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RE: new annotation software

From: Bryan Thompson <bryan-pop@cog-tech.com>
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 10:26:30 -0400
Message-ID: <01BFBA6A.352F3850@nt.internal.cog-tech.com>
To: "'Julie Gibson'" <julieg@weborganic.com>, Bryan Thompson <bryan@cog-tech.com>
Cc: "jgarfunk@bbn.com" <jgarfunk@bbn.com>, "www-annotation@w3.org" <www-annotation@w3.org>, "annotate@cog-tech.com" <annotate@cog-tech.com>
We are interested in creating a annotation system using a similar technology basis.  I agree with you regarding the problem of managing the placement of seed points for further annotation.  However, I see this as a management problem, where different solutions may work best for different contexts.

For example, if a political party prepares a campaign platform in which they identify their stance on a number of issues, it makes good sense that they should prepare, in advance, seed points for annotations.  Beyond that, it makes good sense that those annotations should be managed within a framework which makes it possible to aggregate them and measure the political support for each aspect of the campaign.

Here is an example that lies somewhere in the middle.  A newspaper publishes content, perhaps the editorial pages, perhaps business articles or articles on the national or world economy.  Clearly the paper can manage the creation of specific seed topics for annotation-based discussions.  Further, it may be in the paper's interest to manage those topics over time, so that an historical trace of discussions related to a topic may be easily explored.  (This assumes that a topic is a specific concept that may be represented by multiple annotation seeds.)  However, I also see it as beneficial that people should be able to create new topics which are of interest to them, but not pre-identified by the paper.  Without this facility, it may be difficult for people to feel that they have a fair ownership in the process.  They are effectively restricted to discussion topics posed by the paper and restrained from identifying their own topics -- a real turn off.

However, there are other examples where it does not make sense for me to have the author, or any other party, control what may and may not serve as a seed for further annotation.  Consider an active community of interest, say research on connectionist (neural network) models.  If an annotation system is introduced into that community, it is only the parallel efforts of the members of the community that will be able to create and manage a sufficiently broad and rich set of topics for both new and historical materials that relate to current research interests.

I see a problem with managing scale for annotation systems.  This includes the problem of managing topics, the definitions of those topics, and the specific referents in documents that serve as seeds points for annotations.  It also includes managing the aggregation and abstraction of annotations and leveraging the expressed knowledge for search and decision making support.

-bryan thompson

-----Original Message-----
From:	Julie Gibson [SMTP:julieg@weborganic.com]
Sent:	Saturday, May 06, 2000 10:54 PM
To:	Bryan Thompson
Cc:	jgarfunk@bbn.com; www-annotation@w3.org; annotate@cog-tech.com
Subject:	Re: new annotation software

My last post did not actually describe PageSeeder so I thought I'd better add that
we use Java servlets, XML and XLink   to create the  PageSeeder(tm) system.
We use the concept of a Seed  to facilitate user interaction on web pages. Seeds
defined by the author of a page at places where they would like users to be able to
add their own comments.

We think that the ability of the user to define the exact, fine grained position of
a comment interferes with the readability of the page once several users have made
additions so we favour the concept of the page's owner being able to manage the
annotations by both specifying their position and also by having control over their
existence. This makes us at an opposite pole from third voice but there is purpose
for both approaches. At least all of our annotations can be collected in one
database by the owner and made use of.

You can see an exact description of the architecture at

Julie G

Bryan Thompson wrote:

> > Jon,
> I am in the process of creating an open source project to build an annotation
> server capable of fine grained annotations and interoperable with XLink and
> WebDAV engines.  Are you still interested in such a venture?
> -bryan thompson
> bryan@cog-tech.com
> > Re: new annotation software
> >
> > From: Jon Garfunkel (jgarfunk@bbn.com)
> > Date: Thu, Jan 27 2000
> >
> >    * Previous message: Laurent Denoue: "new annotation software"
> >    * In reply to: Laurent Denoue: "new annotation software"
> >    * Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]
> >    * Other mail archives: [this mailing list] [other W3C mailing lists]
> >    * Mail actions: [ respond to this message ] [ mail a new topic ]
> >
> >   ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > Message-Id: <>
> > Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 10:03:54 -0500
> > To: www-annotation@w3.org
> > From: Jon Garfunkel <jgarfunk@bbn.com>
> > Subject: Re: new annotation software
> >
> > At 10:24 AM 1/27/2000 +0100, you wrote:
> > >It's been a while I've not posted anything to this mailing list, but I found
> > >yesterday a new program to annotate any Web page.
> > >See www.imarkup.com
> > >This is very well done, you can highlight any text, use brushes to draw on
> > the
> > >page, also attach notes...
> > >You can send an annotated page by email.
> >
> > But with imarkup you can't exchange annotations with a server. Pfui.
> > Probably because there is no W3 standard for doing so. Which we'll need to
> > do one of these days.
> >
> > I still want to find the time to develop a compatible ThirdVoice server...
> > anybody else have interested in this?
> >
> > FYI, I've been having a lot of fun with my glossary-style annotations, but
> > nothing is ready yet to publish, I just have a custom solution which works
> > with our cvsweb program. So I'm not presenting at WWW9 or HT00. Too bad.
> > Anybody for a BOTF at either one?
> >
> > Jon
> > Jon Garfunkel ...............................
> > Software Engineer .................................
> > GTE Internetworking /Powered By BBN/ ......
> > Burlington, Mass ...........
> >
> >   ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >    * Previous message: Laurent Denoue: "new annotation software"
> >    * In reply to: Laurent Denoue: "new annotation software"
> >    * Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]
> >    * Other mail archives: [this mailing list] [other W3C mailing lists]
> >    * Mail actions: [ respond to this message ] [ mail a new topic ]

Julie Gibson                       E-mail: julieg@weborganic.com
Weborganic Pty. Ltd.                 http://www.weborganic.com
"Web sites that grow by themselves"
PO Box 131, Annandale NSW 2038, Australia.
Phone 0412 699 674
Received on Wednesday, 10 May 2000 10:31:11 UTC

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