A couple of months ago we moved over to Coda from Almanac & Confluence. For the most part, I’m loving the platform. We’ve barely begun to tap its potential, but I can already glimpse the possibilities for what we can ultimately do with it.
However, I am a bit nervous about the apparently slow pace of development for some basic features.
Several times now I’ve come to this community forum looking for info on missing core features like:
Spell check/Grammarly support
Import & export of Microsoft Word documents
Find & Replace
I can see people asking about these features back in 2019 or 2018, but these (to me) important basic features still haven’t been added to the product.
I’m trying to understand why, and whether I should be concerned about our commitment to this platform.
My subjective impression is that there was a lot more progress on development of the platform back around 2016-2018, and that the pace of development has slowed to a crawl in recent years. That thought makes me nervous.
Am I mistaken? Is there another explanation? Maybe there are very few of us who care about these basic features, so they’ve never been prioritised?
Please help me understand the current state of play at Coda. Thanks.
I think it’s more about feature priorities. (I don’t think they’re trying to be that much of a word processor per se)
There are definitely some requests in the backlog that, in my personal opinion, they should have implemented already.
But the idea that development has slowed made me chuckle. The last few years have seen an overhaul of the core editor, the introduction of Packs (an absolutely game changing plug-in feature), the launch of AI tools, and hundreds of other smaller features and improvements. I’ve never seen Coda doing so much so fast.
I share your concern about financial stability, not because of anything I’ve seen on the development side, but simply because money recently got extremely expensive and lots of tech companies I know have been straining (see for example Airtable’s recent woes). Having canceled most of my SaaS subscriptions after replicating their functionality in Coda, I have a lot of eggs in this basket, and I hope they’re on firm footing.
I think Nick has nicely summed up the various major new features that have been added in the last year or two.
I would like to add: massive improvements in performance and the timeline enhancements that are going live on Monday.
I think you have given your own answer: different people have different priorities. And Coda is quite attuned to its user community.
And with pack functionality, pack builders can satisfy demands not being met by Coda, for example there are a number of packs dedicated to importing and exporting information: QuickBooks, Excel/ CSV, Xero, PDF, and many others.
Coda casts such a wide net, it attracts so many people with different backrgounds, therefore many various needs.
I think it’s more of a generational thing, but I’ve used MS Word like 3 times in my entire life, so personally having Word integration would be bottom of the list for me. And standard spell check works well enough in my opinion.
I think it’s hard to see all the updates Coda puts out without a traditional change log, but they definitely aren’t slowing down! I started using Coda a bit more than a year ago now, and they’ve made the platform sooooo much better in that time with so many quality of life improvements! I shudder to remember the days where full width page wasn’t an option…
But in the past year, the entire embedding system, AI stuff, custom domain support, relational improvements, upcoming two-way pack sync, custom icons, etc etc they are going at a really rapid pace, especially compared to any competitors in my eyes.
I also find a few things surprising. Coda was founded in 2014, and after some time it was valued as a “unicorn” in the investment scene with a potential market value of over $1 billion. Many years later, it is still unclear when Coda will become international and when this great product will be made available to a global market - for example with corresponding options for date and time formats. I’m trying to establish a business model here in Germany/Europe with Coda.io at the center, at least that’s the idea. But as long as the mobile application has such deficiencies and I am confronted with customers who receive the message “this browser is currently not supported” when using mobile browsers - such as Firefox or MS Edge - Coda cannot become really successful here. Please don’t misunderstand me, if for technical reasons Coda only runs in Chrome and Safari, I don’t think that’s a problem, but then you have to communicate it that way. The slogan “powerful like an app” also includes the promise that I can develop good solutions, especially for mobile devices, and offer them to customers. I’m still excited about Coda, but I would be even more excited if the mobile application was well developed I still hope that in 2024 - after 10 years of development - there will be a leap into the future with a new version. As long as these improvements have not yet been made, I would rather keep a low profile and not bring the topic of mobile applications to the fore. Otherwise, I find the speed with which new functions are developed simply impressive and Word compatibility is not important to me personally, as I am of the opinion that Word and Excel are applications from the past that allow you to get lost in details, often without providing any significant added value to create. What remains unanswered in the end is the good question about the current business figures and the financial possibilities for implementing a global business model. We know, that you always have to invest a lot before the harvest.