This is for Panic’s Coda, V2.0. I originally left this same review in the app store, but it seems to appear and disappear, so here it is.
Update: some of the things I gripe about can be resolved now that the plugin page is up and working: http://www.panic.com/coda/plugins.php
And for php validation: http://www.chipwreck.de/blog/software/coda-php/
Disclaimer: I’m a TextMate user, yet I’ve always liked the Coda philosophy of a single app to do mutliple things and I think Panic is really onto something here. I never liked version 1, but this is getting there.
I’ve spent a lot of today just using V2, the interface took me some getting used to, but I feel pretty good with it now. The documentation is lacking, complete with links to dead support pages on their website. I would like to see more keyboard shortcuts as I’m not much of a mouse guy, but they either aren’t there or I don’t know what they are (some are shown in the menu system, but there must be more).
I had high hopes for the code completion, espeically in PHP, which I do most of my work in. It’ll help you find the function, but then it won’t fill in the function’s signature for you. Oh, but wait! There’s a hints panel. If you have that open, you can at least see a little info and what the signature should be. But wait again, not all php functions are in there, including some basic loops like foreach and while. How can you not have those? So unless there’s some magic plugin to do this, you’re left creating a bunch of custom clips on your own to fill in the blanks. Waste time to save time I guess.
It’s crashed a number of times on my 1 year old, 8 gig RAM iMac during normal use, no rhyme or reason yet. Then for kicks I opened a 31mb sql file to try and do some find/replace on it. It crashed the first time soon after opening it, but then survived the second tiime. TextMate doesn’t even hiccup on this stuff, and even adds in syntax highlighting, which Coda turns off on large files (or at leat “doesn’t recommend”).
Source control is promising if a bit slow. The ftp publisher feature is pretty killer – very nice how it keeps track of what’s changed and offers to ftp it for you with the click of a button – you can even uncheck the files you don’t want uploaded (must have a local site defined, fyi). This can be a huge time saver and a great feature for some basic deployment.
The database interface is very basic, nothing to actually help you build a query, but I bet it will prove handy.
You can block edit a group of lines, but unlike TextMate, you can’t wrap each line in a selection (like select multiple lines and wrap each in an <li> tag, it’s not smart enough to know where the end of each line is). Coda 2 does have some other text manipulation similar to TextMate, but it’s not there yet. And if you’re used to TMs hyperlink helper, you’ll be disappointed in Coda’s counterpart. There’s enough to get the job done though, and maybe I’ll have some happy dicoveries as I use it and future versions are released. Until then this won’t be my full time editor. I also wonder how much I might be missing because of the poor documentation and lack of training resources that 1.0 had, but are no longer there. Another reason this feels a bit rushed.
Overall, I’m glad I plopped down the $50 on opening day. There’s a lot of promise here and I want to support Panic’s efforts to put together a truly great editor, I’d just like to see more functionality, documentation, and things that “power users” hanker for (true code hinting/completion, more keyboard shortcuts, better text manipulating, etc.). If I’d paid full price I might be a bit grumpy. Hope that helps some – cheers!