Add in-line calculations, the power of Excel but in free text (like Patera)

Is your feature request related to a problem? Please describe.

I came across this teaser page for a new tool called “Patera” that appears to be doing something I have wanted in documents/wiki/etc. for a long time: in-line calculations and mixing text with dynamic values. This is potentially extremely powerful, and is something Anytype does not seem capable of yet. Here’s Patera to show what I mean:

https://patera.io/

Describe the solution you’d like

The basic idea is well demonstrated on the Patera website above. Essentially it allows you to insert dynamic pieces of data into normal, “free” text. The value of this data could have a formula behind it, it could calculate based on values elsewhere in the doc, potentially from references even outside the doc. And the key differentiator from what exists now in other tools is that it can be mixed with regular text. This would be an improvement on Anytype as well, even though we can already insert Relations as Blocks, we cannot do so in the middle of a piece of text.

Personally I’d like to see this work fairly dynamically, without having to create a “permanent”, named object like a “relation” just to hold the value, formula, etc. I’d want it to work more like a spreadsheet than like Anytype’s full Relations system. Otherwise I think you’d have to create a new Relation for every Value you wanted in a given Page, which doesn’t seem great. So this concept seems either like something different from “relations”, or like a deep extension to how relations work…

Describe alternatives you’ve considered

Use the existing Relations system and just use blocks to create basic layouts that sort of mimic text mixed with values. But… not really. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Additional context

There are some related discussions like “Derived relations” (formulae):

https://community.anytype.io/t/-/1554

Which would be complementary to or perhaps even necessary for this idea, depending on how it’s implemented.

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@Oshyan Wow, great idea, and learned something new again, thanks!

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This is something i never knew i wanted until now :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: Great request :+1:

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@Oshyan

Good one!

I’d be happy to be able to have any Relation be displayed inline with text, plus the ability to have Relations be defined as formulas involving other Relations (which I assume is on the roadmap?).

What you suggest brings it to a whole new level! Makes it even more flexible.

Also, to be able to change the data wherever it’s displayed is quite powerful (though I’d probably be more comfortable if there is some sort of modifier key - I don’t want to be clicking around and change some value by mistake :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: ).

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Really like this idea…

Personally used [Soulver](https://soulver.app/) a lot on OSX and now using [OpalCalc](OpalCalc: A New Generation of Calculator) on Windows to be able to make calculations in text without opening something like Excel.

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Patera seems like they are just imitating [Coda](https://coda.io). Am I missing something or do they have something new to offer?

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@Narvey You’re right, I wasn’t actually aware of this capability of Coda when I posted this. Coda is a similar or better example (although I don’t much care which came first, I am interested in the best implementation).

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Another good example that you can quickly and easily try live, for free:

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Here we count ‘heart’ as ‘vote’ for ‘feature request’?

The inline calculations are great.

In Obsidian, there is a plugin which allow to do that. But the calculations need to be executed manually via command palette. And the results are not updated synchronously to change of variables like the experience in reactivepad

Does Notion have this inline calculation feature?

With plugin architecture, if Anytype’s community reach the size of Obsidian’s, sky would be the limit for Anytype then.

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Yes, at least for now.

No it doesn’t, at least not yet.

I agree, it could be huge! Obsidian shows the potential, and it is doing a lot with simple markdown files. Anytype has even more sophisticated capabilities, so in theory the plugins could be even crazier. :smiley:

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Amazing feature! YES PLEASE! Funny how I never missed this and after looking at Patera I can’t live without it anymore.

I really miss DB calculations or simple tables with calculations in Anytype. These inline calculation would be even nicer!

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