Coda, and in particular the latest version, Coda 2, is what happens when you start with the idea of keeping things as simple as possible… But then start adding essential little features that make life easier. Panic Inc.’s program, which launched in 2007, might call itself a text editor but there’s little that’s textual about it. It’s a complete programming environment with all of the bells and whistles that a coder might want in order to make writing those lines quick and accurate. A single tabbed window supplies the code editor, but also the FTP client, Web browser and terminal.
Standout features include Find and Replace editing that works across documents. Tag closing is automatic, so no searching for broken syntax. Autocompletion supports custom variables and function names but isn’t yet site-wide. (Panic says that feature is in the works.) Highlighting covers a broad range of languages and works at lightning speed. The Terminal and MySQL editor are built-in, so you won’t find yourself powering up more software to edit data. File management is integrated, allowing users to edit files on FTP, SFTP, WebDAV and Amaxon S3 servers. Coda even lets you move files between servers without leaving the editor.
Many of those “essential” features you can find on a number of different text editors but Coda also packs in a number of unique features that aren’t found anywhere else. A wildcard token makes Find and Replace even more effective, and a feature called Coda Pops lets you add colors and gradients as you type. It all makes not just for an effective environment but also for a coding environment that’s attractive, comfortable and easy on the eyes.
One particularly attractive feature is AirPreview. Instead of working with multiple monitors so that you can see the results as you code, Coda sends preview pages to an iPad or iPhone running an app called Diet Coda. (Syncing is done by pointing the iPad’s camera at a graphic on the screen. It’s very simple and a very cool touch.) You can also change the user agent so that you can see how your code looks to a mobile user, but being able to see it on a real iPad as you code feels more realistic.
Some critics have complained about the lack of built-in PHP syntax checking, and third-party plug-ins don’t always fill the gap. At $99, the price is also steep in comparison to other editors, though they’re likely to offer a narrower range of features.
Coda is a feature-rich text editor aimed at coders who like a sense of luxury. You’ll find all the features you want close at hand, and a few you didn’t know you wanted.
|Usability: 7 /10||Speed: 9 /10||Features: 10 /10||Support: 8 /10||Pricing: 6 /10|