Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Dear John Letter to Coda (groups.google.com)
66 points by raimondious on Apr 24, 2010 | hide | past | favorite | 31 comments

I keep trying to break up with Coda. It lacks many things I want in an editor. Then I go try another editor; I've tried many. I always end up back at Coda and hope they'll add a feature or two that I requested two years ago.

Sometimes I think about writing plugins for what I need and I open up XCode and start a project. Then I realize that I am writing code to add functionality to an editor that I should be using to write code for projects I actually need to work on.

Thanks raimondious for posting this, I'm glad to know I'm not alone.

My response (http://groups.google.com/group/coda-users/msg/3a3d56671544ee...):

I guess I'm a slut, I regularly also use BBEdit, Textmate, vim, and sometimes Espresso, depending on what I'm doing (in the mood for? eh? eh...). Each of them has their strengths — despite what you think, they don't have feelings and don't care if you don't commit.

Panic does the Apple Way very well. Not as full featured, but the features that are there work together so well that the overall experience ends up being more pleasant than with a feature-full program.

I'm sure they are working on Coda 2: When they started their blog, they said their top priorities were Unison, Transmit, and Coda (http://www.panic.com/blog/2009/12/yes-panic-has-a-blog: Pretty sure putting Desktastic and Stattoo before Coda was tongue-in-cheek). Unison 2 was already released and Transmit 4 is about to be released (http://www.panic.com/blog/2010/04/coming-soon/).

So, Coda is up, and I'm sure they're going to knock us out with it — the most-wanted (and even the not-most-wanted) features have been repeated on that list so much as to be annoying.

I've never seen the need for anything but emacs to edit my source.

What a program.

The one thing Coda or any other GUI based editor is really nice for is CSS. While it's rare at I have to delve into that stuff, it is really nice to have amenities like a color picker and a visual representation of the colors instead of just a hex code. So while I use emacs for my source as well, I jump into Coda for the rare cases where I am making style changes.

I'd love if there was some emacs-y way of doing this, but it's just not good at gui tasks.

I like Coda's CSS Editor, but for CSS Editing alone, you'd be much better served by a unitasker app like CSSEdit.

Sorry for the downvote from whoever… I upvoted you. I think you've got a point.

CSSEdit is a great way to edit CSS. More more intuitive and relaxed, not necessarily better, but neither is emacs necessarily better.

Is it just me, or is using women and/or relationships as metaphors for tools and/or languages really getting old?

um, in this case, it's using men as a metaphor - the writer is using the voice of a woman... Or a gay man, I suppose.

And/or relationships.

No kidding, I remember writing a similar post when I switched from Xanga to Wordpress.

This is not a new point. Everything, always, is "getting old."


Replace Coda and BBEdit with Vim and Emacs (or vice versa) and you'll see why posts like that are pretty pointless. You can't argue with taste.

It's more about switching cost than taste. (And responding from identity). Getting a new girlfriend and getting a new text editor both require some effort. Your current one may not be perfect, but you know it pretty well. Is it worth the time investment to change? Maybe the new one will really be better, but maybe it'll just be different. Better in some ways and worse in others.

The analogy breaks down when I remember I know people that like to get a new girlfriend every few years. I don't know anyone that likes to switch editors every few years.

Seems to be written with a kid who has misplaced loyalties to a product instead of his own requirements.

He already had a history with BBEdit, he should have known during the Panic trial period that Coda wasn't ready for his needs.

That someone who has a _choice_ in the IDE he uses and then stays loyal with one that makes him less productive makes me question how smart a guy really is.

How is BBEdit vs. TextMate?

I've purchased licensed versions of Coda, Espresso, and TextMate. Is BBEdit worth plunking down money for yet another editor?

I suppose I could be less lazy and actually download the demo and try it for awhile.

BBEdit is very old school, but very comprehensive. I used it to write lots of code before TextMate matured enough to be usable.

I still keep an old version of BBEdit around for the odd task that TextMate can't do, but isn't quite complex enough to break out the scripting language.

BBEDit's global find and replace can't be beat.

The biggest complaint I hear from younger developers? BBEdit is too expensive. When I bought my first copy back in the day, it was cheaper -- I think around $40 - $50. Then they doubled the price.

The upgrade price isn't too bad once you've plunked down the initial fee. For mac development, I couldn't take anything else but bbedit -- it had the most hybrid mac/unix feel to any editor.

I could find or assemble a perfect set of snippets for bbedit, with field markers and anything I needed. Atop of that, I could then run it through various filters and their PCRE regex engine. Really, if you grew up on unix, and think in terms of text pipelines and manipulation, bbedit covers your needs really well. Just like unix, it's not the prettiest candidate by far, but it's just damn functional and very easy to tweak to exactly what you want.

These days I'm on unix & win32 (and yes, I do vomit a little in my mouth every morning when I log in), and I stick to a bastard cygwin/emacs setup.

I also think it's really ugly, and much prefer TextMate's project drawer and cmd-T file switching.

At least it can handle big files. TextMate completely chokes on large files and/or projects.

Well reminded. That's the other reason I keep it around, for when I have to force-quit TextMate after attempting to load a big file.

Find and replace is usually the only reason I break out BBEdit, but I thought that could have been because BBEdit was my first editor, so I'm comfortable with it. The regex syntax coloring is so helpful, I don't understand why more editors don't include it.

I would bet they're focussing a lot of effort on Coda for the iPad. It's the perfect match for that platform: 7 apps in one with no app-switching.

Curious - I was under the impression, mistaken obviously, that BB kind of died with the introduction of OSX - it was just SO HEAVY..... and textmate came along, and had just what I wanted.

Then again - I'm not a full-time programmer, I'm more of a sysadmin, and I guess in the end I probably use textmate, vi, emacs, or notepad++ depending on the situation/task/environment at hand.

BBEdit has perhaps lost a little bit of it's luster, but it's got a lot of stuff that even TextMate doesn't do. For instance, the Find/Replace/Search/Diff tools blow TM away. I use TextMate most of the time, but when I need to some specific stuff, BBedit is a wonderful tool.

Ya, couldn't agree more. I have been tempted to buy Coda, but BBEdit is just better in the long run.

This is an email that I sent to a long time emacs hacker a few days ago, who recently switched to Textmate. For those of you wondering about why a lot of devs love it so much...

As a sidenote, I think that Coda was designed for an older generation of developers who used FTP to managed static and/or PHP websites... for everything else it's not so great. I love Textmate because it's very universal like vim or emacs... it doesn't have a specific purpose other than to be a great editor. It doesn't have a built in terminal or ftp client.


Hey Dude,

Here are some of those Textmate resources I was telling you about last night. Here's a screenshot of how everything on my system looks - http://grab.by/3OPe

There are two ways to achieve this, and I'm not sure which way I am doing it. I think I am just using the MissingDrawer plugin, but not sure. Here are both links: http://ciaranwal.sh/projectplus http://jannisleidel.com/2008/02/missingdrawer/ Both are good blogs too, especially Ciaran Walsh's one, which has a lot of Textmate goodies.

Here's an example of what happens when you hit ⌘+T - http://grab.by/3OPf - it opens a little window where you can just start typing, use arrow keys, and press enter to open a file.

Also, and you might already know this, but you can use textmate from the command line as well with the "mate" command. You might have to register it though, some menu item in Textmate will put a file in your /usr/bin or something. But... once you've got the mate command working, you can do nifty things like "git diff | mate". Textmate also has a diff view which is pretty elite: http://grab.by/3OPw

Also, you can do a few things to open a project in Textmate. You can do "mate /path/to/dir" or additionally, cd to the dir and hit "mate ." which is what I traditionally do since I'll need my term in that dir anyway.

That bit about tabs reminds me actually, you can fiddle with that stuff in Textmate as well. At the bottom of the window you can set Textmate to use soft-tabs, which you're probably already familiar with - http://grab.by/3OPE

The Bundle system in Textmate is awesome (like plugins basically) and there is one bundle that you can get, which will let you easily extend Textmate directly from Textmate - http://grab.by/3OPJ - it's called GetBundles (plural). There's an older one that was called GetBundle, but the newer and improved one is called GetBundles. Looks like this is a good resource for that -- http://solutions.treypiepmeier.com/2009/02/25/installing-get...

Hopefully some of these come in handy :)

Glad to see you finally on the dark side!

You finally pushed me into giving it a try. I started a 'Find in project' on a project with some multi-megabyte text files, and it not only gave me the Beachball of Death, it also was thrashing so heavily it took several minutes to get the terminal to respond enough to kill it.

I wasn't ready to give up, so I did some research and uncovered "Grep in Project", a replacement that does it right: http://henrik.nyh.se/2007/06/grep-in-project-command-for-tex...

I don't know what it is about "Find in Project" that drives text editor programmers to reinvent grep, badly. XCode suffered from terrible performance too for a long time.

No split-window view for comparisons: http://ticket.macromates.com/show?ticket_id=F4398B73

It doesn't look like that's achievable via plugins either, so my experiment with TextMate is over unfortunately.

You might give PeepOpen a try: http://peepcode.com/products/peepopen

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact