Yup, lovely as it is, it's a complete waste of time for these two reasons: 1. If it's not syncing directly to part of my dropbox tree, I can't edit or use other tools to work with it. 2. Other tools are better at this kind of document editing. Dropbox has excelled at being a storage provider, but this platform completely ignores what *made* dropbox a success in the first place. 3. A proprietary storage space, and I suspect a proprietary document format, means another useless dead-end silo 4. If I can't round-trip documents elsewhere, you're treating me as a product, not a customer. I can't get over Paper. The more you look at it, the less sense it makes.
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Paper looked interesting - but the more I used it, the more I realised it actually works against everything that made dropbox useful in the first place. I'm trying to work out if there's any redeeming utility to Paper, and without a radical re-thinking of what it is and where it fits in the Dropbox ecosystem, I can't see it being anything other than another dead-end silo and waste of time. Pull up a chair! So paper seems to work internally as a markdown-style document editor. This is good. People can collaborate on documents. This is also good. I go to my dropbox to pick up one of these documents to continue working on a different device. These documents are not part of my Dropbox document tree! In fact, I have no idea where they live, other than knowing they're outside of the traditional Dropbox service. This means Dropbox is effectively running two parallel services and document stores, one where I can use my tools to edit documents, and another where I need an online connection to edit a document which isn't even *in* my Dropbox. Dropbox may remember that the reason people adopted it initially was that it resolved a problem people had around maintaing multiple document stores and the horrors of five people having the same spreadsheet with minor out-of-sync differences between them. What they've just done is created a system where *the same document across their own platforms may be out of sync* because you have to manually export, and there's no mechanism to round-trip these documents. You can't export then re-import. This also means that Dropbox, by storing paper documents outside the standard document tree, now has a two-tier sharing and permissions system in place. Dropbox was very very good at sharing and syncing files. If Dropbox now sees itself as trying to expand into the space already occupied by Quip, Google Docs / Writely, Office 365, Apple, Xoho, they're already lagging hugely behind, and *not* leveraging the round-trip and massive document storage mechanisms their successful business offers, I think they're in for a fall. They've built a dead-end, one-way silo on top of a system that's the exact opposite of that. Put your things into Dropbox, and you can change, share, edit, update, etc seamlessly; once you've started a document in Paper, that's it. It's stuck there. You can export it, but otherwise, it's just dead space. It's a lovely little editor, but it's not even a round peg in a square hole; it's an oil painting of last September being pushed into a square hole. I hope Dropbox realise this and try to make some sense of it.
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