Can Coda replace a Wiki?

Over the past few weeks I’ve trying to hammer Coda into a workspace that allows me to do the following:

  • Project Management: w.r.t. Planning & Project, Milestone and Task definition.
  • Design document: A central place in which we outline the concepts in the project. Concepts having specific (programmatically accessible) traits, be groupable/searchable/filterable but also flexible enough to use as design documents.

I absolutely love the fact that I can easily references topics and that hovering over links gives me previews to their contents. It works wonders in a table-centric approach to pages. The added benefit being that I can programmatically use this information to provide an easily accessible way to expose designers to concepts & design that is then used to generate code.

However, at the moment I’m not sure how to best approach having a set of pages, a wiki, inside Coda.

  • The Rows-As-Pages approach gives me most of the functionality I need. However, I don’t have good control over the visual structure of a page. Building Block Layouts get me there partially, but, per example, the text column in a table doesn’t allow me to add in images directly. I also lose the ability to comment on parts of the “page” as I can only comment on the page as a whole.
  • Using Sections-As-Pages gives me more control over the visual. However, I can’t hierarchically group anything, so the size of the wiki structure is extremely limited. I also lose the ability to address the pages through traits.

My Questions to Coda

  • Given the above, is Coda actually suited or intended to be used as a wiki for anything but the smallest projects? Or should I use an external solution?
    • Is a workflow planned for implementation that allows for a more “rich” Text column?
    • Do you think that given the scope (hundreds, if not thousands of large pages), Coda is well-suited?
  • Given that we can’t refer to other documents, how should such a document be structured? Currently I have various (large) tables for: Projects, Milestones, Tasks, Subtasks, Staff, Glossary, Tags, Templates & Pages. Will Coda be able to handle the size of a 2-4 year running project with 10 people?

@Al_Chen_Coda My apologies for repeatedly pinging you, but I thought that given the above answers would probably be interesting to the community.

Related discussions outlining the needs and issues in this thread:

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I’m using wikis (mostly dokuwiki) since 2004. Our internal wiki was started then and, after several refactorizations, is my knowledge trove. I return to it once and again for a formula, a procedure or a script that I wrote years ago and that suddenly I need again.

I hope that Coda documents would be linkable granularly in the future. Then there will be no limit for growth. You are right in the sense that inter-document referral, link, etc., would be an amazing enrichment of Coda group use during long periods of time.

I would also like that an entire document could be exported as markdown for compiling a document, but I’m not in a hurry about it.

Another useful feature would be active headers inside sections. I.e., if you have a First Approach section and you can refer parts of it such as First Approach#Prior art , First Approach#known deal-breakers, etc., the limit that you mentioned would be greatly diminished, specially if an index or an outline can be included or raised for navigating the document

However, I can compare my old project-dedicated wiki and Coda is a huge leap forward, compared with them. Now, when I start a project, I start is as a seed in my general management document. If project growths enough, I create a new document. There we add sections and folders as soon as we need it, and of course internal and external documentation are organized into folders and sections.

If my documentation is too large, I use the same solutions that I used prior to coda: dokuwiki for internal documentation that grows into several hierarchical levels and dozens of documents, and evernote for external, searchable documentation.

But these are extreme examples. In most of the cases I maintain internal and external documentation inside Coda’s sections and folders and I make use of Coda excellent resources for project management.

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Thanks for the questions @GJ_Roelofs! I’ll try my best to answer in-line:

  • Is a workflow planned for implementation that allows for a more “rich” Text column? Currently we have the big cell feature that launched a few months ago, but we are still iterating on this as we gather feedback.
  • Do you think that given the scope (hundreds, if not thousands of large pages), Coda is well-suited? Yes. We will be launching a new design for how you can manage your docs at the org level in a few months which can help with managing your docs across business functions.
  • Given that we can’t refer to other documents, how should such a document be structured? Currently I have various (large) tables for: Projects, Milestones, Tasks, Subtasks, Staff, Glossary, Tags, Templates & Pages. Will Coda be able to handle the size of a 2-4 year running project with 10 people? That’s the correct way to structure things, where each “noun” has its own table. We’ve seen teams of hundreds running their projects and workflows in one doc.
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Thanks for the answers

Have you planned any way of connecting tables between documents?

And what about active references to headers in sections or subsections for expanding hierarchically the document structure?

Hi @Juan_Luis_Chulilla, connecting tables between documents is definitely on the roadmap. For now, you can use Coda’s API to connect data syncing between your doc. I posted in the community a few months ago about connecting your tables together:

In terms of references to headers in sections, you cannot do this currently in Coda but will definitely submit this as a feature request to the product team!