This is a little fun on the topic of the evolution of the document, and more specifically the evolution of the todo list.
The Todo List
In Generation 0, I start with a short overview, pencil and paper, WordPerfect, VisiCalc, and so on, through the years. Plain vanilla two dimensional document.
Gen 1 and Gen 2 are simple todo items, the difference between the two being that for appointments you can add a person in to the todo item. Gen 2 adds a lookup to the person with whom the appointment is. I would call this 2.5 dimensions, no longer two dimensions, but nothing fancy.
Gen 3 shows a little more of the power of Coda. The Meeting is a special kind of todo item allowing you to record some details about the meeting. The big departure here is that the canvas column Meeting Details contains a template allowing you to record notes about the meeting. It also contains a view of the person table introduced in Gen 2 - Appointments. This records the attendees, and minute recipients of the meeting. (Minutes are sent using a button on the row.) It also has a view of the todo item table. Use this to record any todo items arising from the meeting. ((Link to the meeting by filling in the Meeting Name column).
This is full blown multi-dimensional .
In Gen 4 the penultimate step is to bring in a new table to capture projects. Where the Meeting uses a canvas column, the project table creates new pages for new projects. Each project type has its own template which gets duplicated. When a new project type is needed, create a new template, and add the Template name to the Switchif() in the Add New project Template button.
This is more multidimensional.... In the previous generation there was a single template. For the projects, multiple templates are possible.
The Evolved Document
Until very recently, the computerised document worked very much the same as pieces of paper used to work for hundreds of years.
But with Coda that two dimensionality is completely done away with. And it is not the same as a database - a database is a set of tables, while Coda is a document, made up of many different components - prose, tables, tables linked to each other, graphs and whatever else still to be thought out by the packmakers.
Yes, the formula language, buttons and other features make it easy to convert a Coda doc into a App. But for me the core DNA of Coda, from which everything else evolves, is the document.