Bug/Request. Column access in workflows, table vs slice. Lack of "unable to find column" error message

I just drove myself crazy for too many hours trying to fix this “bug” in one of my apps.

So I’ve got a fairly basic contract table with a child table of line items, and an associated workflow that sends a pdf detailing said contract with a Start expression for the child line items. The virtual column list in the contract table that I’m running the Start expression on is actually a ref_rows() to a slice of the line items table. That slice did not include a particular column that I was trying to display on the pdf. The problem here is the editor did not give me any kind of “unable to find column” error, like it would if you mis-typed a column name. But then the workflow itself was not able to read the data of that column and display it in the pdf, because that column did not exist in the slice.

It is as if the editor’s error-checking functionality looks at the entire table to find column names, but the workflow can only access the slice data. Maybe something can be done about this to prevent other users’ frustrations in the future? Such as forcing the editor’s error-checking to consider only the slice, when that is the context of the workflow? I hope I’ve explained this well, I re-wrote it a lot of times.

I just would like to see improvements in the editor too.