What do you do? Founder of Red Sweater Software. I am the programmer, designer, marketer, customer service representative, and flak-taker in chief for the company. I've been lucky to work for myself under the Red Sweater name for the past 10 years.
When did you start using BBEdit? This is a trick question designed to expose old people for their failing memories, isn't it? I suppose I should have kept proper notes. I remember learning about BBEdit at Apple in 1996, because one of the guys on my floor wore one of those "BBEdit, it doesn't suck" t-shirts that helped give the brand such a personality from the start. At some point shortly after, BBEdit started to steal some of my time from the typical editor I used at the time: Apple's Macintosh Programmer's Workshop (MPW).
What do you make? How does BBEdit help? I sell a number of Mac software titles including MarsEdit, a popular desktop blog editing app. I use Apple's Xcode for the majority of the programming itself, but BBEdit is always running, ready to handle a variety of tasks related to the app programming. In particular, I edit all of the HTML, PHP, and Python source files for my web site in BBEdit. The flexible code-formatting for a variety of formats makes BBEdit a winner here, especially for tricky things like Python where you want to e.g. preserve tabs as tabs or as spaces. Another feature of BBEdit that makes it particularly well-suited to editing web content is its built-in, reliable SFTP-based editing. It's not uncommon for me to open up the source files right on my server, make a few little edits, and save it back without ever having to touch a so-called FTP client. Not precisely pertinent to my use of BBEdit, but the app also has a significant impact on my customers. I support BBEdit as an "external editor" From MarsEdit, so customers who love BBEdit can jump over to do some power-editing, before previewing and finishing up the blogging-specific stuff in MarsEdit to publish. Finally there are a huge number of small "BBEdit can do it" tasks that I just know to jump into the app for. I often get XML network logs from customers having a hard time with MarsEdit. I'll pop it into BBEdit, use the XML Tidying feature to clean up the layout, or apply "Zap Gremlins" to find out whether there are any bogus characters lurking in the XML content. Another quick-and-dirty use case is for comparing snippets of text. For example, if I have two projects in Xcode, and one builds while the other doesn't, I'll copy all the build settings for each, paste into new documents in BBEdit, and "compare front two documents" to zero in on the differences.
What's your favorite project that BBEdit has helped bring to life? I think my use is more of the 'jack-of-all-trades' variety, not a superhero story.
Which feature is your favorite? When it comes down to it, the File Comparison feature is probably my favorite. I love the way BBEdit shows the differences, including at a character level within the difference clumps. And the fact that BBEdit makes it easy to change character encoding willy-nilly makes it easy to zero in on differences in files where other comparison tools might just throw their arms up and say "different encodings."