Linux Format: KDevelop Best Linux C++ IDE

In a very thorough
(1.5MB PDF file) by
Linux Format
(Issue 35, Christmas 2002, p. 36),
KDevelop 2.1
beat out six commercial and Open Source contenders to be crowned the Best
Linux C++ IDE. In the concluding remarks in a review including competitors
from Kylix Open Edition (Delphi) and Studio Gold (KDE) to Anjuta (GNOME)
and Code Forge (Motif), Maurice Kelly notes that the current development
branch, Gideon, brings with it another major set of improvements which will
make KDevelop shine even brighter:
"[T]he project is extremely fast moving and a number of new features
are being developed in the upcoming 3.0 version which is currently
in alpha testing. These include support for languages other than C/C++,
qmake support and C++ auto-completion. It is great that an
application which is open source is such an amazing contender and
manages to put some of the proprietary commercial offerings to shame.


"The project is extremely fast moving..."

Does this mean KDevelop is developed with KDevelop? :)

By Loranga at Tue, 2002/12/17 - 6:00am

Kinda like the Chicken or the Egg, I guess...


By Xanadu at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

Indeed, it *is* developed with KDevelop. We started this way in late 98 when it was halfway usable and safe to write code (that's where the autosave feature came up after loosing some data here and there initially :-))


By Ralf Nolden at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

Nah, that would infer that it's actually developed in MSDev (MS Visual Studio). No, I'm not trol-- err... actually, I guess I am, although I thought of it as weak, 5:53 AM humor moreso than anything else. In either case, it's true! Developing in, but not necessarily for, Windows is a significantly greater experience than in Linux for one major reason: Visual Studio. I'm tired. If you need actually question the reasoning behind my opinion, just ask.

By kaoruAngel at Sun, 2002/12/22 - 6:00am

Well, if MS VS is the only IDE you have used it may be a reason for you to like windows more. But, MS VS is not as good as BCB IDE or CodeWarrior.

By Agron at Wed, 2002/12/25 - 6:00am

This is _again_ a great rating for kdevelop.
I gotta tell ya. I never liked IDE's, but kdevelop is the best I've used so
far. It doesn't get in my way as some other IDE's do. It's very intuitive
and straightforward. I have tried most of the IDE's in the review and I couldn't agree more with it.
And, haha: "It is great that an application which is open source is such an amazing contender and manages to put some of the proprietary commercial offerings to _shame_."
This (once again) proves that open source does (is able to) infact produce nicely polished applications. In your face open source enemies!
Uh, I'm getting of-topic here :)

By dwt at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

Well, though VSlick is not counted as IDE, so far it does lots of things better than KDevelop does. But so far, Gideon seems to fix this in the nearest future.

By SHiFT at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

Congratulations to the KDevelop team from the Anjuta developers ! I'm currently going through the review to pick up our weaknesses. Hopefully, there can be better coordination between the IDE developers in the future. In fact, I've also downloaded KDevelop CVS to have a look at the code. Hopefully, we can find areas for code reuse in the form of common libraries.

Try out our latest release 1.0.1 - it has some really cool features like incremental search, a really powerful tools editor and error/warning indicators inside the editor window.


By Biswa at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

Thanks. What actually prevents you from KDevelop? Why not drop Anjuta but extend KDevelop? ;-)

By F@lk at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

Come one, don't be rude.

By Shamyl Zakariya at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

Hey, didn't you see the ";-)"! But indeed once about in January 2002 I tried Anjuta and that time I thought it was cooler than KDevelop. It had codecompletion before KDevelop.

By F@lk at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

Anjuta lets me just create a simple text file and compile it quickly. Kdevelop FORCES one to spend a lot of time entering the author and project title name, CVS options, and the like. For someone who is learning a language, this is needless, and a total waste of time.

By Teo Mrnjavac at Sun, 2003/07/20 - 5:00am

At least I had not the chance to look at Anjuta yet. But I had a look at the screenshots :-) and it looks very promising.
I know that one of your team is working on SourceBase. There's an other constitution of an new IDE backend (for Gideon), too. Maybe we can do business with each other in this case. Roberto Raggi is the developer of it, though, what I saw and heard is very cool :-).

By Victor Röder at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

Yup - that is me. Unfortunately, sourcebase development has stagnated a bit recently since I'm concentrating more on getting some more important things right in Anjuta first, for example, a better project manager. One of the major aims of SourceBase is to be usable by all free IDEs. I'm hoping to restart SourceBase development once I implement the new project manager and some other stuff which I need at work.

By Biswa at Thu, 2002/12/19 - 6:00am

Would that include python and java? You might yet drag me away from emacs if it did...

By caoilte at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

Yes - at least Java will be supported.
I don't know at the moment if python will be supported too.
But with the new plugin-architecture it should be able to add support for any kind of programing language AFAIK.

By SegFault at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

> You might yet drag me away from emacs if it did
Don't think so. Gideon is already a great tool. But the editor can't compete with Emacs. As soon as I can use the Emacs in KDevelop I'll switch.

By Norbert at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

Gideon uses the kate parts as Editor. Kate is IMHO the best Editor i ever seen, including Emacs and Vim...

Gideon gonna be _very_ cool!

By Raffaele Sandrini at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

I bet you've never learned how to use the Emacs with all its macros, shortcuts and lisp integration... You can't be faster in writing code than with the emacs. I don't see a way to do all this in Kate...
I have been using Emacs for nearly everything (the other things I do with vi or KWord) for years now. Nothing comes close...

By Peter at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

I bet you've never learned how to use the Emacs with all its macros, shortcuts and lisp integration... You can't be faster in writing code than with the emacs. I don't see a way to do all this in Kate...
I have been using Emacs for nearly everything (the other things I do with vi or KWord) for years now. Nothing comes close...

By Peter at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

KDevelop uses the KTextEditor interface so at the moment, you can use kate, kvim, qEditor and nedit (experimental!) in KDevelop. Write an EMacs KTextEditor integration any you'll be able to use it in gideon as well.

By harryF at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

"Write an EMacs KTextEditor integration any you'll be able to use it in gideon as well".
Yes KEmacs... we really need it :(


By Jad at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

This would be pretty cool, indeed. However, does not GNU Emacs even already support exporting its text editor as a widget? So, can someone estimate how difficult it would be to wrap it into a (K|X)part for someone who has never written a kpart before?


Gunter Ohrner

By Gunter Ohrner at Thu, 2002/12/19 - 6:00am

In this screenshot python is a option in 'New Project' dialog. Hope it will make it to the final version.

Could Gideon be ported to other platforms or will QT license lock it to *nix only? I would love to use it at work.

By Fredrik C at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

I am using python with gideon (kdevelop 3) just fine for developing a python product for zope. All the features I have been looking for seem to work just fine. The class browser works, cvs intergration works, syntax highlighting works etc. I would say that it supports at least enough python for me to really like using it and I really like the new interface in kdevelop 3.

I also did most of my python programming before kdevelop 3 in kdevelop 2 and that worked fine also.

By kosh at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

I'm working on a sample framework for Python/PyQT in Gideon. I'd be interested in any ideas/experiences from anyone currently using Gideon to develop in Python.

By Julian Rockey at Thu, 2002/12/19 - 6:00am

KDevelop2 is great, and KDevelop3(Gideon) promises to be even better! My only gripe about Gideon is that the generated projects doesn't work with my autoconf/automake setup. I have 2.54 and 1.6.3 and that works with all of KDE, Gideon, Quanta+ and all other apps I've tried for that matter.. only NOT with the stuff Gideon *generates*!!

I hope this changes, it would be very cool to try out all the new features for real, and not just browse around in the menus...

By jd at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

That's not gideon's fault but a hassle with the build system in general. Try to replace your admin/ directory with the one from kde-common/admin (KDE CVS).

By harryF at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

Hey! Thanks for the tip. That did it. :)

The generated code (KDE framework app) still didn't build though, it had missed to link libkdeprint, but that was fixable. However, I ended up editing the file, but shouldn't there be a place somewhere in Gideon to add libs to link? KDevelop2 has that..

By jd at Thu, 2002/12/19 - 6:00am

I personally have had nothing but trouble with KDevelop's make files and configure scripts. At the moment I have a program that is giving me undefined symbol errors, for symbols that do exist in the libraries it's pointing to. I still haven't managed to figure it out after a month. Thanks,


By David Findlay at Thu, 2002/12/19 - 6:00am


I,m newby in Linux and development... And my english isn't good, so sorry...

Here is: i've got a project (C++) build in Kdevelop2, and now i've install Fedora 3, with kdevelop3... i can't open that project (project name=CARD.kdevelop)... Gives me this errors:
"This is not a valid project file.
XML error in line 5, column 35:
error occurred while parsing element"

Can you help me please? Thanks...

By stbcoder at Thu, 2005/02/17 - 6:00am

is there a way to get kdevelop with vim on debian without compiling everthying from cvs?

By L1 at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

I don't know if Gideon is available as a .deb, but the Kvim plugin can be obtained by adding "deb ./" to your /etc/apt/sources.list .

By CAPSLOCK2000 at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

replying to myself:
Gideon for Debian can be found at:

By CAPSLOCK2000 at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

As a beginner in programming, I was amazed by KDevelop 2 years and a half ago. KDevelop brought me to KDE and gave me the opportunity to get involved a bit in development. It is so intuitive and easy to use that I even thought C++ would also be easy... I have been using Gideon for a month and really, it rocks. Thanks to the KDevelop team for bringing such a tool for newbies.

By Anne-Marie Mahfouf at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

Same here -- I could read and tweak C/C++ but the ease of the KDevelop & KDE/Qt combination is what encouraged me to take the plunge into writing my own applications a couple of years ago.

The developers should take pride in having provided such a useful tool.

(Now, if they'd just return the "KDE-Mini" project option to Gideon....)

By Otter at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

Yes! I miss KDE Mini as well -- most apps I write are based off of KDE Mini.

However, the real reason I'm still using KDevelop 2 still is that after a couple weeks running gideon it just wasn't stable enough. of course, I posted bug reports. And of course, I understand it's alpha ;) I'm really, *really* looking forward to it, but for the time being, and with the amount of coding I'm doing, I'll stick to KDevelop 2 which is rock-solid.

Oh, and one thing -- my favourite part of KDevelop 2 is having a keyboard accellerator to show/hide the messages/callstack/terminal/etc view. I have a thinkpad with a relatively small screen and I need all the space for my code I can get. I poked around, but was unable to find an option to map a key combo to show/hide the bottom pane.

And, also, I wasn't able to figure out how to tag files as being installable/where to install when make install is invoked. Under KDevelop 2 I just right click a file under the file view and set the install info, but while I'm sure gideon supports this, as it has great automake management, I couldn't figure out *how*.

Perhaps I'll file a feature request. But nontheless, I'm impressed.

By Shamyl Zakariya at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

What about RAD support? KDevelop is a great code editor IDE, but does it support RAD like Delphi? I mean stuff like:
- integrated form editor.
- extensible, meaning that you can use your own widgets.
- when you doubleclick on a widget, the editor will automatically create a callback function for one of the widget's signals (like MyForm::MyButton_OnClick), or will put the cursor on that function if it's already created.

Those are the most important things that I miss in any IDE but Delphi/Kylix (I've never used MSVC++).

And what about GNOME or GTK2 support?

By Stof at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

I know your only a GNOME troll, but yes GNOME is supported since a while.

By ac at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

Ah, so asking wether true RAD is supported by KDevelop somehow makes me a GNOME troll? How logical.

Is GTK2 also supported?

By Stof at Thu, 2002/12/19 - 6:00am

I mean that you should try out the KDevelop/QtDesigner integration. It does what you want to do.

By Lúcio Flávio at Thu, 2002/12/19 - 6:00am

i think qt designer is currently the best form designer.
vocationally I must develop with delphi jbuilder and c++ builder often.
however thereby edit source code is terrible.

By brat at Sat, 2002/12/21 - 6:00am

can ya add kvim to the editors. not to flame emacs. sorry. just love vim, that's all. it would very cool. imho.

By rob mandel at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

"It is great that an application which is open source..."

I am sure that *because* it is free software, it is so good.
way to go KDevelop team :)

By EvilSmile at Wed, 2002/12/18 - 6:00am

emacs works fine.

By anonymous coward at Thu, 2002/12/19 - 6:00am

The biggest weakness of KDevelop in my oppinion is the lack of the abillity to use an external editor.
I've used NEdit to write my code for ages, but I've been trying out KDevelop recently to see if I would find it usefull. It's an extremely good IDE, but I constantly find myself becomming slightly annoyed with the build-in editor. If I could just have KDevelop use NEdit as its editor I would be in development heaven :-)

By Jesper Juhl at Thu, 2002/12/19 - 6:00am

There is (experimental) support of nedit in gideon. However, I like kate now better, with it's code folding and all :)

By g to the izzo at Thu, 2002/12/19 - 6:00am

Vim has better code-folding capabilities.
Why not include Kvim also ?

By Asokan at Mon, 2002/12/23 - 6:00am

Gideon allows plugin editors. Right now it uses the katepart, but it also works with kvim, qeditor, and nedit. I personally like kate, so I haven't tried the others, but I do know they work.

By Caleb Tennis at Fri, 2002/12/20 - 6:00am

Wonderful. I'll have to look into that... Thank you for the information!

By Jesper Juhl at Sat, 2002/12/21 - 6:00am