When it comes to sharing code snippets with others, there aren’t really many services that do it justice. Many lack syntax highlighting, and don’t even have desktop clients to make the experience of uploading a snippet pleasant. There’s plenty of ways to share code, but few that check all the boxes for a perfect Mac-to-web code snippet sharing experience.
SourceBox is an app that allows you to easily upload snippets of code and other text to PasteBin, as well as their own SourceDrop service and other popular sites for sharing code snippets online. If you find yourself often needing to share bits of code, this just might be the app you’ve been looking for.
PasteBin: The Web Service That Started it All
If you’ve never used it, PasteBin is an web app that allows developers to share their code snippets online with the world. PasteBin is especially useful if you’re looking for a solution to a problem you can’t seem to solve, or if you just want some inspiration by looking at other people’s code. PasteBin features various handy features such as the ability to set expiration dates, syntax highlighting and privacy settings.
PasteBin also has the bragging rights that it’s the number one paste tool since 2002, so it’d only be natural for them to develop and release a desktop client to make it even less painless to upload. Strangely, they don’t have a client they’ve developed themselves. That’s where SourceDrop comes in. It’s a simple native app for your Mac that makes sharing text and code on PasteBin, TinyPaste, and even Github Gist simple.
As with any app, the first impressions are given by the interface of the app. SourceDrop is a relatively simplistic app that just waits for action in your menu bar. It’s unobtrusive and although this is good, it’s easy to forget that you’ve got it installed. It’ll remind you of file-sharing apps like CloudApp and Droplr, with keyboard shortcuts to automatically upload your clipboard contents and links to your recent uploads and preferences in the menubar.
The preferences of SourceDrop are also rather simple, featuring the ability to create keyboard shortcuts, copy the link of a drop to the clipboard, play a sound when you upload something, using Growl notifications, and toggle whether you want the app to launch at login. Within the second tab, we have the ability to change the sharing service – we’ll come to that soon – as well as an option to use syntax highlighting and HTTPS on SourceDrop’s own sharing service.
Another handy addition to SourceDrop is the ability that send highlighted text online when you’re working in your favorite application by simply right clicking, selecting Services and then Choose Share Selection. Once you’ve shared something, you’ll get a handy link from the menu bar item.
Once you’ve uploaded, whether from the keyboard shortcut, the menubar clipboard upload option, or the services link menu, you’ll see a small popup in your menubar with a link, styled much like Droplr’s popup when you upload a file. Assuming you’ve enabled it in the settings, your link will be copied to your clipboard immediately so you can quickly share it, or you can click the notification to open the code in your browser.
Although SourceDrop is useful when you simply want upload some text online, I do find it rather misleading that SourceDrop is a PasteBin client, simply because without purchasing SourceDrop Pro, it is nothing more than a way to upload text to SourceDrop’s own system. That’s not bad in itself if you’re just looking for a way to upload text online and could use any service, but if you’re actually looking for a way to upload to PasteBin (or Github Gist and TinyPaste), you’ll need to purchase SourceDrop Pro with a $1.99 in-app purchase.
Sharing via SourceDrop
If you do not purchase SourceDrop Pro, you will have to use SourceDrop’s own sharing service. Here’s a preview if you’d like to check out what SourceDrop sharing looks like: https://www.sourcedrop.net/z51fb02cc7ea9.
It really doesn’t pack too much of a punch, with a nice enough interface marred by a large Adsense banner on the left. It is a decent service for sharing text and code, though, including syntax highlighting and an option to download the text or code in a file. One thing that I do think it’s lacking is an online account so that people can see the history of their text shares. As it works right now, once you’ve lost the think to your text, you have to go back to the app and see your recent shares. Additionally, there’s no apparent way to delete your shared text and code. So, it works, but it might not be the best way to share code online.
Unfortunately, I must say that I am somewhat disappointed with SourceDrop. It labels itself as a PasteBin client, but it is nothing more than a way to upload text to the internet with their own service without an in-app purchase. If you just want a way to share text and code online, you might already be using CloudApp or Droplr, and they can work fine for this.
On the other hand, SourceDrop is a small, minimal, unobtrusive application that can come in handy for those that want to be able to share text and code online. If a $2 purchase is worth it to you to share to PasteBin and Github Gist from your Mac with a simple keyboard shortcut, then this might be just what you’ve been looking for. It might not the most perfect way to share code, but it’s one of the few simple ways to share to PasteBin and Github Gist.