Once upon a time, Bare Bones Software, makers of BBEdit, ruled the Mac text editor world. They had a free version, BBEdit Lite, which hooked you in, and then you’d get so used to it, you’d pay mucho buckos to get their pay version with added extra features.

Eventually they looked around at all the people using BBEdit Lite and realized, “we’re not getting money from these people! We must eliminate BBEdit Lite and only let people use BBEdit, which costs three digits of dollars. Then we will be rich, and the mooching will stop.”

They found that people were not willing to go from “free” to “three digits of dollars,” so they added TextWrangler, a chopped down wussified version of BBEdit which was only in the mid two digits of dollars.

However, people also weren’t interested in something which was both “wussified” and “two digits of dollars.” So the ones who weren’t willing to go with the three digits started looking elsewhere, because it turned out other developers were working on modestly-two-digit-priced text editors which weren’t deliberately wussified, substandard versions of a better editor. SubEthaEdit, TextMate, and others.

Finally Bare Bones Software achieved enlightenment, and they started giving away TextWrangler for free and adding some features to it, thus returning things to the way they were when BareBones was king.

And there was peace in the land.

TextWrangler rocks.

4 thoughts on “TextWrangler”

  1. I’m sure BBEdit is great and all, but JEdit (www.jedit.org) pretty much rocks. Of course prior to installing JEdit, I had no idea why anyone could get so excited about a text editor – so maybe BBEdit is ever-so-much-more-so. What does BBEdit do that is so amazing?

  2. Haven’t tried Jedit, so for all I know Jedit kicks TextWrangler’s ass.

    Emacs is the ultimate programmer’s text editor, the only thing not to like about Emacs is that it integrates so poorly into the OS X interface. I judge other text editors by how many Emacs features that matter to me that they have.

    So far TextWrangler has “view the same document in two different windows viewing two different areas of it,” “jump to a line number,” “fill paragraphs of text up to N columns with linebreaks at the end,” “incremental search.”

    It doesn’t have “indent text intelligently according to the rules of the programming language,” but I don’t really expect that from anything less than Emacs. It does do syntax highlighting, but that’s fairly weak in comparison to Emacs’s magic indentation.

    Oh, it does have a neat “tell me what function I’m in right now” thing when it edits Perl.

    I’ll have to give jEdit a spin.

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