Imho, this is not ‘weird’. It is basic text editing. Don’t treat your users as amateurs. Give them professional editing software.
It’s worth noting that you have misread what I wrote. I did not refer to the use of style sheets having a base default style in general as weird. What was being proposed would be like having “Normal” in Word’s Normal.dot file being redefined on the fly by every .docx file you opened, using that specific document’s attribution for the “Normal” style.
You were suggesting something based on your experience with traditional design-oriented programs, which is fine, but as others have pointed out above, these are fundamentally different software packages you’ve listed. This is chiefly a writing program, aim at writers, not designers.
Styling is not important to every writer out there. It is something that some writers do need, and so it is provided as an optional feature that works on top of a style-less system. For those, like novelists, biographers and so on, that need styles as much as they need Photoshop, it is a system that can be completely ignored, and thus never present itself as part of the learning curve.
Meanwhile, for those diehard ardent stylists that feel uncomfortable with unstyled text, it is perfectly suitable to consider “No Style” as being “Normal”. In all aspects of how it functions, its capabilities of being malleable and abstracted from design, it works precisely the same as styled text. In editing form, it is hierarchically attributed from global settings (i.e. Normal.dot), that can be optionally overruled by individual projects, which can further be diverted into classical “Normal” assignments on the fly for those tools that need it, or in every other way be transformed by output settings, in the phase we refer to as compiling
. In some ways it is far more powerful than styled text.
So thanks for your suggestion, but this is a tool for all kinds of writers, from kids to amateurs to hobbyists to professionals. We assume nothing, and we have no pretences of our own that might exclude any group of writers from using it. It is also designed to scale well into professional use cases and into technical niche scenarios, an area that incidentally many packages aimed at “pros” often ignore (like technical DocBook publishing and scientific work using LaTeX).