Adobe Brackets is a Great Editor for Web Development

Adobe Brackets is one of a few web development editors that in the last year or so that gives the leading web development editor Sublime Text a run for its money. Adobe sponsors the development of Adobe Brackets which actually doubles as Edge Code, part of the Adobe Creative Cloud. While Sublime Text is closed source and costs $70, Brackets is free and also open source, so anyone can participate and learn node.js programming in the meantime. It can be used on any one of the three major operating systems: GNU/Linux, Windows, and Mac OS and has been localized in a few languages. Brackets is currently on their 38th sprint, with a sprint being an agile way of releasing a product every few weeks. Previous reviews have mentioned that a lack of a few key features that Sublime Text has is the show stopper for would-be converts from Sublime to Brackets. Take a look at the latest release notes for the version about to be released:

The “multiple cursors” feature has been added. The asynchronous linting feature means that I can have my code validated for the languages that I use everyday as a full stack developer such as PHP and Javascript without having to reload the page.

There is a feature similar to Sublime Text’s “go to anything” feature, as well a feature which hides the navigation bar, keeping the interface free from distractions.

Brackets, similar to Sublime Text, has an extensive community of plugin developers, so spending around fifteen minutes trying out a few of them is definitely worth it.

One great plugin that I totally love provides git integration. The “live diff” feature changes the color of the left side border of the editor so that I can see which lines were changed, especially inadvertently. At any time, changes can be undone, reverting to the last version from git.

I use a few interesting plugins:

    • The “language switcher” is useful when I’m editing a file that contains a lot of javascript but has a PHP extension.
    • Lintyai extension provides realtime syntax checking and linting for PHP, CSS, etc.
    • The “strip trailing spaces” feature is useful for keeping code really clean.
    • Emmet, which was previous known as Zen coding is awesome for turning tr>td*3 into a table row with three columns for example.
    • “Themes” allows me to change the background and highlighting to ease eye strain.

Brackets has come a long way, and there is more to come. While nobody knows how long Adobe will continue sponsoring the development of Brackets, surely it will live on as a great Github hosted project with a lively community.

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