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Salza λiquid text editor

Clojars Project

  • Fluidable - Embed your code into λiquid or λiquid into your code
  • Dependency free - Everything is pure Clojure
  • Translatable - Tiny core, simple model, no tricks
  • Distraction Free - Typeahead and completions on demand... Your demand!
  • Comfortable keybindings - Most used commands are close at hand
  • Servable - Run as server, local or remote


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Who is this for

λiquid is absolutely not for everyone! It is for you if

  • You get a kick of doing everything in Clojure
  • You love to tinker with your editor
  • Terminals are the best
  • You love distraction-free power
  • You love modal editing, like in vim

What can you do with it

There is no made up language or syntax to extend λiquid.

  • Since λiquid is pure Clojure it can be used to extend any Clojure or Java program, so the editor lives inside the program.. like magic.
  • Turn it around, you can use any Clojure and any Java library to extend λiquid.. if the library can do it then λiquid can do it. Configure keyboard shortcuts and commands to tame the libraries. Use code to integrate.

Demo video

Watch these videos to get a sense of what it can and how the editor works:




For discussions, help, tips and support, use

#liquid channel in Clojure Slack

Some extensions


Download and execution

Try it with clj

You can run from command line using the clj command:

clj -Sdeps '{:deps {mogenslund/liquid {:mvn/version "1.0.0"}}}' -m dk.salza.liq.core

Quick start

Download the single jar (Uberjar containing both Clojure and Liquid) liq.jar

IMPORTANT Please have the Cheatsheet nearby when using Liquid for the first time. The keybindings are powerful, but needs to be learned. You will get lost without it

On Windows double click the liq.jar.
On Linux and Mac execute the following in a terminal:

java -jar liq.jar

If the terminal causes problems, like hard to see colors or artifacts when navigating, try the JFrame implementation:

java -jar liq.jar --jframe

My experience is that the terminal "Terminology", with dark background works very well.

Starter kit

A place to start is Liquid Starter Kit

It sort of corresponds to a sample .emacs file. Some code you can extend to create your own version of the editor.

Local setup and extensions

For a recommended approach to local setup and managing extensions, please read

Basic Setup

Salza λiquid text editor is designed with clojure developers in mind

The editor is written in pure Clojure. That is, there are no other dependencies, not even curses or lanterna!

I have been using Emacs for many years. I have tweaked it a lot and implemented modes, to simulate the Vim way of switching between insert mode and normal mode for navigation. I like being able to use the whole keyboard for navigation. As you will see in the video below, I am very inspired by Emacs and Vim, but I have chosen not to try to copy or re-implement Emacs or Vim. I have only stolen the features that I need or like. I hope others will just create plugins or extensions to make the editor support other features that they like.

Liquid Text Editor

I could tell a lot about the editor, but I think you should see the video below for a demonstration.

Technical video explaining the core data structure of the editor

This video is for technical minded people to get a view of the inside of the construction of the editor. Useful for understanding the idea behind the editor or as inspiration for similar projects or extensions of this: slider01

Use cases

  • Tight integration with Clojure code. It should be easy to have the same code executed from within the editor as well as outside. Using a real language for extensions provides a great advantage compared to a "home made" extension language, that only fits the specific editor.
    Example: As a QA Engineer I do test automation using Selenium WebDriver. I have included the Selenium jar into my local environment, so now I can execute tests, parts of tests or snippets from within λiquid.
    All other tools that I create in Clojure, which are useful as is, are easy to make accessible from within the editor as well.

  • Embedding the editor into your your application. Include the λiquid to your project and use it as part of your program or for debugging and patching, just like you already do with the REPL, but with some advantages: It is easier to open a file with code and execute parts of it, or jump between snippets, do modifications, and execute again.
    Example: I have a file with snippets like: (patch "myserver"), (status "myserver") and (run-test "name-of-test"). I just modify "myserver", if needed, and press "e" to execute the command.


Right now the only dependency is Clojure itself. I would like to keep it that way, as for core functionality. When starting λiquid, any resources can just be added to the classpath, and the code will be available from inside λiquid. So it is not a limitation to λiquid, it just means that anything requiring other dependencies should be implemented as plugins and be loaded together with λiquid. Extensions can be loaded through a .liq file in the home folder.

Inspiration from Emacs and Vi

From Emacs I have been inspired by extensibility. Clojure is also the language for writing extensions. That was in fact a primary motivation for creating the editor. Actually it is possible to include the editor into a project and make the editor part of the program. This thought is very similar to the REPL (read-eval-print-loop), but more like an edit-eval-render-loop.

From Vi I have stolen the concept of normal/insert mode. I really like the ability to use the whole keyboard to navigate the file and execute commands at one time, while typing text in another. The tab key is used to switch between the two modes. The color of the cursor will indicate which mode is in use. I have resisted the attempt to use the same keybindings as Vi. Some are the same, but as default I have chosen the keys jkli as navigation keys. They are located where the fingers are placed and laid out like the arrow keys. Look at jkli on the keyboard. Different up and down operations are mapped to different combinations with "i" and "k" (up and down), while different sideway actions are mapped to "j" and "l". E.g going to the end of the line is done with shift+l and the beginning of the line with shift+j.

S-expressions in clojure can be evaluated with "e", while the whole file is evaluated with shift+e.


Copyright © 2018 Mogens Brødsgaard Lund

Distributed under the Eclipse Public License either version 1.0 or any later version.