Adobe is not the first developer that springs to mind when one thinks of rampant generosity, but this week, it released an open source text editor for web designers. Brackets has been in beta testing for ages, but only now has Adobe seen fit to release version 1.0 to the world, on Mac, Windows and Linux.
Like Sublime Text, Notepad++ and Atom, Brackets starts from download as a very lightweight application. But as with the other popular coding environments, there are many extensions that add functionality. These include a good selection of themes, as well as practical aids, such as zen coding. However, Brackets focuses primarily on design, and as such, most of the features and plugins for Adobe’s new app are aimed at HTML, CSS and JS. These include in-built preprocessor support, color wheels for a more visual way of writing CSS, and an extension named Extract — currently included with downloads of Brackets — which allows designers to rip the colors, fonts and images from a PSD straight into a web design project.
Clearly, Brackets serves a slightly different function than some of its competitors. The closest I’ve seen previously is Espresso, a polished but expensive coding environment on OS X. But Adobe’s new app is open source, so I would expect a decent uptake. Whether it will ever rival the wildly popular Sublime is yet to be seen, but given that we’re talking about a nicely constructed free environment here, I’m assuming plenty of folks will give it a go.
See Brackets.io to download the app.