BBEdit 8.5 Released

BBEdit 8.5 is now available. While lots of :scare: new :/scare: Mac users are coding away with TextMate, much of the :scare: old guard :/scare: is still faithfully using BBEdit. I get curious and have brief little affairs with TextMate every so often, but BBEdit feels so comfortable and natural to me I always come back home.

With this release, Bare Bones is attempting to address the 3 most common criticisms I hear from TextMate users:

  1. It’s too expensive. The price has been dropped from $199 to $125.
  2. It doesn’t look like a Mac (OS X) app. The toolbar as been redesiged and some functionality moved around to make it look more OS X-ish.
  3. No code folding. Code folding has been added, and works great.

Since I was never put off by these1, they run off me like water on a duck. However, I think it is great that Bare Bones is addressing these things and being responsive to customer feedback2.

The things I’m most excited about in this release:

  • Indented soft wrapping: Wrapped lines can now be indented to the window’s left margin, to the same level as the beginning of the line, or reverse indented.
  • Sub-line differences: When comparing files using Find Differences, BBEdit shows you the differences in words within each line of differences.

These 2 features alone are things that will affect me every day.

Don’t get me wrong – TextMate is a good product, and is pushing BBEdit to keep up in some areas (features, pizazz, etc.). By the same token, BBEdit is a mature and amazingly capable product and TextMate has a long way to go to catch it in a number of very important areas (find-replace, find differences, etc.). As a Mac user, I’m glad that both are available.

UPDATE: Read Michael Tsai’s notes.

  1. The cost? A trifle for the production I’ve gained with it over the years. I value efficient, clean interfaces over eye candy and I felt that BBEdit was always very efficient and clean. I don’t actually use code folding much – maybe I will now. [back]
  2. If BareBones takes these lessons and this attitude and applies them to an IMAP capable upgrade of MailSmith, I know they’d have a big hit on their hands. [back]