Today, Panic released their first new major app in a long time. Named Coda, it’s a tool for serious web developers who want an Xcode-like tool for web development. It integrates a lot of tools into one app, which is a very nice thing. Unfortunately for me, Coda’s still missing a lot of what I need to make extensive use out of it, or enough to justify the $80 price tag. I’d like to point out the big 5 that are missing from Coda’s arsenal that would really make the app significantly more useful.

5. Make Coda Foxy!

When we write Cocoa software, we don’t do it in ten different applications. We do it in Xcode, because it brings all the tools we need together in one place. We saw a clear need, and we set out to fill it.” – Steven Frank, Co-Founder of Panic

This one is not a terribly big deal because Firefox is a bit of a behemoth, and the integration might not be possible because of how extensive the WebKit framework is. But dammit, I’ve got a soapbox and I’m going to use it. I would love to see Firefox (or rather the Gecko rendering engine) get built into Coda. The ability to look at the major differences between the two biggest Mac web rendering engines in real time would be an excellent experience. The extra heft of the application could be justified by the fact that Coda is an app for professionals.

4. Plug it in, plug it in!

Plugins rock. Load only the functionality that you, the user, wants in the app. IDEs are especially great places for a plugin-based architecture. And with a usable API, the community can pick up where Panic leaves off. This way, you can include the Python and Ruby on Rails guys more easily. It would also be an excellent way to implement many of the critiques on this list.

3. Spacing out

This one goes out to you too, CSSEdit. Firebug makes it easy to visualize the effects of changing CSS properties like margin and padding. With a powerful visual design tool, working on CSS positioning could be made drastically simpler to understand. Coda’s got plenty of whitespace in the visual CSS editor (which looks suspiciously similar to CSSEdit’s) to handle something like that, but it could really go anywhere.

2. “You can’t set breakpoints?!”

The Internet is becoming more and more a sophisticated application platform, due to Javascript handling updating the GUI and querying the server. As the GUIs I want to implement become more and more complicated (and believe it or not, Javascript can do some pretty crazy things), it becomes crucial to have a fast and powerful tool to do JavaScript debugging. Something comparable to Xcode would be nice.

1. I got my fist, I got my plan, I’ve got Subversionism!

Just like any other project, I need to put my files into Subversion. Unfortunately, I’m also lazy and don’t do it if I have to duck down to command line (even though I’m a CLI junkie; if I’m in the zone, don’t pull me out). Having super-tight integration with Subversion is a must. Checking in and out, reading logs, doing diffs, all of it.

And no, the Terminal doesn’t cut it.