Neat IDEa: KDevelop 5.6 points devs to root of their problems inline

The team behind cross-platform IDE KDevelop has pushed version 5.6 of the tool into the wild, featuring improvements to CMake support as well as a way of nudging devs about code problems inline.

Inline notes are meant to help developers get a better overview of what’s still to be done, displaying a short description of found issues – such as compiler warnings and errors – next to where they have been discovered in the code, with additional information on the problems at hand available via mouse-over. 

In the last six months, KDevelop also learned to work with Python 3.9 and understand the syntax for catching multiple exceptions used in PHP 7.1. Most of the changes, however, are related to CMake project support. The IDE team started working on ways to use the cmake-file-api, as its predecessor cmake-server was deprecated last year and is about to be removed. 

According to KDevelop, the updated CMake support is said to no longer delete project information when ChooseCMakeInterfaceJob fails, skip utility targets with empty sources, and comes with increased error reporting on the CLI should an import fail.


The current iteration also comes with some improvements to environment variable expansions, providing the IDE knowledge of braced variables, and allowing the expansion of custom defined variables inside other variables, which can be helpful, “if a custom runtime  environment is configured  in some PREFIX”. Meanwhile variable names starting with digits have been forbidden, which improves consistency with most POSIX shells.

KDevelop users should experience less crashes in version 5.6, as the IDE team was able to expunge a couple of bugs leading to untimely software failures when signatures didn’t match, a screen for an active tooltip wasn’t available, or documentation for a given URL was missing. A complete list of changes can be found on the project’s news page.

KDevelop is an integrated development environment with support for programming languages including C/C++, Python, PHP, and Ruby. The project has been around since 1998, with the last major version released in 2016. Being developed under the KDE umbrella, KDevelop mostly targets users of UNIX-like operating systems, though versions for Windows and Mac (preview) are available. The IDE is shared under a GPLv2 license.

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