BBEdit 10

Aug. 10th, 2011 01:14 pm
kareila: "Mom, I'm hungry." "Hush, I'm coding. You ate yesterday." (coding)
[personal profile] kareila posting in [community profile] macapps
When I was employed full-time, I was upgrading with every major release, but I stuck with BBEdit 8.7 and skipped the entire version 9 series. So this is quite a jump for me. In order to install it, I had to finally upgrade my laptop to Snow Leopard first, which was a whole other thing - you can read there if the details interest you!

Requirements: Mac OS 10.6.8 or greater; Intel hardware only.

Pricing: Cheaper for new users! When I last recommended BBEdit two years ago, commercial pricing was $125 and edu/upgrade pricing hovered around $40-50. With this release, retail price is now $50 and upgrade price is $40; until October 19, 2011, the $40 price is available for new purchases as well. The price is the same whether you purchase the application via the Mac App Store or through the BBEdit website.

I decided to purchase via the App Store, so that I could more easily manage upgrades and licensing on multiple machines. However, there is one important caveat that I didn't realize ahead of time: due to Apple's restrictions, the version of BBEdit sold through the App Store does not support authenticated saves. I recall having used this feature occasionally in the past when editing system configuration files. I probably won't miss it (there's always sudo emacs), but I would have appreciated being aware of the difference ahead of time. The App Store version also requires that the command line utilities be downloaded and installed separately.

(It looks like version 10.0.1 just dropped while I was looking up page links for the above paragraph. Bugfixes only; I'm downloading that now.)

New Features: The primary change I'm excited about is the updated interface for managing open files, and the ability to automatically reopen whichever files were still open when the application was last quit. (I know, all apps are doing that in Lion, but I've wanted it for BBEdit specifically for a while.)

I had to make an immediate visit to the program preferences to reset my preferred font to Monaco 9, but all of my color choices were intact. The preferences have been greatly simplified, and I found a couple of new ones under "Text Files": "Ensure file ends with line break" and "Strip trailing whitespace" will catch formatting mistakes that frequently slip through code quality checks. I noticed that underlining of misspelled words is now enabled by default; I may decide to turn it off later if it distracts me too much.

Also new in this release is support for storing the "Library/Application Support/BBEdit" folder in Dropbox, which will sync preferences and other support files across multiple machines. I expect I will be taking advantage of this feature; I don't change my prefs often, but when I do, I want the change reflected everywhere.

I know the Find/Replace dialog changed significantly in version 9, and I haven't fully explored that yet; the older interface was definitely quirky, but I was used to it. Specifically, I will miss the checkboxes and keyboard shortcuts for "Find From Top" and "Find Backwards" - I used those all the time, and they appear to have been removed. Grep matching is still available as a checkbox, but the keyboard shortcut for toggling it on and off has been removed as well. (ETA: not removed; changed from Cmd-G to Ctrl-Shift-G. Find Next is Cmd-G; Find Previous is Cmd-Shift-G, replacing Find Backwards.)

Another surprise is that if you close a window and then open a new one, the new window doesn't preserve the aspects of the previous window. There is a special command under the Window menu ("Save Default Project Window") that forces you to do this state-capturing manually.

There is an additional command line utility, bbfind, that may have debuted in version 9 but is new to me. I expect this will be much easier for me to use than the standard Unix find command. The manual page claims that the command summary is "OMG PNOIES" which amuses me to no end.

In short, I've found a few surprises, but it's still fundamentally the same BBEdit I know and love with some welcome improvements.
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