Vala Tools

Build Systems

Editors

Text editors with additional features for handling computer code can be called "code editors". The most fully featured ones are often called "integrated development environments". There are a number of editors that can handle Vala code. Many are listed below along with a list of features they implement.

Editor

Syntax Highlighting

Code Formatting

Static Code Analysis

Auto- completion

Jump to Definition

Integrated Documentation

Integrated Build, Test and Debug

Refactoring Tools

Anjuta

Yes

Yes

Yes

Atom

Yes

Yes

Yes

elementary OS Code

Yes

Emacs

Yes

Geany

Yes

Yes

Yes

gedit

Yes

Yes

GNOME Builder

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

IntelliJ IDEA

Yes

medit

Yes

SublimeText

Yes

Basic

TextMate

Yes

Basic

Vim

Yes

Yes

Yes

Visual Studio Code

Yes

Yes

Partial

Syntax highlighting and code formatting affect the visual display of the code in the editor. For example syntax highlighting will color keywords differently to identifiers to make it easier to read the code. Code formatting will change indentation and spacing to match a given coding style, such as inserting a space between a function name and the opening parenthesis of its arguments.

Static code analysis shows diagnostic messages in the editor about syntax errors. These are usually the same messages that appear when compiling from the command line because many editors use libvala to analyse the code.

Auto-completion and jump to definition require the editor to parse the code in the project and store the locations where identifiers are defined. Auto-completion is often triggered with the CTRL + SPACE key combination. If there is more than one possible completion a list of options will usually appear. Jump to definition is used to navigate the project and read an identifiers' related code, such as the code block of a function definition.

Integrated documentation provides documentation for symbols in the editor. The documentation is likely to be from the same sources used by Valadoc.org.

Integrated build, test and debug is probably best understood in relation to the Red-Green-Refactor cycle of test driven development. The editor provides a user interface to make it easy to build the project or component, then run the test suite and see the test report. Tests that are failing can be run, step by step, through a debugger to identify why the code is not working as expected.

Refactoring tools provide support for techniques like extracting repeated code into a method or renaming an identifier to make its intent clearer.

Discontinued

  • MonoDevelop comes with Vala bindings since 2.0. (monodevelop-vala is no longer supported)

  • Netbeans - Plugin for the Netbeans IDE for Vala (no commit since 2011)

  • Vala Toys for gedit - Vala plugin for gedit (no commit since 2012)

  • Valama - See Issue #249 on GitHub from February 2018

  • Valencia - Vala plugin for gedit (no commit since 2014)

  • Val(a)IDE is an integrated development environment for Vala, developed with Vala. (valide is no longer supported)

Syntax Support

Language Server Protocol Support

The Language Server Protocol was originally developed by Microsoft for Visual Studio Code, but clients have now been developed for many other editors. There are LSP clients for:

The Language Server Protocol uses JSON-RPC to request features like code formatting, code diagnostics, completion suggestions, jump to definition, code lens and function signature help from the language server. The Language Server Protocol Specification gives more details.

Currently there are two developing implementations of a language server for Vala:

Other Tools

  • Valadoc - generate documentation from VAPIs, GIRs and other files

  • Gcovr - code coverage reports, use the --debug switch with valac to include source file line numbers

  • Uncrustify - source code beautifier

Online Services Supporting Vala

Projects/Vala/Tools (last edited 2018-06-29 12:18:15 by AlThomas)