Report from KDevelop Hackaton: Quanta status

Andras Mantia amantia at
Fri Apr 18 17:32:24 UTC 2008


 the KDevelop Hackaton is almost over, we will the Trolltech office in 
Munich soon. Here is my report about what has happened here, how we 
felt. The report is mainly from Quanta's point of view. A dot story and 
KDevelop report will follow, I'm sure. :)
 The gathering started with a two days conference, the first day was 
more user oriented, the second is more technical, maybe a little 
exception was my talk, as I was not following the KDevelop development 
lately, so I could just talk about my plans and feeling about the 
current status of Quanta.
 The hacking itself started on Monday, and will end today, Friday. There 
were lot of changes made both inside the platform and the applications 
using it. Work was done on the ui, on cpp support, debugger, plugins 
and so on. In Quanta I tried to catch up with the latest KDevPlatform 
changes and fixed the usertoolbars plugin (mostly, some bugs are still 
present, I'm sure). The plugin loads the toolbars, and their actions 
work, both from the toolbar and the new Actions menu.
I fixed the broken layout of some other plugins as well, but the 
functionality was not changed.
 The biggest change happened when Jens Herden joined me for a few days. 
With him we made some progress again with the parser. The new parser 
that he and I designed and wrote at my home...almost two years ago, but 
was never finished. It is a state machine based parser, and the nice 
functionality is that you can modify the parser's behavior without 
touching the C++ code (in some cases, especially when introducing new 
features this might be needed though). This means that parsers for new 
languages can be added by just writing an XML file. :) This is the 
theory, right now only the state machine for XML languages is ready. 
Now a developer who has good knowledge in parsers (at least I'm not an 
expert in the theory behind the parser, altough I learned some thing 
many years ago) might shoot us, probably we did some stupid thing even 
starting with such a parser, but well, the end result is important, 
not? At this moment I'm happy both with the code and how it works.
 It parses the files amazingly fast, but unfortunately doesn't parse yet 
CSS, PHP or JavaScript. The node tree building is also very fast. We 
use the Qt's model classes and build a model directly from the parser 
result. This means that showing the node tree in the structure view is 
very fast and does not require too much code. So here is what was also 
done: the structure tree is now using the new parser. It cannot do 
much, just clicking takes you to the selected tag, double clicking 
selects the tag area. Just like in Quanta3. The groups view is not 
working at this moment.
 The real big change was the removal of the old parser code. Although 
the Quanta3's parser was ported to Qt/KDE4, it was never working 
correctly, it would just crash the application. The code is not 100% 
clean of the old parser, but the parser related files were removed, and 
in other places where it was used, the code is commented out. 
 This also means that Quanta right now cannot do anything fancy like 
code completion, tag editing, error reporting or such. That's it, the 
transition will be hard there is A LOT to do. To finish this will take 
a lot of time, especially if I work on it alone. Now I had a motivation 
to work on it, as we were in a team, but well...this can go away if I 
will always need to hack alone on it, as it did some times in the past.
 But I'm sure that either we go this way, or there will be no Quanta for 
KDE4. Keeping the old code and just making to work under KDE4 is 
possible, but I won't do that. Quanta3 can still be used under KDE4, so 
in that case, better stick with the latest 3.5.x release.
 What is the summary of this? Help needed. And in sense of C++ coders.
That's about Quanta4, where it is. 
 KDevelop and KDevPlatform has also a long way to go, but they are 
progressing well. :) 
 And last, but not least thanks for Harald for organizing it, it was 
well organized, I felt good here with him and the rest of KDevelop 


Quanta Plus developer -
K Desktop Environment -
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