Re: AMA Custom Blocks Contest Edition #2 - Prototyping and Polishing with the Airtable Design Team

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7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

Are you looking for feedback on usability or design best practices for your Custom Block? As part of the ongoing Custom Blocks contest, we’re hosting a live Ask Me Anything (AMA) session in this thread on Wednesday (6/17) at 11am PT .

Jay Ransijn and Stephen Suen from our platform engineering team have designed and built countless blocks. They will be available to answer any design-related questions you have.

The top 3 upvoted questions (or solutions from the community!!) will win a $40 Amazon gift card. You can even start posting your questions now, and we’ll be answering questions live from 11am - 11:30am PT on Wednesday. See you there!

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Can you tell us a little more about the decision to host this contest on versus how you hosted the contests for scripting block?

Is it possible to submit one block as part of a team, and another block as a solo entry? How would one go about that?

If I have a set of blocks that are meant to be used together in a workflow, would that be two separate entries? Or would they each be independent entries? Each block would have its own repository, and each block could be used independently. However the value of the two blocks is enhanced when they are used in conjunction with each other.

If I use a module from npm with an “MIT” license, is that fair game for the contest? Do I need to do anything for the purposes of the contest to document that I use the module? The module won’t appear in the git repository by default. By default, it will simply be listed in package.json. Is that enough?

Kind of building off of a part of @kuovonne’s latest question

I’ve written some Custom Block-specific helper functions to do some common operations like batch operations. These live in a helpers.js file in the same directory as my custom block. If however, I have an idea for how multiple blocks can operate together, moving the helpers.js file to a common parent directory the blocks will not find the code. Say I have a parent blocks directory, inside of which I have block_1 and block_2 directories with the code for my two custom blocks. Importing the helper file (two dirs up in the tree, hence ../../) results in an error message like the following:

Updating bundle...
Bundle Error: Cannot find module '../../helpers' from '~/blocks/block_1/build/development/transpiled/user/frontend'

Is/will importing local modules be supported by custom blocks? Would it make more sense to package-ify my helper files, or is there another solution so I don’t have to copy/paste the file to each block after I make changes?

In the future, could you please convert this to a random drawing? Picking the top upvoted questions (as indicated by “likes”) actually provides a dis-incentive for people to like other developer’s posts. Upvoting someone else’s question or solution automatically reduces one’s own chance of winning.

The date picker provided in the INPUT component works quite well. It doesn’t look the same as the date picture in the native interface, but it provides the functionality.

 <Input type="date" />
 <Input type="datetime-local" />

I’ve had trouble setting CSS that isn’t listed in the API reference. I wasn’t able to set visibility to hidden. I had to resort to setting opacity to 0 instead.

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Hi Airtable Team,

Many thanks to Kamille! Inserting sudo worked.

I just wanted to follow up with another question - I’ve been working on the “Hello World” tutorial, but I’ve been encountering issues with the command “block run.” It seems that this command doesn’t exist for me, and as a result, I’m unable to find the block url. Any advice? Screen Shot 2020-06-17 at 1.58.18 PM

Community Manager
Community Manager

:wave: We’re now live! We’ll be answering your questions over the next half hour — keep asking your questions!

The hello_world is, in this case, the name of the block.

The first step, which you do, is change into that directory (the cd hello_world). Once you’re in the block’s directory, you can just execute block run (no hello_world at the beginning needed)!

Awesome, thank you Matthew! It worked!

It looks like Stephen and Jay are typing, but I’m not seeing any posts from them. Does anyone else see posts from them?