“It doesn’t suck.”

Is it possible to be excited about a text editor? Well… yes. When it’s good enough to be an essential tool for decades.

Back in 1994 when I was a junior in college and the web was emerging, I wanted to learn how to build web pages. The somewhat helpful person in the Gustavus computer store (why did I go there? I guess because I wasn’t taking any CS classes so I didn’t know any of the faculty) told me to download BBEdit, so I did. That didn’t help me to learn HTML, but it became the program I used to write it as I did learn.

I’ve dabbled with other apps over the years — including PageSpinner in 1996, at the recommendation of my boss at my first professional “webmaster” job*, and HomeSite in the brief period when I mainly worked on Windows 2000 — but guess which program is open on my Mac right now; which program I was busy writing code in moments before I read this Daring Fireball article.

* Yes, that really was my title. I gave up on PageSpinner and switched back to BBEdit shortly thereafter, because although I liked PageSpinner’s color coding (before BBEdit supported it, or at least before I figured out that it did), it bugged me endlessly that it used proportional fonts.