Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Valencia -- a Vala Plug-in for GEdit

I write about Vala fairly often because I think it's a new and interesting part of the Gnome desktop. For those who don't know about Vala, it's a C# and Java-inspired language which pre-compiles to C and eventually becomes native binaries. This means that Vala programs don't need a VM and are suitable for embedded operations, etc. Vala supports the following interfaces
Vala 0.7.4 was recently released, and added support for array properties, support for implicit and explicit GValue casts, initial support for generic methods, and Postgres bindings.

There have been a couple of popular IDEs for Vala, namely Valide and MonoDevelop, but Gnome's default text editor has been left out until now. Sure, it's had Vala highlighting, but that's not enough for a lot of people.

Welcome Valencia, a Vala plug-in for GEdit that offers the following features:

  • no configuration needed: simply open a .vala file and browse its symbols immediately
  • jump to definitions of classes, methods, fields, and variables
  • build your project within gedit, with build output in a gedit pane
  • double-click any build error to jump to the line where it occurred
  • use the Run command to run your program, with output appearing in a gedit pane
The Valencia Wiki gives the following installation instructions.

To build Valencia, you'll need to have the following programs and libraries installed:
  • valac, the Vala compiler. We recommend using a relatively recent version, but you cannot build Valencia with valac 0.7.4 due to a Vala bug.
  • gedit
  • libgee
  • libvte
On Ubuntu (and perhaps Debian), you can install the required build dependiencies like this:
sudo apt-get install valac libvala-dev gedit-dev libgee-dev libvte-dev
You can download the latest source release at . Or check out the latest code (possibly unstable) at svn:// Then run make and make install. (Do not run sudo make install. Valencia installs in your ~/.gnome2/gedit directory, and if you install as root the permissions will be wrong.)
To enable Valencia in gedit, go to Edit->Preferences->Plugins and check the Valencia checkbox.
Adam Dingle, the developer, says
I know that there are a growing number of Vala IDEs and plugins available today. I believe that Valencia's particular strengths are its ease of use and its symbol browser; Valencia was designed to make it effortless to jump between symbols even in a large Vala program. Feedback, patches or code contributions are welcome!


Anonymous said...

I really like your articles because you write the best ubuntu-related articles on the Internet, but your blog design makes my eyes hurt and its really difficult to read your posts.

You may want to consider creating a link of popular posts... or your favorite posts. Whatever you think is most important for us, your loyal readers, to read...

In fact, everything in your side bar other than the links to your other blogs are completely useless for me.

I'd like to read some of your older stuff rather than your only your RSS feed, but I'm not about to go through your archives 1 post at a time. If you give me your best 20 posts, or even a list of posts by title, I'd happily read the ones I relate to word for word and encourage my friends to do the same.



Thanks for the high praise and the thoughtful criticism. What about the blog design hurts your eyes? Is it the color choice? I tried to keep them medium contrast. What would you suggest changing?

I'm not sure that I have a "Top 20" list because a huge amount of the stuff I write is topical and quickly out of date. I'll do what I can, though.

Again, thanks.


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