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RE: Annotation working group

From: Libby Miller <Libby.Miller@bristol.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 18:49:16 +0100 (BST)
To: Bryan Thompson <bryan-pop@cog-tech.com>
cc: "'Julie Gibson'" <julieg@weborganic.com>, "www-annotation@w3.org" <www-annotation@w3.org>, "annotate@cog-tech.com" <annotate@cog-tech.com>, phil.cross@bristol.ac.uk, m.l.poulter@bristol.ac.uk, Dan Brickley <Daniel.Brickley@bristol.ac.uk>
Message-ID: <Pine.GHP.4.21.0005101800180.3864-100000@mail.ilrt.bris.ac.uk>

Hi Bryan,

Thanks for having a look at the site. The desire project is ending in
July, although some of the 'recommendations' work will be continued with
the MedCertain project [1].

You asked about my particular interests in the design of annotation
servers. I am principally interested in annotations of things that can
be given a URI, and specifically html pages. These annotations could be 
as brief as giving a thumbs up or thumbs down to an html page. However,
I'd like to be able to model annotations in such a way that an
annotation is generalizable to part of a document, or any other resource
(e.g. a plumber). RDF [2] is potentially good for this, as it assigns a
unique identifier to any resource, to which you can attatch other
resources by arcs, labeling the resource or making statments about it.

What I've been contentrating on is trying to model annotations in
node/arc diagrams, and then store them in a fairly generic RDF triple
store in a relational database. At the moment I'm trying to generalise
the APIs and store sufficiently so that I can store calendar information
using the same process. There's a lot of this sort of thing going on in
RDF, all linked from [2].

I'm also curious about the display of annotations data, and the
connected question of whether people will use annotations servers. The
current display metaphor we tend to use here is that of "shared
bookmarks", although some colleagues of mine have experimented with
using the "what's related" feature of Netscape to serve up comments
about a site. 

What we found here with the shared bookmrks idea at least, is that
people tend to use annotations servers more if they are used in small
communities. This has to do with issues of trust coupled with the lack
of detail about a resource provided by a minimal user interface for
inpout of annotations. So in our system, because not much information is
provided about the annotation by the annotator, you need to know
contextual information about that person. There was a report which
touches on these issues from Desire [3]. However, using RDF you can
aggregate annotations by slurping them from the web using XML, and I've
been wondering how we can overcome this issues of trust (and display) in
aggregation in a sensible way.

I just looked at your resume and it sounds like you're doing very
advanced stuff. I would be very interested to know more.


[1] http://medpics.org/medcertain/
[2] http;//www.w3.org/RDF/ 
[3] http://www.desire.org/html/research/deliverables/D3.1/qualratings/doc0002.htm

On Wed, 10 May 2000, Bryan Thompson wrote: 

> Libby,
> I am going through the DESIRE project site now.  This is a wonderful project 
> and I am amazed that I have not encountered this effort before.  
> Can you expand on your particular interests in the design of annotation 
> systems?
> -bryan
Received on Wednesday, 10 May 2000 13:49:27 UTC

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