The release of KDE 4.10 includes a new software development toolkit called PlasMate. After briefly testing this SDK, I can say that I am highly impressed. A massive number of features are available and already working well. PlasMate has only now reached version 0.1 Alpha 3 at the time of my tests. For all the advanced users and developers out there, here is a closer look at the latest toys.
KDE PlasMate Development Toolkit Introduction
The new PlasMate SDK for KDE should ease some of the stresses involved in developing KDE components. The interface is quite traditional, but PlasMate is already loaded with features that will help KDE developers with various projects.
When starting Plasmate for KDE, users will see a start page which contains only a few options. You may continue working on old projects, you can create a new project, or open an existing project.
From the intro screen users are able to create many KDE Plasma projects. Select the project you want, and PlasMate will customize your settings automatically. You can create Plasma Widgets, data engines, Runners for KRunner, themes, window switchers, and KWin scripts.
The Work Interface
The KDE PlasMate interface will display an editor, a widget preview, and several helpful toolboxes. Users can even customize tool-bars and shortcuts to their liking at any time.
Users will find a package listing toolbox which displays the package structure of the current project. Other toolboxes will display the project time-line, notes, and documentation.
PlasMate Most Popular Features
PlasMate for KDE contains many of the important features that I commonly look for in any development environment. Here are some of the best options that you may find helpful.
Syntax Highlighting for Many Languages
Syntax highlighting options are available for many of the most popular web coding languages, including many languages I have never even heard of. I was impressed to see how many languages are actually available.
Store important code snippets that you use repeatedly, then paste them to your documents quickly and easily at any time.
Alternative Color Schemes
Some users prefer light colors for their interface, and some prefer dark. This is especially important for people using text editors or consoles on a regular basis. PlasMate provides a small number of default color schemes that will change the color of your font, and your editor background.
If you do not like any of the available color schemes, you can set your own custom colors for the interface. This includes all editor font and background colors, also errors, brackets, and other items.
Hide large code blocks so you can concentrate on exactly the section that you are working on. This is a feature that I find essential, large unintelligible code blocks can be blinding.
PlasMate Revision Control System
PlasMate for KDE also includes a convenient git-based revision control system.
How It Works
When creating new widgets, a local git repository is provided for the new item. Users are able to add extra save points as they work. The time-line toolbox can then be used to review data from previous save points.
Take Projects Online
After completing a project, users can then publish data to the shared online git repository.
Install PlasMate on Ubuntu 12.10
I expect that several users will want to test out the new software, so be sure to share the criticism.
When ready you can install the KDE PlasMate SDK on Ubuntu or Kubuntu with the commands below.
$ sudo apt-get install plasmate