GSOC: Revive Quanta+ Brand for KDE 4

Yay I got a GSOC slot :)

So I hope I don’t have to introduce myself anymore to you guys. Instead I’ll show you what I’ve planned to do over the summer:

Motivation for Proposal / Goal:

Back in KDE 3 times, Quanta+ was one of the reasons for me to use KDE. In my eyes it was the IDE for web development out there, and I loved to use it. Sadly it’s bitrotting nowadays without a finished KDE 4 port. That, combined with the fact that more and more distributions drop all KDE 3 packages, makes the need for a port more urgent than ever.

Implementation Details:

Thankfully, KDevelop 4 is nearing it’s first release and the KDevplatform is mature enough nowadays. This means that during summer I shall finish the port of Quanta+ to KDevplatform and supply it with all the plugins required for a proper webdevelopment IDE. My goal is it to provide a proper IDE for PHP webdevelopment. In more detail:

Put these all together with the existing features in KDevplatform we can reuse, we’ll end up with a hopefully useable IDE for webdevelopment. Hence my final goal is it to release a first Beta version of Quanta+ for KDE4.

Tentative Timeline:

  1. getting rough first shell of Quanta+ 4 up and running, removing old cruft, cleaning up old code and porting required things
    ~ 3 weeks

  2. polish existing plugins (PHP, XDebug, Execute Script, CSS, Upload)
    ~ 2 weeks

  3. create XHTML/XML plugin
    ~ 3 weeks

  4. polish UI/workflow
    ~ 2 weeks

  5. bug hunting etc., ending in a first beta release of Quanta+ for KDE 4:
    ~ 2 weeks

Lets see whether it works out as planned. But I think this commit shows you that I’m on the right track:…


Want to comment? Send me an email!

Comment by Ryan (not verified) (2011-12-04 15:54:00)

Yay for people starting things and never finishing them. I’m willing to put up cash to whoever gets Quantu working in KDE4 +

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) (2011-04-12 12:47:00)

uhmm, and…. Where’s the new Quanta?

Comment by gatuus (not verified) (2010-10-27 22:37:00)

How muchdoes it could take to pay somebody to work on QUANTA 4?!?!?

I NEEEEEEEEEEEDDDDDDDD QUANTA 4 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Milian Wolff (2010-11-01 13:19:00)

if you are serious about this, contact quanta mailing list with a good offer and I’m pretty sure someone will get into it.

Comment by David Brenner (not verified) (2010-08-18 14:33:00)

Nothing new to add but all worth repeating IMHO.

I absolutely love Quanta+ and am very excited to hear it is being worked on again. To all those involved in the past, as well as in the present, you guys rock!

  • How soon and how will we be able to kept informed of progress / notified of releases?
  • Will repository (git/svn in particular) functionality be integrated. I know there were some plug-ins available, but it just seems like a natural feature these days.
  • As a Gnome (Ubuntu) user will there be any issues getting it to run. The current core product installs fine for me some add-on related features didn’t work.
Comment by Long time quanta user (not verified) (2010-08-04 12:52:00)

A big thanks to the original authors of Quanta for starting it, for Eric Laffoon for bringing it to life and funding its development (paying a salary for Andras etc.) for such a long time, and now to you, Milian, for waking Quanta up again!!!

Quanta was and still is my main tool for web development, and none of these wysiwyg hobbyist tools can replace it. Quanta increased my productivity immensely.

I wish you lots of energy and that you never get tired, so we get Quanta 4 soon!

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) (2010-07-13 01:10:00)

4) polish UI/workflow - 2 weeks

Why does the polish version take two weeks, Germans could do it better, the british different, the USA more, italian style, french different.. why polish workflow take two weeks ?

ducks ;-) as a welshman

Comment by Milian Wolff (2010-07-13 11:47:00)

hehe lol :D but this is correct (albeit ambiguous) English, is it not?

Comment by matematicomarpla (not verified) (2010-07-10 10:51:00)

Great! Quanta+ was THE reason I almost switched to Linux, a couple years ago.
In my opinion, it is the best editor in its niche. I love the extensibility of Quanta and its simple way of doing things.
I have abandoned all distros that don’t support Quanta (for example, Mint 9 …).
Keep working on it, please! And many, many thanks!

Comment by lnthomp (not verified) (2010-07-09 18:22:00)


Comment by Ron (not verified) (2010-07-09 16:46:00)

I’m new to Quanta, but lovin’ it! So, anything you can do to improve its use will be appreciated.

Comment by Sunil (not verified) (2010-07-09 12:31:00)

Just another voice from the choir: I’m pleased that there is ongoing work to bring back quanta.

It’s old and broken, and yet still indespensible. Nothing else quiet does the trick. I’ve held back from updating to kde4 just to keep quanta. I’m sure others have done the same.

I’m very much looking forward to a new Quanta.

Comment by Billie Walsh (not verified) (2010-07-08 22:57:00)

I don’t want to be a “Me To” but thank you ever so much for working on Quanta. I’ve tried so many different editors but nothing out there compares to even the crippled Quanta left over from KDE3.I agree that WYSIWYG is a joke so don’t need that. But if it has all the old functionality it had in KDE3 I would be a happy camper.

Comment by Kees Epema (not verified) (2010-07-08 22:50:00)

Quanta was the best editor in kde3, but as I can read, there are great improvements on the way for kde4. Thanks a bunch for your great effort. Will there be support for sftp in the new quanta release?

Comment by trevor (not verified) (2010-07-03 10:16:00)

I am so pleased to see this app under development again. Quanta Plus 3 is THE BEST of its kind for any platform. When it is up and running for KDE 4 it deserves serious promotion, to broaden its user base. Sincere thanks to all who are contributing effort to it.

Please don’t worry too much about wysiwyg. For me, the split pane allowing us to preview our coding is the main thing.

Comment by Vivek Bhat (not verified) (2010-06-30 15:36:00)

Bless you and your soul …. A very BIG thank you :) I will be eagerly waiting for you to roll out Quanta. IF I had known C/C++ I would have at least tried to port Quanta to KDE4, I will be waiting…

Comment by Duns (not verified) (2010-06-15 16:22:00)

How about this project? Is very important for me, and I think, for many, many people: no Quanta, no KDE (and maybe no Linux). Possibile that is so diffuclt to (re)build a program, or at least build some one working (a textual html editor). Bluefish = ugly. Screem = ugly. Kompozer: only wysing, no textual. So please, do something. Please!

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) (2010-07-13 01:14:00)

Second all the opinions on other projects.. Still using quanta3 for php, and kate for mainly python nowadays.

One question; Can the “quanta” project files be in .quanta/ a hidden dir.. my local cache.. and the “poject def file” eg authors, svn be in json (or option)

Will the python editor be as cool as kate?

Guess I’ll be compiling the new quanta on the weekend( need to run in parallel with olde just incase somehow). thanks ;-)

Comment by Milian Wolff (2010-07-13 12:15:00)

There are no “project files” any more as there where in Quanta 3. Instead you have e.g. a project file like this:


And additionally a .kdev4 folder that contains some more things. The file above should/could be added to your revision control, while the latter should not.

Comment by Milian Wolff (2010-06-16 11:58:00)

I’m on it :)

Comment by MzK (not verified) (2010-06-17 23:14:00)

Oh thank God! I LOVE Quanta for ease of use, and I can’t imagine working in something else. Yes, Bluefish is WAY ugly! I wish you the very best of luck. Do you know this is really one of the main reasons I never upgraded to KDE 4? Now it looks like I’m going to have to so I started looking what was going to happen to one of my favorite apps, Quanta. So, again good luck and I will definitely be checking back to see how things are going.

Comment by Paul Thomas (not verified) (2010-06-06 08:02:00)

What a relief to find this.

Best wishes. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for your efforts. Quanta+ is the only editor I use for my sites.

For those who are interested: there is an easy way to run Quanta in KDE4 on Mandriva. I use Quanta every day, and I am running KDE4.4.2 on Mandriva 2010.0.

Per the instructions at

Add this person’s repositories to your package manager, and install Quanta. Nothing to it, and until Quanta is KDE4-ready, it beats the hell out of Bluefish. :-\

Kirk out.

Comment by Pieter Prinsloo (not verified) (2010-06-03 07:16:00)

Great news!!! Do you have a site where we can track or even assist you on your progress?

Comment by Luis (not verified) (2010-05-01 21:57:00)

Great news! I still use Quanta+ 3 and I was now wondering if I should switch to Kdevelop4 now that it’s been released. But I’d still prefer to use Quanta+, especially if it’s ported to KDE4.

WYSIWIG is not important, especially now that most developers don’t use tables anymore. For CSS based layouts it’s simply better to have the site opened in Firefox and use Firebug to find the problems.

Thank you for this work! (And thanks to Google for sponsoring it!).

Comment by Henry B (not verified) (2010-04-29 17:54:00)

Very looking forward to the results of your work. KDE4 without Quanta has been very painful. Just let us know where to send the beer when your done!

Comment by Kevin Kofler (not verified) (2010-04-29 17:20:00)

I think support for plain (non-X) HTML is pretty much a requirement for anything which aspires to replace Quanta+ 3.

VPL/WYSIWYG will probably also be missed. Can’t KHTML editing (which was added during last year’s GSoC) or QtWebKit editing (which is what KMail wants to use for HTML mail) be used to implement this feature with little to no effort? AFAICT we now have 2 HTML engines which support editing out of the box, it should be a lot less overhead to support this now than in the old days where KHTML had to be forked into KafkaPart for Quanta’s VPL mode.

Comment by Milian Wolff (2010-04-29 17:36:00)

I disagree in some way: XHTML or at least XHTML-compliant HTML (i.e. not SGML) finally reached the heads of web developers. It’s simply “good” stile, hence supporting that rather than the wickedly crude SGML is of much more importance to me.

And Wysiwyg is simply a joke, it’s useful for hobbyists but those are simply not my intended audience for the first Quanta-on-KDE4 steps.

Comment by DanaKil (not verified) (2010-04-29 14:25:00)

Is syntax highlighting something you plan to work on or is this not directly related to your project ?

I use Kate to edit HTML/PHP but I always heavily missed some feature from Notepad++ or PSPad (for Windows) : ie, when you click on an opening tag, the closing tag will be highlighted. It’s great when some tags are very far each from the other or to detect missing closing tag (it colors in red then).

Not a feature from Notepad++ ou PSPad but it could be useful to be able to delete an entire tag and its content just by selecting the opening or closing tag and pressing something like ctrl+backspace (ie: delete a table and all it’s child).

Anyway, I wish you the best for this project :-)

Comment by Milian Wolff (2010-04-29 17:36:00)

The highlighting is definitely interesting and would be rather simple to implement, once we have a proper XHTML parser.

Comment by jayJay (not verified) (2010-04-29 10:12:00)

This is great news for me, as a webdeveloper Quanta is my favourite tool since years, thanks for your work!

Comment by ionu (not verified) (2010-04-29 09:29:00)

what about the wysiwyg html editor?

the split thing with code and view was the only one that rivaled dreamweaver and I did not fonud anything like it in opensource.

there are several php ides and css editors, but for me the main thing in quanta was the html editor. Any thoughts about that ?:D

Comment by Milian Wolff (2010-04-29 11:57:00)

Wysiwyg won’t be what I’ll be concentrating on.

Instead I’ll try to get Quanta into a state where it can be used as an editor-on-steroids for web developers. Wysiwyg is simply just a thing for beginners. And I’m afraid to say that this is not the userbase I’ll concentrate on during summer.

A nice preview though (without editing support) is something quite useful and I’ll see what we can get.

And I’ll of course try to get PHP + CSS + HTML + JavaScript editor support in. Just not the Wysiwyg stuff.

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) (2010-05-03 21:04:00)

+1 for not wasting time on WYSIWYG. :)

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) (2010-04-29 14:13:00)

I think wysiwyg for HTML can actually be quite useful for advanced web developers too. Not so much for text formatting and visual appearance (one should construct a proper CSS style for that anyways), but for:

1) Editing plain text in the document (without the distraction of all the stuff making up the document structure and other tags floating around, and without having to manually escape HTML entities, etc…)

2) Editing tables (e.g. splitting/merging several cells of an existing table is a real pain in HTML… It always takes me several times back-and-forth between editor and browser until I get all those rowspan’s/colspan’s right. Just selecting the cells in a wysiwyg editor and clicking the corresponding toolbar button would be much more comfortable…)

Of course your GSoC project will keep you busy enough as it is, without also focusing on wysiwyg on top of everything. Just maybe keep it in mind as a potential future addon when you design/polish the Quanta+ 4 internals and user interface.

Comment by ionu (not verified) (2010-05-01 07:57:00)

for me the split code/view is a very useful thing because I can see what I do, and more important I can click on an item in the view area an get positioned in the code with no search or something. I find this very useful :D

Comment by Milian Wolff (2010-04-29 17:39:00)

Sure it will be possible to do something like that with a plugin in the future. And nowadays everybody is using some kind of CMS. Who writes plain text in HTML documents? And editing tables… Well you definitely only need them for content (not for layouting) and there you’d again stick to the wysiwyg editor of your CMS…

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) (2010-04-29 22:11:00)

Yeah, I guess.

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) (2010-04-29 02:21:00)

Great, but: Will Kommander be ported?

Comment by Milian Wolff (2010-04-29 12:53:00)

never used it, nor see a use for it. I won’t spent time on it.

Comment by Werner Joss (not verified) (2010-04-29 07:42:00)

kommander is already ported to kde4, e.g. (k)unbuntu packages are available. same goes for klinkstatus/kfilereplace. the big missing part from kdewebdev is (was) quanta itself. amazing to see that this is now changing. go for it, Milian !

Comment by Andras Mantia (not verified) (2010-04-29 11:39:00)

To be more correct, the kommander executable is ported, but the editor is not. The main reason: it was based on Qt Designer 3, but that changed a lot, and it doesn’t make too much sense to port the Qt Designer 3 codebase to Qt4. So it needs a rewrite…

Comment by Jakub Caban (not verified) (2010-04-29 01:38:00)


As I’ve already stated on Quanta-users (don’t know if you are reading that one) - you can count on any help from us (community) in achieving those goals!

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) (2010-04-28 21:47:00)

This is great news! Best of luck to you. Qanta+ really was a standout.

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) (2010-04-28 20:46:00)

A Quanta port for KDE 4 would only be the greatest feat ever! Go for it

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) (2010-04-28 19:55:00)


As a KDE user, this is my favorite GSoC 2010 project :-)

Published on April 28, 2010.