Bluefish (software)

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Bluefish is a free software advanced text editor with a variety of tools for programming in general and the development of dynamic websites. Bluefish supports development in (among others) HTML, XHTML, CSS, XML, PHP, C, C++, JavaScript, Java, Go, Vala, Ada, D, SQL, Perl, ColdFusion, JSP, Python, Ruby and shell.[1] Bluefish is available for many platforms, including Linux, macOS, and Windows.[2] Bluefish can be used via integration with GNOME or run as a standalone application. Bluefish fills the niche market between the plain text editors and the full IDE: Bluefish is lightweight and fast and easy to learn, while still providing many features of an integrated development environment to support both programming and the development of websites. Bluefish has been translated into 17 languages.

Bluefish 2.0.0 with default toolbars & HTML
Bluefish 2.0.0 with default toolbars & HTML
Developer(s)Bluefish Dev Team
Stable release
2.2.11 / January 24, 2020; 3 months ago (2020-01-24)
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inC
Operating systemCross-platform (POSIX)
TypeText editor


Users are able to use wizards to assist in task completion.[3] Syntax highlighting, auto-completion, code folding as well as auto-recovery, upload/download functionality, a programming-code-aware in-line spell checker, and a unicode character browser are all included. Bluefish supports a Multiple document that can easily load codebases or websites with hundreds of files in seconds. Many tools are provided to search and replace text in one or all of those files with scripts and regular expressions to streamline the workflow. Projects are catered for, Bluefish can store the current state of the editor so you can reload that later. Code navigation and bookmarks are supported. For web development zencoding/emmet is supported. The program is extensible via plugins and scripts, many of these are pre-configured; for example statical code analysis, syntax checks and markup checks for many different markup and programming languages.


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.

Source code and developmentEdit

Bluefish is written in C and uses the cross platform GTK+ library for its GUI widgets. Markup and programming language support is defined in a XML files. 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.


A Softpedia review found the software was powerful, feature rich and easy to use.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bluefish features
  2. ^ Bluefish installation instructions
  3. ^ a b Mihai Marinof (18 April 2007). "Bluefish Review". Softpedia. Retrieved 7 December 2016.

External linksEdit