updated 11:30 pm EDT, Thu April 12, 2012
Rare milestone in competitive Mac marketplace
April 12th marks 20 years exactly since Bare Bones Software announced the first public release of BBEdit, its programmer-oriented text editor that was originally offered for free and ran on the Mac's System 6 and System 7 OS versions. Remarkably, the program is still the text editor of choice for many developers and web coders, with the same lead developer. The company has noted the occasion by releasing version 4.0 of BBEdit's "little brother," Text Wrangler.
The new version of the free Text Wrangler is a major upgrade for the general-purpose text editor, and brings switchable syntax color schemes, an all-new Preferences window and a new Setup window, new editing and disk browser window layouts, new support for Verilog and VHDL, and automatic preservation of open documents on relaunch. The program also now features a modeless "Open File by Name" feature with on-the-fly search results, improved filtering and automation interfaces, including a new ability to treat AppleScripts, Automator actions and UNIX scripts as equals for text filtering or as scripts.
In addition to the "auto restore" of open documents like some Lion programs do, version 4.0 also supports Lion's full-screen view and "any edge" window resizing. The new Setup window allows users to manage FTP/SFTP bookmarks, file filters, grep patters and various configurations. The preferences window has a new "Text Colors" option to create and manage different color schemes, for example between languages. A full list of changes can be found here.
TextWrangler 4 requires OS X 10.6 or higher and is free of charge from either the Mac App Store or the Bare Bones website. BBEdit is currently at version 10.1.1 and sells for $50. MacNN congratulates Bare Bones for its long and well-deserved success.