The BBEdit Trial: Month One

It has been over a month since I downloaded BBEdit for the first time and gave it a go as my editor-at-large. It has been a rather crazy month as I’ve been digging deeper and deeper into Plone as I build out a custom theme for Martin Luther College’s website, and it gave me a good chance to put BBEdit through its paces in how I would use it day-to-day.

After a month, I’m of two minds.

Good Mind

Good mind me likes the fact that BBEdit is at version 10, and I’ve already stated that in the past. In the month that I’ve been using it, it has already received an update, been released on the Mac App Store, been updated on the Mac App Store, and I’ve gotten support within a half-hour with the questions I’ve had.

Those are compelling features.

It has handled the number of files I’ve had in my projects very well, I like how it handles the “project drawer”, syntax coloring works well, and the application itself is snappy enough to use as an editor.

Overall, it has been a great editor … but …

Bad Mind

It’s a Carbon app, using old-style borders around the windows and it doesn’t look like a modern Mac application. Now, BBEdit has a deep and long history, and it carries that with it for better or worse. I’m not really going to ding it for that, but it is something to keep in mind.

Because it is a Carbon app, BBEdit is 32-bit only right now. Granted, TextMate is 32-bit only for now as well (along with having a RASH of other small issues), but it is something I was not expecting at first.

I also miss bundles. I know you can script a lot of things, but one of the small examples is creating lists in HTML files. I could type ‘ul’ and have TextMate fill in the tags for an unordered list with a single tab. I could then Command+Enter down to the next line and type “li” and have my first list item. It would great. That is just one example that I miss from TextMate Bundles.


So what am I going to do? Stick with TextMate? Continue on with BBEdit? Go to Vim!?

I don’t really know yet. I’m going to keep bouncing back and forth between TextMate and BBEdit for the time being and see how things go. I’m again thinking of giving Vim a long chance since the BBEdit experiment went well, but that will be for the future.

Overall, I like BBEdit a lot, but I keep holding onto the hope that TextMate 2 will be released within my son’s lifetime.