Brackets (text editor)
|Initial release||4 November 2014|
1.14.2 / April 5, 2020
|Preview release||1.14 preview 1 (April 15, 2019)|
|Operating system||macOS, Windows and Linux|
|Available in||38 languages|
|Type||Source code editor|
Adobe first started development of a text editor for web development on Edge Code, which was discontinued as of November 2014. This effort was later transformed into Adobe Brackets. With the release of Brackets 1.0, Adobe announced that the development of an open source application for web development was ready and was not an experimental project any more. Brackets contains contributions by more than 282 community contributors and has more than 400 requests for bug fixes and new features. Every version of Brackets had more than 100,000 downloads, and it was the 16th most popular project on GitHub as of January 16, 2015.
The Brackets repository on GitHub (Bracket repository) currently has 152 branches, 110 releases and 17,700 commits as of 30 Aug 2018. The source code is freely available under the MIT license. A developer can alter features on Brackets and personalize it for one's own convenience by forking the software code.
Brackets provides several features including:
- HTML file
- Applying quick edit to HTML elements will display all corresponding CSS properties in a box beneath the selected element. Users can choose to create new CSS rules directly within the editor and edit a tag's CSS properties inline without leaving the context of the HTML file.
- Files containing hex or RGB color properties
- For color properties, quick edit will return an inline color picker for previewing and color adjustment functionality.
When one clicks the respective code snippet in CSS/HTML the web browser immediately shows the output relating to that code snippet in web browser. This feature is termed as Live Preview, this feature also pushes code edits instantly to the browser to present an updated webpage as the developers modify the code. Brackets contains a Node.js backend that predicts what the code does as the developer types the code.
Two scenarios to live preview
- No back end logic
- Using Live Preview, Brackets will launch the chosen HTML file in Google Chrome by supplying static content from Brackets built-in server. This procedure does not require any back end logic to support viewing changes to the HTML file.
- Back end logic
- With back end logic, Brackets will direct Google Chrome to a provided project URL running on a separate server, but it will disable support for HTML-related features. As a result, the browser will not be able to update any HTML, PHP, etc. files in real time and element highlighting will also be disabled for these files. Only edits and element highlighting related to CSS files will be reflected in real time. All non-CSS file updates will be auto-reloaded instead. These limitations exist because providing live editing functionality for HTML files requires injecting annotations into the HTML code before the code is loaded into the browser. These injections are normally handled by Brackets built-in server, but they are non-existent when projects make use of separate personal servers.
- HTML & CSS real time updates (without reloading)
- Element Highlighting: Elements selected in HTML and CSS files are highlighted within the browser.
Live preview limitations
- Currently only works with desktop Google Chrome (not open-source Chromium), as the target browser.
- Opening developer tools in Google Chrome will close all live development connections.
- All files to be viewed must be inside a currently open folder in Brackets.
- Only one HTML file can be previewed at a time.
- Real time updates are paused when syntactically invalid HTML is encountered. Brackets will resume pushing changes to the browser when the syntax is corrected.
This feature splits the main view into two parts. Users can split the view either vertically or horizontally according to their own convenience, thus allowing users to work on two files at same time. A developer can simultaneously work on two different files of two different types, two files of the same type, or even two different parts of the same file at the same time. Features such as Live Preview and Quick Edit work in both views.
Multiple file format support
Brackets supports a feature called "PSD lens" that helps to smoothly extract each of pictures, logos and design styles from PSD file without opening Photoshop to check for them. By calling this feature a preview Adobe conveys that there is much work ahead before this feature can be perfected. This feature brought in positive reviews from developers, but many issues were reported during the initial stages of the feature release. The problem was later solved using an extension.
- Displays number of times a function is called next to the function’s definition.
- Logs all arguments received, values returned, and exceptions thrown by a function call within Brackets.
- Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF)
- List of text editors
- Comparison of text editors § Programming features
- Comparison of HTML editors
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