Q&A session: To all those using Kate for hacking on C++ -- Why don't you try KDevelop?

Let's start with some luridness:

Now from the beginning: I got to know quite a few people in the past decade (phew, I'm such a dinosaur!) who use Kate as their editor of choice to hack on C++ code, on a daily basis. While I totally agree Kate is an excellent editor -- don't get me wrong on that, I use it literally every day, too -- it doesn't and can't possibly provide the best experience when working with C++ code, in my book. This is not about Kate vs. KDevelop -- not at all. This is about a text editor vs. an integrated development environment for C++.

If you're working with QtCreator, Eclipse, Visual Studio, whatever, that's totally fine -- all those are decent IDEs you can use to work with C++, all those have immense set of features which help you get along while hacking.

They key thing me as a KDevelop developer fails to understand is:

Why would you want to use the Kate text editor to hack on C++, if the exact same text editor component is inside KDevelop; a fully-featured C++ IDE!

Just recently I've learned from another KDE community member that he (citing him here) doesn't seem to need any of the things KDevelop has over Kate. Unfortunately I've heard that a few times now, so I think we as the KDevelop team are just pretty pretty bad at marketing the capabilities of KDevelop or KDevelop just sucks.

In good faith I'm presuming the former, since we actually got plenty of cheerful reviews on social media sites (reddit, blog post comments, you name it) about the new KDevelop 5 release, featuring the new C++ support backed by Clang/LLVM. Let me show you a quick overview over how KDevelop 5 looks like, what it has to offer and how code browsing looks like.

Quick KDevelop feature tour:

Of course there are a lot more features (e.g. unit test runner, patch review, VCS integration, debugger integration, code refactoring utils, etc. pp.), but this was the best I could come up with my half-baked screencasting skills in a rush. Check out the Feature Tour on the KDevelop website for more information.

I'd love to get some input from this particular set of users who use Kate as their main C++ IDE (I'm not talking about users who occasionally edit some .cpp file in an editor, I'm referring to power users who work with Kate on C++ on a daily basis):

  • Did you ever try KDevelop? What did you not like?
  • What made you switch back to Kate?
  • What does Kate offer what KDevelop does not?
  • Under what scenarios would you consider switching to KDevelop?

Please enlighten me! :)

PS: If you didn't know yet: You literally need to type in three commands into your shell to get KDevelop on your distro via our AppImage.

PPS: I hope you're aware I'm just mocking you here, you're of course free to use whatever tool you like to use. I'd just like to get some data points where we (as the KDevelop team) can improve in future to provide a better hacking on C++ experience!