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Document Tools

Planted 02022-04-05

Generally well-known document editing tools:

Lesser known document editing tools:

Documents as files are dying. Files are being replaced by structured data—enabling an opportunity for a semantic web, if we can agree on a standard.

An alternative solution: enable parts of existing document types to be transformed to other data types. What calls the “file fragment era”.

Documents suck. Why do documents suck so bad? Among other things, saving sucks, losing changes sucks, and interoperability sucks.

What if documents didn’t suck? And what might that look like for your average computer user?

Reimagining the document authorizing experience has taken up a lot of my mind space recently.

We’re seeing a move away from word processors—editing, formatting, and output of primarily text.

Word processors were already too complicated for most people. I’m often considered the “technical person” and when I tried Notion years ago I gave up because I didn’t care to learn its intricacies. Notion has most certainly improved over the years, but I continue to use local text files for all my documents.

I consider the design and focus of iA Writer an ideal document editing experience—not without its flaws. Continually, I appreciate the simplicity and constraints of iA Writer—its calmness.

Editing experiences should be purposeful.

Who authors documents? Why doesn’t the experience change based on what I’m creating? When moving from document formats, e.g., text, video, images, and audio, the experience obviously changes. But the editing experience is (mostly) not transformed by intentions within a document format.

  • Notes
  • Blog post
  • Research paper

Should enable different default editor settings and come with their own sets of constraints.

What if we didn’t care about files—instead we care about fragments of those files.

What if we didn’t care about databases—instead we care about being able to replicate anywhere, seamlessly sync changes, and see where those changes are synced.