What is Coda?
In a nutshell, Coda is a coding tool for Macs that lets designers code faster and better within one program. Companion program Diet Coda is an app for iPad that lets you make quick fixes to a website on the go (and Coda 2 can work with your iPad as a dedicated preview screen).
I called UX designer and strategist—and longtime Coda user—Dani Nordin (author of the forthcoming book Drupal for Designers) to chat with her about what’s so cool about the new release.
I started with DreamWeaver 4 when I wanted to learn web design. But at one point, learning how to do the code rather than just doing wysiwyg was way more valuable. Once you learn to develop locally on your machine, Coda is a dream come true. You hit save, and go to refresh the page in Chrome, and your changes are all live.
You’re not just able to write code and CSS but you’re able to connect to your database via the terminal within the program. With DreamWeaver you have to have four or five programs open to do the same thing.
And there’s a clips library that lets you organize snippets of code. If you do a lot of CSS3, you can go into your clips library and double-click on the clip of code you need and edit it from there. Rather than remembering a 10-line bit of code, you’ve got it right there.
The value of Coda became much more evident to me when I started using Drupal. The other thing that’s really nice is that the code you write in Coda is the only code that goes into your file. And that’s not been my experience with DreamWeaver.
The other thing that’s amazing is that it’s $100 for the full software. I was like, “Wait, this is only 100 bucks? This is so much better than anything else I’ve ever seen!”
With Coda 2, now you can connect to localhost—that’s the thing I wanted most. I would love to see more functionality for quickly switching to the browser of your choice. If there was a version of Coda that had simulators of old browsers built into it, that would be really cool.
What people are saying about Coda
Our resident expert Patrick McNeil says:
I typically refer people to DreamWeaver to get started with coding. But if I was on a Mac, Coda is THE tool I would use. When I’ve worked on a Mac over the years, this has always been my preferred software choice. it makes me want to buy a Mac!
And here’s what people are saying on Twitter: