Thoughts on Coda 2 (initial release)

I should start out by mentioning that I’ve been a big fan of Panic for years – I’ve used Transmit since Mac OS 9 days, and Coda since its initial release. Since then, Coda has been my primary web development application.

I should also mention that I’m not someone who avoids change, particularly in the software I use. Over the years of waiting for a Coda update, I’ve delved into other apps like Espresso, Sublime Text, BBEdit, PhpStorm. There are plenty of things I’ve liked in each of the other apps (as far as I’m concerned, all the above are great), but I always found myself returning to Coda.

I purchased Coda 2 on the day it was released (from the App Store), and have been using it for a little more than a week. Initially, I was just happy to be using something new and different. As the novelty is wearing off, I’m wishing it was more like Coda 1 – in many of the same ways I wished the apps by other developers were more like Coda.

Things I Like in Coda 2:

  • Code folding
  • Seeing the full document path above the editor area
  • New syntax coloring options
  • Site grouping
  • Sidebar clips

Things I Miss from Coda 1:

  • The quick FTP upload button by changed files
  • The code hints below the editor area (and hinting that’s generally helpful)
  • Being able to have the Files and Navigator both open in the sidebar
  • The visual CSS editor (didn’t use it much, but was nice when training)

Things I’d Like Added:

  • Better sidebar(s) – both sides of screen, stacked, etc. I very often want to see more than one at a time, for instance Files + Navigator + Hints. The new live navigation tree above the edit area is nice, but no replacement for the Files sidebar.
  • Better code hinting – at least as good as Coda 1, but would be great to have more hinting from internal custom classes in the site (though for me, not at the expense of much application speed).
  • Some sort of magical something that makes everything easy and fun.

I think my ideal editor would have the sidebar(s) from Espresso, the editor from Sublime Text 2 and the FTP features and code hinting from Coda 1. I’m guessing I’ll like Coda 2 a lot more after a few “minor” updates from Panic… after all, those guys are awesome. Looking forward to whatever’s next, but for now, I’ll keep using Coda 2 – maybe some of the new features will grow on me.

4 Responses to Thoughts on Coda 2 (initial release)

  1. Greg Wardwell says:

    This feels like a rushed release to me. Some things are buggy (code folding) and some things just don’t make sense (Webkit only vendor prefix). I’ve also had a ton of crashes. Whenever I update my CVS repository using SmartCVS, Coda 2 crashes when it tries to redraw the directory structure. I really want to like Coda 2, but Panic needs to fix quite a few things. As far as my wish list…
    – I’m with you on stacked sidebar. I like my file view and code navigator.
    – I’d also like site-wide custom code completion (CSS IDs and classes, PHP functions and classes).
    – I’d like a duplicate line and delete line key command.
    – I want my “replace and find” key command back. Why do I have to use two key commands to do what I could with one?
    – How about highlighting all matching strings when searching within a document? That way I can see where every occurrence is when scrolling down the page.

    Honestly, I’d love to see the power of PHPStorm with the Panic magic and UI.

    I do have to say I’m loving Diet Coda.

  2. Nate says:

    Hi Greg – I pretty much agree with all that. I haven’t had the crashes, but also not using it with CVS. I definitely like the “highlight all matches” thing.

  3. Mitch says:

    Hm, interesting.
    I am working since 3 years now with Espresso and their latest release (what, over 2 years ago now?) already has all the things, which are listed in the former post, included. It works fine, I had not once any crash and it’s so easy to use, too.
    Another great feature I find Espresso has (among many other), is the ability to search for regular expressions and ignoring white spaces in your search… it is really helpful in many cases.

    I love Espresso, I can’t help 😉


  4. Nate says:

    Hi Mitch. Yep, I like Espresso too. I use both, just for the sake of variety (I’m odd that way). I use/like Coda more, primarily because of the FTP, and I like it better for writing PHP (which is what I do most of the time).

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