Favorite text editors update

I enjoyed the conversation on the latest ATP about text editors. Lots of deservedly good praise for BBEdit. I’m sure the hosts have gotten feedback about this already from listeners, but surprised there was no mention of Panic’s Nova.

Feels like a good time to give an update on what text editors I’m using these days.

Xcode: This is obviously still the only reasonable way to go for Mac development. In the last few weeks I’ve shipped some updates to Micro.blog for macOS. Always fun to fire up Xcode, hammer out a feature, and ship it without much fuss. A couple things seem slower than they used to be, like debugging and auto-complete, but otherwise no complaints.

Nova: This is my go-to text editor for web projects now. Ruby for the Micro.blog web platform, JavaScript for the React Native app. Nova is arguably the most modern, native Mac text editor, and regularly updated. Lots of depth and I haven’t even scratched the surface with extensions.

Ulysses: This is essentially my note-taking app. I sync to a Dropbox folder with thousands of little text files. I prefer Dropbox instead of iCloud so I can edit more easily in any app, with backups and restoring old versions. I put draft blog posts here, notes about projects, upcoming trips, and anything that isn’t code-related.

BBEdit: This is for everything else. Looking at JSON and XML. Processing large text files, find-and-replace, grep. As a quick scratchpad for code or notes that I’m going to throw away. I haven’t totally customized it like John Siracusa, but I do have a couple shortcuts and scripts that I depend on. Rock-solid app that has withstood the test of time.

Manton Reece @manton