Here at Yorba most of us do our development work in Vala using Gedit. Out of the box, Gedit doesn’t seem like much of an IDE. But with a few plugins it starts to approach the feature set of a modern development environment.
One feature that’s lacking, though, is a good class browser. With larger projects this is a must-have tool — scrolling through hundreds of lines of code to find a method seems silly when you can just point and click.
There already is a class browser plugin for Gedit. Caveat: it’s based on ctags. While ctags is a great library, one language it doesn’t support is Vala.
So is all hope lost? No! Here’s how to make the aforementioned class browser plugin support Vala.
- Install Anjuta. (You’ll see why in a second.)
- Install the plugin as described in its readme. Make sure you install the GSettings schema as described.
- Open Gedit and enable the plugin. It’s listed as “Source Code Browser.”
- In the same window, hit Preferences to open the plugin options.
- Next to “ctags executable” change the executable name from “ctags” to “anjuta-tags”. Anjuta-Tags is a fork of ctags that adds Vala support, GIR support, etc.
Enable your Gedit sidebar (if it isn’t already) to see the class browser tab. Open a Vala file and you’ll get a nicely formated hierarchical symbol list.
That’s all there is to it. Happy coding!