The latest version of Bare Bones Software's text editor offers revamped HTML tools and UI.
many people, being in "real IT" means that you ignore the word
processor in your corporate-issue office suite in favor of a text editor. After
all, a text editor, if only at its simplest (vi, anyone?), is likely to be on
almost any system one has to deal with. But when you write code for a living,
sometimes you want more than the operating system's text editor, with its
minimalist feature support. When a full-blown IDE is more headache than one
needs, an intelligent text editor fills the gap nicely. Bare Bones Software's
BBEdit is a perfect example of the genre.
may be the Swiss Army knife/Leatherman of developer tools for the Mac platform.
That's because it can parse a wide range of languages right out of the box,
providing function, navigation and syntax coloring as well as language-specific
the ability to interpret the assembly language of the Motorola 68000 processor
might simply be there for historical reasons, more conventional languages such
as HTML and SQL are child's play for BBEdit. Even my attempts to muddle some
otherwise relatively well-formed HTML and SQL code failed to throw the
software. BBEdit also supports syntax-aware formatting for common scripting
languages, including Perl, PHP, Python and Ruby on Rails.
user interface in the latest release, BBEdit 10, has been reworked a bit, with
lists of recently used documents and new project management features, including
the ability to save windows displaying multiple documents as a project. Project
packages now by default include a dedicated scratchpad and Unix shell
worksheet, providing a convenient place for project notes in code and human
those not familiar with the idea of a shell worksheet, this is a BBEdit feature
that was introduced roughly a decade ago, which is in turn based on the user
interface of the old Macintosh Programmer's Workshop. In many respects, it's a
mashup of a terminal window and a text document. The worksheet metaphor allows
users to run command strings-at least, those that don't require interactivity-from
within an editable environment.
HTML markup tools have also been overhauled in BBEdit 10 to now allow the use
of any available attribute when creating or editing an element or an element's
attributes. The application presents valid "completions" for the
valid attributes of the element. The preview window can now be modified with
adjustable Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and reviewing templates, for working
with partial page content.
release of BBEdit adds a bit more support for cloud-based configuration of the
software. Application support data can now be maintained in a Dropbox folder,
allowing users to share supporting files between machines running BBEdit-subject,
of course, to the terms of the license. (In the case of a single-user license
for BBEdit, that would mean one office computer plus one at home.)
P. J. Connolly began writing for IT publications in 1997 and has a lengthy track record in both news and reviews. Since then, he's built two test labs from scratch and earned a reputation as the nicest skeptic you'll ever meet. Before taking up journalism, P. J. was an IT manager and consultant in San Francisco with a knack for networking the Apple Macintosh, and his love for technology is exceeded only by his contempt for the flavor of the month. Speaking of which, you can follow P. J. on Twitter at pjc415, or drop him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.