Coda - a Quick Review
Fri Jun 22, 2007 · 1133 words

The name of Panic's latest “big app” would suggest that it has something to do with coding, which it totally does, but I also remembered the word from choir practice. In music, “coda” means “the concluding passage of a piece or movement, typically forming an addition to the basic structure.”

I wouldn't consider myself a professional web developer, although I've worked as one in the past. On projects ranging from simple web pages to a full CMS. I own licenses for both TextMate and BBEdit and of-course Transmit and my nano highlights PHP syntax . I've also been a certified Panic fan-boy ever since Audion gave us non-rectangular windows and fake window transparency.

The Good

Clips also follow TextMate's tab-completion logic allowing you to set a shortcut for each clipping. For example, to insert the bundled XHTML 1.0 Transitional document skeleton, you'd just type “xhtml1t” + Tab. There's no built-in shortcut for the Clips window itself though.

A proper scrapbook is such an important feature in an editor (code snippets, old code, etc.) and It's about time someone did something about this situation!

The Weird

The Bad

I think the “folder as project” concept is such a no-brainer and I hope more and more apps will adopt it. Hopefully this will be improved in future versions, if only so much that an open -a Coda. would just open a new window with the Local path set to that directory, we can create an alias for that ourselves. ;-)


The general concept of Coda is really strong. A typical example - you upload some files to a web server, but the directory index is not allowed in that directory. So you fire up your editor, write your .htaccess, save it locally, upload it to the server, change the filename, set the correct permissions, delete the local copy. With Coda, you just connect to your server and do your thing.

Coda is one of those apps that require the user to rethink their working habits abit. For me the standard TextMate/PHP Function Index/Transmit workflow works really well, except for maybe the later stages of development when you're making small fixes to several files local master copies of files which you then have to manually upload (Transmit's Synchronise command has helped alot in this regard).

It seems Coda's concept of Sites would make this easier, but I'm not ready to make the switch just yet.

Mind you that this is all versions 1.0 through 1.0.3 so there's no doubt in my mind that Coda will one day be a killer package for professional web development on the Mac (which it already is for many, I'm sure).

Some really nice tips on using Coda from Steven Frank's homepage

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