Launched: Improvements to doc load & performance

At Coda, we’re dedicated to innovating and shipping fast, well, and consistently. But we know that it’s also important that your experience making docs, tools, frameworks and apps in Coda also works fast, well, and consistently. That’s why I’m excited to share a number of updates we’ve made behind the scenes to improve performance and doc load in Coda.

Faster Image Loading

We’ve updated our image serving to serve via cacheable CDN, which allows images in docs to load from memory or local disk instead of loading over the web every time. This means opening/loading a doc, switching pages, opening rows, etc., should all be faster whenever images are involved.

A fix for canvas formulas

We were able to track down, isolate and fix a bug that impacted canvas formulas (that is, formulas that are in the text of your page vs. formulas in a table) and the docs that contained them. Previously, if you had canvas formulas, your docs would just get slower and slower the longer you left them open. This meant a doc hiding out in a background tab could be taking longer and longer to reflect your edits and changes. Thanks to our diligent engineering detectives, we squashed this bug so that your docs with canvas formulas perform fasterーno matter how long they’ve been open.

Updates to our doc load experience

While the two updates above help with performance for docs that meet certain conditions (having images or canvas formulas, respectively), we’ve also made some changes to help you know that you’re in the right Coda doc, sooner. Previously, when waiting for your doc to load we would show a spinning indicator that your doc was loading. Now, we’ll load your actual doc name and icon and show a few more UI features so you know (1.) you’re in Coda, and (2.) if you’re waiting for a doc to load, you’re waiting for the right doc to load.

As a reminder, we also have some best practices for troubleshooting performance issues with your docs:

We hope these changes help you enjoy a faster, more reliable experience in your docs, and we’re committed to ongoing work to continue improving performance across Coda. Stay tuned!

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I appreciate that Coda prioritizes the stability, scalability, and user experience of their core technology & platform. :blush:

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Hey, @chris.
This is another great news.
You guys are fast! The more I use Coda the more I like it.
I have a question if you could help me.
I have a doc with many pictures (about 4 to 5 thousands) .
From time to time I make a backup using Google AppScript. What my script does is to read a list with all the images URL in Coda server and save them in Google Drive.
The thing is this is a very slow process and AppScript has a time limit. So I have to do it little by little.
Do you think with this update, I’ll be able to copy images faster to google drive?

yes! That’s a great improvement. Let’s keep going in that direction where we can scale coda like we could with a local excel sheet or even better, a server :smiley:

This is great news!

If you allow me one suggestion, maybe it would be very helpful if we can have a list of all the formulas with a document. Something like formula map. Even if it is an exported list of formulas this could also help optimising the performance of a document.

Hi @Breno_Nunes,

It sounds like you’re running into a limit on AppScript download times rather than something on Coda’s side. You may want to parallelize your downloads in your AppScript if you haven’t done that already.

Or, alternatively, store the images authoritatively in Google Drive and update your Coda doc to load images via Image URL pointing to Google Drive. That way, you can avoid the need for backup completely? Obviously this depends on your use case and may not be viable for you.

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That second update is particularly interesting…

Previously, if you had canvas formulas, your docs would just get slower and slower the longer you left them open. This meant a doc hiding out in a background tab could be taking longer and longer to reflect your edits and changes.

…Because the calculation performance issues support page specifically recommends defining canvas formulas that are used consistently across multiple tables/rows.

So with this fix… that recommendation should still hold? @chris

Thanks!

Hi @Charles_Jing,

I’m an engineer at Coda who worked on the fix.

Yes, that recommendation still holds. The recommendation was written without knowledge of this bug.

Even if we hadn’t fixed the bug, we would still have recommended that, since it would probably take a few days of moderate or heavy use before you would notice any significant slowdowns due to the bug.

Tim

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Hi Tim :wave::wave:

That makes a lot of sense as to why my computer would go nuts after a few days. Thought it was just getting old… I had been keeping Coda open in pinned tabs on safari/chrome trying to figure out which browser was causing more slowdowns.

Anything I can keep in mind going forward?

Thanks,
Charles

Nope. Just let us know if you’re noticing abnormal slowdowns, especially if reloading fixes the problem.

Great, thanks Tim! Always appreciate when the engineers who fix the things engage on the community. You rock :rocket::dizzy:

Thanks. I always appreciate our Coda users who engage on the community as well! You rock!

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