Archive of March 2009

Friendly Project Names in Komodo Edit

For several years now, Eclipse has been my primary IDE. I’ve used it to write in a number of languages on a number of platforms and was more or less happy with it. In the last six months or so, the scales of justice began to tip away from more and towards less until a couple of months ago when I finally hit my breaking point. I decided that I’d had enough of trying to dedicate enough system resources to keep Eclipse happy. I’d had enough of trying to keep my installs on several machines using several operating systems synced up properly. I felt like Eclipse was taking over my life rather than making it easy.

I started looking around with only a couple of key requirements:

  1. Responsive. Not necessarily fast, just responsive.
  2. Cross platform. I’m cross-platform and I need my key software to be cross-platform too.
  3. Power user friendly. By that, mostly I mean a rich set of keyboard shortcuts and snippets.
  4. Free-ish. I’m happy to pay for good software, but I’m not willing to plunk down hundreds of dollars if there are almost-as-good options.

After trying a number of IDEs and text editors, I finally settled on Komodo Edit. It’s a text editor that’s lightweight and snappy the way that a text editor should be, but it has just enough IDE-like features to meet my minimal needs. It met all of my needs.

For me, one of the huge tipping points was that it is a project-based editor. I loved that particular metaphor once I started using Eclipse and it’s not something you see in a lot of text editors so I was happy to get that support. What I didn’t like was that, unlike Eclipse, I couldn’t enter a “friendly” name for my projects. Eclipse has its .project files and Komodo Edit has a projectname.kpf file, but in the latter there was no way to set a nice, human name for each project. Cracking open the .kpf project file showed me that it’s just an XML config file and that there’s a name attribute on the project root element, but changing that changed nothing.

I asked about this on the forum and one of the developers suggested that I enter an enhancement request. I did and, to my surprise, a patch was made available the same day – within an hour, if I recall correctly. Since doing so, the change has been rolled into the latest version (v5.1).

To give your Komodo Edit friendly project names that will show up in the project explorer:

  1. Create a project (if one isn’t already created).
  2. Open the .kpf file in a text editor.
  3. Set the value of the name attribute to the friendly value of your choice.
  4. Save, close and restart Komodo Edit.

Here’s what one of my .kpf files (scratchpad.kpf) looks like:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!-- Komodo Project File - DO NOT EDIT -->
<project id="714c52ec-687a-0241-b5ef-eb09952b79d5" kpf_version="4" name="Scratchpad">
<preference-set idref="714c52ec-687a-0241-b5ef-eb09952b79d5">
  <boolean id="import_live">1</boolean>