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Mac and iOS development team Panic announced today in a company blog post that the next major version of its Coda web development tool would not be coming to the Mac App Store. The reason? App Store apps need to be sandboxed (a security feature in OS X that doesn’t let apps modify data outside of their designated “sandboxes”), and Coda 2.5 simply doesn’t work as a sandboxed app.

According to Panic, Apple worked with the developers as much as possible to provide temporary exemptions and workarounds that could help alleviate some of the issues encoutered, but ultimately the decision was made to only release the update through the Panic website.

There’s nothing for App Store users to worry about, though. Panic has created an easy transition path to get from the App Store version (2.0.14) to the upcoming 2.5 build. Customers who currently have the App Store version installed just need to leave it in place. When version 2.5 is released through the Panic website, those customers just need to download it and run it. The app will automatically detect the previously-purchased App Store version and activate itself.

The update is also introducing a new syncing mechanism called Panic Sync that will replace iCloud in all of Panic’s apps. This is because iCloud compatiblity is only available to apps sold through Apple’s official channels. Since Coda 2.5 won’t be able to use iCloud to sync with other devices, the company has built its own syncing solution.

The developers are hopeful that someday the app will be able to return to the App Store, but until they’ve found a way to work around all of the issues sandboxing creates, the app will only be available on the company website. Since the upgrade path for App Store users is in place, you can get the current App Store build of Coda 2 for $79.99 now and get the upgrade from Panic when it becomes available.

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22 Responses to “Coda 2.5 won’t be coming to the Mac App Store, but there’s no need to panic”

  1. i dont understand why a web coding application can’t be sandboxed….

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    • chatjaune says:

      Me neither… Is there more details somewhere ?

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    • Nick Koot says:

      Uhm, you could read the supplied links in which another links resides where your question is answered. http://www.panic.com/blog/coda-and-sandboxing/

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    • Seriously? You can’t see why a program that works on websites, which are made up of webpages, graphics, scripts, and css, can’t run well in a sandbox?

      Let me give you an idea of how I work on a website and hopefully that will give you some idea of why an app like Coda can’t do its job from inside of a sandbox, as Apple is implementing it now.

      I will setup a server like Apache or NGinX on my computer as a local testbed. These servers will designate a folder as the root. All files that run on this server need to be in this folder (a gross simplification but close enough). Now, I fire up my web editor program, like Coda, and start making pages. But, if Coda is sandboxed then I don’t have access to that folder, or if I do then the pages that I make are sandoxed to Coda. Which means that if I want to run my javascript through a minifying program that program won’t have access to any javascript pages that I wrote in Coda. How will Coda get access to any of the graphics that I made for the page? Can I access any of the css pages that I roughed out in Coda with more robust CSS programs for final tweaking?

      The problem with Apple’s sandboxing is the false belief that any file will only need to be accessed by a single program. And therefore, it is feasible to limit access to that file to a single program. And working around the siloing of data by copying it from program to program is terrible. Not only is it incredibly wasteful of space it creates a versioning nightmare.

      Apple’s sandboxing will only be partially practical as a security feature until they figure out a way to make the data siloing feature practical to people doing realistic work with files. Work where a single file has to be accessible from multiple programs.

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      • Ah…what did he say? 😕

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      • What are you talking about? That is not how sandboxing in OS X works, at all. What it means is that the user specifically has to select through a dialogue (or any other way of actively opening files) which root directories the sandboxed application is to have permission to access.

        The problem is that a sandboxed application can’t access any files that the user hasn’t specifically granted access to, which means that you can’t for example implement a complete file browser for directories outside the authorised directories. Sandboxed applications are also not allowed to do certain file operations and can’t be granted root or sudo access.

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  2. and they don’t need to give 30% away, no brainer.

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    • They’ll still need to give 30% away, just not to Apple. It’ll go on credit card processing, on hosting, on systems for licence generation and verification, on advertising, etc.

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      • It’s closer to 10% than 30% if you hosting and processing outside the MAS.

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      • i’d say nope …
        – hosting: they’re already paying (for their site)
        – license generation: they already have it (from pre-mas version), just need to put it back into current version
        – credit card processing: there are lots of cheaper options (example: for current app price – 75$ – stripe would only bill about 2.5$, or 2.9% plus 0.30$)
        – advertising: you really rely on mas for advertising about a software developer tool?

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      • ikir says:

        Exactly, i have developers friends and they always says Mac App Store has been a blessing for them.

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  3. Stetson says:

    Nicely done on the title

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  4. drtyrell969 says:

    That’s okay. 2.x is a complete garbage, and every developer knows it.

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  5. Coda has far more serious productivity issues to resolve / implement before it becomes a proper coding tool.

    I’ve been a full-time web-developer since 05. Compared with Netbeans, Coda may be sexier and stylish but its functionality is way lesser (at least Coda 2, which I tried 3-4 months back). It’s lacking some basic stuff proper IDEs (Netbeans, Eclipse etc) have.

    So, I’m not sure why I should shell out $75 for something like that. I hope I’m proven wrong…

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  6. I’m using Coda v. 1.7.5 still. It was a last version before migration to AppStore and I don’t understand why Panic can’t offer upgrade to new version for good price? Why they are don’t respect old users?

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