by Jason Snell
Mac apps yes, text preferences no
I really enjoyed this review of Panic’s code editor Nova by Alex Guyot of MacStories. Nova is a remarkable Mac-only app that I’m looking forward to using with all updates to the Six Colors WordPress template going forward.
But Alex also makes a fantastic point about one of his (and my, as it turns out) pet peeves:
One of my main frustrations with pretty much all of the popular code editors out there (and I’ve tried most of them, including Visual Studio Code, Sublime Text, Atom, IntelliJ, and Eclipse) is that none of them are Mac-assed Mac apps. They’re all clearly cross-platform apps with design senses that differ significantly from those of Mac-first developers.
You can see a microcosm of this fact just by looking at the preferences of these apps. For many of them, the ‘Preferences’ menu bar item is actually a submenu from which you can navigate to ‘Settings,’ as well as other more nebulous options. If that doesn’t already offend Mac users, a common theme in those settings screens is for them to be literal JSON text files that open in the editor. You then manually edit the text to adjust options.
As Alex writes, design matters, Mac-like design doubly so. And if an app decides to display its preferences as an editable text file, I’m never going to use that app. Hard No.