2002 App of the Month: Kate

Klaus Stärk informs us that
the German KDE website has
the March 2002 App of the Month:
As usual, the useful (German) review includes a screenshot-laden
of Kate, as well as a
note by,
and an
, its maintainer,
Christoph Cullmann.
Find out more about your favorite editor and the talent behind it.


The Klaus link shouldn't be
You may want to use mailto: :-)

By Andy "Storm" Go... at Mon, 2002/03/04 - 6:00am

I could have sworn I had fixed that....


By Navindra Umanee at Tue, 2002/03/05 - 6:00am

I'm not surprised that Kate gets this award; it's a brilliant editor. I use it for all my development these days, and if I try other editors, I always end up coming back to Kate.

By Gareth Williams at Tue, 2002/03/05 - 6:00am

Yeah, but the naming of the editor was a close shave, though.

By reihal at Tue, 2002/03/05 - 6:00am

Please tell me that isn't an incredibly off-colour pun.


By Evan "JabberWok... at Tue, 2002/03/05 - 6:00am

Do I have to learn German too? :-)

I think I forgot everything what German lessons in school (got it 2 years) taught me... :-(

By Andy "Storm" Go... at Tue, 2002/03/05 - 6:00am

Yeah, I'm also beginning to forget german.
Maybe I shouldn't write bug reports any more ;-)


By Jochen Puchalla at Tue, 2002/03/05 - 6:00am

I used to use EditPlus2 under Win32 and a range of editors under Linux. Now I have found the best source code editor around which is SciTE (, and as a plus it works under both platforms. It supports every programming language I use, has syntax highlighting, can do things such as comment out a block of code in one keystroke... but most importantly has *folding*. Once you start using folding you can never go back to a primitive editor. I absolutely recommend it.


By Phillip at Tue, 2002/03/05 - 6:00am

Thanks for the advertisement :-)

KDevelop has syntax highlighting, it can comment out a block of code. But I don't know what the real use of folding is. To hide your bad code? :-) I don't need it anyway. Aren't there KDevelop plugins available for Java, etc?

I wouldn't call Kate primitive, but it isn't bloated and it is easy to use. I wonder if SciTE understands KParts, I think not. Why need another program if everything I need, is already in KDE? (Except for Quanta+, I hope it becomes a part of the KDE release somewhere in the future...)

By Andy "Storm" Go... at Tue, 2002/03/05 - 6:00am

I wasn't singling out Kate as primitive, I meant all editors without folding. Kate seems to strike a good balance for someone doing web pages. It's too bloated for me, who just wants to edit code and doesn't want things built in such as file selector, windows-within-windows, bash prompt etc. On the other hand it doesn't go whole-hog like many IDEs we see.

SciTE is fast, and does the job I want it to well. Agreed it may not use KParts and weigh in at 682k, but there isn't any KDE app that fulfils the same job description. If you do coding in C, Java, PHP, etc (and not HTML) then try using a folding editor and you will suddenly start feeling the way I do :-)


By Phillip at Tue, 2002/03/05 - 6:00am

SciTE just one implementation of the Scintilla engine
I can assure you that folding is very useful to navigate over large chunks of code without using a full blown IDE.
It seams like Scintilla is becoming more and more the text widget of choice for a number of projects, a would very much appreciate the choice of using Scintilla as a kpart.
BTW it's written in C++.

By Fredrik at Thu, 2002/03/07 - 6:00am

Have had a look at the scintilla sources some time ago (as I was on the trip around to find a better text buffer/widget for kate), but I don't think scintilla's sourcecode is that nice to port to kde (kparts) if you not only want to write a wrapper around it.
Scintilla is a nice text editing widget, for example (as mentioned above) its folding is really great, but on bigger files the current kate part is much faster and its hl is nicer too, as you can easily extend it via xml files ;) Overall, I can see no real advantage in scintilla over the current kate part in kdelibs other than the (nice) folding, which we will have soon (hopefully), too ;)r
But more kparts are always useful, than the user have more editorparts to work with ;)

By christoph at Thu, 2002/03/07 - 6:00am

> Scintilla ... its folding is really great

Scintilla folding is still the best

> which we will have soon (hopefully), too ;)

hopefully yes.. I hope that finally Kate will add working folding
support in next few years. I was awaiting it latest 2 years (were using xemacs and Scite this time). Finally when Python support was announced I was really liked to try it, but found that folding is completely broken, and according to author comments in bugzilla there are no changes to fix it in near time... :(

By Alex V. Koval at Thu, 2004/10/14 - 5:00am

frankly, SciTE rocks. I have to admit that i have not taken too much time to look into the configurability of Kate, beyond what is possible through the gui.

SciTE allows all kinds of config. through the gui and pulls up its config files for you through some menu options. It not only has syntax highlighting, it has beutiful & intelligent syntax highlighting. The colors that it brings by default are great. You should try this editor. Some more great things about it:
*folding (already mentioned)
*shading (in a php file, it'll shade the php parts a light color: helpful)
*dotted lines show tabbed sections. if you're on an if statement, it'll paint the dotted line blue all the way to the end of that section of code.
*recognizes errors in html and other common languages (highlights them red)
*a slew of other minor but important features that make it a joy to work with.
*it is FAST (waaaay faster than kate)

dont get me wrong, i dont want to knock KDE. i luv it. but i think kate, while flexible, doesnt do as good a job at being a source code editor as Scite. Maybe it would be a good idea to combine efforts w/Scintilla so as not to have to maintain millions of different text widgets.

By Pablo Liska at Sat, 2002/04/13 - 5:00am

FTE works on windows,DOS,unix terminals,X and KDE.
has highlightning for about 50 languages including AREXX and motorola assembler

And the F is for Folding.

As a bonus, I wrote a big chunk of the KDE port (and if you get KFTE, it
has a "nicer than the original" Qt port, as well.

By Roberto alsina at Tue, 2002/03/05 - 6:00am

Good news: Kate of KDE 3.1 will apparently have folding abilities.

By Someone at Tue, 2002/03/05 - 6:00am

when using kate's 'TOOL' menu, there is a item called "find in files", which will activate a very good searching dialog, but it often does not work, especially when in a directory whith many
files, such as qt source dir, really upset!

I'm using redhat9.0, with kate-2.1, kde-3.1-10

By gxw9999 at Fri, 2005/10/28 - 5:00am

Your KDE version is pretty old. I suggest upgrading. If the problem persists please report this at

By cm at Fri, 2005/10/28 - 5:00am

I am still waiting for kvim, the vim for KDE port. This would bring everything like folding, real syntax highlighting, powerful vi interface and so on.

Unfortunately kvim in kdenonbeta does not even compile and the authors do not answer email. Sucks to have to use gvim.

By Moritz Moeller-... at Tue, 2002/03/05 - 6:00am

Well you have two options:
a) Take that source code and try to make something out of it.
b) Keep on complaining on message boards that you have to use gvim.
Both might work but I think I know the faster option

By Company at Tue, 2002/03/05 - 6:00am

c) Pay someone to finish the port. Easier than you might think.

By anon at Tue, 2002/03/05 - 6:00am