I’m a designer, husband and father living and working in Western Michigan. I created Mind Vault and host a podcast called The Way Station. I use this site to post my work and write. Check out my work or download my resumé. If you want to talk feel free to contact me on Twitter or ADN.
I previously wrote thoughts on MacRabbit’s two entries in the text editor market, CSSEdit & Espresso. For a time it seemed that their development had stalled (not unlike another popular text editor), but thankfully they have resurfaced with some welcome changes.
Espresso 2’s biggest change is that now CSSEdit and Espresso are combined in one application instead of two. I have heard some complaints about this move. One of the big selling points of CSSEdit was that it was a focused app, that allowed for quick and easy CSS editing without fighting against feature bloat of more comprehensive text editors. This thought was appealing, but in practice I always had both Espresso and CSSEdit open and constantly switched back and forthwhen working, hoping not to cause too many conflicts editing and saving the same file with both programs. Therefore, the consolidation has been a relief for me. All of the best CSSEdit features are still present, including the heaven-sent X-Ray feature which serves a similar function to Firebug or Webkit Developer Tools (but much better in my opinion). Plus CodeSense now supports CSS3 and HTML5 properties and elements for autocompletion.
In addition to additional native language support—Yay Markdown!—and many available “Sugars” that add support for any language I would be tempted to use, Espresso 2 has had some very nice visual refinement. This is most apparent in the Server settings and sync views. The settings button is an expected gears icon but when pressed the gears begin to animate in a subtle but pleasing way. The animation for syncing is also pretty pleasant. The application icon has also received some love. It is very similar to the first version’s icon but with enough added contrast and texture to make a difference.
I am sure there are more features to be explored, and I would not call my review comprehensive or completely informed when compared to the competition. Like many people, when I felt that I need an alternative to DreamWeaver (ugh!) or TextEdit, I found a text editor that looked appealing and stuck with it. I have heard good things about BBEdit, Coda, Textmate and others. I don’t doubt that they are great as well. What I do know about Espresso is that I never feel like I’m fighting to make it do what I have in mind, especially now that CSSEdit is included. I feel efficient and productive while using it. What a great time to be a Mac user and have the choice of so many great Text Editors.
A demo is available at MacRabbit and the whole cost is $79 if you like it. I’m a happy customer myself.