Be Good Not Bad by Brian Warren

26 May 2005

Back to BBEdit

There are so many good text editors for the Mac. TextMate, skEdit, SubEthaEdit, Smultron, and even Xcode. I’ve tried all these, but none of them really stuck with me. I keep going back to BBEdit.

I actually bought and used skEdit for awhile. It has an elegant site manager in it and intelligently allows you to browse your site directory. It also has a classy auto-complete feature for you as you’re typing CSS. That said, I decided to drop it as my main tool. I still use skEdit if I have a lot of CSS work I need to do.

I also keep an eye on TextMate. It seems like one of the more innovative tools of the bunch. It has a clever feature of being able to collapse parts of your code based on the structure of your page. For instance, you can hide everything that’s in your <head> tags or all the code in a particular <div>. Neat.

That said, BBEdit is faster and more powerful. It has the few things I found lacking in skEdit, though it does lack that CSS auto-complete feature. It also can do much more. The scripting capability is excellent, and it even supports Tiger’s new feature, Automator. You can use BBEdit to run custom scripts using a key combination, such as using a script to check the PHP syntax of the page you’re editing. I just tap a custom key combo (command+p, for the curious) and I get something like this:

PHP Error in BBEdit

And occasionally, I’ll get this one:

No PHP syntax errors detected.

And to be honest, after using BBEdit for many years now-since version 4 back in the old days-it just feels comfortable. I work faster there.

I still keep my eyes open for the better hammer. I enjoy trying new things. I’m glad there’s so much innovation going around.