On the humble code editor

September 26, 2018

I love Coda. Coda got me to switch to Mac a decade ago. But I don’t think it works for me anymore.

80% of the time I open it I’m working on something locally. I don’t need a terminal. I don’t even need FTP.

It feels like an app of an era left behind…perhaps because it is.

I’m trying VS Code because a) the Framer people shoved it in my face, b) it had good recommendations from one of my former coworkers at Philosophie, and c) Sublime Text is $80 and I could spend that on a place to stay this weekend instead. It’s a code editor. It has syntax highlighting and a bunch of shortcuts and one of those document preview maps in the corner and, because developers, you’re encouraged to edit settings directly in the JSON. But mostly it just stays out of your way.

If Coda launched as quickly, revealed its other features—even site presets/bundles—only as you needed and wanted them, had first-party support for the myriad new languages and subsets en vogue right now, and made a handful of other changes, it would immediately be competitive again.

Maybe it’s just Dark Mode in Mojave, but right now seems like a good time to try new things.

Eight months after writing this, Panic announced a replacement for Coda that aims to address these issues.