Scroll to navigation

KAK_FAQ(1) faq KAK_FAQ(1)


faq - a

How to pronounce the name of the project and what does it mean ?

The name of the project is pronounced "Kak-oon", and is a word taken from a New Caledonian dialect based on french. It means a hard blow, usually a punch, but generally refers to a blow into which which all of one’s strength went.

Is there going to be a Windows port of Kakoune ?

As many features provided by UNIX systems would be missing, or if anything much less efficient on a Windows system, the incentive to porting the project to this operating system is pretty low.

Moreover, you can get pretty decent performance by using Kakoune on Cygwin (which is officially supported).

Can you get rid of the boost dependency and just use std::regex ?

The boost-regex library provides use with several features that are heavily relied upon across several core scripts, and a few of them are not available in the standard std::regex implementations. Therefore, until the standard catches up with boost in terms of features, the latter will remain a hard -mandatory- dependency.

Kakoune is very slow on big files, what can I do about it ?

The default build mode (set in the Makefile of the src directory of the project) is "debug", which makes it convenient to track issues but also affects performance. To disable the debug mode, recompile the project by setting the debug variable in src/Makefile to no.

Note that if your distribution provides a "kakoune" package, the program should already be built in non-debug mode (if you still experience slowness, please report the issue on the bug tracker).

Can I use Kakoune as a pager ?

Kakoune can be used as a pager, either by setting the EDITOR environment variable to kak, or by writing data directly to its standard input using a shell pipeline. However, since the program relies on several heavy dynamic libraries (boost being one of them), it will be slightly less practical than other regular pagers (such as less or more) which have a minimal amount of runtime dependencies.

Are there any non-console based frontends available ?

No graphical frontend is currently officially maintained, you can however try experimental community-developed ones.

Why are colors misrendered in my Kakoune clients ?

The most probable cause for that is a very widespread practice that consists in setting the TERM environment variable in the shell’s configuration file. This variable should be set by the terminal emulator, and not overridden with an arbitrary value, otherwise it might interfere with general UI rendering on the terminal’s window.

Note that if you’re using tmux, the proper -official- way to get Kakoune to work is to add the following line to your tmux configuration file: set -sg default-terminal screen-256color

How do I automatically indent code, as Vim does with = ?

As Kakoune doesn’t parse the contents of the buffers, there is no builtin equivalent for this Vim feature. Use a formatter/prettifier dedicated to the language you’re using with the help of the | key.

Example: %|indent<ret> to indent an entire buffer with C code.

Note that some languages have a default formatter set, which you can use with the :format command.

Can Kakoune automatically complete the parameters of my functions ?

As mentioned in the above question about Vim’s = key, Kakoune does not parse the contents of a buffer by itself, which makes it impossible for the editor to propose candidates upon completion.

However, support for such a feature can be achieved through the use of a dedicated tool, as is the case with clang and C code: you can use the clang-enable-autocomplete and clang-complete builtin commands whenever editing a C/C++ file, and completion will work on function parameters.

Note that the same features are available for python buffers, with the jedi script.

Why aren’t widely known command line shortcuts such as <c-w> or <c-u> available in Kakoune ?

Despite their widespread availability in multiple tools, those shortcuts do not fit the paradigm that Kakoune implements, which is based on selections first.

However, you can easily declare key mappings in your configuration file to be able to use those control-based shortcuts in insert mode (c.f. the "map" command in the "commands" documentation page).

How can I explore the filesystem the way Vim’s NerdTree does ?

The builtin file completion engine used when opening a file for editing (using the :edit command and letting the suggestions popup in the menu beneath) is much more convenient than Vim’s, which should suit basic needs.

However, if you need an actual explorer to interact with the editor, you can create a Kakoune script that will spawn the tool in question, which should in return send an "edit" command followed by the path of the file you selected to the current Kakoune session (e.g. echo "eval -client $kak_client edit /path/to/file" | kak -p $kak_session).

Why aren’t there other scopes similar to %sh{} e.g. python ?

Supporting custom scopes would add hard dependencies to the project, which is too much of an drawback when balanced against the low cost of using an interpreter in a regular shell scope (e.g. %sh{ python -c "..." }). The shell scope allows users to spawn any interpreter they want, for a minimal cost in terms of performance, it is therefore the reason why it’s the only one available by default.

Can I disable auto-indentation completely ?

All the indentation hooks are conventionally named <lang>-indent, which allows us to use the disabled_hooks variable to disable indentation globally with the following command: set global disabled_hooks '.+-indent'

Can I disable syntax highlighting completely ?

Similarly to the indentation hooks, the name format followed by the highlighting hooks is <lang>-highlight. You can thus disable syntax highlighting using the following command: set global disabled_hooks '.+-highlight'