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kappa-mode is a GNU/Emacs major mode for editing files written in the Kappa modeling language. The mode knows enough about Kappa syntax to do some basic fontification but does currently not do indentation or proper slashification.

Getting kappa-mode

kappa-mode is free software distributed under the GPL. You can download the latest version from the Github repository.


In order to use kappa-mode just copy the file kappa.el to your ~/.emacs.d directory and add the following to your ~/.emacs configuration file:

(add-to-list 'load-path "~/.emacs.d")
(require 'kappa)

Alternatively, you may load kappa.el directly using the following command:

(load-file "~/.emacs.d/kappa.el")

If you are using a version of KaSim older than KaSim 4, use the kappa.el file from the KaSim3-compat branch here instead.

Usage and customization

The syntax highlighting is quite intense by default (almost every character is highlighted in some way) but also highly customizable. Users that are unhappy with the default font lock color scheme may change it through the numerous font face customization variables (kappa-keyword-face, kappa-agent-name-face, kappa-rule-operator-face, etc.)

In addition to the syntax highlighting, the mode provides two convenience functions for simulating the current Kappa file (kappa-run-sim, mapped to C-c C-r) and plotting the result (kappa-plot-sim, mapped to C-c C-p). The former requires KaSim and the later Gnuplot to be installed. The executable paths of these tools can be adjusted through the customization variables kappa-sim-executable-path and kappa-gnuplot-executable-path respectively. gnuplot-mode will be used for plotting if present but is not a requirement.


If you have questions, check the built-in documentation, e.g. by typing C-h C-f kappa-run-sim, or try asking for help on the Kappa users mailing list. Use Github to report bugs and other issues.

Known issues

  • There seems to be a bug when using Kappa mode at the same time as CEDET causing Emacs to fontify the entire buffer with font-lock-comment-face.

  • Support for automatic indentation is missing.


GNU/Emacs support for the Kappa language







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