Kakoune – implements Vi’s “keystrokes as a text editing language” model

Kakoune is an open source code editor that implements Vi’s “keystrokes as a text editing language” model. It has similarities with Vim, as it’s also a modal editor.

Kakoune operates in two modes, normal and insertion. In insertion mode, keys are directly inserted into the current buffer. In normal mode, keys are used to manipulate the current selection and to enter insertion mode.

Kakoune has a strong focus on interactivity, most commands provide immediate and incremental results, while still being competitive (as in keystroke count) with Vim.

Features include:

  • Multiple selections as a central way of interacting.
  • Powerful selection manipulation primitives:
    • Select all regex matches in current selections.
    • Keep selections containing/not containing a match for a given regex.
    • Split current selections with a regex.
    • Text objects (paragraph, sentence, nestable blocks).
  • Powerful text manipulation primitives:
    • Align selections.
    • Rotate selection contents.
    • Case manipulation.
    • Indentation.
    • Piping each selection to external filter.
  • Client-Server architecture:
    • Multiple clients on the same editing session.
    • Use tmux or your X11 window manager to manage windows.
  • Simple interaction with external programs.
  • Automatic contextual help.
  • Automatic as you type completion.
  • Macros.
  • Hooks.
  • Syntax Highlighting:
    • Supports multiple languages in the same buffer.
    • Highlight a buffer differently in different windows.
  • Customization – extend the features or customize them with macros or hooks.

Website: kakoune.org
Support: Wiki, GitHub code repository
Developer: Maxime Coste, Frank Lenormand, and many other contributors
License: Free and unencumbered software released into the public domain

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Kakoune is written in C++. Learn C++ with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

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