Kdevelop editing issues

Konstantin Karganov karganov at gmail.com
Thu Jul 22 12:25:06 UTC 2010

Hi all,

I've started using Kdevelop4 recently, and want to summarize my first
usage experience.

Some features are just fantastic - such as code completion, function
parameters assist, showing code snippets in find usage view.
Completion of full prototype of overloaded function is just awesome!..

But this is not about nice things, this is about features that I
really miss working in Kdev, small issues that greatly improve the
tool usability.

Most of them should be quite simple to implement, and they might be
already implemented, tell me how to find or enable them if so. I can
even help with the implementation myself, given some help how to do

So, here is the list of issues, mainly editor related, that I'd like
to have (order is irrelevant):

1. "Save All" toolbar button
 that's awful it is not available, when having dozens of files open in
the editor one can easily forget to save all modified files before the
build, and that's a pain to save each file individually. IMHO,
must-have feature

2. turning off backup files
currently when working in kdevelop editor it creates *.h~ and *.cpp~
backup files on each save. I don't like having junk files on my disk
and I have version control for change history, but I can't turn this
off. I guess there should be an option.

3. use editing history when closing files
a typical usage scenario: one edits some source file, navigates to
definition or wherever to another file, another file opens, user
checks the details he needs and closes newly opened file. After
closing the file cursor does not get to previously opened position, as
any user would normally expect but to some random place (to one of the
tabs near the closed one actually). That's very confusing and
irritating, why not to use the navigation history and go just to
previous position where cursor was before opening new file

4. file editing positions are not saved
actually the problem is more general. Compare to Visual Studio or
Eclipse - they remember not only the files opened but file positions
too, i.e. if you do some work, close the IDE, then open it again next
time you'll get the same files opened in the same positions. Kdev4
just opens the files and shows the beginning of one of them. Hi, user,
please remember what did you do on the project last week and find the
place yourself. That's annoying thing too.
Even the perspective (or how it is called here) is not saved, I always
use "Code", but on startup I sometimes get "Debug" opened.

5. no fast navigation in opened files
both in VisualStudio and Eclipse there is a drop-down list of
currently opened files (which, btw, also displays status, if file is
modified or not), which gives a fast way to switch from file to file.
Very useful if you have 2-3 dozens of files opened at the time,
navigation with 2 arrows (prev, next) becomes just painful.

6. no search in documentation window
when browsing a documentation search is not working, Ctrl-F shortcut
gets the typed text and searches for it in source window which is
below the documentation, but not in opened documentation content...

7. not showing matching bracket in source code
I suggest that when the cursor is on bracket the matching brackets
pair should be highlighted, as in Eclipse (or better ;) ), currently
it is not and that's sad..

8. Projects and Classes views should follow the current file position
again, other IDEs do that. when a file is opened in the editor,
Projects view should navigate to this file too, i.e. switching between
files should change the current position in Projects view. The same
might be done for Classes view too. It allows to track the file system
point where the editing is done, gives easy access to related files
and so on. I miss this very much.

9. shortcuts for quick code navigation
I guess they may be present but I don't know them, but still. It would
be nice to be able to do various code navigation commands with a
single keystroke, such as go to declaration, go to definition, show
usage, show parent types, show children types and so on.

Surely these not all features I'd like to see in Kdev4 to become the
best IDE in the world, but these are the very first problems any user
migrating from other IDE will hit, so I'll guess they'll better be

What do the developers think about all these?..

Best regards,

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