by Tonya Engst <email@example.com>
Bare Bones Software recently updated the commercial version of its popular text editor BBEdit to version 3.1.1 (see TidBITS-202 for a dated review of BBEdit). The new version has only a few improvements over those in earlier 3.x versions, but the nature of the improvements shows that Bare Bones Software constantly seeks to improve BBEdit.
In TidBITS-276, Adam wrote about Internet Config, an important Internet utility by Peter Lewis and Quinn that helps centralize your basic Internet information so other IC-savvy applications can automatically find it. Given that BBEdit is popular for HTML authoring (and is bundled with Apple's new Internet Servers), and given the popularity of the Internet among Macintosh users, it's great to see BBEdit now sporting an optional Internet menu that enables you to switch quickly to your designated Internet clients, including your news reader, email client, FTP client, Web browser, and Telnet client. You can also Command-click a URL that appears in a BBEdit document to launch or switch to the appropriate helper application and go to the resource specified in the URL. The Internet menu also enables you to view the current document in your designated Web browser, a feature that HTML authors may find handy.
BBEdit 3.1.1 also now works with Kodex, a utility that helps programmers print source code files with special formatting options. BBEdit also supports the QuickDraw GX printing architecture.
A demo version of BBEdit 3.1.1 is available, and it lets you to try all the new features, but you cannot Save, Save As, or Export, and printed output has a demo watermark.
You can also try BBEdit Lite, a lightweight, freeware version of BBEdit, though you won't see any of the new features in action.
Although BBEdit Lite is a credible product in its own right, if you're considering purchasing the $119 commercial version, check out BBEdit's pricing information file. Why? Because almost everyone should fit into one of their discount options, and the discounts are often substantial. Bare Bones Software also recently set up a deal with Baseline Publishing, where Baseline is offering users of Vantage (Baseline's text editor) a $69 upgrade to BBEdit.
BBEdit now comes on a nicely done CD-ROM, complete with online documentation, twenty or so contributed extensions (plug-in type modules that extend BBEdit's capabilities), and a number of additional goodies. If you don't have a CD-ROM drive or find that you want a printed manual, a disk-manual set is available for an additional $15 plus shipping and handling.