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Kodiak for iPad: Behind the scenes

The team

We are just a bunch of people from Jablonec nad Nisou, Czech Republic, who love making great software and bring their ideas and needs into real solutions.

Adam Horacek – Idea and coding

Kuba Brecka – Hardcore coding

Jiri Ibl – Graphics and coffee supplier

Arif Ariman – Illustrations/animations
aariman @ behance.net

Jan Vu Nam – UX/UI


And many others helped us. Thank you!

The product – Kodiak PHP

When we first had the idea of allowing the user to write and run code on the iPad, it was still forbidden by Apple. But times have changed and when we saw apps that run Python, Basic or Lua directly on iOS, we immediately thought of bringing other languages to the iPad as well.

PHP was our choice simply because we all know the language, just as millions of other people. But porting PHP to iOS was one thing and creating an app was another. We were able to run PHP code on the iPad in a very short time, but we spent several months designing and creating the UI.

The core of the app is the code editor. Naturally, we wanted to have highlighted syntax, but there is no simple way to achieve this is iOS. There is no component for that and what is worse, there is no way to use the standard UITextView component and extend it. We had to completely rewrite the whole text editor from scratch. When we had a complete custom editor component (with rendering, line breaking, cursor positioning and all that stuff), only then we could implement syntax highlighting.

The extended keyboard, swipe buttons and navigation key are also a must. With them you can be at least two times faster. Luckily, iOS supplies this "keyboard accessory" natively, so it sticks with the keyboard and moves with it without any extra effort.

The rest of the app (which is still the biggest part) was just a matter of endless days of hard work and arguments about effectivity and intuitive controls.

Second bear – Kodiak JavaScript

We were always thinking of bringing other programming languages to the iPad. Based on the language statistics on GitHub, we decided to do our best to create an IDE for JavaScript developers and thus Kodiak JavaScript was born.

For the launch of Kodiak JavaScript we also prepared a bunch of new features for both our product. The new code editor is now customizable, you can change color schemes and fonts and it highlights syntax even beter. The embedded PHP interpreter now supports MySQL and cURL, two of the most wanted features by our current users.

What's with the bears?

We love bears, pandas, cats, ... and no animal was injured during the development. And Kodiak bear's name resemble the word "coding", that's why we chose it as our mascot.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Take a look at some images of us squatting in our "office" without a roof. We want to show the world that anyone can do cool products and services on his own or with limited resources.