What do you do? Hello, my name is Peter N Lewis, and I am addicted to BBEdit. I've been using it for nearly twenty years now, and the longest dry spell I've managed was six weeks on my honeymoon. I founded Stairways Software in 1994 to publish my Mac products, and I'm still doing it today.
When did you start using BBEdit? I was definitely using BBEdit in 1993 - I can't really answer when I started using it, as I pretty much have always been using it.
What do you make? How does BBEdit help? I use BBEdit for pretty much all my text editing that isn't actually code in Xcode - all my web site, zillions of perl scripts, my documentation, plists, XML files. BBEdit's easy handling of arbitrary files (both size and type) and fantastic multi-file grep search & replace allow me to do whatever I need.
What's your favorite project that BBEdit has helped bring to life? Sadly, I am also addicted to writing Mac applications: Keyboard Maestro, Bookle and formerly Anarchie/Interarchy among a many others. I've used BBEdit in some manner to produce pretty much all of them.
Which feature is your favorite? One of the many wonderful things about BBEdit is how well it plays with other programs. I've used BBEdit as an external editor for my FTP program Anarchie/Interarchy, and more recently I added support in Keyboard Maestro to allow BBEdit's Text Factories (clever pre-built text processing actions) to be applied to the clipboard.
What do you do? I run Fetch Softworks
When did you start using BBEdit? I downloaded the 1.0 release, and I've had it on my Macs ever since.
What do you make? How does BBEdit help? I use BBEdit to write code, edit web pages, process tables of data, analyze log files, compare files, organize my work, keep a record of business processes, tweak blobs of text, and I'm sure other things too.
What's your favorite project that BBEdit has helped bring to life? A lot of Fetch's code was written in BBEdit, as was virtually all of fetchsoftworks.com. The features I use most for writing code are Compare Files, multi-file windows, SVN support, and the confidence BBEdit gives me that my code is safe. For web editing I love the live PHP preview.
Which feature is your favorite? It's difficult to name only one! I'd say the ability to use BBEdit as a remote editor for Fetch. Runners up include: Compare Files, the ability to preview a PHP website, Process lines containing..., Column editing, Multi-file windows, AppleScript support (if I need to mess with a text file from AppleScript, even just to add a line to the end, I do it with BBEdit), Worksheets
What do you do? Senior editor, Macworld.
When did you start using BBEdit? I don't recall the exact year, but I think it shipped on floppies. ;-) It was the early- or mid-90s.
What do you make? How does BBEdit help? These days, I use BBEdit mainly for writing articles. Despite its code-munging focus, it's the best tool for the way I write. From having multiple documents open in a single window, to code-syntax highlighting, to scores of tools for processing text, to AppleScript support, it helps me do my job faster and with less effort.
What's your favorite project that BBEdit has helped bring to life? I don't know about the most fun, but it's a good example of BBEdit being a better tool. Back in the late 90s, I was doing research and statistical work. The company I worked at had Windows desktops, but all the heavy number crunching was done on a Unix server. (We were working with massive U.S. Census data sets.) Everyone had to write their SAS programs in a text editor on their computer, then use an FTP client to upload each program to the server, then use a SAS client on their computer to run the program on the server. I got so frustrated with the horrible selection of text editors for Windows, and the multi-step process required every time I made the slightest change to a huge program, that I eventually brought my PowerBook into the office and used BBEdit. It was so much better than the text editors I'd found for Windows, and the built-in FTP functionality meant that I could save changes directly to the server. (Of course, it couldn't do anything about the fact that many of the programs took half an hour to run, only to fail at the end because I'd forgotten a semicolon...)
Which feature is your favorite? Sorry, I can't pick just one! I briefly mentioned some favorites above, but here's the longer answer:
What do you do? I'm a software engineer on the Web team at Twitter.
When did you start using BBEdit? 2011. I felt abandoned by not one but two other Mac text editors, and as my co-workers jumped ship to another new fad, I figured it was time to find a more reliable editor.
What's your favorite project that BBEdit has helped bring to life? Twitter.com
Which feature is your favorite? Open File By Name. It's magical. I don't know how we lived without it.
What do you do? Co-founder of An Event Apart; occasional consultant and trainer; and author and speaker about CSS, HTML, and web standards. I essentially work for myself, but I like to think I do it in service of the web community as well as for my own benefit.
When did you start using BBEdit? I don't even remember. I have the tan cardboard box and mounted manual from a copy of BBEdit 5.1 (released in 1999), which required Mac OS System 7.0 or later and 1.2MB of RAM and was "Accelerated for Power Macintosh," so at least that long. Though I suspect I was using it before then via a campus-licensed copy running off an application server at CWRU where I worked for several years.
What do you make? How does BBEdit help? I use BBEdit for almost everything textual that I generate: web pages, blog posts, test files, teaching examples, and general notes. The exceptions are email, which happens in my mail clients; and the books I write for print publishers, who generally require Microsoft Word files. O'Reilly is the notable exception there, but even they provide so much tool support for Word in the form of rich style palettes and pre-baked template files that I end up using Word for them too. Still, I use BBEdit to write all of the files for figures in my books and articles, and I almost always write articles for online publication in BBEdit, so BBEdit has long been, and remains, an essential part of my writing process.
What's your favorite project that BBEdit has helped bring to life? I'm particularly proud of the reports of the ALA Web Design Survey. Producing them requires a lot of work in Excel to get the numbers, but once the numbers are ready I just drag-select-copy in Excel, paste that straight into BBEdit (where they become tab-separated text), and then run some Text Factories via customized keyboard shortcuts to automatically convert the numbers into data tables with all the extra trimming necessary to have them display as charts. Before Text Factories, I had all these saved grep patterns I had to manually select and run, one by one. Madness!
Which feature is your favorite? Text factories are the bomb, for the reasons I just mentioned. I use factories along with custom scripts and other tools to help with writing blog entries for meyerweb and updating the web site for An Event Apart. Besides that, I love that BBEdit integrates smoothly with Transmit, so that I can have an SFTP interface to toss files back and forth but also double-click on any HTML or PHP or other text file to have it open in BBEdit, and then have it seamlessly post back to the server just by hitting Save.
What do you do? Principal Engineer, Qualcomm, Inc.
When did you start using BBEdit? Heck if I know. 1993, maybe?
What do you make? How does BBEdit help? Most of what I make is internal to Qualcomm, but I also contribute to several open source projects (www.boost.org and www.llvm.org), and I use BBEdit to edit/bludgeon into submission code, documentation, web pages, etc.
What's your favorite project that BBEdit has helped bring to life? I do all my source code editing in BBEdit, and make extensive use of shell windows. Also, exuberant ctags rocks! Other projects include most everything from Aladdin (Stuffit Expander/Deluxe, etc), Adobe Acrobat (specifically, the digital signature plugin), and large swathes of Eudora.
Which feature is your favorite? Shell worksheets. It's easy to say "the text editor" but after a while that fades into the background and you just expect that there's a rock solid high performance text editor there whenever you need it. Also the command-line tools.
What do you do? I write Daring Fireball.
When did you start using BBEdit? 1992, during my sophomore year in college. I even remember the first time I saw BBEdit. My friend Dave Garozzo had it running on his Mac IIci in his dorm room, and as soon as I saw it, I wanted it. I was studying computer science and was dying to replace Vi (via a terminal window) with a good native Mac editor.
What do you make? How does BBEdit help? On a daily basis, I use BBEdit for writing. But I also use it for everything from web design to programming. BBEdit helps me in numerous ways. I'd be lost without grep search. I've cobbled together a bunch of custom scripts -- both AppleScript and Unix shell filters -- that save me time and aggravation every day. BBEdit always feels fast and responsive, no matter how many files I have open, or how big they are. Perhaps most importantly, though, is that it is dependable. I can think of no better adjective for a tool.
What's your favorite project that BBEdit has helped bring to life? I've spent most of my professional career designing, building, and writing for websites, so I think I can honestly say I haven't made a single dollar in my adult life that didn't involve BBEdit to some degree. I even made use of BBEdit while doing print design work with QuarkXPress and InDesign -- to massage and tweak the contents of text files containing body copy before importing them. But I do have a favorite project. In 2004 I created Markdown, a text-to-HTML conversion tool that allows you to write in an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format and convert it to HTML. I crafted the syntax and programmed the reference implementation in Perl using BBEdit. My Perl script works as a BBEdit shell filter, so my development process worked like this: I'd have two windows open -- one, a text document written in Markdown format; the other, my in-development Markdown.pl script. I assigned a custom menu key shortcut to invoke the Markdown.pl filter. So, I could make changes in the script, switch to the other window, fire the keyboard shortcut, and see if it worked. Then I'd just hit Undo to revert the sample input back. Lather, rinse, repeat. In the years since, Markdown has proven to be far more popular than I ever could have imagined, and I'm quite proud of it. The reason it turned out so well, I think, is that I crafted the syntax rules iteratively. It was like finding my way through a maze -- I went down many wrong paths, tried out numerous ideas that struck me as good until I actually tried using them. The fact that BBEdit's Unix filter feature makes it so easy to test something like my Markdown.pl script is the only reason I had the patience to keep iterating, waiting until it felt great instead of merely just good.
Which feature is your favorite? It's hard to pick one, but I'll say Unix shell filters. It's only of historical interest now, but I still fondly recall that this feature came to BBEdit long before Mac OS X was a twinkle in Apple's eye. The classic Mac OS wasn't Unix-based, but there was an odd but lovable Mac port of Perl called MacPerl, and, of course, it worked swimmingly with BBEdit. Thus I was doing Unix-like text automation and manipulation long before the Mac actually was based on a Unix-like OS.
What do you do? President, Relium Corp. iOS & Mac Programming
When did you start using BBEdit? The first time was 1992 or 1993. More regularly since CodeWarrior's demise around 2004.
What do you make? How does BBEdit help? iOS and Mac applications and Web sites
What's your favorite project that BBEdit has helped bring to life? Our most recent projects are "Weather Underground" for Weather Underground and "BatterySense" for Philips. We used BBEdit when other tools we were using got too slow or annoying and when we needed better multi-file search & replace, especially during localization. It was also very useful to convert text file encodings, to fix our Xcode project files when they got corrupt, and to syntax check HTML files.
Which feature is your favorite? Speed would be #1. Followed closely by fast multi-file search & replace, with grep, along with keeping track of file sets and whole web sites, and filtering by file patterns.
What do you do? Founder of Red Sweater Software. I am the programmer, designer, marketer, customer service representative, and flak-taker in chief for the company. I've been lucky to work for myself under the Red Sweater name for the past 10 years.
When did you start using BBEdit? This is a trick question designed to expose old people for their failing memories, isn't it? I suppose I should have kept proper notes. I remember learning about BBEdit at Apple in 1996, because one of the guys on my floor wore one of those "BBEdit, it doesn't suck" t-shirts that helped give the brand such a personality from the start. At some point shortly after, BBEdit started to steal some of my time from the typical editor I used at the time: Apple's Macintosh Programmer's Workshop (MPW).
What do you make? How does BBEdit help? I sell a number of Mac software titles including MarsEdit, a popular desktop blog editing app. I use Apple's Xcode for the majority of the programming itself, but BBEdit is always running, ready to handle a variety of tasks related to the app programming. In particular, I edit all of the HTML, PHP, and Python source files for my web site in BBEdit. The flexible code-formatting for a variety of formats makes BBEdit a winner here, especially for tricky things like Python where you want to e.g. preserve tabs as tabs or as spaces. Another feature of BBEdit that makes it particularly well-suited to editing web content is its built-in, reliable SFTP-based editing. It's not uncommon for me to open up the source files right on my server, make a few little edits, and save it back without ever having to touch a so-called FTP client. Not precisely pertinent to my use of BBEdit, but the app also has a significant impact on my customers. I support BBEdit as an "external editor" From MarsEdit, so customers who love BBEdit can jump over to do some power-editing, before previewing and finishing up the blogging-specific stuff in MarsEdit to publish. Finally there are a huge number of small "BBEdit can do it" tasks that I just know to jump into the app for. I often get XML network logs from customers having a hard time with MarsEdit. I'll pop it into BBEdit, use the XML Tidying feature to clean up the layout, or apply "Zap Gremlins" to find out whether there are any bogus characters lurking in the XML content. Another quick-and-dirty use case is for comparing snippets of text. For example, if I have two projects in Xcode, and one builds while the other doesn't, I'll copy all the build settings for each, paste into new documents in BBEdit, and "compare front two documents" to zero in on the differences.
What's your favorite project that BBEdit has helped bring to life? I think my use is more of the 'jack-of-all-trades' variety, not a superhero story.
Which feature is your favorite? When it comes down to it, the File Comparison feature is probably my favorite. I love the way BBEdit shows the differences, including at a character level within the difference clumps. And the fact that BBEdit makes it easy to change character encoding willy-nilly makes it easy to zero in on differences in files where other comparison tools might just throw their arms up and say "different encodings."
What do you do? I'm a lead software developer at Brown University.
When did you start using BBEdit? I started using BBEdit in 1994 when it was at version 3.0.
What do you make? How does BBEdit help? My work requires me to edit files on a variety of servers, and BBEdit allows me to do that directly from my Mac, so that I have all the advantages of BBEdit even in other environments. When I'm writing code, I find many features in BBEdit valuable. The feature set is so extensive that I often use BBEdit for small projects instead of using an IDE.
What's your favorite project that BBEdit has helped bring to life? When I'm not actually compiling code, I use BBEdit to work on my tn3270 program for OS X. I use many features, but I find how BBEdit does file comparisons and BBEdit's search/replace capabilities especially useful.
Which feature is your favorite? It's difficult to pick a favorite feature, but I use "Open from FTP/SFTP Server" extensively. While it's a small thing, I also have to mention that the ability to include the new line character in search/replace is extremely valuable. Overall, what I like best about BBEdit is the wide range of features it offers, and how they all have been implemented with careful attention to making them truly useful.
What do you do? Founder of TLA Systems Ltd.
When did you start using BBEdit? Pretty sure it was around version 2.2, circa 1993. Before it was all about The Money for you guys at Bare Bones.
What do you make? How does BBEdit help? We make PCalc and DragThing - the former is coming up for its twentieth anniversary later this year too. But hey, we ported to iOS before you did. I always use BBEdit for 'stunt text editing' - any time I need to do something clever to a text file. It's almost always running on my machine.
What's your favorite project that BBEdit has helped bring to life? Well, aside from the aforementioned apps, I used BBEdit when working on the Mac OS X Finder and Dock back when I was at Apple. Shh, don't tell Avie.
Which feature is your favorite? Probably the Find & Replace dialog. Or "Process Lines Containing..."
What do you do? I'm the founder of The Loop.
When did you start using BBEdit? I started using BBEdit in 1994 when MacCentral first started and I've been using BBEdit every day since.
What do you make? How does BBEdit help? I first started using BBEdit to build the MacCentral Web site. At that time we were manually uploading pages to the FTP site, so I just started using it as my main writing tool as well. It seemed to make sense -- BBEdit could do everything a word processor could do and more. That's how the site was built and updated for the first six years. Now I use BBEdit to write all of my stories, work on CSS and other code for The Loop. It's no exaggeration when I say that BBEdit is the first app that gets installed on every Mac I've owned since 1994. It is indispensable in getting my job done.
What's your favorite project that BBEdit has helped bring to life? Since I use it for writing, I could say all of the stories I've written, but I think I'm most proud of The Loop. It's my latest venture and is the culmination of years of work that BBEdit has been a part of.
Which feature is your favorite? I don't often use the deep down coding features of the app. For me, the key to BBEdit is that it can do anything and everything. I can download a file from the site, edit it and upload it easily and painlessly. At the same time, I can be researching a story, taking notes, doing an interview or writing a story and never leave BBEdit. That's why it has to be on my computer. I use it for everything.
What do you do? I'm a computer book author, most recently about EPUB and ebooks but also about HTML, CSS, Perl and CGI, XML, Blogger and iPhoto. Until 2010, all of my books were published by Peachpit Press. Since then, I've been experimenting with self-publishing under the imprint Cookwood Press.
When did you start using BBEdit? I feel like I've been using BBEdit forever. I know we talked about it in The Macintosh Bible, 5th Ed (1993). I probably first starting using BBEdit in earnest in 1995 while writing the very first edition of my book on HTML. I found BBEdit so helpful that I recommended it to all my readers.
What do you make? How does BBEdit help? I make web pages and ebooks and BBEdit is an essential tool in the creation of both. BBEdit's tag coloring, GREP commands, compare features, mastery of character encodings, DOCTYPES, previewing, and more, all make my job a lot easier.
What's your favorite project that BBEdit has helped bring to life? I developed all the code examples of each of the seven editions of my “HTML Visual QuickStart” book with the help of BBEdit. I used BBEdit's syntax checker constantly to help proofread the code and make sure I wasn't passing on silly typos to my readers. BBEdit proved invaluable in my “EPUB Straight to the Point” book. Because ereader support of EPUB is so variable, using BBEdit's Compare Documents feature helps figure out what exactly is different between a working EPUB and one that isn't.
Which feature is your favorite? Probably my favorite feature of BBEdit are the GREP commands in Find and Replace. I love figuring out how to search for very specific strings, and then replace them with a new configuration of original and modified data. It's very powerful. But better than that, it's fun.
What do you do? I write science fiction novels. People pay me to do this; I'm not sure why.
When did you start using BBEdit? I first met BBEdit in, I think, 1993 -- a very early release (3.x, I think) running on MacOS 7.0 on a Macintosh LC I acquired second-hand. At that time I was working with UNIX systems; vi was my preferred editor on that platform. Shortly thereafter I discovered another Mac text editor -- Pete Keleher's Alpha -- which I preferred, but Alpha is long since dead while BBEdit seems to grow more powerful and all-encompassing with every passing year.
What do you make? How does BBEdit help? I write books. Alas, I don't usually use a text editor to do this any more -- my publishers all went to electronic workflow some time ago and for them, "electronic workflow" means Word documents and PDF files. BBEdit gets used for the unavoidable bits and pieces for which I need a text editor these days.
What's your favorite project that BBEdit has helped bring to life? Collaborating on a novel (The Rapture of the Nerds) with Cory Doctorow; it's due out this coming September. I think the most sophisticated feature I used was syntax colourisation for Markdown text; when you're just adding raw material to a single long text file there's not much call for sophistication!
Which feature is your favorite? Not sure. Editing text?
What do you do? Engineering manager at Twitter. I used to be a real engineer here who wrote code and stuff. Now most of my hands-on programming is on the side. At the moment I'm into the Arduino platform.
When did you start using BBEdit? Oh gosh. I have no idea -- forever ago! Definitely pre-OS X, anyway. Maybe the System 6 or 7 days?
What do you make? How does BBEdit help? My team builds and maintains Twitter's API and infrastructure. BBEdit gives me the best tools and the least hassle for working on our Rails stack. It's a rare combination of fast and full-featured.
What's your favorite project that BBEdit has helped bring to life? The Twitter API is certainly the biggest and most well-known, but my personal favorite project that I built with BBEdit is SkyNav, an aeronautical navigation app that I wrote for Palm OS years ago.
Which feature is your favorite? My all-time favorite BBEdit feature is its find-and-replace panel. It's flexible, the regex support is awesome, the multi-file search is great, and most importantly it's fast as hell. For me, good search is a must in any editor, and BBEdit's really stands out.
What do you do? I'm a Mac IT guy and Web/Media Project Manager and I used to play one on TV as Director of Technology/R&D at WGBH Interactive for more than 10 years. Now I do those same sorts of things for clients of all kinds at 89 System.
When did you start using BBEdit? I first started using BBEdit on my then-room-mate's Mac IIci before we had that newfangled System 7 so many of the yoots were spoiled on. We had to MultiFinder our way to school. Uphill, both ways. BBEdit was (and still is) a core utility for all things Mac from the text processing it was explicitly designed for to the opening the un-openable and inspecting the contents of the unnerving (logs, other files that raise a security concern).
What do you make? How does BBEdit help? BBEdit is basically open on my Macs at all times. Editing files on remote servers via SFTP in Fetch, serving as my drafting and note taking tool and making it possible for me to do fairly complex automated munging of text without writing custom code. Basically, unless somebody else insists on formatted text, if I write, it's in BBEdit and my drafts almost always are. Much easier to write in BBEdit and then paste into an application that does styled text and apply formatting after composition.
What's your favorite project that BBEdit has helped bring to life? Before it was possible (and in some ways it's still not) to have huge (multi-thousand page) web content sites at PBS entirely in a CMS, the team built incredible automated publication workflows in MacPerl and BBEdit. The men and women on that team did amazing things with what was, at the time, a far more limited universe of options for large scale web development and delivery. We relied on BBEdit. Tens, hundreds of thousands of pages of highly designed and meaningful content all moving through BBEdit.
Which feature is your favorite? Multi-file search and replace is a the feature I use most often. For so many mundane tasks, it makes for a huge time saver and not even remotely only for "code" projects either. As for a favorite feature, I'd say syntax coloring. I'm not a coder by trade but I do have to look at and try to understand at least the basic structure of code for a lot of disparate projects. Because I am not a coder and because of the way I process text visually, syntax coloring makes an enormous difference to me in my ability to get a basic understanding of and, when absolutely necessary, modify what I see. Syntax coloring acts like an accessibility feature for me and it's crucial.
What do you do? I run iMore.
When did you start using BBEdit? When I first started blogging in 2008, I downloaded TextWrangler at the suggestion of a friend. I liked it so much I bought BBEdit in a matter of days.
What do you make? How does BBEdit help? I write articles about iPhones, iPads, and Macs. For anything longer than a few paragraphs, I write in BBEdit. It's clean, it's crisp, and it's fast. The company I work for is all-in on Google Docs, but when I throw a 20,000 word iOS firmware review in there, it grinds to an ugly halt. BBEdit has never once so much as flinched, no matter what I've thrown at it.
What's your favorite project that BBEdit has helped bring to life? iMore! I've done thousands of articles and millions of words over the years, and all the significant ones have been written in BBEdit.
Which feature is your favorite? The performance. I'm a little embarrassed to say I probably use less than 1% of all the functionality jam-packed into BBEdit, but I've never once had a slow down and never once lost any work. And that's invaluable to me.
What do you do? I'm a web developer and freelance technology writer.
When did you start using BBEdit? I think I started using it around 1993, but it may have been even earlier thanks to some floppy disks I got from a Mac user group meeting.
What's your favorite project that BBEdit has helped bring to life? Every day at every real job I've had from the day I graduated school, I've been in front of a Mac typing text and code into BBEdit. The same goes for any programming or writing project I've done at home. So if there's anything cool, important, or fun I've ever done in my life (a Mac OS X review for Ars Technica, a Perl module on CPAN, a small Unix utility) it was done with BBEdit. And I'm writing this in BBEdit right now, of course.
Which feature is your favorite? My all-time favorite feature is probably single- and multi-file search and replace using regular expressions. There are text editors that expose the full power of regular expressions to users, and there are text editors that provide a nice user interface for initiating searches and seeing the results. BBEdit is rare in that it provides both, and has done so for years. An honorable mention goes to the Process Lines and Sort Lines family of features, which are closely related to search. Thanks to these features and a set of custom key bindings, I can process text faster with BBEdit than I can using pipelined Unix command-line tools. Coming from a longtime Unix nerd like me, that's high praise.
What do you do? I started off as a research psychoanalyst. Then I added 'author' and 'publisher' with the publication of my book called the Guide To Getting It On, which ended up being used in a lot of college sex-ed courses. The 7th edition is being hatched in a few months. And this past year I added 'radio host' with a daily feature I'm doing called '90 Seconds on Sex.'
When did you start using BBEdit? I believe the pterodactyls were flying into the sunset when I got my first BBEdit disc. (We didn't have downloads in those days. Seriously, it was all dial-up. And you tried to squeeze every single kB out of every image so it only took ten seconds for each page to load.)
What do you make? How does BBEdit help? I am the author of a book on sex. BBEdit has been incredibly helpful in making this possible. All I've needed to say is 'I love BBEdit!' and women immediately swoon and start to take off their clothes.
What's your favorite project that BBEdit has helped bring to life? Given that I'm a total loser when it comes to writing code, the mere fact that I'm opening BBEdit means I'm somewhat anxious. But somehow, some way, BBEdit has always gotten me through.
Which feature is your favorite? I've always liked the way it makes HTML show up in different colors. One feature I've always longed for would be a special key I could hit when I'm particularly frustrated that would instantly generate a special condolence or words of wisdom from Rich Siegel.