KDevelop 5.4 released

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KDevelop is a powerful Integrated Development Environment built on the KDE framework which works great in any desktop environment. It's great for developing in a number of languages including C++, Python and PHP (if you consider PHP to be a real programming language). The new version has a brand new scratchpad feature, a new build system and analyzer support from Clang-Tidy. There is, of course, also a lot of bug fixes and smaller improvements.

KDevelop 5.4 supports the fancy new Meson build system which is rapidly gaining popularity thanks to the hard work of KDE developer Daniel Mensinger. There's code auto-completion and native support for configuring, compiling and installing Meson projects. There is currently no support for adding or removing files from a build target; that's is still on the drawing board.


The new "Scratchpad" feature is also a highlight in this release. The idea is that you may want to quickly compile a few lines of code unrelated to what you're working on to see if those particular lines of codes work as expected. The Scratchpad plugin lets you have numerous small code snippets you can play with, compile and run. The snippets have all the regular KDevelop features like syntax highlighting, code-completion, diagnostics and so on.

KDevelop 5.4 adds Clang-Tide support. This isn't exactly new, there has been a independent plugin for CLang-Tide for quite some time. This plugin in now included as part of the standard KDevelop package. You can read more about it in a year old blog post in Friedrich Kossebau's blog.

There's also language-specific improvements. For C++ the changelog states:

  • Add working directory to clang parser.
  • Clang Plugin: Report some problems from included files.
  • Make it possible to select -std=c++2a for our language support.
  • Rename c++1z to C++17.
  • Clang CodeCompletion: No auto-completion for numbers.
  • Add assistant to generate header guards.

and for PHP:

  • Always set maximum file size for internal parse job.
  • Bypass the 5 MB maximum file size limit for the phpfunctions.php internal file.
  • Fix linking with ld.lld.

There is no new features for the Python language - but there are a lot of bug-fixes.

The new KDevelop version is available as a 104 MB AppImage on the KDevelop download page. The source code for 5.4 is, of course, also available.

KDevelop 5.4 is not yet available for Windows or macOS.

You can learn more about KDevelop at https://www.kdevelop.org/ - It is worth checking out if you are looking for a nice IDE to use on GNU/Linux. You don't need to use KDE Plasma and you don't need to develop KDE applications. It is just as good for writing Python programs on Xfce as it is for writing KDE software on KDE Plasma.

published 2019-08-06last edited 2019-08-06

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