It has come to light that the
VALUE() function is broken.
The VALUE() function is supposed to extract numbers from a string. It’s designed to be used as a simple filtering tool to remove non-numbers from a field. This is how it is documented on the formula field reference page: Formula field reference – Airtable Support
Instead, the VALUE() function does at least 2 completely different things:
The VALUE() function converts certain letters into numbers, and then multiplies those numbers by the closest numbers that it can find! This issue is documented here: Value Formula Returning Numbers not Found in Cell - #2 by CT3
The VALUE() function interprets certain symbols as operators to perform math on all the extracted numbers from a string. This issue is documented here: Interesting discovery: The VALUE() function performs math
We do not know what the complete list of letters & symbols are that cause the VALUE() function to fail, so there is no telling how many different ways this function can fail.
In my opinion, everybody should avoid the VALUE() function. Or at the very least, proceed cautiously when using it.
This comes right on the heels of me losing a lucrative Airtable client because Airtable has not fixed its mobile views. My client’s website depended heavily on Airtable-embedded views — and they charged their clients to access those pages — BUT most of their clients used mobile devices to browse their website (as do the majority of people using the Internet).
But, despite many posts in the forums about this for several years, Airtable still does not offer grouping, filtering, sorting, and searching on any mobile views. So it rendered his website unusable to his clients.
My client even emailed Airtable Support about this, and their response was: “We can see how fully-functional mobile views could be helpful. Thanks for the feedback.”
Airtable thinks they’re filling a bucket with tons of customers, but they’re not paying attention to the hole at the bottom of the bucket which is leaking customers & causing people who were once fans of the product to badmouth the product instead.