Itsy: A Free Pack for Writing Web Apps that Run in Coda

My socks are on fire! Reading this thread is like watching the three musketeers perfecting their craft, it’s so inspiring!

Now, of I’ll go, trying to figure out the intricacies of Itsy and to ponder possible use cases.

@Bill_French, @Xyzor_Max and @Paul_Danyliuk, your contributions to the coda community are invaluable.

Imo you all deserve a plague on the community forum’s entrance doors - we’re all standing on your shoulders!


itsyPlus(“<h1>Hello World</h1>“)

There are no deep complexities with Itsy except the complexities of the code you decide to throw at it and your imagination.

The only [apparent] limitations of Itsy are those of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. I say “ apparent limitations” because I’ve only cycled about 10,000 lines of web code through it. We’re in uncharted waters, but sailing conditions seem delightful.


Today’s POS apps are yesterday’s summit attempts and tomorrow’s view from the top. Never stop climbing.


First thing to seriously try: integrate the full Highcharts into Coda.

Now that could be the premium pack.

(also calling dibs on that because why the hell not? :smile: )


Ha ha! You have my blessing and support, but free markets have a well-defined vocabulary and “dibs” is not part of it. :wink:


WOW Nina! Such kind sentiments. I truly appreciate this hug. However, if the Coda community is depending on the likes of me to guide us all to higher ground, we should be worried. :expressionless: I’m just an old dude in the desert and I’m 70; you should fear people my age doing anything with code.


the autocorrecting gremlins attack again…

instead of getting a plaque we are struck down by a plague !



people are asking me.

what practical use can the ITSY pack be used for?

and i wave my arms about and list all kinds of vague notions of what can be done.

but i fail to impress!


for me the new vistas opened by @Bill_French and @Paul_Danyliuk work is this

“interactive visualisations”

user moves things about on the screen with the mouse (or finger) and the values in the coda database are changed accordingly. values change in the database and the visualisation reflects that. all in real time.

think or but in coda!

THAT is a mission worth all my midnight oil for the next many months :nerd_face:



I’ve also had similar conversations, many with myself (a whole other problem). But, the one answer that always seems to emerge is best answered by another question.

What practical uses can the Web be used for?


Hello Bill,
Thank you for your pack. I have been playing with it and I noticed that the max. resulting display size on the canvas is rather limited. Have you set that size in your pack-code, and if yes, can it be set by parameters (in the future), or is there another limiting factor.
Greetings, Joost


If you are using itsy() you establish the embed frame with the embed sizing features as usual. If you are using itsyPlus() the only size assertion will come from the code you submit to the formula. And despite what the code may (or may not indicate), sizing of the formula output is achieved by dragging the edges.


Thank you, that never occured to me. I will have another look

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Hello Bill,

I can confirm that your answer works for me - at design time I can stretch the ‘box’.

This will work for many projects, but it would be so nice if the ‘box’ would adapt itself to the size of the content, in particular the length of the text. It seems like the box can be extend down quite a bit, but sometimes the result of the app is just a couple of lines and it feels not quite right to stretch the box down 1600px or more, just in case.

I can’t think of an easy solution, but perhaps you can?

Greetings, Joost

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Can you post an example?

@Bill_French @Xyzor_Max how can this be used to update controls/tables etc in a coda doc? If you don’t mind, please speak to me as you would speak to a child. I’m not a web developer and I think it would help the thread in general, but me especially :stuck_out_tongue: .

@Bill_French this is great! nice job

I’m just an old dude in the desert and I’m 70; you should fear people my age doing anything with code.

:joy: Maybe you need to setup some sort of retreat for developer wisdom there in the desert.

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@Paul_Danyliuk has already done a fine job of this - Itsy → Coda


Hi @Bill_French and others. I came to know about Coda just several days ago, and I think the app is phonemenal. Since last year I am into softwares and have been trying to build an app, so I have been through most of technologies and recent trends. I came to know about programming languages and so-on just recently. I know alot about coding languages but also more about the no-code. I know most of the no code apps such as webflow, wized, memberstack, airtable, xano, and most recently weweb.

The no-code landscape is really small, where weweb is only the reliable no-code web-app builder, where we can connect the frontend to a no-code or code backend. My idea was to build something where the user’s database is accessible and relatable, and that’s when I found Coda. Coda just brought the power of relational database accessible to every person higher than my imagination. Just then I thought that this could change programming, where everyone can mutates and shape their data however they want. Anyone can build anything they want and imagine using Coda.

Then I think about the frontend, the possibilities to build ontop of it, I thought there would be an app that would turn your Coda data into any shapeable frontend, and Coda would be sort of wordpress. I thought of building it. But I was wrong. There’s limitation and inefficiency in that, where the app has to have another database to store the data, while also calling Coda API to transfer the data. Also the fact that a user has to have 2 apps to build it.

What you just built filled the gaps perfectly. By allowing Web Apps to be built in Coda, one doesn’t need to have 2 apps to have their perfect software. You don’t need quickbooks, shopify, or typedream, once there’s apps like that here(and there will absolutely be. And @Paul_Danyliuk is right, the only limitation is the API is exposed, I think that would also be settled in no-time.

One thing I knew when using weweb is that the no-code era will began soon where everyone can make their perfect software themselves, only now I knew that it isn’t gonna be like I expected. It isn’t purely no-code, it is better. The no-code approach of building apps still have alot of opinionated use on data, and the accessibility of data is still limited for the users, but Coda changed this. With Coda everyone can tailor the use of data perfectly to suite them, and with Itsy they can have anything. With an app in Coda, one can have have features like shopify, quickbooks and typedream, all in one with all data synced perfectly and seamlessly, shaped however you want.

This would change the consumer software market landscape, totally, and we would be onto something bigger, like flying cars, sooner than ever. This is crazy @Bill_French , thank you for making these, guys, I hope Coda also see this and take a bigger step.

Bill if I may, theres 2 request, I have an idea to make custom styles template. The requirements I need are:

  1. How can I make params from inside itsy and save the formula, so I can change the params whenever. For example I make the button text as params, so they can use the same button styles but change the text via saved formula: IE. formula buttonstyle(“text”)

  2. How to make the size fill the width, and height auto, this is so I can fill the whole content with my templates, then anyone can just ‘drag and drop’ template/styles.

You live a sheltered life. :wink:

This is true, but [Coda] casts a horizon that is vastly larger than the fundamental democratization of relational databases. It’s a far deeper architecture that represents information alchemy. If you can say that Coda is ideal for bringing people who have or need data into the same realm as people who have or need data visualized, narrated, explained, and conversed upon – the horizon is much wider. Few tools can say this (and much, much more).

You’re welcome. I’m not sure what the bigger step might look like, but I’m quite happy with Coda’s steps to open the product for custom Packs.

In the context of Itsy, what you are describing is a version that supports substitution much the way Coda’s Format formula behaves. I have given this some thought and it’s an area I want to explore when my day job is not so consuming.

This one is a little more challenging because Coda ultimately controls the document canvas; replacing it entirely is not likely in Coda’s best interest. As such, Itsy may forever be constrained to a role as a little web-app runner.