BBEdit has a new, foldable, lease on life

by Francois Joseph de Kermadec

When Bare Bones Software announced the latest version of BBEdit, I was, quite literally singing its praise in my head. Now, it is no secret I am a big Bare Bones fan (and an unpaid one, I fully assure you) but even that may seem a bit extreme, eh? You see, I had just been asked by a client to alter 151 pages of XHTML code on a site of theirs, namely perform typographic operations ranging from basic quote curling to the updating of a product naming scheme. I do cooler stuff but hey, it pays for the backlit keyboards. Thanks to SFTP browsers, grep searching and a couple of Unix filters -- including good old SmartyPants --, I was able to do all that without leaving BBEdit itself -- or keeping an anxious client waiting.


John R
2006-09-07 07:30:29
It is great to see BBEdit improving. I am a big fan of this old school app. It is ironic because I just read this interesting opinion piece called Jurassic Mac where the author talks about a bunch of still useful old-school apps. BBEdit is oneof the apps reviewed (along with other aging stalwarts like Retrospect and Timbuktu)
2006-09-07 07:33:41

Thanks for sharing - and for the link!

2006-09-07 08:16:51
i'm aware there's lot of effort in this upgrade but it took TextMate to tramp on BBEdit's heels to get there after quite a long time of complacency. $30 upgrade for 8.x owners? it sucks™
2006-09-07 08:23:54

Complacency you say? I don't feel that... My impression is rather that BBEdit has been slowly maturing and we are now seeing some big changes reach the surface, that have been planned for long. As far as the upgrade price goes, this version seems to be different enough to warrant a small fee although that, indeed, is only my personal opinion.

Thanks for taking the time to post!


2006-09-07 09:29:51
I'm so glad for this update. I was thinking of buying TextMate just for Code Folding.
2006-09-07 09:30:52

Happy to see you happy!


2006-09-07 11:29:28
I've been holding off and unfortunately probably hold off longer now that the TextWrnagler upgrade has diminished.

I'll end up waiting to see if they will offer a cross upgrade for TextMate, not that I'm unhappy with TextMate might I add.

lee Joramo
2006-09-07 11:57:15
How do you get the auto-complete to work? I am looking for BBAutoComplete style completion. Auto completion and text folding have been the big reasons that i have been giving TextMate a serious look. (Although, BBEdit's search, compare, undo and 10 years of brain wiring keep strongly attached BB)
2006-09-07 12:46:54

Have you taken advantage of the trial period? A full month is ample to get acquainted with the software. Also, remember many discounts/crossgrades plans are available so you may find something suitable there.

Of course I do not have any inside information on Bare Bone's plans but sending feedback about a TextMate crossgrade cannot hurt!


2006-09-07 13:03:54

Quoting from the Help: "If there is a partial word to the immediate left of the insertion point, the `Insert Clipping...` command will attempt to autocomplete that word based clipping names in the current and universal set". See page 258 of the user manual for the full description.

Does this help?

2006-09-10 04:44:05
I used BBEdit for years, from v5.1 to v8.1, for hours every day. It took me one hour to switch to TextMate once I'd started testing it.

BBEdit was great for a very long time, but it's a monolith of feature creep. It's still a fantastic editor, but that's it for me. It was a fantastic editor in v5.1 too, and nothing has changed since then but for more features, most of which I have never used, for lack of need.

TextMate is also a fantastic editor, and it has the features I need, the plug-inability I need (which BBEdit does not, it's way too complicated creating old-style plug-ins, and the new features are not powerful enough), and it's a fraction of the cost. I don't think BBEdit is over-priced, but the competition is way cheaper.

2006-09-10 09:57:37

Thanks for sharing!

As I said, different needs, different text editors. If you felt BBEdit was overwhelming however, you may want to have a look at version 8.5, which may alleviate your concerns.

While BBEdit certainly is very feature-rich, I wouldn't describe it as feature creep - but then again, it is only me. Ironically, my desire for applications to "just work" makes Text Mate plugins needlessly confusing to me. What good does an infinite amount of power do if there is no easy way to tap into it?