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Full KDevelop IDE Software Review – All You Need to Know About KDevelop


KDevelop is an aspect of the KDE project, and is based on QT and KDE frameworks. The C.C++ backend utilizes Clang to offer accurate information even for very complicated codebases.

KDevelop 0.1 came in the year 1998 and introduced 1.0 in late 1999. 1.x and 2.x came in after a four year period from the initial codebase.

AFAIK Sandy Meier was responsible for establishing this solution. He had some help from some individuals in his university. Ralf Nolden has also been a member from the inception.

Sandy Meier began KDevelop in 1998, and for eight weeks, worked alone on the project. KDevelop IDE, since then, has become available under the GPL and provided support for a host of programming languages.

In August 2014, the development of KDevelop 5 started as a continuation of the 4.x database. The initial stable release of version 5.x was in August 2016

In this article, we will be taking a look at some of the features, benefits, and cons of this solution. By the time you are through with this review, you will be able to determine if this solution is what you require.
Before moving forward, let us take a look at what KDevelop is all about.

What is KDevelop?

KDevelop is a free, open-source, cross-platform IDE for numerous programming languages. It offers a platform where programmers can work on projects without interruption irrespective of the task size.

KDevelop also comes with a semantic code analysis in the intelligent interface of the code editor. For this reason, it offers users an enhanced experience with coding as it has elaborate knowledge of working projects. The program aids the developer by providing them a host of workflows that ensure processes are seamless.

Moreover, KDevelop is a platform which is extensible. Users can elaborate on the functionalities of the software via plug-ins. Some examples of these include PHP and graphical debuggers for C++ to help programmers fix their languages.

KDevelop Benefits Overview

KDevelop offers a variety of benefits to users. Some of these benefits consist of the following:

Minimal Resource Cost

Using KDevelop on any operating system does not need any lavish whistles and bells. It does not require high requirements to run, thus allowing users to use the program on older computers.

Additionally, the software has a little memory footprint. For this reason, it lets programmers open other applications and move between them without dealing with issues such as lagging.

Complete Language Support

KDevelop wholly supports a range of programs including:

  • PHP
  • C/C++
  • JavaSciprt
  • Python
  • Qt QML

What this means is that users can benefit from code completion, context-based syntax highlighting alongside code navigation. Also, other languages still get necessary support like text-based code completion and standard syntax highlighting.

Context-Based Completion

Few IDEs come with code completion functionalities and fewer that do it based on context. KDevelop sets itself apart from this feature. The application offers the leading code completion suggestions which are context-based.

GUI-Integrated VCS

KDevelop comes with numerous integrated version control systems like Bazaar, GIT, and Subversion. They allow users, especially those that are a part of teams to monitor changes after every session.

A feature which is especially helpful is the Annotate window. It shows programmers the new changes and who was responsible for them since the last time the change took place.

Pop-Up Navigation

KDevelop comes with a robust and quick navigation pop-up widget. It allows users to head back to the parent class without the need to scroll multiple times. The function supports other features which include:

  • Browsing of projects, functions, and classes
  • Searching for Symbols
  • Jumping to definitions and declarations

Easy Adaptation

Every programmer has his way of getting things done. The developers of KDevelop understand this, and that is why the solution is adaptable. It enables them to make modifications and rearrange the interface as they want.

Static analysis In Real-time

KDevelop comes with quite a sophisticated and powerful static analysis implementation for Python. It is capable of tracking types and good type interface.

Great syntax highlighting

KDevelop comes with very intelligent syntax and semantic syntax highlighting

Extremely Fast

KDevelop is quite fast and comes with all the features required for developing Python. Moving from one file to another, opening new file, syntax and code checks, everything instantly happens with KDevelop.

Leading Vim Bindings

Lots of the IDEs come with restricted vim bindings, but KDevelop functions on the Kate editor. Kate is one of the best editors in the world of Linux and is quite functional. The Vim bindings have minimal downsides and are almost complete.


There are a few drawbacks in this solution. We will be taking a look at some of them below:
They include:

  • It only offers windows preliminary support
  • KDevelop is an IDE which is ideal primarily for Linux systems.

KDevelop Features Overview

  • Version Control Systems Support
  • Quick Code Navigation
  • Rainbow Highlighting
  • Semantic Highlighting
  • Persistent Disk Cache
  • Semantic Code Completion
  • Shortcuts Assignment
  • Unit Test Integration
  • Build Systems Support
  • Annotate
  • Graphical Debugger Support
  • Documentation Integration
  • File & Project Templates
  • Find & Replace Function
  • Code Snippets
  • Problems Toolview
  • External Script Support
  • Console Toolview
  • Split Views
  • Vim Compatible Input Mode

Other Core features

Great International Community

KDE isn’t just software, and it is a community consisting of:

  • Contributors
  • Translators
  • Distributors
  • Artists
  • Writers
  • Programmers

It also consists of users from every part of the globe. Their international team aims to develop the best free software for mobile and the desktop.

Asides from contributors, you can find fans of users of KDE software all around the globe. In doing so, it offers assistant to other users, spread the news or helps you enjoy the experience.

Great Workspace and lots of programs

KDE began as a desktop platform more than 20 years back. As activities have developed, KDE is now an international team that develops Open Source and free software.

What this means is that the numerous programs from the KDE community function alongside each other. It is to ensure you get the best computing experience possible.

With the aid of one or two additional libraries, you can use the application on almost any desktop running Linux. Additionally, the software functions on a host of other platforms. It can function on Mac OS, Windows and other devices like tablets and smartphones.

It offers a host of programs to suit the requirements of any user. These range from simple but powerful video players, audio players and text editors to the most complex integrated development environment.

Also, KDE applications go with a feel and look which is consistent across desktop, thus offering a familiar and comfortable experience when utilizing any KDE program.

KDE has a host of other features that ensure it is a leading-class working environment like:

  • A modern and beautiful desktop
  • A configurable and flexible system which let you customize applications without excess text files editing
  • Network transparency enables you to access data on other computer and networks easily. It makes it as seamless as if you are accessing your computer
  • A software environment of tons of programs
  • Availability in more than 60 Languages

Free software

KDevelop is free software. It is a crucial fact for any user. Why? Because this software is free, you can use it however you desire in any way you want.

It has no installation limits and activation keys.

The significant part is that you can share it with others when you want. So asides from having a powerful and excellent software, you can also let your close ones benefit from the chance as well.

Numerous Supported languages

KDevelop offers complete support for multiple languages. What it means with these languages is that they have code navigation, code completion and semantic syntax highlighting.

Some of these languages consist of:

  • C/C++ which has backing from the LLVM/Clang libraries.
  • It consists of extra features for the QT framework
  • Language support for OpenCL and CUDA
  • QT QML and Javascript
  • PHP
  • Python

For basically all languages not supported, it still offers text-based code completion and basic syntax highlighting.

Supports a host of version control systems

The version control systems listed below come with GUI integration. They include:

  • Git
  • Subversion
  • Mercurial (hg)*
  • CVS
  • Bazaar
  • Perforce (since 5.1)

Annotate border feature

KDevelop offers you the Annotate border feature. It shows you the last person to change a line and when it happened. It also shows the diff which introduced the change with only one click.

Supports various build systems

It supports a host of build systems. It means that KDevelop can automatically get run and build targets alongside paths from them. Some of these systems include:

  • CMake
  • Custom Makefiles (partially)
  • QMake
  • Generic build system (no automatic include path detection)

KDevelop understands how to invoke tools for build automation like Ninja and Make. It also has configuration pages dedicated to them.

Broad Language support features

For all languages it supports, KDevelop offers support for the following features. They include:

Quick code navigation

When you move the mouse past items and press Alt with the text cursor over them, Navigation widgets pop up. The widget supports navigation; for example, you can navigate the parent class of the class you are observing. In doing this, you can see the navigation widget of that parent class.

With this feature, you can:

  • Locate symbol uses like types variables etc.
  • Jump to definition/declaration
  • Quick Open, allows you to look for any file, class or function project-wide
  • Class, project and function browser.

The code browser mode ensures it is extremely easy to browse through a code base which is unknown.

Amazing Code Comprehension

KDevelop prides itself for its leading C/C++ language support. With the Clang adoption that comes with 5.0, you get 100 percent correct code parsing feature. It means the IDE can aid in accurately checking for coding issues without the need for you to invoke the compiler.

These features are not for C/C++ alone. All the language it supports, share the features below:

Semantic Highlighting: Highlighting which considers the language semantics. For examples, it highlights class names distinctly from variable names. It does this even if you can’t recognize it from the syntax code alone.

Rainbow highlighting: Highlights every occurrence of similar variables in precise colors which change based on variables. It is not compulsory to make use of this feature.

Context-sensitive, semantic code completion: KDevelop comes with complex heuristics which function to provide you with the most specific suggestions at the present cursor position.

For PHP, Python, and JS, these completions come from KDevelop’s cached code representation and are instantly available without noticeable delay.

Persistent disk cache

Depending on the code database and the size of your project complexity, the analysis may initially take time. It caches everything on a disk subsequently and loads it quickly every time you start up the IDE.


It lets you adapt to your style with ease. It also allows you:

  • Disable or enable any of the menu bar buttons
  • Arbitrary split views
  • Configure color scheme freely, separately for editor and application
  • Allows you assign shortcuts for almost all actions in the IDE

Other Notable features

  • Quick startup and typically little memory footprint
  • Designed to act as a simple text editor in lots of cases
  • Filterable issues tool view. It displays all problems like semantic and syntax errors, TODOs among others
  • Unit Test Integration
  • Code formatter support. It offers numerous predefined ones for Python, C++ and other custom formatter scripts
  • Project and file templates. You can install and download additional templates
  • Vim compatible input mode
  • External script support
  • Console tool view
  • Can observe any file as a document/tab inside the IDE via Kparts like a PDF

KDevelop Pricing

KDevelop is a cost-free, open-source project. It does not offer any enterprise pricing plans

Technical Details

Devices Supported. The solution supports the following devices from which users can gain access. They include:

  • Mac
  • Linux

Language Support

To ensure users from a variety of backgrounds can access this solution, it supports a variety of languages. These languages include:

  • English
  • Japanese
  • German
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Russian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Dutch
  • Turkish
  • Chinese
  • Swedish

Pricing Model

  • Free

Customer Types

It is ideal for a variety of customers which include:

  • Freelancers
  • Small Business
  • Medium Business
  • Large Enterprises



Support Details

Users can get support from a variety of platforms depending on which they require. Some of these consist:

  • Live Support
  • Email
  • Tickets

Wrap Up

KDevelop is an IDE or integrated development environment. It is open-source and free for Microsoft Windows and Unix-like computer operating systems. The solution offers debugging, editing and navigation features for numerous programming languages.

It also offers integration with version control and builds automation systems, utilizing an architecture based on the plugin. If these features are ideal for your business, then this is undoubtedly the solution you require.