I’m Juan, a gray-bearded anthropologist who do research for a living. I work for big names such as utility companies here in Spain, and also for software development companies and customers. Indeed, one of my main fields is UX in its broadest and most humane and cultural sense. As an old geek who does participant observation in actual environments, I love to test and discuss with users about how they experience apps and appliances.
One of my main results are reports, and I need spreadsheets as basic tools for a wide range of operations. When I read about Coda, I thought that it was enough promisory to invest a sizable amount on time in testing and reading about it.
I am using it in actual projects, and I can say already that it has a great potential. For instance, the most simple information architecture of coda (documents > folders > sections and documents merging with tables) is ridiculously flexible and powerful. It’s very convenient for maintaining information well-arranged and accesible.
Besides, building and adapting a permanently updated scorecard is very convenient, so convenient that I build once and again formulas in the middle of texts just as queries. Such scorecards are already useful for my team as improved tools for quick reviewing project progress.
I’m totally convinced that I’m just grasping a tiny part of Coda’s actual case use set. It’s flexibility demands you to review deeply some of your basic concepts, like “what’s really a spreadsheet? Does it need to be like a battleship game?”, “what’s a document? Can it be more than a digital version of a paper one?”, etc. But if you fly enough high to review your concepts as needed, then a field of possibilities open in front of you as colored as the fields in my neighbourhood, after an entire month of raining. Raining in Madrid for a month, go figure…
However, I’m wondering how or when it be possible to define variables for calculating formulas. In a Battleship spreadsheet, you define an specific cell as a value from which other cells can refer as part of its own functions such as prices, lenghts, etc. Of course, a change in its value affects every other cell which refers it. I’m still not sure if there is a workaround for doing that or if something like a variable is going to be implemented.
Nevertheless, for all of us and specially for codaers it’s a promising voyage. I’m eager to explore all its possibilities and the next functionalities!