slsc: Out of a sense of duty

Time for a sad story. I’m going to list slsc here today, even though in my entire career as a Linux enthusiast, I don’t recall ever having seen it work, on any distro, not even once. 😦

My meager understanding of slsc lumps it into the category of “slang rewrite of sc,” which would make it a basic text-only spreadsheet. It’s on my list of console applications because it’s always possible that some obscure distro somewhere carries it in a working form. I can hope, anyway.

Its obsolesence is discouraging, mostly because slsc, as I understand it, stands among some cornerstone software for the console. Programs like slrn, mutt, jed and others all depend on the slang library, and slsc was at the vanguard of that movement.

Unfortunately, as best I can tell, it needs the 1.2.2 version of slang (I’m guessing that because there’s a dead link to it in the slsc folder, above), which went out of fashion eons ago.

It must have worked fairly recently though. Back in 2006, slsc was part of Ubuntu, if the Dapper man page is any indicator. Now it’s not in Arch, or AUR, or any active version of Debian that I can see. 😦

Out of a sense of duty I tried to build slsc against the newest slang, and it wasn’t happy with that. I didn’t have much more luck building slang 1.2.2. How times have changed.

Console text-only spreadsheets are a dying breed. oleo and slsc have succumbed to the weight of the ages, and as far as I know, only sc and the emacs-integrated ses (and teapot!) still exist. Unless there are some surprises for me in the T-Z sections. 😦

Of course the irony of that is, the first “killer app” and the program that put home computers on the map was a phosphorescent green text-only spreadsheet. Those were the days. … 😉

9 thoughts on “slsc: Out of a sense of duty

  1. CorkyAgain

    Another text-only spreadsheet for your list is teapot. http://www.syntax-k.de/projekte/teapot/

    As far as I know, it still builds and runs OK. If I have time, I’ll verify this later today. But the maintainer has also provided DEB and RPM packages, if that’s the way you prefer to roll.

    1. CorkyAgain

      I’ve successfully built teapot 2.3.0 from source, but don’t have time right now to verify that it runs OK.

      It’s been a while since I built anything using CMake, so here’s a hint for anyone who wants to build teapot but, like me, can’t find anything in the README or INSTALL files saying how to do it. Unpack the source tarball and cd into it. Then:

      $ mkdir build
      $ cd build
      $ cmake ..

      It’s that simple.

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