Computerworld’s Scot Finnie has switched to Macs and OS X after years of using Windows. He’s presently going through the now-familiar pattern of trying out dozens of Mac apps to find the ones he likes.
Scot has begun drafting what he calls the “A-list of Mac software”, apps that he considers the best in each category.
His article makes for an interesting read. Some of the gripes he has with various apps (such as Mail lacking support for rules applied to outgoing messages) are well-known and perfectly valid. Others are a little more controversial. Here’s what Scott has to say about BBEdit:
It’s woefully inadequate for HTML editing. BBEdit is extremely powerful, but I’d rather use the Unix command line than its clunky, sometimes ridiculous user interface. BBEdit continues to be my primary text editor because it does things no other program does, but there’s no way this product is a useful HTML editor. Those of you who are using it that way, you’re using a tool akin to an iron maiden — it’s just painful. Give yourself a break and find something else.
Yeeeow. I’ve heard criticisms of BBEdit’s user interface in the past, but that is harsh. And I have a feeling that some of the many people who use BBEdit for HTML every day of their working lives may have something to say about it.
Weirdly, despite his low opinion of the app, it still appears on the current (March 2007) A-list on the final page of the article.
Ah, but wait - here’s one of BBEdit’s defenders hoving into view right now. It’s InformationWeek’s John C Welch, with his list of the Top 22 Mac apps. On BBEdit, John writes:
I don’t think it’s possible for me to get through a day without needing BBEdit … Yes, I know, again, I can replicate everything BBedit does with the command line, or other editors and tools. But for my needs, why bother when BBedit gives me everything I could ever need or want in one package? A recent UI design managed to do that which so many other applications have failed at: It made the UI not just better, but easier and simpler to use. BBEdit got me through every programming or HTML class I’ve ever taken, and the library of searches I’ve built up over the years gives me rather astounding power in a fast, easy package.
There. That balances things up a little bit.