I’m working with dynamo-browse a lot this morning and I’m coming up with a bunch of usability shortcomings. I’m listing them here so I don’t forget.

The query language needs an in operator, such as pk in ("abc", "123"). This works like in in all the other database services out there, in that the expression effectively becomes `pk = “abc” or pk = “123”. Is this operator supported natively in DynamoDB? 🤔 Need to check that.

Likewise, the query language needs something to determine whether an attribute contains a substring. I believe DynamoDB expressions support this natively, so it probably makes sense to use that.

Longer term, it would be nice to include the results of the current result set in the expression. For example, assuming the current result set has these records:

pk    sk    thing     place   category
11    aa    rock      home    geology
22    bb    paper     home    art
33    cc    scissors  home    utensils

and you want to effectively query for the rows where pk is equal to the set of pk in the current result set, having a way to do that in the expression language would save a lot of copy-and-pasting. An example might be pk in @pk or something similar, which could produce a result set of the form:

pk    sk    thing      place  category
11    aa    rock       home   geology
11    ab    sand       beach  ~
22    bb    paper      home   art
22    bc    cardboard  shops  ~
33    cc    scissors   home   utensils
33    cd    spoon      cafe   ~

Another way to do this might be to add support for filters, much like the expressions in JQ. For example, the second result set could be retrieved just by using a query expression of the form place = "home" | fanout pk, which could effectively do the following pesudo-code:

firstResultSet := query("place = 'home')
secondResultSet := newResultSet()
for pk in resultSet['pk'] {
    secondResultSet += query("pk = ?", pk)

For dealing with workspaces, a quick way to open up the last workspace that you had opened would be nice, just in case you accidentally close Dynamo-Browse and you want to restore the last session you had opened. Something like screen -r. I think in this case having workspace files stored in the temporary directory might be a problem. Maybe having some way to set where workspace files are stored by default would work? 🤔

For dealing with marking rows, commands to quickly mark or unmark rows in bulk. There’s already the unmark command, but something similar for marking all rows would be good. This could be extended to only mark (or unmark) certain rows, such as those that match a particular substring (then again, using filters would work here as well).

It might be nice for refresh to keep your current row and column position, instead of going to the top-left. And it would also be nice to have a way to refresh credentials (could possiably be handled using the scripting framework).

And finally, if I have any doubt that the feature to hide or rearrange columns would not be useful, there was an instance today where I wish this feature was around. So, keep working on that.

I’m sure there will be more ideas. If so, I’ll post them here.