Thursday, September 10, 2020 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Coda to Become Nova

Panic:

Our next text editor — the follow-up to Coda 2 — couldn’t just add a few features and call it a day. It had to change dramatically. It had to catch up to where things are today. And it had to consider where web development will be tomorrow.

Panic:

Nova will be $99, or $79 if you own Coda. When you buy it, you own it. Plus, your purchase includes one year of new features and fixes, released the moment they’re ready. After that, you can get another year of updates at any point — even much later — for $49/year. That’s it!

Shipping next week. This seems most similar to the Sketch business model. It won’t be coming to the Mac App Store due to sandboxing issues.

Previously:

Update (2020-09-18): Panic (tweet):

Can a native Mac code editor really be that much better?

Find out.

Nick Heer:

In a sense, this is how good things are supposed to work. My favourite records are, on a per-listen basis, the least-expensive albums I’ve bought; I would have a different relationship with them if I had to pay for every listen. But software is not like that. It needs constant work, and it can be difficult to patch bugs in free updates while trying to build a worthy major new version. That is especially true for a company as fastidious as Panic. And, since the App Store and Apple’s software, more generally, have eschewed the very concept of paid updates, we’re now stuck with subscriptions as a way to finance ongoing work.

[…]

As version numbers become increasingly irrelevant in an era of ongoing patches, bug fixes, and feature updates, this pricing model seems like a fair compromise for users and for Panic.

Update (2020-09-22): Panic:

Here’s a little editor story for fun. During beta we found some bugs in Apple’s text layout engine that we just could not fix. Our solution? Writing our own text layout manager… from scratch. Not only did this fix the bugs, but it also boosted our editor’s performance. We’re not messing around!

See also: Hacker News.

Update (2020-09-28): John Gruber:

The big difference between Nova and Sketch’s ongoing renewal pricing and pure subscriptions is that if you choose to stop paying, the version of the app you already have will keep working until it becomes technically obsolete. (Also noteworthy: this user-friendly, developer-sustaining pricing is not possible on the Mac App Store, and thus neither Nova nor Sketch are on the Mac App Store.)

Mark Bernstein:

We’ve been using [this upgrade model] for 20 years and we’re still here.

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