Airtable, Ethercalc? Multiple rows per record OR multiple forms per page
July 7, 2023 12:49 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a new web-based spreadsheet/db service, but my use case is hundreds of small records (think to-do list or inventory). Loading records one form at a time is TOOO SLOOOOW; displaying all records one row at a time is t-o-o w-i-d-e. I need to display multiple records on one page, with 2-3 lines/rows for each record, so I can see/edit all relevant info for say 10-50 records without reloading the page. THIS IS BASIC PEOPLE. Will EtherCalc or Airtable let me do this?

I infer that EtherCalc is open source, but for this one incredibly useful feature, I'm hoping against hope that somebody, somewhere has decided to implement it already even though a) it's not part of a minimum viable product, and b) has usefulness that exceeds its aesthetic appeal.

Sorry. I'm having an angry day... at the entire tech startup world...

I'm open to other solutions. I already know about these options: Using Excel (maybe it has this feature -- it should -- but I'm avoiding it); Using LibreOffice Calc locally and then sending the file to people I want to share it with; coding a DB app using a web framework and/or AI; time travel back to the 90s when software and everything else was suffused with the rosy hue of a better time.
posted by amtho to Technology (3 answers total)
Take a look at CloudTables. ( )

If you want to go the "write your own" route that avoids paying for anything beyond a simple web hosting server, the Child Rows option for DataTables may work for you. An example can be seen at the Pikes Peak Marathon results visible at where clicking the green + at the start of the row will display all sorts of additional details.

The back end for the results is an embeded json data structure, but it can just as easily be pulled from an ajax query to a back end database. See for an example of an ajax query against a database.

And I remember cgi-bin coding from the 90's. I'd rather not go back.
posted by SegFaultCoreDump at 1:29 PM on July 7, 2023 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: That's cool, thanks.

What I really want is to be able to edit those records while they're displayed, multiply on one page.
posted by amtho at 3:22 PM on July 7, 2023

Editing is included in the CloudTables product or as a paid add-on to the DataTables.

CloudTables does have a free tier to play with. Odds are you may hit the limit on the number of items in the table with the free tier, but at least you can use it as a proof of concept before tossing down $10/mo for it.
posted by SegFaultCoreDump at 5:45 PM on July 7, 2023

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