Coda 1.0

So, about a year and a half ago we began work on a new piece of software for Mac OS X. Four months ago we had a workable product that we sent to a select few friends for feedback. Two months ago we began full scale beta testing, cranking out eight versions, each better than the last thanks to the efforts of 150 testers. Three weeks ago we began building a website for this product. Six days ago we finalized our icon. And today, the day after Panic's 10th anniversary as a company, it's done.

Introducing: Coda, one-window web development for Mac OS X.

We build websites by hand, with code, and we've long since dreamed of streamlining the experience, bringing together all of the tools that we needed into a single, elegant window. While you can certainly pair up your favorite text editor with Transmit today, and then maybe have Safari open for previews, and maybe use Terminal for running queries directly or a CSS editor for editing your style sheets, we dreamed of a place where all of that can happen in one place.

So, that's what we've built. Coda has a complete file browser (and the ability to work locally or remotely), publishing, a full-featured text editor, a WebKit-based preview, a CSS editor with visual tools, a full-featured terminal, built-in reference material, and much more.

Anyway, that's the pitch. You're probably either really excited by now, or you wish I was writing about video games again!

Steve has a lot more on his blog and will be talking a lot more about how Coda works, while I hope to talk a lot more about the "making of" Coda, specifically the design, over the coming weeks.

But before I get back to hopelessly keeping an eye on various server logs — lord help us all on this launch day — I must give a quick shout out.

This was by far the most complicated program we've ever built. I realized this when it dawned on me that I had never stopped doing design work for it. With most of our prior applications, I may spend a month or two creating a all-purpose Photoshop layout, cut up any important art, and then hand it over to the guys, possibly coming back to make a tweak every now and then. With Coda, the number of features and the scope of the project meant that even as soon as yesterday I was cranking out some interface pieces as .pdf's. (...pdf's? Yeah. More on that later.) Sure, I really enjoyed it!

But I just do the design. So it goes without saying that Coda never could have been created as quickly as it was without the incredible work of the Coda team. From Dave, who never once blinked at my crazy pieces of paper, to Ian, who created an entire visual CSS editor from scratch after our original plans fell through, to Wade, who meticulously created many features like Clips and Preview, to Will, who tirelessly re-tooled our Transmit engine to bring its speed up by orders of magnitude, and Tim, who turned mockup into standards-compliant website in record time despite me repeatedly telling him to just use tables for everything, and Noby, who localized everything into the wee early morning hours. Mike and Les kept the Panic machine running smoothly while simultaneously pitching in with ideas and testing build after build. Even just calling out a few contributions here seems like a disservice to this talented group of guys and the work they did. While working as a "large" (five person!) team brought some new challenges to Panic, I think the end result speaks for itself, and I'm very proud of it.

Coda is certainly a 1.0, and there are so (very) many features and ideas we hope to add in the future, but we're proud of this 1.0, and we can't wait to hear what you think. Our e-mail box is open. Have fun, and we hope you enjoy it!



And I'm salivating at the "making of" posts.
Anonymous CuRoi 4/23/2007 11:30 AM  
O_O I now have a reason to upgrade to OS 10.4
Fscking AMAZING, guys! This is why Panic rocks!
Blogger extrarice 4/23/2007 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous 4/23/2007 11:33 AM  
Love the Coda web site too, and Coda itself of course... Great effort guys. Panic people rock...
Anonymous John 4/23/2007 11:34 AM  
I'm so absolutely impressed I cannot contain myself. I haven't been this excited about software since ... iTunes? Maybe Photoshop CS. Whatever. Even then I wasn't as excited.

It's the refinements -- the little polishings here and there -- that make Coda such a joy; while at the same time, it's the precise attention to operations and underlying technology that make it such a powerful tool. This, as they say, changes everything. My little world has been rocked this day.

(Love the release notes too.)
Anonymous Sean S 4/23/2007 11:36 AM  
Anonymous Pedro 4/23/2007 11:38 AM  
Awesome, Life-altering.. An incredibly beautiful app.. Just a few bugs keep me from using replacing my 3 app chorus: maintaining sessions (terminal and sftp), can't open more than 1 terminal session, cvs/svn support would be great (while you're in there S3 would be great! :) ) ..otherwise, I can't wait to use this app full time.. you guys kick so much ass. Thanks!
Anonymous Anonymous 4/23/2007 11:59 AM  
You guys are the best! Looks like a third must-have app from Panic!
Anonymous Anonymous 4/23/2007 12:12 PM  
I think you guys had my money within 5 minutes of me even hearing about the app.

Most impressive. Expect some feedback tonight.
Blogger Dan Dickinson 4/23/2007 12:19 PM  
"* Unless you want to use more than one window. Which is totally cool."

Anonymous Anonymous 4/23/2007 12:49 PM  
Coda looks fantastic. I'm really close to buying now and I've run the app for only a few minutes.

This answers the problems that most hand-coders have and the visual design and presentation is great after spending the weekend messing around with Adobe's Dreamweaver CS3 (I've never cared for the Dreamweaver UI).

Great work!
Anonymous Eric Peacock 4/23/2007 1:03 PM  
Amazing job... I, too, shelled out the money within seconds of hearing about Coda.

Obviously you're in the middle of a huge launch, but I do have one teeny tiny feature request: HTML validation in the preview pane too. This would be great to validate the output of dynamic apps.

Again, wonderful work as usual!
Blogger SupaPuerco 4/23/2007 1:15 PM  
Kudos to everyone involved... Coda looks really slick, and it has one of the best product websites I've seen. Can't wait to work with it a bit and peel back the layers.
Anonymous BJ Vicks 4/23/2007 1:43 PM  
Nice App! do beta testers (like me) get free retail licenses?
Anonymous Anonymous 4/23/2007 1:59 PM  
Thanks. I am typing an email to our AA to purchase it right now.

I see another t-shirt purchase in my future.
Anonymous The Guilty Carnivore 4/23/2007 2:12 PM  
A year ago I was playing with the idea of doing an application integrating that tedious routine: "pair up your favorite text editor with Transmit today, and then maybe have Safari open for previews, and maybe use Terminal for running queries directly or a CSS editor for editing your style sheets"...

Well, I am glad I didn't! What a beautiful, functional and delightful piece of software!

Blogger AndrĂ©s 4/23/2007 2:17 PM  
I've gone ahead and purchased all three of Panic's main apps today, and I can't say that I'm disappointed at all. What a fantastic effort.
Anonymous Zac Grose 4/23/2007 2:42 PM  
student/educational discount? :(
Blogger Danny Cohen 4/23/2007 2:55 PM  
Been playing around with the demo for the past few hours. Great stuff. May I ask what inspired the logo?
Anonymous Ethan Neuenswander 4/23/2007 3:10 PM  
Dragging the icon to the arrow on the index page to download DOESN'T WORK! The release is ruined! :P
Anonymous Emmet 4/23/2007 3:31 PM  
Damn! I'm so excited I can barely contain myself. Arrrghghghghgh!

OK, seriously. I feel like I have been waiting for this product my whole life. Thank you, Panic.
Blogger dalton 4/23/2007 3:42 PM  
jut use tables for everything, lol :)

looking forward to trying this out! I am already a loyal panic customer (transmit) and it will be hard for you to take me away from textmate, but I will definitely give it a go :)

Thanks for all your hard work guys!
Blogger muzzi 4/23/2007 4:16 PM  
PDFs for UI elements are because of resolution-independent UI, right?

Please write more about it!

Thanks :-)

P.S. Coda is great!
Blogger Dmitry Chestnykh 4/23/2007 4:36 PM  
The Panic site's "Buy" button loads a page that is titled "Purchase Coda Instantly." Unfortunately, the rest of the page never loads.

20 minutes later, I'm still waiting to purchase. That doesn't fit my definition of "instant.
Anonymous Harvard Irving 4/23/2007 4:55 PM  
Dude, this is EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED!!!!!! I was just telling my old boss a few months back that I wish there was a native Mac IDE for Web Development similar to Xcode. You have come through for me in SPADES!!!!! I think this will shoot my productivity through the roof.....

Now if we could just get Perl, Python, Ruby and Rails support in the upcoming versions and I'll be one happy camper!!!!!

Anonymous Frank 'viperteq' Young 4/23/2007 4:58 PM  
Is there really a demand for this kind of thing? I find it hard to believe that you guys are going to be able to make the best-of-breed text editor, CSS editor, etc. It'll end up being the best Mac FTP program with a bunch of mediocre add ons. Better, the Unix philosophy of different specialized tools that can be used together.

I'm a big fan of CSSEdit, but I send e-mails all the time to the programmer about obscure corner cases (he's very responsive). How are you going to be able to handle constant, subtle updates for half a dozen differnet apps?

If you have such a hard time dealing with multiple windows (never bothered me), why not make a program that can take different apps and present their output in tabs of one window? Or if different apps are not playing friendly with each other, how about contacting the other developers and agreeing to standards of some sort?

Coda just seems like Appleworks for web developers, with better icons.
Anonymous Anonymous 4/23/2007 6:50 PM  
Anonymous: We built Coda first and foremost for ourselves. This is a program we've always wanted, and a program I've now been using for months, and I can honestly say it's made a huge difference in how I've developed web sites, and the speed at which I can develop websites.

Now, initial response shows us that, yes, there does seems to be a demand for this kind of thing. But it's important to remember this: we'd never in a million years suggest that Coda is the catch-all perfect solution for everybody who makes websites. If you're quite happy with your current web development workflow, that's great news for you, and us, and you should by all means continue doing what you're doing!

Can we handle feature requests and do this app right into the future? Well, we've certainly already begun, making revisions and planning changes based on today's feedback. I obviously can't predict the future, but I can promise you we'll all be working hard as we can to make Coda as good as it can be.

Onward! And thanks for your note!
Blogger Cabel 4/23/2007 7:05 PM  
Awesome interface. Less awesome lack of Rails smarts. I'd love to see some Railsy additions: maybe a pane for controlling Mongrel instances; parsing the routes.rb file for correct local previewing; SVN/Capistrano integration for one-click deployments... the mind reels.

Being a little smarter about transparently finding the CSS files that a file references would also be great. A pretty standard idiom in my PHP work is to include a generic header for most of my pages, and that's usually where the styles are defined. If Coda could grab the relevant CSS files from the server preview, and be smart about saving changes to the correct files.... that'd be preetty nifty.

Just a few more quick thoughts, on my first pass through:
- Have you considered adding a view option to the CSS editing pane to only show properties that have been overridden? It's awfully cluttered with empty fields.
- A hotkey to go right to documentation search would be veeerrry handy. It's possible now: type your query in the current buffer, select it, and hit apple-', but it's not ideal, ya know?
- Being able to open autorefreshing preview windows without all the chrome (that would stay synchronized to the file I was editing) would be an amazing feature.
- A robust plugin system would also be a pretty amazing addition to the app. F'rexample, if you guys aren't so into the Rails development, offering a plugin system that allowed definition of new view modes/hooking in to the file parsing & preview system, all those sorts of things, would be cool. I'm pretty sure that's a 2.0 consideration, however :)

Again, not criticisms at all, just things that I found myself wishing for. As a primarily Rails developer, I'll probably stick with TextMate + Terminal for now, but Coda is making me jealous.

Absolutely fantastic work, and just what I'd expect from Panic. Coda is unparalleled in the world of HTML/PHP IDEs, in my estimation. I wonder if I can talk my employers into buying me a license for the PHP/HTML sites we maintain.
Anonymous dc 4/23/2007 7:07 PM  
While I am curious about whether the "previous plans fell through" comment was about CSSEdit, a stellar program that i've religiously used, promoted, and helped to debug, I'm impressed that Cabel & Crew, Inc. have turned out such a large and capable app in only 15MBs.

"mediocre addons" is hardly a fair description.
While it's cool to debunk the phakers, supporting this shareware dev is always a good thing.

Thank you, Panic, Inc.
I agree with Frank. There are worlds to cover and include now, but there's time. keep up the great work.

Your appwriting skills increased by 12.
Anonymous Luke Dorny (luxuryluke) 4/23/2007 7:12 PM  
Congratulations, everyone. The more and more I browsed through the Coda website, the more I realized how huge this program is. Plus the website was fun to play with. :)

I certainly encourage you to post the "making of" designs of Coda. I'm currently writing a new application, and I like to take screenshots every now and then to see how the application is evolving.

And where did the name Coda come from? I had several eastern Asian professors and TAs, and they had a habit of adding an extra "ah" where the silent E was placed. So "node" became "noda", so "code" could become "coda".

Or maybe someone just likes the Led Zep album Coda.
Anonymous Chad 4/23/2007 7:38 PM  
I really like Coda. I just wish Transmit would transfer files and log into my FTP as fast as Coda does. Transmit update soon, please?
Blogger Fernando 4/23/2007 8:24 PM  
Congratulations! Love the new app. May you live in exciting times, with the Coda release I think we do.
Anonymous Conor 4/24/2007 3:50 AM  
Absolutely super-fantastic so far. Great job. I decided to blog real-time about the first impressions with Coda. So much I'm in love...
Anonymous Tilman 4/24/2007 5:59 AM  
Nice looking app

*plays with it*
*Buys it* (hoping upgrades are free being a poor uni student)

Thanks Cabel!
Blogger Phil 4/24/2007 6:04 AM  
I imagine it will be the same as always, free upgrades for 1.x discounted upgrade for 2.0.

I wonder what the orignal plans are too. CSS Edit released 2.5 on the same day as Coda so I wonder if they had advanced knowledge of the release and if CSS edit was planned to be IN coda?

After all its got the Sub engine..
Anonymous Damien 4/24/2007 7:32 AM  
As usual, ridiculously beautiful software. You guys design and codes circles around the rest of us. Can't wait to use it.

Also? Best release notes. Ever.
Anonymous billc 4/24/2007 7:46 AM  
Coda is an amazing product, this is why I bought a mac!
Blogger Quiet Rob 4/24/2007 8:00 AM  
I really love Coda so far, but there are some things I need before I can justify paying the money (even though I really, really want to). I put up most of my gripes on my blog. Keep up the awesome work guys!
Anonymous Steve 4/24/2007 10:12 AM  
Cabel. Coda is amazing. Fantastic design. I'm already $69 lighter and I'm guessing the rest of the guys in the office will be buying it shortly.

We have a few wish list / future dev items for your list:

- sharing - indicate somewhere what site the other person has open.

- SVN/CVS support (like everyone else has mentioned)

- Split Views - abilty to reorder them.
Anonymous Julian 4/24/2007 10:50 AM  
"...despite me repeatedly telling him to just use tables for everything..."

That's evil. You're lucking I'm in love with this application and already started testing it company wide for development:). Fantastic application so far, I can't stop recommending it - it's what I didn't even know I was waiting for!
Anonymous Brady J. Frey 4/24/2007 11:01 AM  
Hello Cabel

i'm downloading Coda and I'm curious

Rails support?
Is Coda a Textmate killer?
Anonymous Leonardo Faria (from Brazil) 4/24/2007 1:23 PM  
bought two copies immediately, site unseen. we're transmit owners, so I knew. this thing f-ing rocks. ROCKS. may you prosper because of it.
Blogger Daven 4/24/2007 2:55 PM  
did you name it Coda after the little bear cub in Disney's "Brother Bear" movie? he was so cutesy!! omg!!
Blogger brandon 4/24/2007 3:30 PM  
Seriously, this is the best 1.0 product I've ever seen. I can't wait for more!
Blogger Taavi Taijala 4/24/2007 3:55 PM  
This is the app I was looking for when I left Dreamweaver and bought skEdit.

Coda is instantly the app I want to use for development, if just for the perfect ftp integration and putting of files to their correct locations on the server.

The one thing stopping me:


I can see how to search a document and search a selection within a document - I can't see how to search all documents within a site.

For me, that's a deal killer, so I'd love to find out I'm wrong and go out and purchase this right now.
Anonymous Kelsey Brookes 4/24/2007 8:29 PM  
Is that Futura that the large blue "CODA" is set in on Coda's main page? The typography is a nice touch!
Blogger Alexander 4/24/2007 8:40 PM  
I have to agree with Kelsey. Searching within projects is key. Haven't found it in CODA or it's documentation. That's a no go for me. Also automatic formatting is something that can save a lot of time when cleaning op code or when reviewing 'view source' code.

The two things that make me stick with BBEdit. However, Coda is much nicer to work in. If you can live without project search or reformatting then Coda is the hands down the best front end development tool. If only Aptana didn't crash so much.
Blogger Egor Kloos 4/25/2007 6:20 AM  
Wooo! Congratulations!
Blogger Ken 4/26/2007 9:58 AM  
Hai! Transmit customer here and I'm happy with what I see.

I was originally going to buy Adobe's CS3 Design Premium Bundle so I could get Dreamweaver (and Flash as a bit of a bonus), but I think I can safely downgrade to design standard and save myself a hundred or so, plus the Transmit discount comes in really handy, this is super sweet guys!

It's like SubEthaEdit Meets Transmit, and it's not a bad comparison considering what you've got under the hood. I'm not sure I could ask for something better. My favorite feature still from transmit is the ability to edit a document in Photoshop or any other applicaiton and to have it upload on save as though it were an internal process still makes me squee with joy. I know I shouldn't expect anything less from my favorite developers, but it's still loveable.

But I have a few naggies I want to poke at. So I ask anyways =P

When doing a search in the books, the page doesn't automatically scroll to the next occurance if it's off screen. Odd bug really.

Books: Excellent Idea! I love it! But I'm not entirely sure you went with the right source. There's a bunch of IE only tags in there, (ichy non-compliancy). Not to mention I've noticed the CSS section is missing some stuff that you've got covered in your CSS editor, like Min-Height. O_o

Would it be possible to have something based off of W3Schools? They seem to have a complete listing of all CSS Tags (That's something I am constsantly looking up there), and I really really REALLY find their organized system of Property - Description - Values extreemly useful.

I mean...


Sets how far the bottom edge of an element is above/below the bottom edge of the parent element

Values: auto, %, length

That there was a ton more usesful then what I saw in the CSS Book. And for this reason. The CSS Book Resouce you provide us tells us that you can set overflow to visible in an example form, but doesn't show us the other possible variables such as hidden, scroll and auto. I'd 'really' like to see something mirrored after w3schools organized system.

Or maybe even a W3Schools CSS Book.

Blogger Matthew 4/26/2007 9:22 PM  
This might become the only web development app you need. But there are two major things that i miss. First of all: The ability to edit directly in WYSIWYG-mode, like Dreamweaver.

Second: Your CSS-editor sure is nice, but take a little look at CSSEdit. Such small things like a semi colon added automatically makes it a far better CSS editor, the UI could need a bit polishing as well.

When these things are fixed, this will be a certain buy for me =)

Great job!
Anonymous Kristoffer Forsgren 4/29/2007 3:43 AM  
One more thing by the way, it would be nice with a automatic generation of the site icon... =)
Anonymous Kristoffer Forsgren 4/29/2007 3:45 AM  
I agree with Kristoffer. A WYSIWYG mode would be nice. Just a basic one.
Currently I hand code in Dreamweaver when I'm setting up my pages, but find myself in design mode when editing content. So even if it's just the ability to play with text, insert images, and tables. Just simple stuff.

Other than that, I'm mightily impressed by Coda.
Anonymous Nathan 4/29/2007 10:07 PM  
This looks like a beautiful piece of work. I've always been a great fan of developing sites from scratch using real code, and I have suffered many times from the problem of a scattered workflow.

Great job with Coda! It looks like it meets its objective of cleaning up the process perfectly.

Now I just need this for another OS (I don't use a Mac...) Any chance of ported releases in the future?
Anonymous Drew 5/03/2007 10:44 PM  
No WYSIWYG mode!! Resist the temptation! Coda is great, awesome work guys.
Anonymous Anonymous 5/19/2007 11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous 9/08/2008 6:28 PM  

Post a Comment


Name:Cabel Maxfield Sasser
Job:Co-Founder, Panic Inc.
Location:Portland, OR