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Quanta Plus review

by Sukrit Dhandhania

An open source, Linux-based web development package that’s crammed with features. Sukrit Dhandhania takes Quanta Plus for a test drive…

Quanta Plus

Pros: Quanta Plus is fast, stable, and filled with very useful features. It’s probably the best web IDE for Linux available today
Cons: Although it is packed with features, there are some basic ones missing –
such as support for SVN

Quanta Plus 01

Quanta Plus is an open source web development package from the KDE team. The software has a simple and clean user interface and, though it’s not packed with features, it has pretty much everything one would expect of a web IDE. We have been in search of a good Linux-based alternative to some of the cool web development tools for the Mac and for the Windows platforms. Let’s look at some of the features that make Quanta Plus a force to reckon with in this space.
Quanta Plus supports multiple views of your document as you are working on it. You can use it in code mode, WYSIWYG mode, or use the DOM tree mode. We like this choice as it allows you some flexibility – you can switch between views while working on the document. Quanta Plus also allows you to split your workspace into two views. You can work on the code in one half while having the WYSIWYG mode displayed in the other half. This is neat because you get a preview of changes as you make them in your code, without having to save the file or launch a web browser.
Quanta Plus supports syntax highlighting for HTML, JavaScript, XML, PHP, Perl and other languages. It also does a suggestive autocompletion of your code as you type it out, suggesting possible values for tags and closing the tags for you. We have used autocompletion in both HTML and PHP in several IDEs. The support for these features in Quanta Plus is right up there with the best that we have used. Another great feature of Quanta Plus is that it not only offers autocompletion for your syntax in PHP, but it also has a complete indexing of functions in the DOM view and tie-ins for a real-time PHP debugger.
-Quanta Plus users get pretty much everything they need to build and deploy their website or web application, all under one roof. With support for CVS, FTP, a diff tool and other features, this makes for a great one-stop-shop web development tool for Linux. It also allows you to create and manage projects, which is great if you
are developing a large website. One major feature that appears to be missing is support for SVN, which is the modern replacement for CVS. This is a very big drawback in our book.
There’s a Quanta Plus Handbook that ships with the tool which is quite helpful. It’s available under the Help menu. Aside from this, documentation for HTML, CSS, PHP and JavaScript is also bundled into the application.
For us, this is one of the most important features of a web development tool. An application that has a big community following, or a good set of designers and developers as part of their team, will provide their users with great-looking templates and plug-ins to help them kick off their work. Being an open source project and part of the KDE project, Quanta Plus has a pretty sizable community following and has  number of plug-ins and templates ready for download.

A big advantage that Quanta Plus has over some of its rivals on the Linux platform is that it is part of the KDE project, and as a result it has great integration with the KDE user interface. Even the speed with which it operates is quite impressive considering some of the features it has to offer.

Verdict: 3/5
All in all, we see Quanta Plus as a web development tool that’s almost there. Given some more time and a steady growth to its user base, this software can become the best free alternative to the IDEs that cost hundreds of dollars.
Sukrit Dhandhania

This article originally appeared in issue 84 of Linux User & Developer magazine.
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    • c.wrinn

      Last I checked this project was extremely out of date and hadn’t had an update in years. Still true?

    • David

      Until someone with experience with Quanta Plus writes, a comment from an observer who checks Quanta Plus every time he considers abandoning the Adobe software his employer uses for Web site maintenance:

      According to the Quanta Wiki on the KDE Userbase Web site, SVN support comes via the “kdesvn” part:

      See .

      My impression is that this type of modularity is characteristic of the KDE architecture — the KDE term for such modules is “parts.” Another example of KDE’s architecture is the “ioslave” I/O module that works across KDE applications — for example, the FISH “ioslave” allows KDE applications to read and write files over SSH connections.

      Your readers might be interested in a review of Quanta Plus that covered kdesvn, the ioslaves that are useful for Web development and Web site maintenance, and the modularity of KDE’s architecture.

    • Bugman

      Sorry, but Quanta+ is a dead project! The last release 3.5.9 was in 2008-02-20 (http://quanta.kdewebdev.org/releases.php). There is zero KDE 4 support for this app. And distributions have long ago stopped shipping with Quanta+. There might be a slight ray of hope for the future though: http://lists.kde.org/?l=quanta-devel&m=126674877109032&w=2

    • Malte

      Kind of sad that the best web IDE for Linux available today only rates 3/5 :-)

    • sgtrock

      It rates 3/5 for all the wrong reasons. Support for virtually all version control systems is as close as adding the right KDE component.

      The real shame is the lack of development to port Quanta+ to KDE 4. I always thought that it was the best IDE I’d ever used. It gives you just enough to be useful without being weighed down by a ton of stuff.

    • Duns

      Bugman, I know that Quanta+ latest is 2008, but it is the best software for webmaster, absolutely the best, no matter.
      So either a) find another editor textual html, comparable with Quanta, b) port Quanta +, and quick, in KDE4.
      No Quanta no Linux

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