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GNOME Whiteboards: Hello IDE!

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GNOMers have leak that this year will work towards to provide a better documentation for their APIs and will eventually at some point release a complete SDK that will help people to get started without pain with GNOME Programming. Actually there is already a lot of work going on lately and cool contributors share their knowledge with us by writing guides.

If you want to help on this effort or just want to use them you can start here.

SDK (a well defined set of libraries) is obviously the most important thing as long as it comes together with Samples and Best Practices tutorials. Then we need an editor to actually start coding. A very good option is Eclipse as it provides Auto-Completion and access to API Documention -if we have set the libraries paths, something that I guess it cannot be done with G-I.

I have tried lots lots of editors (maybe more than Koreans MMOS that I’ve played) under GNOME and I am not quite happy from none of them. The last 3 years I am using exclusively Aptana (an Eclipse based IDE). The editor is fantastic in capabilities but the performance even with ORACLE’s Java in my Intel Ivy box is poorer than poor.

So, yes I am still chasing a good lightweight editor under GNOME and yes I will start GNOME Programming if GNOME provides documentation for JavaScript. It seems that GNOME will make my expectations true :)


Keep on mind that these are just initial designs and none more work has been taking place. That might never come or it might come after 2-3 releases. However the intentions counts ;)


  • Reduce the amount of work required to produce an app
  • Reduce the amount of specialist knowledge required to produce an app
  • Reinforce the recommended workflow for creating an app
  • Help to avoid errors
  • Support JavaScript as the first class language
  • Cater to individuals and small teams


  • Project creation / templates
    • Set GNOME version
    • Handle dependencies (particularly relevant for application bundles)
  • GUI editing
  • Code editing
    • Code autocompletion
    • Automatic testing for common errors
    • View files side by side
  • Debugging / testing
  • Version control
  • Building
  • Integrated documentation
vcs vcs-diff
new-project launch-screen
debug app-menu

You can read more at:

And watch all the latest designs at:


I needed to use some GNOME functions and I used the DevHelp, that comes pre-installed in Fedora but, I was never paid attention to it and instead I was looking in the online docs. However it was proven much faster and convenient.


This is DevHelp 3.7.90 and it has docs for C and Vala.

Before you use JavaScript

Someone here let a comment and mentioned about the drop of GNOME Clocks from Python for Vala.  I just quickly copy the reasons


We ran into some problems with introspection (in particular canberra, and maybe in the future direct access to low level C api for alarms on a suspended system, but also use of some new stuff like libgd and egglistbox without fiddling with g-i) and clocks is small enough that we felt a rewrite was easier than fiddling with mixing C modules and python.

A secondary goal of the rewrite is to give another iteration of cleanup to the code, making larger use of .ui files, of GLib functions (GDateTime etc), and of new widgets (libgd etc)

Note that we are not throwing away anything, prototyping the app in python has been great and much easier than dealing with a compiled language from the start

Why not JS

JS is now the “blessed” language, however it suffers from the same g-i problems of python. On the other hand I do not exclude a switch in the future as the platform gets fixed (notifications, better g-i. etc).

So if you want to start an application with JavaScript it might be good idea after you identify what libraries you need to use, to let a message to GNOME Mailing List, asking if GJS/G-I supports all the things you wish to do.

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     Sometimes is better to place your questions on GNOME Community
  • Gabriel

    you have to use the features of sublime text 2.

    • alex285

      I have seen Sublime, it’s amazing! But.. I am not against to proprietary code, but in this case I can’t use Sublime just because of it. I can’t explain it, but I just can’t use it. It has to do something with my subconscious :/

      • Significan Me

        I’m using sublime3 beta, and it’s the best editor that exists. Opens instantaneously (it really does), code completition, tons and tons of functions for fast coding, great community and plugins. It’s almost perfect. Because of the features I don’t mind being proprietary.

      • Craig

        Sublime is just pointless eye candy. The minimap is a classic example of flashy but useless UI.

  • Helmuth Saatkamp

    Nice start, already like it! :)
    Just hope this one won’t become a bloated IDE, just something fast and furious!

  • kesymaru

    my next IDE on linux, i just really want it, looks great, if the include this IDE for gnome i will switch to gnome…

  • Pavel Sikun

    Why js? Why not vala? Easy, clean, modern, fast, native! Why have you chosen this ugly js? As for me it is the worst language to choose. Gnome could have amazing combination of vala(for native code) + python for scripting, but not, they chosen crappy js for both:(

    • yeturi

      Why do you think extensions became a huge hit with 100s of extensions available?

      Like it or not, JS has a huge number of developers ready with the knowledge. Not many other languages can claim that.

      • Pavel Sikun

        we could write extensions with python. Yup, it’s harder for noobs, but it is much more powerful!

        • Craig

          Come back when you have a clue, bro.

          • Pavel Sikun

            I came back :)
            I wish gnome will go qml-style: some simple(imperative or declarative) language for simple things(or for building interface) but with ability to cast into native language like vala(or cc++).

      • Craig

        JS has a huge number of amateur fanboys, nothing more. Very, very few professional programmers would voluntarily use JS. It has a huge community but that community is an embarrassingly clueless cabal of morons.

  • foobar

    The thing I like the most on it, is that it is limited to a realistic project-size for a js project. I wonder who is going to implement it.

    • alex285

      > I wonder who is going to implement it.

      What about you? :)

      • foobar

        My current toy project is similar but targets another language and text editor. (vim guy, and the projects I’m working on are a way too large for js anyway. I think a tool should be written by people who are actually using it.)

  • Remjg

    These mockups look great!

  • Beno Hamid

    Please … this is a text editor

    • Craig

      Why, because it doesn’t have Visual Studio kitchen-sink-UI syndrome?