Help with Language Support Plugin

Jakob Petsovits jpetso at
Sat Nov 11 17:18:50 GMT 2006

On Thursday, 9. November 2006 00:16, Michael Uman wrote:
> Hello,
> I am trying to implement a new language into KDevelop. My company
> develops DSP chips which use a proprietary assembly language. I would
> like to support the generation of the microcode using the KDevelop IDE.
> We are currently using some other IDEs for their syntax color
> hilighting. I would like to support this in KDevelop and also support a
> project database of symbols for use in a project browser.

Do you want to target version 3 or rather the upcoming version 4 of KDevelop?
(Given the wizard generation hint, I suppose you'll have it for KDevelop 3,
I just want to make sure.)

For KDevelop 3, the best (rather: only) documentation of how to do it is at
which you might want to visit if you didn't find it already.
For KDevelop 4, a few things will be changing in the API, but at least the 
overall structure of a language support plugin will be remotely similar :)

As for syntax highlighting, you need to write a syntax highlighting file for 
KatePart, the text editor component that KDevelop is using.
You can find the currently available highlighting files at
and the documentation on how to do that (for KDE 3's KatePart, I don't know if 
they changed it for KDE 4) is at

As for a symbol database, this is done by storing the symbols in a CodeModel 
(short description is also on the howToAddProgrammingLanguages page).
If you've got a CodeModel together, you get the project browser for free.
Anyways, you probably won't get around looking at the source of one of the 
supported languages supporting a code model.

Hope that helps a bit.
If not, maybe someone else on the list has some good advice too :)


by the way, with questions of developing rather than using KDevelop, you're 
better off mailing the kdevelop-devel list instead of the plain kdevelop one. 
There are way more knowledgable people around there.

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