Panic’s Coda Leaves Mac App Store With New Version

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Panic Software announced Wednesday the latest version of its web development app Coda would not be available in the Mac App Store (MAS) due to sandboxing. The company said that Coda, a Web development tool, can't work as a sandboxed app, a feature necessary to be in the MAS.

Panic discussed this on the company blog in late 2012, outlining the steps taken to make Coda compliant with Sandboxing restrictions. The company pointed out that Apple had gone to great lengths to assist in getting Coda out the door. Unfortunately the need to get Coda in the hands of users eventually outweighed the time it would take to continue working through Sandboxing issues, so version 2.5 won’t be available via the Mac App Store.

On the upside, “switching” to the website version only requires downloading the new copy directly from Panic and installing it. That version will detect the Mac App Store version and unlock the full version, protecting the purchase you already made through the MAS.

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It sucks this happened to Coda. Much like TextExpander before it, a truly useful piece of software can’t be distributed through the built-in mechanism of the Mac App Store. Apple's imposition of strict sandboxing rules has been done in the name of security, but the reality is that it tromps all over a lot of legitimate and useful functionality. Coda is merely the most recent example of this.

What the Mac App Store is doing with Sandboxing is generally good for Mac users, and what Coda is doing is good for Coda users, but unfortunately this leaves users at an impasse. I was happy to read that Apple tried to help work things out, it’s just disappointing there wasn’t a better path.

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“At odds” means there are likely serious security risks. Sandboxing is still VERY secure for the users v. the developers’ side of things. And after all, it’s my mobile interface. I want it as secure as possible. Hacking, identity theft, fraud. They’re all major concerns for individual users and if I’m mildly inconvenienced, or the developer majorly inconvenienced, it’s still better to err on the side of caution than throwing it to the wind and suffering the consequences.  It’s just that simple. I know others will take issue with that. But after a bout of “theft” that almost cost me $800 in one month, I’ll continue to err on the side of caution. Perpetually. There’s nothing earth shattering or that important that would make me throw that much caution to the wind.

Kelly Guimont

@Tiger, I’m not sure I follow you. This is about the Mac version but you mentioned your “mobile interface”. This is a web development app that lots of people use, and it’s disappointing that someone who has the skills to know what they’re signing up for by using Coda can’t have it from the MAS.

Lee Dronick

It sounds to that in effect we are buying, or have bought as the case may be, a license from the Mac App Store.

I will have to see what is in the new version before upgrading. It sounds like one of the things is their own version of iCloud.

  • What about iCloud Sync of my sites?

iCloud requires the App Store, so that’s out. But we have great news. We never want to short-change our paying customers, so we’ve spent many months working on Panic Sync, our own super-easy, super-secure syncing solution that gives you power over your data. And Panic Sync will work between Panic apps—Coda and Diet Coda to start. And Panic Sync is free. In short, we’ll trade you iCloud for something great.


I wonder if Apple couldn’t allow users to download from the MAS those Apps that need to escape the sandboxing requirement, but when you try to download an App that needs more than sandboxing the user has to read & agree and enter a admin password…. ??

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