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Re: barriers to deployment of web annotation?

From: Martin Hamilton <martin@net.lut.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 05 Dec 1998 14:50:29 +0000
To: www-annotation@w3.org
Message-Id: <E0zmJ2U-0001vX-00@gizmo.lut.ac.uk>
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"Rolf H. Nelson" writes:

| 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.  

I hear there was this 'Mosaic' thing, once upon a time ;-)

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

Your posting just conjured up this wonderful image of peoples' WWW
sites being sp*mmed with adverts because they left public annotations
turned on!

More seriously, though, it strikes me that there's a distinction to be
drawn between private annotations (which could be implemented entirely
within the punter's browser, for instance), and 'public' annotations.
In case this isn't clear, consider that you might not want your
private thoughts about a WWW page stored on a public server where
there's a risk of them leaking out to the world at large...

If the public annotations themselves were (for instance) accessible as
discrete HTTP objects (perhaps one object per annotation?), they could
be subject to the same rules for caching and refresh as other HTTP
objects - within the browser and also at intermediate proxy/cache
nodes.  This might even make a Yahoo/Hotbot/... type centralised
system practical, given the widespread deployment of WWW caching by
ISPs and end user sites.  Vendors' existing file upload code would
probably be a good starting point for annotation uploads.  Add
additional HTTP response headers and/or HTML HEAD tags pointing to the
annotations' URLs, and QED ?

You know where the Apache and Mozilla source code is ? :-)

Ciao!

Martin



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Received on Saturday, 5 December 1998 09:50:35 GMT

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