Re: WYSIWYG is the problem
"I wonder what El Reg writers use."
Can't speak for anyone else, but I can tell you what I use. 50% of my writing is done using my personal Server 2008 R2 VM with a heavily customised version of Word 2010*.
The ribbon bar was completed excised from the application. I have disabled most "features" and "formatting" bits. For all intents and purposes it is an instance of Notepad with spell check, a decade's worth of custom dictionary, word count (very important!), version control and the ability to pass the document back and forth to my colleagues and get feedback via comments, change tracking etc.
About 30% of my writing is done in LibreOffice writer 4.2, which is what I run on my netbook. In every way that matters to me it is identical to Office 2010, and superior in a few ways. The only reason I haven't switched away from Office entirely is apathy. Office 2010, modified to meet my needs, works and works well. A properly set up LibreOffice would work well too, but that would require reconfiguring what I have, so I'll probably just run both on different machines until end-of-support for Office 2010 makes me switch.
The other 20% of my work occurs in Google Docs, though this is increasing. To put it bluntly, if there is going to be collaboration outside of my company, it's almost always going to be Google Docs. It seems to be what my clients use.
I should probably point out that the peculiarities of The Register's CMS mean that it is simply cheaper (time-wise) and easier to write everything in HTML. I don't use features like "bold" or "italics". I write my formatting in raw HTML for every single article, whitepaper and so forth.
Maybe these newfangled productivity suites with their newfangled interfaces and auto-helping default settings have a purpose for some/most/everyone-who-is-not-me. Can't speak to that. What I can say is that I've been using productivity suites since I was three years old. I cut my teeth on things like Wordperfect 5.1. When I write, I want to write. I don't want to think about "where is command X?" or "why is it doing that now?".
I want to know where my controls and commands are. I don't want it to auto-format or reconfigure a single thing. If I want formatting, I'll code it. If I want a command, I'll go where I have gone for the past 30 years of my life.
The future and all it's touch-enabled, auto-assisting, Clippy-friendly 0.8px-after-your-paragraph interfaces belongs to a newer generation. It is for people who are not me; those who grew up mashing txt msgs into their keypads and relying on T9 predictive text. Those who instinctively trust the computer to "get things right".
I don't. I can't. It's not in me. So what do I write on? That which feels familiar, comfortable and safe**. The future and all it's children can have the rest.
*I upgraded from Windows XP and Office 2003 only about three months ago.
**The religious wars are for those who don't make a living off of their writing.