Oh! Not hard to find, but very counterintuitive.
Say, I want to get a cell value from the first row of a table.
Following the top-down logic, I’d first select the table, then the row, then the cell, i.e. write the formula like this:
[Table name].First().[Column name]
But this won’t work! The correct order of selection is: table -> column -> row:
[Table name].[Column name].First()
This feels wrong, because it feels like I’m making Coda first pull all the values for the column for possibly hundreds of rows, to discard everything but the first one. I assume Coda devs were smart enough and optimized this so that Coda wouldn’t actually pull the whole column, but still it feels counterintuitive.
Interesting that if you separately calculate a row (e.g. in a named formula or a single value lookup cell), then you can select a cell from that row just fine:
P.S. The counterintuitiveness shines when the cell is actually a list of values, and you need to only select the first value from that list.
[Users].First().[Tasks].First() — invalid
[Users].[Tasks].First().First() — way to go