Friday, July 09, 2010

Kate: Scripted Actions

Finally, I came around to implement scripted actions for Kate in KDE SC 4.6. Let's take a look at how this works. When Kate starts, it searches for $KDEDIRS/share/apps/katepart/script/ for *.js files. As example, let's take a look at utils.js there:
/* kate-script
* author: Dominik Haumann
* license: LGPL
* revision: 3
* kate-version: 3.4
* type: commands
* functions: moveLinesDown

function moveLinesDown()
var fromLine = -1;
var toLine = -1;

var selectionRange = view.selection();
if (selectionRange.isValid() && selectionRange.end.line < document.lines() - 1) {
toLine = selectionRange.start.line;
fromLine = selectionRange.end.line + 1;
} else if (view.cursorPosition().line < document.lines() - 1) {
toLine = view.cursorPosition().line;
fromLine = toLine + 1;

if (fromLine != -1 && toLine != -1) {
var text = document.line(fromLine);

document.insertLine(toLine, text);

function action(cmd)
var a = new Array();
if (cmd == "moveLinesDown") {
a['text'] = i18n("Move Lines Down");
a['icon'] = "";
a['category'] = "";
a['interactive'] = false;
a['shortcut'] = "";

return a;

function help(cmd)
if (cmd == "moveLinesDown") {
return i18n("Move selected lines down.");
What happens is the following:
  1. the header tells kate that there is an exported function "moveLinesDown"
  2. so when Kate Part is loaded, it calls "action(moveLinesDown)" to check whether this function should be exposed in the GUI. Here, we return the action info that includes the displayed text, an icon, a category, whether the script needs user input (interactive) and a default shortcut. Of course, you can change the shortcuts, and also configure the toolbars to show the actions.
With this, every user is able to script arbitrary editing functions for Kate Part. We don't have to implement all those helpers in C++ anymore. The result looks like this:
You can have this already now, you just have to use the development version of Kate :)


Anonymous said...

Would it then be possible to implement these scripts for the vim support?

So that the vim support could be improved via those scripts.

dhaumann said...

vim is not using QActions as far as I know. Imo, the vim-implementation should make it possible to also use scripting as much as possible. To my knowledge, this is not possible at the moment, but Erlend probably knows better answers to this.