Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Script KATE to Automagically Compile/Execute Programs

Filed under

Script KATE to Automagically Compile/Execute Programs

By Gary Frankenbery

I teach high school computer science and programming, and I'm trying to transition my computer lab from MS-Windows only to MS-Windows/Linux dual boot.

For Computer Programming, my students first learn to program with Ruby. I try to keep it simple for these fledgeling programmers, so we have been using the Crimson Text Editor under Microsoft Windows to enter/edit the Ruby source code. The Crimson Text Editor makes it easy to configure a macro to execute whatever Ruby script is being edited: that is, the Crimson macro saves the file, then calls up the Ruby interpreter, and Ruby executes the script. Students accomplish this by simply by pressing the F5 function key while in the Crimson Text Editor.

So, I started wondering if I could configure the KDE Advanced Text Editor (KATE) under Linux to do the same thing with Ruby scripts? Yes, I know that KATE has an embedded terminal where one can activate the terminal window, click in it, and then type, for example,"ruby factorial.rb" and press the enter key, to execute the current Ruby script being edited in KATE. But, I wanted to have the current ruby script in the KATE editor to be both automatically saved, and then executed in a separate Konsole window, all triggered with the simple press of a shortcut key--just like Crimson under MS-Windows.

Could I do this? I've got at least one thing going against me--I'm not a bash shell programmer--I don't really know much shell scripting at all. However, I've got some things working for me--I am a programming teacher so I can program, bash scripting is well documented, and I can be very tenacious. So, I believe that with effort, persistance, and and lot of trial and error, I can figure out how to do this with KATE and Linux. And, so, I did. Then, I wanted to do more.

Since my more advanced computer programming students program use Java (not my personal choice--it's the language mandated by the College Board in the U.S.), I figured out how to configure KATE to automatically save and compile a Java program, and then I finally worked out a script to have KATE call up the Java Run Time Environment to execute the Java program. Obviously, other programming languages (Python comes to mind) can be accommodated as well by customizing these scripts (this, as teachers so often (annoyingly) say, is left as an exercise for the reader Smile).

KATE does permit you to embed scripts, so I'll display some KATE screenshots along the way, and explain how it's done. We'll start by configuring three scripts: Ruby Execute, Java Compile, and Java Execute.Then we'll look at how to configure shortcut keys to activate the scripts under KATE.

  1. With KATE on your screen, select Settings -> Configure Kate... from the

  2. In the Configure Dialog box shown below, click External Tools in the left panel, then then click the New... button at the bottom.

  3. The Edit External Tool Dialog comes up (below). Here, we're going to configure KATE for Ruby Program Execution. Type in a description Label for the script (I used Ruby Execute). Then type in the script itself, with all the single apostrophes, double quotes, spaces, and symbols. Because this is tricky, you can copy the text on the next line, and paste it into the script box:

    cd "%directory" && konsole -e sh -c 'ruby "%filename"; printf "%s"
    "Press any key to exit . . . "; read $dummy'

    Since the KATE External Tool scripts like an executable name, just type konsole into the Executable: text box. Next, click the drop down list arrow by the
    Save: button, and select Current Document. Click the OK button. This window will
    close. Click OK again. You should now be back at the KATE main window.

  4. Now, let's configure the Java Compile script. Starting at the KATE main window, do steps 1 and 2 again. This time, edit the External Tool Dialog to look like the screen clip below. Again, the script code needs to be exact. Here it is so you can copy and paste, if necessary:

    cd "%directory" && konsole -e sh -c 'javac "%filename"; printf "%s" "Press any key to exit . . . "; read $dummy'

    Click the OK button, and at the next window, click OK again. You should be back at the KATE main window.

  5. Time to configure the last script to execute the Java program. At the KATE main window, do steps 1 and 2 above one more time. You should edit the External Tool Dialog to look like the clip below. Again, here's the scipt command which you can copy and paste:

    cd "%directory" &&  CF="%filename" konsole -e  sh -c 'java ${CF%.*}; printf  "%s" "Press any key to exit . . . "; read $dummy'

    Finally, we are done with the scripting part. Next we'll setup shortcut keys to launch our scripts.

  6. To get started, at the main KATE window, click the Settings->Configure Shortcuts menu choices as shown.

  7. You will see the Configure Shorcuts dialog box window shown below.

    Click the Java Compile script, click the button next to Custom (at the bottom), and press the key(s) you want to launch this script. You can see that I chose the F12 key to compile the current Java program. Click OK

    For the Java Execute script, I chose Shift-F12.

    For executing a Ruby program, I chose I chose Alt+R.

    So, after you configure the three shortcuts, you're done! You can now edit your programming source code in KATE, and quickly save, compile, and execute your Ruby and Java source code with these scripts simply by
    pressing the shortcut key(s).

Script Kate Article

By default, Debian derived Linux distros execute sh scripts using dash rather than bash. Because dash won't work correctly for the above Kate scripts, just substitute bash in place of sh in the above scripts.

Gary Frankenbery
January 4, 2009

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

  • How to install go1.19beta on Ubuntu 22.04 – NextGenTips

    In this tutorial, we are going to explore how to install go on Ubuntu 22.04 Golang is an open-source programming language that is easy to learn and use. It is built-in concurrency and has a robust standard library. It is reliable, builds fast, and efficient software that scales fast. Its concurrency mechanisms make it easy to write programs that get the most out of multicore and networked machines, while its novel-type systems enable flexible and modular program constructions. Go compiles quickly to machine code and has the convenience of garbage collection and the power of run-time reflection. In this guide, we are going to learn how to install golang 1.19beta on Ubuntu 22.04. Go 1.19beta1 is not yet released. There is so much work in progress with all the documentation.

  • molecule test: failed to connect to bus in systemd container - openQA bites

    Ansible Molecule is a project to help you test your ansible roles. I’m using molecule for automatically testing the ansible roles of geekoops.

  • How To Install MongoDB on AlmaLinux 9 - idroot

    In this tutorial, we will show you how to install MongoDB on AlmaLinux 9. For those of you who didn’t know, MongoDB is a high-performance, highly scalable document-oriented NoSQL database. Unlike in SQL databases where data is stored in rows and columns inside tables, in MongoDB, data is structured in JSON-like format inside records which are referred to as documents. The open-source attribute of MongoDB as a database software makes it an ideal candidate for almost any database-related project. This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the MongoDB NoSQL database on AlmaLinux 9. You can follow the same instructions for CentOS and Rocky Linux.

  • An introduction (and how-to) to Plugin Loader for the Steam Deck. - Invidious
  • Self-host a Ghost Blog With Traefik

    Ghost is a very popular open-source content management system. Started as an alternative to WordPress and it went on to become an alternative to Substack by focusing on membership and newsletter. The creators of Ghost offer managed Pro hosting but it may not fit everyone's budget. Alternatively, you can self-host it on your own cloud servers. On Linux handbook, we already have a guide on deploying Ghost with Docker in a reverse proxy setup. Instead of Ngnix reverse proxy, you can also use another software called Traefik with Docker. It is a popular open-source cloud-native application proxy, API Gateway, Edge-router, and more. I use Traefik to secure my websites using an SSL certificate obtained from Let's Encrypt. Once deployed, Traefik can automatically manage your certificates and their renewals. In this tutorial, I'll share the necessary steps for deploying a Ghost blog with Docker and Traefik.

Red Hat Hires a Blind Software Engineer to Improve Accessibility on Linux Desktop

Accessibility on a Linux desktop is not one of the strongest points to highlight. However, GNOME, one of the best desktop environments, has managed to do better comparatively (I think). In a blog post by Christian Fredrik Schaller (Director for Desktop/Graphics, Red Hat), he mentions that they are making serious efforts to improve accessibility. Starting with Red Hat hiring Lukas Tyrychtr, who is a blind software engineer to lead the effort in improving Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Fedora Workstation in terms of accessibility. Read more

Today in Techrights

Android Leftovers