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Open-Source Adobe Brackets Web Development Comes to Linux

After a decade of mostly ignoring Linux, yet another really interesting Adobe-sponsored open-source Web development tool is coming to Linux.

When it comes to Web development, Adobe's Dreamweaver (originally from Macromedia) is a well-known and widely deployed tool. Like most of Adobe's commercial tools, it doesn't run on Linux. While historically Adobe's tools haven't been widely available for Linux users, a new era seems to be starting.

Adobe is now building out a number of new Web development tools, among them is the open-source Brackets code editor that is now available as a preview for Linux users. The Linux support currently is as a debian package, and it joins existing support for Windows and Mac OS X.

Unlike Dreamweaver, which is a proprietary code base, Adobe is running the Brackets development effort in the open on the Github open collaboration and development site. The basic idea behind Brackets is that it is a standards-based HTML, CSS and JavaScript code editor.

"Rather than clutter your workspace with floating panels, toolbars and icons, Brackets focuses on providing 'Quick Edit' in-line views that provide context-sensitive access to your content, without taking you away from your code," the Brackets project page explains.

I've always been a big fan of code first, rather than GUI interfaces that abstract what's really going on under the hood. So think of Brackets as VI or emacs (yes I'm a VI guy, but, hey, emacs is OK too—I guess), tailored specifically for Web developers. Brackets is a good idea, but in the modern Web development world with new and powerful browser tools in Firefox and Chrome, there are a lot of code tools already. Brackets offers the promise of browser integration, such that changes made in Brackets can be reflected in the browser.

The move to bring Brackets to Linux comes quickly after the Adobe-sponsored Flex project made a similar move.

It's a real shame that it has taken Adobe so long to include Linux as a target operating system for its tools, but at the same time I'm personally thankful that the tide is now turning.

Brackets is still an early development project, but it's freely available to try out at http://download.brackets.io/.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.