Personal vs collaborative controls and automations

I have discussed this with support, but perhaps there are more people that want to upvote this issue.

Ever since we recently had the choice to make a bunch of objects personal or collaborative, I have embraced this new option to set a lot of items to personal - which gives me a lot better user experience.

Through an automation I reset a lot of these items to default values (mostly blank), but this generates a new error message every night, because personal controls can’t be reset by an automation.

I urge Coda to change this and make it in such a way that if an item is (re)set by an automation that it happens regardless of personal of collaborative state. After all, the doc maker knows what he is doing or why he wants this. Maybe there should be a distinction between the automation setting an item or pushing a button to set an item - or, better, have an extra button option to allow buttons to take actions on all personal set items (meaning for all users).

Thank you,
Greetings, Joost

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Reading this made me start thinking what are settings on items in our docs that are set by automation, luckily they are all collaborative so we haven’t run into this problem yet so I wasn’t aware of it, but there will definitely be a case where we need to reset personal objects (like filters) with automation and this use case should definitely be supported!

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Hi @joost_mineur, can you share more about your use case?

Currently if you set the automation to run as yourself, it should update your personal value. Do you have cases where you want the the automation to update values for everyone else as well?

If so, would you want the updates to apply to everyone, or only those who currently see the default value and haven’t modified the control on their own?

Hello Nathan,

Thank you for reaching out.

The way I use personal objects is to allow my users to calculate prices (with or without VAT, with or without member discount, different items, etc.) and people tend to forget to reset the default switches. So I have found it to be good practice to reset all those type of switches every night. There are many of them.
Another place where this is used is looking up personal data of clients/members. In my experience people look something up and never empty the search field, leaving private data visible with some risk of accidentally altering data. But apart from that, I find it good business to make sure all search fields are emptied at the end of the day.
There are some other fields that have to be collaborative, like dividing certain tasks for a work day - those need to be emptied at the end of the day as well (because otherwise the next morning people think new assignments have already been made) and fortunately that still works, same as location settings and the like. But private settings need to be emptied at the end of a day (or shift or whatever) and currently people have to do that themselves (which we know… they won’t).

A simple example:


All these need to be reset to prevent mistakes, but this is a simple one. Think about security or prevention checklist at the beginning of a shift (ID Card - check, Tools - check, Assignments - check etc. etc.) where a task list for the person on duty is not activated until all is checked. We want that to reset by an automation or manager pushing a button, because otherwise everything stays checked forever and then you might just as well not have a checklist.

I am currently resetting 19 items every night, but I am not even close to finishing this routine, I just started implementing it much broader than I have used it for the last 2 years or so. These are just some of my thoughts

I understand not everyone needs (or wants this), therefore I think it should be an optional setting in SetControlValue (or ResetControlValue). I also think that I might use this reset on some controls and not on others, so that’s another reason I would like it to be an optional setting in the SetControlValue, and I assume with a default of false() (don’t reset personal controls) so people don’t have to go through their code of they are happy as is.

Having said all of this, I hope Coda is working on some document settings (like default Wide pages instead of small), and this control setting options would fit perfectly with these settings.

Please let me know if you need some more input on this subject - and thank you for taking the time to read all of the above.

Greetings, Joost

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My choice would be to apply to everyone, because if I don’t want that, I won’t put it in an automation.
If they haven’t set it, it is still in default mode and (re)setting it by an automation won’t harm anything. The default can be a lot of things (checked, unchecked, certain values, but they are defined by the doc maker and persist to whatever is defined at design time (like starting value for checkboxes). The SetControl would reset it to true if that was the initial setting.

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