By Jason Snell
May 11, 2018 3:33 PM PT
Last updated January 8, 2021
BBEdit turns 25 (or 26, who’s counting?)
Note: This story has not been updated since 2021.
Six years ago I was in a Berlin hotel room when I wrote about the 20th anniversary of the first release of BBEdit, the program I still use most often to write most of my stuff. Now it’s somehow time for the 25th anniversary of the app—or, more accurately, the 25th anniversary of the first commercial release of BBEdit, version 2.5. (The previous year Rich Siegel released a free version, which was the anniversary I was celebrating back in 2012.)
I probably started using BBEdit at MacUser in the mid-1990s, thanks to the influence of a “prince of insufficient light”, Stephan Somogyi. I’ve been using it ever since. At this point that means I’ve been a user for 88 percent of BBEdit’s lifetime, which may still make me a new user.
I’ve probably written millions of words using it. I’ve sorted and pattern-matched thousands more. It made the transition from Classic Mac OS to OS X, from 68000 to PowerPC to Intel, and kept winning awards and finding loyal customers along the way. Just the other day I found a souvenir from the astounding 10th anniversary of BBEdit—now itself a collectors item! In fact, I wrote most of this post in BBEdit 2 on an emulator on my iMac Pro, all thanks to me unearthing that CD. And coincidentally, I spent a couple of hours yesterday doing some heavy lifting of large text files—sorting, collating, and running grep search-and-replace operations—so I was already appreciating the versatility of BBEdit when the anniversary was pointed out to me.
Anyway, what I’m saying is that BBEdit keeps going strong.
If you appreciate articles like this one, support us by becoming a Six Colors subscriber. Subscribers get access to an exclusive podcast, members-only stories, and a special community.