After the successful developer sprint in Berlin in 2010, the Kate and KDevelop teams met for the second time from the 23rd to the 29th of October. This time, the developer sprint was held in the beautiful city of Vienna. In total, 13 contributors discussed and collaborated on the future of Kate and KDevelop for a whole week.
The developer sprint was organized and partly financed by Joseph Wenninger, who also showed himself to be an excellent city guide in Vienna. The remaining travel costs were kindly supported by the KDE e.V., which is possible thanks to our supporting members and the Join The Game campaign. Further, a special thanks goes to Vivid Planet for supporting the joint Kate/KDevelop with a really tasty dinner.
The developer sprint was very productive, so this sprint report is split into two parts. In this Dot story, information about Kate is presented. KDevelop sprint activities will be provided soon.
What's new in Kate
The developers worked hard to make Kate, KDE's Advanced Text Editor, an even more pleasant experience. There were about 400 commits in Kate's source code in just this week, ranging from major changes to small details such as bug fixes or fine tuning.
The editor component Kate Part (also used in KDevelop and Kile) received a new message interface. This message interface allows the applications to show passive, interactive notifications in the editor text view. For instance, this notification system is used to notify the user when loading remote files will take a long time, when the document content needs to be recovered, or when text is being replaced (see screenshot).
Minimap as Scrollbar
Kate gained the feature to show a minimap of the document in the scroll bar. Minimap shows text in a miniature view and is useful for fast text navigation in the document (screen shot). While the feature itself is stable, it may be changed and should be considered experimental.
Kate gained a new Project Management plugin. This powerful plugin reads simple .kateproject files in the project root folder. A sidebar shows all the files belonging to the project, either through filters or by querying git or subversion. It is tightly integrated into the Search & Replace plugin, enabling the user to search & replace only in the files belonging to the project. It seamlessly integrates into the new Quick Open feature, accessible either through the menu or the shortcut Ctrl+Alt+o. The Project Management plugin uses ctags in the background to parse all project files. This way, basic yet convenient auto completion support is available in all project files. Get more details in this blog post.
Predefined Color Schemes
Another improvement is that Kate now has several predefined color schemes. An example can be seen in the screen shot, and further information is available on the Kate homepage. Colors may change in the future (e.g., to improve contrast).
In addition to these updates, minor changes include a small tooltip while scrolling that shows the current line number. Next, the option to remove trailing spaces on save was improved. Documents in read-only mode now show an additional suffix "[read only]" to make the read-only mode more visible to the user. The scripting API was improved and contains experimental support for zen-like quick coding also for arbitrary languages.
We read almost all of the 850 bug reports and brought the number down to a manageable size of just 60 open bug reports and 300 wishlist items. Assistance with finding and reporting bugs is much appreciated. The buq squashing trend is reflected in the following chart:
Many thanks to all our supporters who made this productive developer sprint happen. All the functions mentioned above are available in KDE Software Release 4.10. We are looking forward to more dedicated developer sprints in the coming years!