Saturday, December 22, 2007

Getting started with KDE4 development

Getting started with KDE4 development is actually really easy (and seams to get easier every day).

I started with compiling kdepim on my own. There were only a few step necessary to do this.

1. I had to check out the source of KDE4 (I checked out all of it) using

svn co svn://anonsvn.kde.org/home/kde/trunk/KDE

2. I had to run cmake on the projects I needed (kdepimlibs and kdepim in my case) and have it generate a Kdevelop project and make files. I did this with

cmake -GKDevelop3 -i .

in the according directories. Things like creating a separate build directory like said in the official documentation seam not to be necessary.

3. I ran make in kdepimlibs and kdepim do create the binaries.

4. To started my own :-) kmail with

kdepim/kmail/kmail.shell

You can not start kdepim/kmail/kmail because you need to set some environment variables which is done by the script.

5. I opened the kdepim project in kdevelop (just worked)

6. To start kmail out of kdevelop (for debugging) I had to add the environment variables set by the shell script to the projects runtime options.

As a long term Eclipse and Netbeans user I miss a lot of their features in KDevelop. Refactoring to name just one. I gave the C++ features of Eclipse an Netbeans a try on the KDE4 source but it turns out that they seam not to be able to handle such a huge codebase.

I still think there is a way to get either Eclipse or Netbeans to work for KDE4 development but it surly needs more time that just a few hours.

So meanwhile I am happy with KDevelop and I will start with my first KDE4 development experiments in kmail.
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