Amazing Support from Bare Bones Software

I’m sharing this becasue support like this should be recongnized: Last Friday afternoon (July 01) I found that a recent update to BBEdit (my current favourite coding editor) introduced a bug that causes the editor to become unresponsive when editing string literals or comments in code files that have a custom syntax highlighting module applied. I confirmed this by taking their example module and adding in their suggested method of denoting string literals (basically the most stripped down module that I could make) and used it to repeatedly reproduce the bug.

I sent an email to Bare Bones describing the issue and included the minimal language module and then thought I’d be waiting for a while before the editor would be fully usable again. I was wrong. Within 15 minutues Rich Siegel had mailed me back acknowledging the issue and with a link to a pre-release version that fixed it.

That level of support is utterly amazing!


BBEdit. It doesn’t suck.


About BBEdit — slowly working through CS50, in an effort to finally start on my “coding” journey (contemplating starting a thread on MPU, documenting my experience).

It is (for reasons), kicking things off in VS Code.
When I know enough, plan to start using BBEdit, since I own it, but don’t really have a reason to use it.

Question: Given its (excellent) manual— is it simple enough to just start using, or would it be a better to have a crack at the manual first, so as to start using its features properly from the get-go?


Yes. It’s best to just start using it as a simple text editor, and then progressively enable more advanced features as you need them.


Very interesting read (including all the rest as well) — thank you. Will be sure to go back and read some more of your earlier posts.

1 Like

I’m currently spending some time away from Emacs and Vim and giving BBEdit a test run.

I mainly use if for Markdown and a bit of light coding.(not much…). I’m impressed enough to have bought it.

There are a few rough edges as a text inputter (typewriter scrolling is purely manual (use Ctl-L), and opt-backspace won’t delete space+words) but as a text editor, some of the features are on a par with Vim and Emacs and there’s no higher praise than that… :grinning:.

The main selling points for me are the text manipulation features: they are very extensive.

E.g. Take Regular Expressions. While I can use regular expressions (which they call ‘Grep’ expressions) comfortably in Vim for the basics, I’m not an advanced user by any means. BBEdit allows me to use advanced features more easily ‘out of the box’ without a lot of DuckDuckGoing first.

E.g. yesterday I wanted to manipulate regular text in 25 markdown files, each of which contains two separate markdown vocabulary tables (with common headers). I wanted to turn these tables into a single tab delimited text file which I could copy and paste into Memrise.

BBEdit made this really easy:

  1. Use the Multi-file search to match the tables (^\| (.*) \| (.*) \| (.*) \| ) in all 25 files at once.

  2. Press the ‘Extract’ button to copy all the matching lines to a new file (leaving the originals intact).

  3. Run another grep find and replace on the new file (’\1\t\2\t\3`) to turn it into a tab-delimited file, then sort the lines aphabetically.

  4. Copy and paste into Memrise.

I’m sure I could have done this in Vim, but I’d have had to look up a few things first, and I don’t think it would have been as intuitive as it was under BBEdit. An expert would have done it in seconds in Vim, no doubt, but I’m not an expert and I appreciated the visual handholding BBEdit provided.

I still think I’m only scratching the surface (and I’ll probably never need many of the features), but while I’m reading the manual at the moment, I didn’t need the manual to perform the workflow I described above. It was intuitive enough to work out as I went along.


1 Like

Nah, that’s what pipes, sed, and awk are for :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I’ve never got round to sed and awk, sadly, because mostly what I do is simple enough in Vim. One day, perhaps…

1 Like

“There’s more than one way to do it.”

1 Like

I was most definitely kidding there :slight_smile:

(I used to use awk in scripts (and still do for really simple stuff on-liners) but these days if I’m going down that route, I usually use python)

1 Like