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barriers to deployment of web annotation?

From: Rolf H. Nelson <rnelson@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 1998 13:53:05 -0500
Message-Id: <199812041853.NAA13339@tux.w3.org>
To: www-annotation@w3.org
Currently there is no widely deployed way of adding third party
annotations to Web documents.  Netscape used to have an annotation
functionality some eons ago, but that was removed at some point.  

Why hasn't Web annotation technology been widely deployed?  Here are
some possiblities that come to mind:

1.   Lack of user agent business model:  perhaps the major ISPs and
     browser vendors, who are in the best postion to widely deploy a
     Web annotation system, do not believe there could be enough
     demand for Web annotations to cost justify spending engineering
     time on annotation technology.  

2.   Technological difficulties:  Issues of user interface,
     scalability, performance and privacy may be scaring people away
     from deploying Web annotation technology.  

3.   Disinterest:  Some people may not perceive Web annotation
     technology to be particularly useful.  

My intuition is that the main problems are problem 1 and problem 3,
the lack of a business model and a lack of widespread interest in
annotation technology.  I believe the technologicl difficulties could
easily be overcome if the research community and at least one major
vender became more interested in annotation technologies.

Do people agree with this analysis?  If so, what if anything can be
done to solve these problems?  


| Rolf Nelson (rolf@w3.org), Project Manager, W3C at MIT
|   "Try to learn something about everything
|             and everything about something."  --Huxley

Received on Friday, 4 December 1998 13:53:07 UTC

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