Here's what to do with endless calculations with very large docs (Lessons with large docs)

Here at Schmooz Media we have a doc we use to manage our entire service operation. However, I pushed a change in a formula that caused the doc to endlessly update. I’m sure it would end eventually, but it seemed like that day would never come especially in a busy work day where I’ve grown so dependent on the doc.

Why I think it took so long:
In the table I added changes to, the formula was the display column that needed to propagate everywhere, and was linked to many different tables, but not any formulas.

What to do next time:
Once you’re doc gets big enough it may be worth creating a copy of the doc. Although I’ve never tried this, and I’m not sure if it’ll take a while to copy very large app-like docs. The point of Coda for me is to speed up our development velocity so we’re constantly moving forward to a better future. That’s why I love Coda and have never opted for this option in my workflow of developing the doc.

Another option would be some sort of middleware table to act as a queue where there are much less records before pushing to the main table.

How I fixed it quickly:
I read that calculations are done locally, client-side. So, I hard reloaded my tab in Chrome by opening up the developer tools, then right clicking the refresh button. Once you do this you’ll be greeted by a empty cache and hard reload option.

I’m building big docs here at Schmooz Media, and will always be open to sharing the challenges I’ve overcome. This challenge took a good chunk out of my productivity because I’m very dependent on my Coda doc - which I think is a good thing. It’s multiplied my impact on Schmooz.

Are there any challenges you’ve come across from building large Coda docs?


Hi, out of of interest. What do you consider a large doc? 1000 rows, 10000 rows, 100000 rows or 1 million rows?

Dear @Rokas_Jurkenas and @Matthew_Lal

For the definition of a large doc the number of rows / columns are not that relevant.
it’s more to do, with the formula constructions to avoid repetitive calculating one and the same thing.

See article below:

In the “doc map” you will be able to debug calculation, when you start to experience issues

Enjoy Coda :handshake:


I think we’re at 20000+ rows right now.

Thank you for your response Jean. That feature for debugging calculations is very handy! I’ve used that tool to the best of my ability to optimize my formulas. However, there’s only so much you can do to avoid time complexity. Calculations just take more time the more rows there are.

Thanks for sharing the doc, I’ll take a look to see if there’s anything I haven’t considered.

Looks like this has been updated last I checked! There are more optimizations I can work around. Thank you again for bringing this back up.

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