This section contains information about tools for KDE development.

Debugging and Analysis

A list of tools which are used to analyze a program. This includes debuggers and profilers, for instance.

Valgrind helps to find memory leaks and uninitialized memory blocks. Additional features are a profiler and more. Valgrind is one of the most important development tools!
The GNU Project Debugger (GDB)
GDB helps in debugging source code. As GDB evolved over time it is recommended to use version 6.x. Graphical frontends are available (see below). See also the debugging tutorial Debugging with GDB.
KDbg is a graphical user interface to GDB, which is able to set breakpoints, step through the code etc.

Development Tools

KDevelop is an excellent IDE for developing KDE and Qt C++ applications. It includes a an integrated debugger, a powerful editor with syntax highlighting, a Project wizard to create applications from templates, the automake/autoconf gunk, and even the class documentation. Further details can also be found in the KDevelop wiki.
Qt Designer
With Trolltechs Qt Designer it is easy to layout user interfaces like buttons and checkboxes. Additional features are undo/redo, checking accelerator conflicts etc. Qt Designer allows even non-programmers to help design KDE dialogs. Further details can be found in the tutorial Using Qt Designer and in the Qt documentation.

Internationalisation (i18n) Tools


KBabel is a suite of tools for editing and managing gettext PO files. The primary tool is a powerful and comfortable PO file editor which features full navigation capabilities, full editing functionality, the possibility to search for translations in different dictionaries, spell and syntax checking, display of diffs and much more.

Also included is a catalog manager which provides a file manager view to help you keep an overview of PO files. Last but not least KBabel includes a standalone dictionary application as an additional means to access KBabel's powerful dictionaries.

Dr. Klash

This little utility, once activated, can present a report about conflicting shortcuts in menus. Not only this is helpful for translators but also for developers. A little hand editing of `kde-config --localprefix`/share/config/kdeglobals activates this feature:


Now pressing F12 will show a dialog containing which accelerators in the currently focussed interface conflict and provide suggestions for new accelerators. If no accelerators conflict or Dr. Klash has nothing to suggest, no popup dialog will not be displayed at all.

With AutoCheckAccelerators enabled the dialog will popup automatically if a conflict exists and AlwaysShowCheckAccelerators can force the dialog to always popup even if there are no conflicts to report.

The XX language

This helper language serves as a debugging aid for people finding untranslated strings in applications. If you start your application with the ``xx locale, all translated strings will appear with x's. First you have to check out these ``translations from l10n/xx and install them.

After you've built l10n/xx and installed it, run your application using the XX locale. This can be done by launching it from the command line like this:

> KDE_LANG=xx kspread

This will start KSpread using the XX locale no matter what your current language setting is. Look for strings that do not have the x's in them. If x's are missing from a string, it could be due to missing i18n calls or even missing or incorrectly generated .pot files. Consult the i18n tutorials for further information.

When checking for untranslated strings, be sure to check all the WhatsThis help and tooltips.

Examining .po files

You can look at the translated .po files to see if a string is present and has been translated. For example, here's a portion of l10n/de/messages/kdebase/konqueror.po:

msgid "&New Tab"
msgstr "Neues &Unterfenster"

The string to be translated is given on the msgid line. The translated string is on the msgstr line. Notice that the exact same string to translate came from and also from This saves the translators from having to translate the same identical string twice.

You can also use KBabel to examine .po files. KBabel is part of the kdesdk module.

More onformation on writing and translating documentation can be found on the i18n project site.

Helper Tools

Get information about KDE's installation - kde-config (port me!)
The tool kde-config helps to find out more about a KDE installation.
Driving Konqueror From Scripts - kfmclient (port me!)
kfmclient is a small tool to communicate with Konqueror.

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