Forked from a discussion after Fibery introduced Forms Views and we discussed “auto-trimming” text fields on form submisssions.
I wish that if a user manually pastes content (i.e. from their OS/clipboard) into a plain text field in Fibery, any leading and trailing whitespace is automatically and immediately removed.
E.g. if a user paste "INV-ABC123 " into a plain DB text field, Fibery will auto-trim and store it as “INV-ABC123”, not "INV-ABC123 ".
Example how another application does it
It would be nice, if a user can still manually go back and “add back” whitespace, which is then preserved.
It’s super duper common that when I, or any of my colleagues, copies data from other applications, that leading or trailing whitespace follows along.
Just copy paste a bit from some html table/web page, or any Microsoft office product, and you’ll into soon enough if not immediately. At least on Windows, I don’t know if other OS has some magic so this never happens.
Then if the user enters the data into another system (Fibery in this case), if the leading or trailing whitespace is not trimmed, you get data stored which (very subtly!) differs from what intended to be stored.
Since it’s whitespace, and in my experience most commonly trailing and not leading whitespace, such events are hard to identify both when they occur, and after data has been stored and is just being reviewed e.g. in a Table view.
My experience is also that even if a user notices that whitepace followed along a copy-paste operation, most of them don’t care and move on.
The problem here (extra whitespace in text fields) is seldom urgent, but because your data quality will suffer, you’ll increases risks for, and compound unwanted behavior, that you might only discover the consequences of much later.
E.g. you might discover it when you try to line things up, in reports, when concatenate fields, regex-validate, import them to csv, etc.
Notion trims all leading and trailing whitespace in most inputs including databases on copy-paste.
In Notion DBs, trailing and leading whitespace are stripped on paste into text fields, but user can manually enter a text field, and add (back) whitespace via keyboard, if they so wish. Spaces added (back) this way, are then retained on copy paste (I don’t know how Notion does that, but I guess it retains the balance of being able to store trailing and leading whitespace in text fields, which I suspect can have niche use cases).
Personally I cannot think of any use case where I’d want to intentionally store leading or trailing spaces in a text field on manual user input, although I naturally expect API updates or integrations to preserve content unless instructed otherwise by user.
There are workarounds in Fibery, e.g. you could put Automations or Formulas and have those trim fields or clone fields with trimmed values, but this ask is about changing the built-in behavior of Fibery’s text fields.
I wish this behavior to be the default, and in that case, such workarounds would just spam down my account with lots of extra formula fields and Automation rules, that would not be feasible to maintain, and thus, I would not implement it.
I recognize that even if Fibery auto-trim text content on manual user paste, this doesn’t free us of the responsibility to check and trim text fields when use fields for integrations, etc.
However I think it will alleviate unexpected behavior for everyday Fibery usage, and I think it will definitely lead to long-term better data quality in our Fibery databases.