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My journey to build a Text Editor that allows you to create software with no code

9 months ago from , Co-founder at Zecoda | Creator of Ilustra

Hi,

Founder here. The text editor is the living force of the modern world. We use it everyday for countless use cases. It’s our go to tool for putting words down. But there’s room to improve it for the next generation of makers and builders that grew up with the cloud, collaboration and information at the tip of their fingers.

So, we built one. The goal is to be able to create apps with a familiar interface. The result is a simple text editor tool that helps you i) stay organized and productive, ii) build your own custom apps or iii) design and launch landing pages.

All in one platform.

The main features include:

  • Markdown editor
  • Connect to your databases
  • Add logic operations
  • Build web pages with UI components

You can check demos here: https://zecoda.com#demos.

We’ve decided to have these fairly large set of features in the beginning but with limited functionality (e.g. we only have a handful of Components and Functions to start with). This will allow us to learn from your usage and requests and build from those.

On a more personal note, it has been an unbelievable ride. I’ve been working on this since the beginning of the pandemic. This version is still pretty rough (expect bugs… let me know when you find them) but I decided to launch sooner rather than later to get as much feedback as possible.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. I know it’s a hot topic, this “no code” trend, but we actually believe software development is becoming ubiquitous and we want to help shape that future.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the product?

Thanks! _John

PS - This was built 100% by myself, please expect bugs. If you find any just let me know. I'd love to fix them asap.

PS2 - We are actually pivoting Zecoda from a “design to code” tool [1] to this broader text editor. Also, happy to talk about the pivot decision.

Spread your love (or anger) at Twitter: https://twitter.com/zecodahq

[1] https://www.designernews.co/stories/103636-turn-sketch-files-into-frontend-code-automatically

4 comments

  • Luca Benazzi, 7 months ago

    Very interesting how you use markdown in combination with autosuggest, that opens the door to a lot of different possibilities. I cannot see the preview as I am getting a 4040 page and the demo page only shows an empty box, but I think this has great potential. If you keep developing it until you can really build apps, the way that Bubble does, that's going to be very promising. I would need to see a demo to understand what you can do with this, and in which cases I would use this instead of Bubble/Webflow. Would be good to have integrations with tools like Contentful (open end CMS), in order to manage complex databases. It's great to see a new project based on the "no code" concept, building GUIs should be visual because code is just an artifact, but the GUI is by definition visual, and conditional logic can also be better expressed in the form of diagrams. "Text editor" is misleading to me, if you can use this to build apps. A text editor would produce formatted text as an output, this claims to do a lot more.

    1 point
    • , 7 months ago

      Hey Luca, thanks so much for your feedback.

      The goal is exactly that. To easily build applications from a familiar UI. Integrations are a must! We are currently working on integrating Google Sheets. Already added Contentful to our backlog, thanks for the tip :)

      I have to apologise for the current not so good UX. We are lacking focus in the way we present the product. I'm iterating to have clear use cases with templates to help users getting started. It's just takes time, I'm a solo founder currently.

      Regarding the bugs I'd like to understand them better. When logging in are your presented with a "Welcome to Zecoda" project?

      You are not the first person saying "Text editor" misleading. I'll definitely review it. Any suggestion? :)

      1 point
      • Luca Benazzi, 6 months ago

        I am actually impressed you've already managed to do so much, just by yourself!

        Yes, I see the Welcome page when I login and that's a very useful tutorial, went through but cannot see a preview. A 404 page is generated on both Chrome and Firefox for Mac. You've also posted a link to a demo page somewhere, could not see that, I encourage you to show examples.

        Rather than text editor, I would call this an app builder that uses markdown instead of code.

        Side note: i could not login, my password manager put first and last name instead of email, and the error message is a tooltip instead of a standard error message with red colour, so it took me a while to understand an error was being returned.

        0 points
        • John da Maia, 6 months ago

          Thanks for the suggestion, like it!

          I'm currently finishing a sprint where I'll show examples, templates and allow user to publish their projects with custom domains. Hopefully will be more straightforward and obvious what to do with Zecoda.

          I'll study the best way to improve the UX on Log in error. Thanks for the side note.

          If any questions pop up or you'd like to discuss anything else, you can drop me a note at john [at] zecoda [dot] com

          1 point