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.