Bluefish was started by Chris Mazuc and Olivier Sessink in 1997 to facilitate web development professionals on Linux desktop platforms. Bluefish has been developed ever since by a changing group of professional web developers under lead of Olivier Sessink. The project has had different names. The initial name Thtml editor was abandoned for being too cryptic. The following name Prosite was abandoned to avoid clashes with multiple web development companies that used this name in a commercial context in various countries. The name Bluefish was chosen after a logo (a child's drawing of a fish, in blue) was proposed on the mailing list. Since the 1.0 release the original logo was replaced with a new, more polished logo.
Bluefish uses GTK+ for its GUI widgets and is written in C. It does have a plugin API in C, but this has been mainly used to separate non-maintained parts (such as the infobrowser-plugin) from maintained parts. A few python plugins exist as well, but these need a C plugin to interact with the main program. Bluefish also supports very loosely coupled plugins: external scripts that read stdin and return their results via stdout can be configured by the user in the preferences panel. Bluefish uses autoconf/automake to configure and set-up the build environment, both llvm and gcc can be used to compile Bluefish. On Windows MingW is used to build the binaries.