cavewall: For the Kahlo of the console

I had to scrounge around the Internet for a while, before I could find the home page for cavewall. It was worth it:


cavewall is another ASCII “image editor” allowing you to draw and create pictures using text symbols and so forth. We’ve seen a few of these in the past, to include classics like cadubi, or hidden gems like textdraw.

A lot of the files that are in the latest cavewall tarball date back to 2006 or even earlier. I didn’t expect it to compile, but as you can see, it worked more or less flawlessly.

For as hard as it was to find cavewall, it’s a huge step forward in ASCII drawing programs. It has, for example …

  • Block selection and range functions, which is a huge addition, because it adds things like …
    • Copy and paste functions
    • Fill functions
    • Paste from clipboard options
    • Custom box and frame creation, and more
  • Stepping modes, so pressing a character moves you in a specific direction — not just to the right
  • Menus for most program functions, plus hotkeys for the most common ones
  • Export to plain text or HTML
  • Import back from those formats

And a lot more. cavewall manages to take a lot of cadubi’s high points, and some of textdraw’s best functions, then add a few bonuses of its own, and combine them all in a very usable way.

It’s clear not everything is finished (I would have loved to see the “inject figlet-ized text” feature work), and it needs a little polishing on some points (the menus are sometimes obtrusive, or overwrite themselves, and cavewall intercepts some command sequences as text … small points). But the majority of it seems to be working.

Like I said, cavewall doesn’t appear to have seen attention in almost a decade. Very rarely do I wish for someone to adopt a program and bring it up to date (well, okay, sometimes I do), but cavewall is so very nearly perfect, that it’s sad to see it languish unnoticed in a corner of the Internet. 😦

I’m going to give cavewall a great big shiny gold K.Mandla star though, in the hopes that someone will see its potential and give it the boost it deserves: ⭐ 😉 Enjoy!