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Getting Ready to Declare Brackets 1.0

It’s been almost 3 years since the first commit for Brackets landed. In that time we’ve gone from a small project to one of the most popular repositories on GitHub and what we think is the best code editor for web designers and front end developers. We’re excited to see that a lot of you agree! We’ve had 240 contributors over that time, each new release gets over 100,000 downloads, and our extension registry contains 439 extensions and 75 themes. Most of those have been created by you and have helped make Brackets a fantastic tool. Thanks!

Over the past three years the team and community have worked on a combination of “core” editor features as well as innovative features for web development like Live Preview and Quick Edit. We all love innovative features, but a good code editor needs to have a solid foundation too. We think we’ve now got a great balance of both and want to make it clear that Brackets is a tool that you can use for every day work.

As a symbol of that, we’re going to be declaring the next release, which will be our 45th, the 1.0 release of Brackets. We’ll be pushing that release live at the Future of Web Design in NYC in November.

The Future of Brackets

With Brackets hitting 1.0, we’re still committed to releasing every 3-4 weeks and adding great features. There are still things we want to do in terms of core features, but going forward we want to spend the majority of our time adding innovative features for web designers and front end developers.

After releasing 1.0, the core Adobe team is also going to slightly change what kinds of innovative features we focus on. We think that Brackets is a great editor for all kinds of web development and extensions help support a variety of languages and general web features. So post-1.0, the Adobe developers are going to be more focused on features that support design-oriented coding tasks. As a team we’ve been looking at how we can use our expertise at Adobe to give users a great code editing experience. One area we’ve identified is an unmet need for a coding tool that supports design. We think a lot of front end developers and web designers are doing work to implement designs and the core team wants to build the perfect editor for them. Some of the early feature ideas are about improving preprocessor workflows, making SVG editing more powerful, and adding more visual inline editors.

We will of course continue to maintain the core code base as well as implement important core features. We are also committed to supporting the the extension ecosystem so it will always be a great general purpose editor for the web. But we’re particularly excited about the prospect of making Brackets the best code editor for doing design-oriented coding with
CSS, HTML, and JS.

Thank You

We couldn’t have hit 1.0 without our community. It’s been a lot of fun to work with all of you and see the Brackets project grow. The entire team is humbled by how many of you are using it and the time you take to contribute code, file issues, and write extensions. It’s a pleasure to be a part of the Brackets community and we’re all looking forward to continuing to work with you to grow and evolve Brackets.

The entire Brackets team will be at Future of Web Design, so if you’re there, come by. We’ll be at the Adobe booth and would love to get your feedback and hear about your experiences with Brackets.

– The Brackets Team

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Brackets 0.44 Release: Split View

Split view has been one of our most requested features for Brackets and with Release 0.44 it’s finally landed. In this release we’ve also overhauled the file tree which should make it more robust. You can see the full list of enhancements here and grab the release here.

Split View

With release 0.44 you can now view two documents side-by-side in either horizontal view or vertical view. To enable split view, use the splitview-icon icon and then decide between a vertical split or a horizontal split. Then select the panel you want to open the file in and double-click the file to open it in that pane. You’ll now see two working sets, one for each pane.

split-view

File Tree Enhancements

We rewrote our file tree to use React which will make it much easier to maintain going forward. During the upgrade we also fixed an issue that wouldn’t let users right-click on files that Brackets doesn’t support.

Quick Docs for Prefixes and other CSS Fixes

As of this release you can now use Quick Docs when you’re on a browser-prefixed CSS property. We’ve also fixed two important issues with editing CSS code: one where Brackets stopped working when using Live Preview if you placed your cursor on a non-indented } character inside a comment, and one where the inline editor was blank if your CSS rule contained a vendor-prefixed property that used rgb() color values.

The entire team is excited about this release. We hope you enjoy split view as well as all the other features and fixes that went into this release. And as always, we appreciate those of you who have contributed translations and fixes this release. Here’s the complete list:

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Brackets 0.43 Release

The team has been busy polishing the exterior of Brackets for our upcoming Max release so we’re packing some of Brackets’ existing features with a little extra love in this release.

SCSS/LESS support

Remember when the Quick Edit and Quick Find Definition features were first introduced but they didn’t work for your SCSS or LESS files? Well now they do. Any selector, even the ampersand Selector, can be located using Quick Find and any class, ID or tag selector can be targeted for QuickEdit in SCSS/LESS files.

And that’s not all—mousing over rules declared in SCSS or LESS files will highlight their usage in the browser when using the Live Preview feature. Editing rules, however, will still require that your source file be recompiled. May we suggest the LESS AutoCompile Extension or the brackets-sass extension to automatically recompile them on save?

Extra Dark Theme

Our Dark Theme has spread to make more of Brackets UI dark. Now, when you choose the Dark Theme, you’ll notice the status bar, context menus, dialogs, etc… are styled to match the rest of the UI. Custom Theme Authors can designate their theme to use the Dark or Light UI for the Brackets components which Themes Extensions cannot style.

Brackets After Dark

Themes Tab

The overwhelming popularity of custom themes support exploded our Extensions Manager dialog so Brackets committer Miguel Castillo took it upon himself to do something about it by creating a “Themes” tab.

This makes it easier to find a great theme from the vast array of Custom Themes already added to the registry and new ones being added daily.

Extension Manager Themes Tab

Find UI Improvements

We added a “Find Index” hint to the Find Bar.

Find 1 of 12

This helps to show where you are in the file so you know when you’ve wrapped back around to the beginning.

This is extremely useful for the Replace feature as it shows how many replacements are remaining.

Default Language Switcher

Language Support

The “Language Switcher” (that thing on the status bar that allows you to change the language starting in Release 0.42) could be used to change any document’s language. With Release 0.43, we’ve added the ability to save that setting for all files for the current file’s type.

 

Community Contributions

Brackets wouldn’t be where it is today without its many contributors from around the world. Thank you!

Extras

The Brackets team has updated the wiki article on working with multiple selections to include changes to how Multiple Selections are Pasted. Check it out and let us know how it helps you improve your productivity!

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Brackets Weekly Episode 10

If you have trouble watching the video below, make sure you have Flash enabled for www.ccv.adobe.com.

Covered this week:

Keep up with Brackets Weekly and new releases of Brackets via the low-traffic brackets-announce mailing list.

1 Response


Welcome New Brackets Committer Miguel Castillo

I’m very excited to be able to publicly welcome Miguel Castillo as the newest Brackets committer. Miguel is responsible for some fantastic Brackets extensions including Interactive Linter, Whitespace Sanitizer, Tomcat Manager, and of course Themes. It’s this last one that has had the biggest impact on Brackets as Miguel recently worked with the other committers to bring his extension into core so we could ship themes as a default feature in Brackets.

It was a huge undertaking and involved a lot of tireless effort on the part of Miguel to refactor his code to fit in with the other core features. But it’s also had a huge impact. Themes was one of the most requested features in the Brackets backlog and since releasing themes in Release 42 we’ve seen lots of themes uploaded to the extension registry.

I asked Miguel to write up a little bit about himself:

My early days were in C++ and Java building headless browsers to enable load testing of web platforms, then moved on to C# and WPF which ended up molding some of the current practices I like to follow.  Eventually, I found my way to building large scale web applications with JavaScript et all.  Since my move to JavaScript, I started my endless search for an editor that was for the Web, which eventually led me to Brackets.  Its extensibility and community has captivated me.

Currently, I am a software developer at Symphono. My focus is on web technologies where I get to work on cool stuff like WebRTC and D3 goodness, among others.

I love Open Source, Beer, and most of all, my family.

If you want to see what he’s up to or give him a congratulations shout-out, you can find him on Github and Twitter.

This brings the total number of community committers on Brackets to 8. We’re looking forward to adding more!

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Brackets Weekly Episode 9

If you have trouble watching the video below, make sure you have Flash enabled for www.ccv.adobe.com.

Covered this week:

Keep up with Brackets Weekly and new releases of Brackets via the low-traffic brackets-announce mailing list.

3 Responses


Brackets Weekly Episode 8

If you have trouble watching the video below, make sure you have Flash enabled for www.ccv.adobe.com.

Covered this week:

Keep up with Brackets Weekly and new releases of Brackets via the low-traffic brackets-announce mailing list.

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Brackets 0.42 Release (Themes!)

I’m really excited to introduce the 0.42 release of Brackets which includes support for themes as well as a few other significant features including file-mode switching and numerous community features. This is a big release for us!

Themes

We are particularly proud of the themes feature because it’s one of the biggest collaborations yet between the community and our team. In this case we worked very closely with Miguel Castillo to add his very popular Brackets-Themes extension into core. Miguel put in many, many hours working with the team to make this happen. He had to do quite a bit of work to refactor the original extension so it would fit the style of core code and be able to load themes as extensions. Huge thank you to both Miguel and all the community members who provided feedback.

This initial release not only lets you choose themes to change the code editor surface, but you can also change the default font and the font size. All of this can be done by going to the View > Themes… menu in Brackets. We currently ship with two default themes, the normal light theme that we’ve had as well as a beautiful new dark theme done by our designer, Larz.

themes-feature-screenshot

Themes install just like extensions, so to get new themes, you can use the Extension Manager. There are already a number of themes that are up on the extension registry. Long term we want to separate these themes into their own tab, but for now you can search for “theme” and you’ll see a bunch of new themes you can install and use. There’s also a GitHub organization for Brackets theme developers which has the repositories for a number of themes all in one place. If you’re interested in creating your own themes and publishing them, we’ve got a Creating Themes document on the Brackets wiki that will get you started.

Switch Language Mode/Syntax Definition of a File

We also added the ability to switch the language mode and syntax definition of a file. To use this feature, click the file extension in the bottom status bar. You’ll now see a list of all the different language modes that Brackets supports. You can select one and you’ll now get syntax highlighting for that file as well as any other rules that apply to it.

syntax-highlighting

Other Changes

Replace in Files: The headings for each file include a checkbox for quickly including or excluding all matches in the file.

Extension Manager enhancements: The Extension Manager now shows the list of languages that an extension has been translated for. You can also install a local .zip file containing an extension by dragging and dropping it into the Extension Manager dialog.

JavaScript code hints: There were a couple of bug fixes that addressed an issue where some files would cause Brackets to hang or crash when using JavaScript hints that we fixed in the last release. In this release we now provide a notification in the cases when that happens. When the notification pops up the file will now automatically be added to the jscodehints.detectedExclusions preference so it will ignore these files in the future.

New translations: Brackets has been translated into Traditional Chinese as well as Galician!

You can see the full list of changes as well as specific pull requests on the Release Notes.

Community Contributions

Again, a huge thanks to Miguel Castillo and all of the community members who helped add themes to core. It was one of our most substantial community contributions to date and it’s a huge feature for Brackets.

There were a number of other community contributions this release including:

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Love what you create

I love what you create

My name is Peter Thiess and I’m the engineering manager of the Brackets core team and a few related initiatives here at Adobe. After more than a decade developing proprietary software, it’s my pleasure to work on a project like Brackets and really exciting that Adobe has invested in this open source project.
Ever since I worked with tools like KDevelop and Subversion, or libraries like curl, the passion and dedication of Open Source contributors like Daniel Stenberg, have encouraged me to believe that there is a humble and humane force behind coding. Open Source is social coding and has always been, but it never felt as close as with Github; respect — you guys changed the world, yeah!

Individuals like Marijn Haverbeke or Tomás Malbrán have gained my deepest respect while working on Brackets. In addition, every single contributor to Brackets thrills and motivates me and my team every day. Not that one needs a lot of additional motivation to work on Brackets. It’s a real honor and a lot of fun to work with such smart engineers and an astonishing community. I love what you create! more

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Brackets Weekly Episode 7

If you have trouble watching the video below, make sure you have Flash enabled for www.ccv.adobe.com.

Covered this week:

Keep up with Brackets Weekly via the low-traffic brackets-announce mailing list.

2 Responses