Keep Retool customizable via JS escape hatches

In my opinion, the reason why Retool is such a great product (and is accepted by development teams!) is how easy it has been to heavily customize an application via code. The way in which Retool developers can use {{javascript escape hatches anywhere}} is fantastic and a fundamental part of the product.

As Retool components get more jammed packed with different properties, I've noticed that Retool has recently opted to not have the little Fx icon that allows for a user to dynamically change the value via code. I think that this doesn't align with Retool's core USP and target audience.

Here are a couple example components that become more rigid due to the lack of extensibility via code:

All advanced settings:

Label sections:

Tons of table settings:

While these may seem like small limitations, I've recently found myself feeling blocked a couple times when creating a highly customized application by the lack of JS escape hatches. Candidly, I think limiting this customizability pushes Retool more towards a low-code tool as opposed to a developer tool.

Would love to hear what Retool's plans are and if this is something that other people care about too!


Hi @JoeyKarczewski!

Absolutely, one of the delightful parts of Retool is its customizability with Javascript as an escape hatch -- as a developer I totally understand! Being able to customize your application is still a major focus of the product.

Could you tell us more about what you're trying to do, and which dynamic properties would be helpful for you?

Hi Anna,

Thanks a bunch for the response. I think I'm looking more so to keep everything extendable through code more than anything. So if it exists as a feature that can be set on the right panel through a point and click menu- I would want there to be an FX there as a rule of thumb.

I don't have a specific use-case in mind and if I were to highlight one, I would be narrowing the scope of a larger concern predicated on Retool staying as a developer tool. Let me know if you have any more Qs! :slight_smile:


to add another data point to @JoeyKarczewski 's post:

I just posted last week about an issue I had with the new table component taking away the ability to dyanimcally toggle between single/multi select.

Retool seeks to differetiate itself as a "developer tool", rather than a "low-code tool" but taking away these choices away from developers is a decision that aligns it more with the latter than the former.

Here is another example - I'm configuring a parameter that can be either a percentage or dollar amount. I'd like to be able to switch dynamically between percentage format and currency format. However, as opposed to the Fx I'm used to, I am pushed to select from a dropdown menu.

This means that I have to use two separate components here that switch between hidden and not hidden to achieve something.

Screenshot 2023-05-22 at 10.35.53 AM