For quite a while, my favorite source editor/browser has been KScope. It combines one of the better source editors I’ve seen (Kate) with a very robust cross-referencing tool (Cscope). Unfortunately, when KDE went from version 3 to version 4, they made changes that broke KScope. What’s a little odd is that Kate still works. You’d think that if they’d fixed Kate and maintained its interface, KScope would be unaffected. Apparently, though, whoever made the KDE4 changes to Kate decided to extend the breakage instead of containing it. Nice call, whoever you are. Thanks.

This wouldn’t be worth a rant if I could get KScope running again in reasonable time, but that’s not the case. The KScope developers’ response to the breakage was to push out one last 1.9 release, containing only the features that still worked and removing everything that was useful about the project to begin with, and then stop development. That doesn’t seem like the best response to me, but perhaps they no longer had the time/inclination to deal with this level of breakage. I haven’t yet figured out how to put together enough of a KDE3 environment in Fedora 12 to build KScope 1.6 myself, though this is supposedly possible and I might yet find the magic formula. The lack-of-resources argument doesn’t work quite as well for Fedora as for KScope, but they might also lack volunteers in this particular area. I’m not going to blame them for the way KDE stabbed everyone in the back.

I’ve historically been a fan of KDE. I’ve been using KDE versions of natively-GNOME distributions for quite a while now, because I think it’s better both technologically and at a user-experience level. They totally botched the KDE4 transition, though. As far as I can tell, furthermore, there were plenty of people predicting this disaster. They could have listened, but they did what they wanted to anyway out of sheer arrogance and insensitivity to either users’ or external developers’ needs. I’m simply not a KDE fan any more. If I want to get away from GNOME, I can use XFCE. I might still use some specific KDE programs, but I don’t trust them to provide a complete environment any more.

So, what are my options? I used Source Navigator quite happily for many years, but it now seems crufty and unpleasant. I’ve been using CodeLite a bit because it has tolerable Cscope integration so I can navigate large bodies of code that I’m not intimately familiar with. I’m not a big fan of the Studio/Eclipse workspace/project/virtual-folder model where the IDE tries to write your own (warthog-butt-ugly) makefiles, though, and the editor’s not the best either. Using CodeLite from home is also barely tolerable, whether it’s the program or the files that are remote. Somebody seems unaware that redraws and/or filesystem operations might be expensive enough to expose lazy coding. Anjuta seems like a roughly-equivalent offering, which might improve in some areas. I don’t want to use Eclipse CDT because it’s bloated or KDevelop because it’s KDE, but I might be forced to use one or the other if Anjuta doesn’t pan out. Sigh. I suppose I could fix KScope if I didn’t mind giving up all of my remaining free time for the next long while, but I wish such choices weren’t made necessary by others’ bad behavior.