WriteFlow is a word processor based on a database. It's only for the Mac, and it's in Beta. I cannot try it out because I don't have a Mac, and I will not buy one just for this program. But the idea is intriguing: "There are key advantages in using a database over a simple file based editor, as Microsoft Word or literally every other word processor out there are. Just to single out a few, we’d like to name metadata, identity and searchability as such advantages. We met people who used local installations of WordPress just to be able to use those features of a database."
On the other hand, as they also point out: while writing in a database may seem like an odd thing to do ... it is something that is happening every day and all the time, because every blog, every content management system of any website, every forum on the web is nothing else."
In fact, it's what I already do regularly because ConnectedText is also based on a database. It appears that the difference between WriteFlow and a typical Wiki will be that it has WYSIWYG formatting. It also has footnotes and quotes management, though bibliographies are a bit more work and have to be done manually.
They say that "WriteFlocw would rock your world." I guess it wouldn't rock mine. Still, it's an interesting way to think about the future of word processing and one might wonder why this approach has not caught the attention of major players in that areas. It would represent a real step forward and give users some real benefits—not like absolutely useless "ribbon."
1. There is a video describing the bibliographical and footnote here. It might have been good, if it also contained information on the more mundane word processing functions.
2. I disagree, therefore, when they also claim in their blog that "nobody has every [sic] tried to do what we did with WriteFlow, we had (and still have) to reinvent a lot of very basic stuff." (The company seems to be German.)