KDE Developer FAQ Available

With the help of David Faure, I have just made available a KDE Developer FAQ on developer.kde.org. Here is your chance to see answered that annoying little question about development which you never dared ask. You are strongly encouraged to submit any other such questions about development for which you don't yet have a clear answer -- don't be shy, if something is a problem for you, it is probably a problem for ten other developers! I also take this opportunity to highlight the fact that we need volunteers to rewrite, complete or update the various documents on developer.kde.org. If you can help, please apply!


Nice faq, thanks for your work. I thought this might make an interesting addition:

How does one switch between using a branch and KDE HEAD in CVS? For example, say I want to work temporarily with the KDE 2.1 branch for a bugfix and then switch back to KDE HEAD...

I've seen this explained on the lists before, but I thought it might be useful to have the answer in this faq.

By Navindra Umanee at Wed, 2001/07/11 - 5:00am

Had a look at this FAQ and in my opinion it is an extremely good idea.

Please make sure to have it listed on http://developer.kde.org/documentation/ as soon as possible.

By Karl-Heinz Zimmer at Wed, 2001/07/11 - 5:00am

Is there a simple way to genereate a makefile.am
from a qmake projectfile?

I was reading a little bit into the automake and autoconf documentation and .... :-(

Is there a simpler way? I want to switch from
hand making everything to kdevelop, but I understood that I need a makefile.am for my project for this.

Dont know if this is a FAQ.

By ac at Wed, 2001/07/11 - 5:00am

[tq]make only generates makefile but is very easy to use.

An good advice: don't ever try to understand autoconf/automake/acinclude and so on. This is very complicated and you will probably waste a lot of time for a bad results. Kde has some configuration gods that have taken this time for you.

If you want to move your app to kdevelop, create a new project with kdevelop and then add your source files. KDevelop will generate the Makefile.am stuff.

Else, use kapptemplate to generate an app template and modify the Makefile.am to get your sources integrated.

Or look for the Makefile.am of an existing kde applications. It is usually quite simple.

I'll try to integrate your question into the faq.

By Philippe Fremy at Wed, 2001/07/11 - 5:00am

As a quick way to still work with your current qmake setup in KDevelop, just open KDevelop and choose Project -> Generate Projectfile and select the base directory of your project. It will then import your project and you can work on it like before, though without the automake/autoconf stuff yet, for that you need to create a new application with the wizard and add your projects files with project -> add existing files.


By Ralf Nolden at Thu, 2001/07/12 - 5:00am

You could also wait for KDE3.1 where kdevelop (gideon) will ship with qmake project support.

By Jakob Simon-Gaarde at Tue, 2002/08/27 - 5:00am

a new user of mandrake 9.1, when trying to use qmake ,get the error qmake command not found.
tried installing it according to the manual but in vain
a detailed explaination of installin thru terminal would be really appreciated.

By ccittgrp at Mon, 2004/04/12 - 5:00am

There is not that much work to be done for developer.kde.org, because it is quite good already. But it can be improved. Here is a more detailed list of what needs to be done:

- rewrite the debugging howto, so that it integrates all the debug questions/answer of the faq and mention every possible tool used to debug. Debugging a program is a key activity for a developer, so we should help as much as we can. This document should then become the reference to debug a kde program and every trick (debug a ioslave, debug a kpart, ...) should be mentionned there.

- move the developer howto hidden in the tutorial section to the "faq and howto" page. It is not exactly up-to-date, so it should also be slightly updated.

- the kde books has some interesting chapters about using cvs and packaging that should be linked or added here, for people not yet knowing cvs.

The best would probably be to update the kde book, by integrating an updated developer howto in it.
Then we could simply link to the relevant chapters.

- there is probably something to be done to unify more the compilation faq (on www.kde.org) and the compilation howto

By Philippe Fremy at Wed, 2001/07/11 - 5:00am

It's a bit of a shame that you need to know C++ to develop KDE. I would really like to contribute, but I don't feel up to learning C++ right now: I would happily learn Python but I can't compile Sip/PyQT/PyKDE on my box, and PyKDE is only compatible with KDE 1 :-(


By rogue at Wed, 2001/07/11 - 5:00am

If you have problems compiling PyQt/PyKde, ask on their mailing list, people here are very responsive.

Someone is working on PyKde for kde 2, but there is no release date. I agree that it would be really cool to have the power of kde with python.

But with PyQt, you can do already develop an application. Turning it into a kde application can be done later.

By Philippe Fremy at Wed, 2001/07/11 - 5:00am


well, getting into C++ is not that hard, especially with Qt and KDE. You should just give it a try blindly to see how easy it is. Theres tons of simple introductions that last already for understanding the Qt tutorials and the KDevelop IDE makes it easy for you to create a KDE application quickly without knowing anything about C++, then guides you with a tutorial towards following the Qt examples/tutorials with your created app.

I think writing a short C++ introduction for beginners is a good idea actually and could be done easily. If you would like to help with that while learning, please contact me :)


By Ralf Nolden at Thu, 2001/07/12 - 5:00am

Hi, I know it's off topic but nervertheless important:
According to heise ( http://www.heise.de/newsticker/data/odi-11.07.01-000/ )
Adobe wants to talk with Dr. Kai-Uwe Sattler about the naming problem.
Seems like they regret what their lawyers did.

By Anonymous at Wed, 2001/07/11 - 5:00am


How about having a package kde-devel-doc (or
something) with all the development documentation (APIs, tutorials, the KDE development book etc).

It would be easy then to get all the develop-
ment documentation one needs, instead of searching
for it here and there (on the DOT, on develop.kde
.org, on mosfet's site -well, previously at least).

Distributions would include it also. It would

P.S Excuse me if such a thing already excists.
I never found it in Madrake, SuSE or Debian, though. Instead there only was the usual end-
user documentation and stuff on /usr/share/doc.

By Count Zero at Wed, 2001/07/11 - 5:00am

I agree with you that it would be cool to have a tar archive of "all necessary kde docs".

But, already, you can use cvs to get developer.kde.org . It is quite big but you have everything you need.

By Philippe Fremy at Thu, 2001/07/12 - 5:00am


This might be off-topic. After reading the FAQ, I went to developer.kde.org. My interest is in making new widget that looks like Windows XP.. I follow the widget-theme tutorial ( at mosfet.org ) but it's broken.. So anybody else have any tutorial on widget.. maybe the mirror of the original one or any intersting site for me to start learn and make theme widget.


By deman at Thu, 2001/07/12 - 5:00am

This is great, I looked at it for about 5 seconds and found an answer to a question that has been bugging me. Thanks A Lot!!

By John Christopher at Fri, 2001/07/13 - 5:00am