The evolution of documents

The man behind Google Docs is now trying to reinvent the web app at Box — Tech News and Analysis: " . . . All of this speaks to the evolution of documents. They used to be more like artifacts — things like properly formatted business letters with high latency, high transaction costs and “all this artifice around the structure of the document,” Schillace explained. Then the web came, reducing the focus on formatting and adding a collaborative element, but keeping in place a certain level or linearity. With the advent of Evernote and the erstwhile Google Wave, documents have become more abstract, mixing images, text, communications, web pages and whatever else onto a digital canvass. “Underlying all of this, what’s really going on is the business interaction you want to have,” Schillace said. “The point of the document is you usually either record something for yourself or to have an interaction with another human being. And I think we can gradually start peeling away layers of artifice and try to get down to the raw core of that interaction.” He thinks mobile devices with their small screens, portability and omnipresence in our lives might present the biggest challenge for achieving this goal. Users probably need a native way of interacting with documents that doesn’t involve opening a Word document and trying to read and edit it on a tiny keyboard. The right test, according to Schillace, might be if a co-worker has a question, “could I answer it while I was standing in line at the store in 30 seconds?”. . . . "

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