September 14, 2021

Makes you wonder if anyone actually understands what’s going on… :confounded:

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Hi Kirk,

Some quick context… You reported this via support, I fixed it and introduced a 404 with the fix so we had to revert it. Tomorrow or the day after changes will go out with the fix and many tests to prevent that from happening again :slight_smile: – apologies for all the back and forth.

Maria

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Thanks Maria!

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@Kirk_Masden fix is in, you should be able to reference your sample apps as before using www.appsheet.com/templates?appGuidString=XXXXXXX :slight_smile:

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Yes indeed, @Maria! Thanks very much!. So, I take it that, if we want to share an app directly that

www.appsheet.com/templates?appGuidString=XXXXXXX

is the recommended format that we should use long term?

www.appsheet.com/templates/fakename?appGuidString=XXXXXXX

also works but I’m a little uncomfortable with having to supply a meaningless set of text (long name format) so I’ll try to stick with this format.

For other readers: For more information, please see this thread:

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No problem!

Yes, the recommended format is www.appsheet.com/templates?appGuidString=XXXXXXX

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Thanks @macastan ! While we’re on the topic of sample apps (or templates) I’d like to bring up a pet peeve of mine: When sample apps are copied, whatever branding (logo images, etc.) we have assigned is stripped off and replaced with random, generic AppSheet branding images. Is there a reason for this? I’ve noticed that quite a few people have some pretty creative branding images on their apps. For example:

https://www.appsheet.com/portfolio/549987
Credt: @Fabian

https://www.appsheet.com/portfolio/245151
Credit: @LeventK

https://www.appsheet.com/portfolio/1723746
Credit: @Aurelien

All of these creative and app-appropriate images will be stripped off when any of these sample apps gets copied. I don’t understand why. This is the only aspect of sample apps that gets thrown in the trash when an app is copied. Since sample apps are given, free of charge, to other creators, I would hope that we could at least have the image integrity maintained.

I suspect this is merely an oversight – not something that people at AppSheet are strongly committed to. I understand that it might not be a high priority to fix but I hope a fix might be considered. It shouldn’t be too hard – just delete whatever code causes the meaningless random changes.

By the way, here’s the part of the app where these images are designated:

Thanks for your consideration!

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Thanks for bringing that up Kirk – those screenshots really show the value!

I’ve shared this internally and hoping we can get that change out soon :slight_smile:

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Thanks! Regardless of whether the answer is “yes,” “no,” or “maybe later,” I hope to hear back eventually about a decision or policy. :slight_smile:

Some people may not want their logos copied also.

Thanks Lynn! I hadn’t imagined that. The logos are public. Actually, since the URLs are in the templates, they can be reconfigured anyway. The current configuration just makes keeping the same logo harder – it doesn’t actually prevent it.

But, perhaps, that was the thought process behind automatically/randomly switching logos. In that case, it would be nice if there were a way for the people who want their logos to stay with their apps to do so.

Just out of curiosity, @Lynn , do you prefer for your logos not to be copied with your templates? Just wondering.

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Hi again, Maria! Today I learned that AppSheet has already solved the problem that concerned me. Look, for example at the following template:

https://www.appsheet.com/templates/This-attendance-tracker-app-helps-log-student-attendance-in-class?appGuidString=76893664-5529-44e8-8fb8-b90bd7256a25

This template uses the following URL to identify the main branding image:

https://www.appsheet.com/fsimage.png?appid=76893664-5529-44e8-8fb8-b90bd7256a25&datasource=google&filename=DocId%3D1uNejZSzSkXJ8wdpLup1AVImbEpyFoEKY&signature=b02f02a2a2aef45acb9d28a7caf2947472507561581cde7a915d7dc63abe6ea3&tableprovider=google&userid=2078346

When one copies the template, the branding image remains constant.

Is there a way that I can make an image that will work in the same way? By the way, if users like me can learn to do this (or be given the tools to do this) @Lynn’s concern will no longer be a problem because only those who go to the trouble to make such a URL will get the result of having an image that doesn’t change when copied.

I should also add that I attempted to place the URL shown above in an app of mine and then copy that app from a different account but it didn’t work. It looks like that URL must contain the account number and app id of the template app. I can’t figure out how to do this.

Hi Kirk!

That feature unfortunately only works for templates offered by AppSheet. The reason why we made this call for now is because, as Lynn mentioned, 1) some people may not want their logos copied and 2) if the logo is stored in Drive, or any data source, users who are copying the app may not have access to that url.

So for the moment, we still don’t have a way to copy the main branding image, apologies I didn’t surface this to you earlier. The workaround for now is to manually copy the image url in the copied app.

Maria

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Thanks @macastan ! Even though I still don’t have a solution to my problem, AppSheet’s own obvious recognition of the desirability of maintaining branding integrity (as evidenced by this new feature) and your use of the phrase “for the moment” have given me hope. Another point that has given me hope is the rather complicated URL that is used to maintain the integrity of the template logos. If, in the future, ordinary users can replicate this URL type, and if only URLs that follow this format will lead to the result of the logo remaining unchanged when copied, then the concern that Lynn brought up should no longer be a problem.

By the way, I was able to make a URL that follows the same format (basically) and works (that is, it displays the desired image – but it still gets replaced when the app is copied):

https://www.appsheet.com/fsimage.png?appid=e738ebcf-eed9-4353-8159-6d76c71d9286&datasource=google&filename=DocId%3D1BqHmLyYxRdWZZhVrvjkt4Spdvv2DgHmG&tableprovider=google&userid=230844```

I still don’t know how to handle the digital signature that is in the URLs used in official AppSheet templates. If jumping this hurdle (figuring out how to handle the digital signature issue) on my side will solve the problem, I’m more than willing to do whatever is required.

Thanks again!

P.S. This isn’t an urgent matter for me. If you are still considering the issue at AppSheet, there’s no need to hurry on my account. I just hope that, eventually, templates created by folks like me will be able to take advantage of this cool feature too. :slight_smile:

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Hi again, @macastan ! Please allow me to post one more little follow up regarding this issue.

I am a big fan of the AppSheet platform. I’m already very pleased with what I’m able to do by combining relatively simple components (data, actions, expressions, etc.) and I know the platform will get even better over time.

One area in which I hope to see change over the coming years has to do with user-generated content. There’s a lot of user-generated content (tips, etc.) in this forum but in other ways, I see AppSheet as missing opportunities to take advantage of the stuff creators create. Here are some examples:

  1. Portfolio pages are painfully slow to load
  2. Sharing an app directly (not via the portfolio, as discussed in this thread) is possible but not very easy and the only guides regarding how to do it that I’m aware of are user-generated. You have provided valuable confirmation in this thread but, to my knowledge, there is still nothing on the official AppSheet documentation site
  3. As far as I am aware, we can only search with keywords for templates made by AppSheet (user-generated template apps are not indexed)
  4. A user who makes a fantastic app that lots of people copy isn’t rewarded with a numeric recognition of how many people value the app. A post about that app will earn a badge if lots of people like it but it’s only the post that’s being formally recognized; there’s no way to “like” an app in the way a YouTube video can be liked. Nor is it possible for ordinary users to see which user-generated templates have been copied or viewed the most.
  5. Branding on templates (the topic I’ve raised in this thread and to which you have kindly responded here) is stripped off when the app is copied

My intent is not to complain but to indicate that I think that it may be in AppSheet’s interest to be a bit more like YouTube in featuring user-generated content prominently. Obviously, there are important differences between YouTube and AppSheet but I think that, as is the case with YouTube, user-generated content has the potential to significantly enhance the value of the AppSheet platform for other users. In that sense, I hope AppSheet will eventually be able to give creators more incentives to publish interesting apps/templates for the benefit of all concerned.

This is something I have mentioned to @praveen in the past and I’m sure it’s something you are all keenly aware of but I just thought I’d take this opportunity to mention it again. Thanks!

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Kirk, completely agree about a lot of this, great feedback - thank you for taking the time to document. Some of this is already on the radar, some is new - will make sure it’s all considered in planning.

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Thanks so much, Peter. After writing, I was a bit concerned that I might be perceived as complaining so your response puts my mind at ease. :slight_smile:

Personally, I’m a “free” user of AppSheet (not paying a monthly fee). So far, I’ve gotten tons of help for people like you at AppSheet, even though I’m not paying a cent. I hope, though, to be able to pay back in the future by launching a project in Japan where students of English copy a couple of apps I’ve made and use them to study. Most of them will be free users too but I hope that the project will help spread the word about AppSheet and thereby lead to some modest increase in paying users in Japan.

So, in that sense, I’m hoping that the kinds of ideas I mentioned above can be win-win solutions for people like me and for AppSheet.

Thanks again!

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Last week, we gave lessons to the students in university in Tokyo on demand from the professors over there, in term of how No-Code works and how to develops AppSheet app etc.
Hopefully we would release the archives to digest our lesson to Youtube for your interest.

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Cool! I’d love to see the YouTube video. :slight_smile:

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