slap: Intuitive and colorful

I got a note a little less than a month ago from pouet, pointing out a text editor called slap. pouet said I might like it, if I wasn’t fond of bizarre double-control-key command sequences or arcane letter combinations for controls.


It certainly grabs your eye. And considering its default keystrokes are enough to get me working without traumatic tutorials or A3-sized posters of cryptic letter combinations, it has already won points from me.

slap (I’m not sure about the evolution of the name) also does me the favor of having a simple file browser on the left side of the screen, and the open file command (CTRL+O by default, hallelujah) jumps the cursor across the divider bar and allows me to select.

That I really like. I tried NERD Tree as an extension to vim once, a long time ago, but it wasn’t nearly as fluid and obvious as slap’s simple browser.

slap also does some fundamental syntax highlighting, has customizable behavior via a .slaprc file, and will give you a pop-up help screen if you need it. Most of the keypresses you probably know already though — even things like “jump to the end of the document” are present as CTRL+End, and “select back one letter” as SHIFT+Left Arrow.

Best of all, highlight something and start typing, and slap eats up whatever you highlighted, and begins your new text exactly where you left it. Just like a real word processor. πŸ˜‰

I understand from the home page that mouse support is also a big feature, although I don’t know if I would use it much. I keep to the keyboard when I can.

The only thing I can think of to “complain” about is that the file selector might be a little cumbersome if you have to work through trees of documents. I looked, but I don’t see a way to bring up a path entry dialogue, or some other vehicle for typing out “/usr/share/kbd/keymaps/i386/qwerty/”, other than browsing up and down through the dozen directories. That’s a fairly minor complaint though. slap is good stuff, and definitely has a grip on decent editor behavior.

So the next time you curse vim because you can’t figure out how to delete from the current position to the end of the next occurrence of the “n” character (d then slash then n, by the way), or can’t figure out how to get out of emacs (CTRL+X or something … I forget), remember slap, and the other thousand-plus text editors that don’t need to brainwash you to get the job done. πŸ˜‰

P.S.: Not in Arch or Debian. I installed it by installing nodejs in Arch, and then using sudo npm -g slap … just so you know. πŸ˜‰

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