give you all a bit of overview over the last changes in the PHP plugin for KDevelop:

    Performance Improvements

    I spent quite some time profiling various aspects of the PHP plugin, be it parsing and DUChain building over to (just yesterday) code completion. I’m confident to say that I found (and removed) quite a few bottlenecks, making the plugin much more comfortable to use.

    I’m really blown away time over time again by valgrind & KCachegrind… What would we do without these tools?


    An (imo) very strong point for using KDevelop for PHP programming is it’s seamless support for documentation. Be it the “simple” inline documentation in the Declaration Tooltips or the extended integration of the remote docs. But these past days I improved our generator for the inline documentation of built-in PHP language constructs considerably:

    • add documentation for function/method parameters
    • add @since where appropriate
    • fix some missing declarations or bugs, esp. some that where part of SPL

    These changes increased the size of the generated file to whopping 3.1M. This was too much for me and hence I added support to ship this file zipped (i.e. now it’s 80% smaller) and we decompress it transparently with the use of KZip. Adding such a feature was a breeze, so nice to work with the KDE Api :)

    There are still a few things missing and stuff I plan to improve here, so stay tuned for more news in this regard.

  • » PHP & PHP-Docs now in extragear/sdk/kdevelop-plugins

    Fri, 01/08/2010 - 18:58

    Hey everyone! The PHP & PHP-Docs plugins for KDevelop now moved to Extragear! The new locations are:

    1. svn+ssh://
    2. svn+ssh://

    Or the anonsvn equivalent:

    1. svn://
    2. svn://

    Happy coding!

  • » Will code for food

    Tue, 12/22/2009 - 05:34

    Ha, what a bit of a bribe can do to me… Someday earlier today a user of the PHP plugin for KDevelop brought up the flickering issue in it again. Well as I told him: I myself find it very annoying and wanted to fix it since quite some time, but never got around to it… Usually that would be it and I’d go watch some more FamilyGuy until I’m in the mood to track this bugger down. But well, thankfully Phlogi wasn’t so easy to dispatch:

    <Phlogi> milian: ok… I’ll send you pizza and beer if you fix this!

    Hours of gdb sessions later, I finally committed a fix. So Phlogi, if you read this: You owe me ;-)

    To all others: If you tried the PHP plugin out and the flickering was too much for you: Give it a try again! I’m personally totally overwhelmed, the difference is huge! I often perceived the PHP plugin to be magnitudes slower than the C++ one. Well, looks like most of this was only due to the flickering. Now things are much smoother.

    Happy holidays!

  • » PHP and PHP-Docs plugins now up for review (meaning: SVN location moved!)

    Thu, 12/17/2009 - 22:29

    Hey all!

    Just a quick note: Niko and me moved PHP & PHP-Docs to kdereview, we hope to move both plugins to extragear/sdk/kdevelop-plugins. So, if I understood things correctly, after a two week period the plugins will get moved there (well, if we pass the review, but I think we can do that).

    So for anybody that uses the plugins from SVN, you’ll have to relocate. The new addresses are:

    • /trunk/kdereview/kdevelop-php
    • /trunk/kdereview/kdevelop-php-docs

    See you in two weeks :)

  • » Real FOSS appreciation

    Mon, 12/07/2009 - 03:25

    So, it’s been roughly a year since my first commit to kdelibs. According to Ohloh it’s been in November 2008. And boy have I learned much in this year. I learned C++ just to be able to contribute to KDE, since I thought it would be awesome to be able to “fix your own itch”. I have to say: It was the best decision I ever made.

    I really came to appreciate FOSS in a whole new light: Contributing to a big project like KDE gets you in contact with lots of nice people. And they will help you get things done. What’s better is that in the process you learn lots of things. And I mean lots. I can now use GDB, Valgrind, now my way around some parts of the KDE/Qt API, can investigate performance related questions… And since these are such huge topics, there’s always more to learn, much more!

    I doubt someone could learn that much by reading books or writing his own little application without the help of a community. The wealth of possibilities inside KDE will increase your horizon constantly. And there is tons of very good code to study! Want to know why something is not working? Look at the source. Still not helping? Ask your fellow developers. I really have to say it’s an awesome feeling to be part of this big community.

    Fixing an itch: Qalculate! backend for Cantor

    You know, I’m officially a Physics student, I just happen to be way more interested in programming (the practical part of it, not really that much the theoretical part).

    Since I started with Physics two years ago, I always required a good calculator, esp. for experimental physics. The best calculator I found was Qalculate!, especially it’s great support for units and constants made me solve tedious exercises in a fraction of the time it required my fellow students that could not use Qalculate (it only runs on Linux). Really, it’s an outstanding piece of software in my opinion.

    But to get to the point: Qalculate was the last KDE 3 app on my desktop, and I wanted to change that. Now I read about Cantor, esp. once fellow KDevelop hacker Apol wrote about his KAlgebra backend for Cantor, and I knew: This is the perfect fit for libqalculate!

    So last week I started and already have a somewhat working backend available:

    This once again showed the utterly insane greateness of FOSS: I started to hack on the backend and looked at the existing backends for guidance. I also contacted arieder, the author of Cantor, directly and chatted with him, getting help. But I did not only /take/. I reviewed his API, gave suggestions, reported whishes and bugs and eventually hacked a little bit on the sources themselves. Imagine this in a corporate environment: I’d probably have had to report in some shabby tracker and wait ages for my feature request to be closed as wontfix…

    And while writing the backend I had this realization that also triggered this blog post: I actually did something useful in a few days. I could never have imagined being in that position one year ago. I always thought that C++ was a bit of black magic, especially writing things from scratch. But now… Now I’m somehow able to grasp code and come up with something working in a few days.

    The problem this brings, is of course that you can easily loose track and overload yourself with work… I could spent lots of hours in any part of KDE. My TODO alone bears for KatePart, KDevelop-PHP, KDevelop itself, Quanta, …. You name it! I think this will become a fun holiday ;-)

    PS: Just a quick note: I really think that Cantor will become a great and useful application for science students. It will be your central application for any calculations, either numeric (e.g. Qalculate) or symbolic (e.g. Maxima).