Using Bluefish

Bluefish is a code editor for web designers and programmers based on GTK. It is best known as an HTML editor, but it supports many programming and markup languages.

Follow the instructions for your operating system on the Bluefish project’s download and installation page. Linux users may also use their distribution’s package management system.

One of the strengths of Bluefish is its ability to call external programs, and out of the box Bluefish comes pre-configured with several such commands. To use them, you naturally need to have those external programs installed. Everyone’s needs are different; I install Tidy.

Bluefish is highly configurable, and everyone has his favorite setup. In Edit – Preferences, I prefer the following non-default settings:

  • Editor settings: I set font to Liberation Mono 9. Use spaces to indent, not tabs.
  • Initial document settings: Word wrap by default. Tab width 2.
  • HTML: Lowercase HTML tags. Format according to accessibility guidelines.
  • Files: Default character set UTF-8. Do not create backup file on save.
  • External commands: TODO: Document sending a file to Internet Explorer running in Crossover.
  • External filters: Set up dos2unix and pretty printing.
  • Plugins: Enable info browser.

In View, disable snippets menu.

In Document – Character Encoding, remove any charsets that I won’t use.

IBM864 charset bug
bluefish-2.0.0-2mdv2010.1 would misidentify many files as being encoded in IBM864. I don’t use this encoding, so I eliminated it from Bluefish’s configuration. Close bluefish and open ~/.bluefish/session-2.0 in another text editor. Find and delete the line encodings: Arabic:IBM864:1:. On my installation, this was line 168. Save the file and reopen Bluefish. This diminishes the problem significantly but does not completely resolve it: I continued to observe occasional errors in distinguishing UTF-8 vs. ISO-8859-1. My workaround was to convert all my legacy ISO-8859-1 files to UTF-8.

Only that particular build of Bluefish gave me this problem.

If you need to detect a file’s charset, use file -i filename from the command line.

Disappearing files bug
This is not a problem I’ve seen lately, but back in the day this workaround helped.

Migrating from 1.x to 2.x
The format of project files (which have the extension .bfproject) has changed. In version 1 project files, the list of files appeared in reverse order relative to their display in Bluefish. In version 2 project files, this was changed to have them appear in the same order they are to display in Bluefish. The result is that if the order of the files is important to you, then you will have to open the project file in another text editor (close Bluefish first) and manually reorder the files.

Fixing undecoded UTF-8 errors in Perl
Bluefish can fix undecoded UTF-8 errors in Perl output.

Bluefish project site. If consulting the manual, be sure to use the one for version 2 and not the easier to find but obsolete one for version 1. Alternately, see the wiki.


About Warren Post

So far: Customer support guy, jungle guide, IT consultant, beach bum, entrepreneur, teacher, diplomat, over-enthusiastic cyclist. Tomorrow: who knows?
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Using Bluefish

  1. Pingback: Printing from Bluefish | Warren's tech notes

  2. Pingback: Software I commonly install and remove | A maze of twisty little passages

  3. Pingback: Pretty printing files with Tidy within Bluefish | A maze of twisty little passages

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s