As a web developer you are always looking for ways to make your life easier and improve your efficiency at writing code. I recently discovered some web development software for Mac called Coda that certainly provides a great lighter alternative to Adobe’s Dreamweaver.
The developers, Panic, released the original version back in 2007 (winning the Apple Design Award for Best User Experience in the same year), but have recently launched the improved 2.0 release which that had been working on for a number of years.
When you first open Coda, what strikes you is the simple interface but behind it is a very powerful program that as a web developer will make the hours on end in front of a monitor pain free.
If you are tired of resource hungry Dreamweaver or you’re still using a Plain text editor, here some features that will convince you to switch to Coda.
Coda has a built in site management section allowing you to access and control nearly all aspects of a website from a single source. The interface is ultra-simple and adding a new site is a breeze. You can even sync your sites with iCloud. This site manager includes:
FTP (in a number of modes) with built-in Source Version Control (SVN), allowing you connect directly to your files on a server.
Terminal for if you need to connect to your server through a command line interface.
Database Management allows you connect straight to your MySQL server and manipulate databases from a easy to use visual interface.
Code re-use is an essential part of coding efficiency and Coda’s ‘Clips’ are an awesome way of preventing you from being crippled with RSI from typing your little heart out.
As the name suggests ‘Clips’ allow you to keep clips of code that you use a lot and assign them shortcuts or keywords.
For example you could assign set a clip for commenting your code. When you type /* and press tab it will insert a full comment block.
Another excellent feature is the ability to add placeholders within these clips. Place holders are areas of the code that unique to each iteration and need to be filled out each time the clip is called.
For example a function might have a number of arguments that need to filled out, when you insert the ‘clip’ it will automatically move your cursor through the arguments as you fill them out.
Now with version 2 you can connect your clips to iCloud so you can use them wherever you go.
As a developer you need as much screen real estate as you can get as you have a lot of stuff open while developing websites.
With Coda 2 you can now use your iPad as a dedicated screen to preview your output. This can be handy if you are working off a laptop and not a high resolution dual display setup. Just download the Diet Coda app in the App Store and you’re away.
Reference Books and Hints
When your coding you have a lot floating around in your head and your are always bound to forget a function name or a CSS property, but with the built in books in Coda you can easily search through lists to find out what you need and how to use them.
The Hints also pane taps into the reference books as you tip and finds snippits of information on function, properties and tags. Very handy!
Some people are a bit more visual than others and like to use visual editors to aid them with their coding. Coda has new pop-ups for CSS code that allow you control your styles through a GUI. Whether it’s picking colours using the colour picker or view how rounded your css corners are its definitely beneficial.
You would be amazed how much time you would spend scrolling through files and using the find function to try and find section of code. The new Code Navigator allows you to easily find functions and sections of code by listing them all in a simple drop down. Just look through the list and click on the function to navigate to it.
Along with some of the awesome features above Coda also has a lot of essential and expected features of modern web development software including:
Best of all you can trial the software for free before you buy it, so visit the Coda website now or find it on the App Store.