Saturday August 03, 2002
Editor holy war spills into unfamiliar terrain
Sure, we're all sick of editor wars. We've got our favorite tools, and
we're so much more familiar with them that we're more efficient using
those tools than any others.
If you've recently purchased a T?iBook (and it sounds like a great many
of you have), then you may be finding that your favorite editor doesn't
work quite as handily in MacOS X as you'd like. It just doesn't fit in
with your newly-raised user-interface expectations and doesn't use the
strengths of the operating system to your advantage.
If you're feeling a wee bit dissatisfied, try BBEdit. It is IMHO (and
in many other folks' HOs) the best editor available on any platform,
and is only available for the Mac. It not only uses the MacOS to your
advantage (applescriptable, recordable, and attachable, quicktime
integration, services), but also integrates well with perl, python,
assorted shell scripting (and lets you set your default shell).
I don't get any kickback for convincing folks to use BBEdit. I just
think that it's so much better than the alternatives that those of
you who haven't tried it are really doing yourselves a disservice.
I had my employer buy me a mac so that I could use BBEdit. I told them
that they'd get more than their money back in my increased productivity
and I wasn't kidding.
A brief laundry list of some of the features:
World-class support. You contact them, and you get answers
back from the folks who actually write the program.
They also have very high quality mailing lists with
very active particpation from the developers.
best perl syntax coloring I've ever seen
(yes, I've seen vim and emacs)
also does a zillion other languages, but I don't care
so much about those
perl scripts and filters handily integrated
as well as pod-reading, perldoc lookup, syntax checking,
running the current file
PCRE find/replace including multi-file search/replace
with file filters to indicate which files to process
menu of your perl subs (menu does headers and named
anchors in HTML documents, similar handy things
in other languages)
user-configurable key bindings
convenient edit via ftp
also integrates well with other ftp clients
worksheets (hybrid of text document and unix shell)
find-differences and selectively apply changes in
handy DTD- and context-sensitive HTML markup tools
integration with ToolServer, SourceServer, CodeWarrior,
Dreamweaver Absoft Fortran, Mac OS X Developer Help,
your favorite shell, your favorite AppleScript editor,
your favorite everything.
So many useful features that every time I re-read the
manual, I find a new one which will benefit me.
If the above doesn't at least pique your curiosity, then maybe BBEdit isn't
for you. If you're interested, you can get a free 'crippleware' version of
the editor (BBEdit Lite) to get a little taste. The real thing is *so* much