I use an older Windows-based program called HomeSite daily to do my heavy lifting when I’m building sites, with a liberal sprinkling of Dreamweaver and some BBEdit for the things HS can’t do. When I heard that Panic, the shop behind Transmit (an excellent FTP client for OS X) just came out with Coda, billed as a new editor/ftp client/reference app all in one, I was very interested.
I’m downloading it now to give it a test spin this week-it’s always hard switching from one workflow to the next, but I like the reasoning behind creation of the app: …our web workflow was wonky. We’d have our text editor open, with Transmit open to seave files to the server. We’d be previewing in Safari, running queries in Terminal, using a CSS editor, and reading references on the web.
This sounds much like my workflow—I’ve usually got Parallels running HomeSite and Explorer in a virtual window, Safari and Firefox open for testing in OS X, Transmit to upload (HomeSite’s “built-in FTP client” is a joke) and another two or three browser tabs open for reference. (Plus Photoshop, Illustrator, and/or ImageReady.) Usually I’ll offload some of the testing and viewing duties to a secondary machine, usually the Thinkpad to my left, so that I don’t have to continually cycle through windows to see what I need. But that’s clunky, and it takes time to set up each workflow—especially when I’m cycling through multiple projects like I often do on a daily basis. One of the promises of this new app is that workflows are saved exactly as they are left, so one would be able to pick up right where one left off on a day-to-day basis. (This feature is implemented somewhat crudely by HomeSite, but not in a way I’ve been able to make useful.)
While I usually have a strong dislike for having multiple UI views in one app, I’m interested to see how Coda handles all of these functions and how Panic implemented them. I hope they have some kind of quick key for tabbing through views so that I don’t have to rely on the mouse to move around. I also hope it’s more stable than Dreamweaver, which still acts like a narcoleptic teenager.
More thoughts as they come-I’ll give it a test run tomorrow morning.
Update 4.25: I played with it for a while yesterday, and while it’s fast, and clean, it didn’t light my fire as much as I was hoping. I think this is due partially because I’m entering the middle of a project as opposed to starting a new one with it; it’s got a lot of nice features that I could use, but I’ve not had enough time to really find them all yet.