Development software

TextWrangler aims to set the standard for text editors

Bare Bones Software announced at Macworld Expo last week several new features and enhancements to its consumer text editor, TextWrangler. Almost two years after first being introduced, the US$49 application also dropped in price -- by $49. The company decided to give away the new version to any Mac user that wants to go to the company's Web site and download it.

TextWrangler is based on Bare Bones Software better-known product BBEdit, a higher-end text and HTML editor. Although targeted to consumers that need a low-cost text editor, TextWrangler still enjoys some of the features of its BBEdit sibling like syntax coloring, a documents drawer, a navigation bar, SFTP support, the ability to apply BBEdit 8 Text Factories and more.

So why give away an otherwise successful product after just releasing a major update? Bare Bones Software said they wanted to raise the bar for other developers thinking of making a text editor.

"These overnight text editors don't reflect well on the genre or the platform," Bare Bones Software President Rich Siegel, told MacCentral. "We are raising the bar, elevating the standard."

With the latest update, TextWrangler more closely resembles BBEdit than ever before, but Siegel says he's not concerned about higher-end users opting for the free version instead of choosing to purchase BBEdit.

While TextWrangler's feature set is targeted to students, teachers and technical users, BBEdit is focused more toward the HTML professional and software engineer. "The people that really need BBEdit are going to buy it," said Siegel.

Users that purchased TextWrangler over the past two years could be upset that they spent $49 for a product that is now being given away at no cost. Siegel said that all of those people will be looked after as well -- an email will be sent to each registered user of TextWrangler with a coupon for $49 off anything at the Bare Bones Software online store.

"As a veteran Mac only developer we see it as our responsibility to do this," said Siegel.

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