Liquid | Author
Author provides a minimalist environment with powerful controls, giving you more credibility when writing, and more clarity when reading.
Have a look at the Video User Guide on YouTube
To be able to point to material which supports your assertion is crucial for credibility and to be able to point in a way which allows the reader to instantly refer to the sources is all the more powerful.
As Doug Engelbart put it in 1975:
For a true dialogue to work within this system, careful conventions must be followed about citing previously published items. An important value derived from the above storage and access provisions is that when one author wants to write about the work of another, he can cite it explicitly in his text with assurance that his reader has a straightforward way to access the cited work. Where this cited-work accessibility is dubious, an author is considerably burdened.
The Genesis of Author
The desktop version of Author might be thought of as being a bit old fashioned in a world of small devices. However, I believe that size matters.
I strongly believe that there still is, and likely always will be, a special 'space' for the seated, fully engaged knowledge worker and that this space is roughly the size of a large modern computer monitor. Larger than this and it's not a simple eye-movment but a neck movement as well to use the space. Smaller than this and, well, we mostly work in smaller spaces and know the limitations of this reduced thinking space.
Author is is built on the foundation of Doug Engelbart's thinking of augmenting the knowledge work professional and, I have to admit, the emotion shown in this classic commercial:
Your only limits will be the size of your ideas and the degree of your dedication
Inspirational stuff - this is indeed an exciting time to be alive, with incredibly powerful machines, far beyond even what existed when the commercial above was shot. Large retina displays are such a huge leap in what a computer can be that I would go so far as to say that a retina display machine is pretty much another medium than the previous generations:
real power, let's use it...
You may think this is way too much power for a simple word processor, but I believe that the written word is worth as much as a thousand pictures - and even more so when you can interact with the text in rich ways.
The initial interactions are powerful, but they are only the very smallest snowflake on the top of the iceberg - Author aspires to become ever more powerful for the thoughtful knowledge worker who wants a clean work environment with powerful interactions. We are at early days still, but it's an exciting journey!
Tablet/Phone & Desktop 'PC'
Author was born as a prototype on macOS on a laptop but was re-born when that project could not come to fruition. On the iOS side there was real work in trying to make it a native experience for a tablet with a rich set of gestures to give the user more of a feel of interacting with the information in the document.
The notion of a table of contents being made from separate type than the headings themselves, seemed very odd and paper-bound, so this then became the pinch to collapse the document into a Table of Contents feature. This feature has now made it over to macOS, where the user can pinch using the track-pad, something I likely would not have thought of if the project did not come from a tablet medium.
The architectural power of the desktop environment gives the opportunity for cross-application utilities, such as Liquid, which is integrated with Author macOS. In the iOS environment this is not possible so the iOS version has an extended black iOS menu for Liquid-like commands.
Author iOS and macOS are different, trying to use their physical media as natively as possible, but with the same goal, to augment deeper literacy.
© Frode Hegland 2020