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Annotations for Web pages

From: Daniel LaLiberte <liberte@ncsa.uiuc.edu>
Date: Fri, 6 Dec 1996 09:45:26 -0600 (CST)
Message-Id: <199612061545.JAA16344@void.ncsa.uiuc.edu>
To: Jakob Hummes <hummes@eurecom.fr>
Cc: cscw-sig Mailbase discussion list <cscw-sig@mailbase.ac.uk>, www-annotation@w3.org, www-collaboration@w3.org
Jakob Hummes writes:
 > 1) Proposals from the annotations group at the W3C.  If found a lot of
 > pointers and Web pages with good ideas.  However, I didn't found a
 > citeable publication...
 > BTW: I tried to contact Wayne Gramlich, who mantains a lot of pages
 > concerning annotations.  Unfortunately, his email address seems to be
 > obsolete.  Also, all the Web pages are date from the last year.  Where
 > is the new stuff?  Or is this issue sleeping?

I don't know about Wayne; perhaps his mail system is confused, as has
happened in the past.  

The annotations issue is sleeping, as you say.  The main difficulty is
getting some annotation mechanism in the browsers that people use.
NCSA Mosaic for X has had different annotation mechanisms added to it,
by NCSA and by the ComMentor people, but not many people use that
browser any more.

It may be that a combination of JavaScript and Java (supported by
Netscape Navigator and MS Internet Explorer) can be used to support
annotations.  I know that JavaScript by itself cannot.  Note that the
ability to automatically (without the user asking for it) send a URL
to an annotation server to find out if there are any annotations for
the URL could be viewed as a security hole unless doing so was
explicitly enabled by the user.  An older version of JavaScript in
fact had that security hole.

There were two papers on annotations published in the WWW3 conference
in Darmstadt, and another one in WWW5.  There are probably more that I
am forgetting about.

 > 2) Systems: Futplex, Web4Groups, ComMentor, HyperNews, aqui,
 > (annotations in Mosaic)
 > For all, I've found very interesting descriptions on the Web.  Where are
 > the (hard) publications?

Descriptions of HyperNews have not been published in hard copy form,
though I've been asked to write such a paper.  The main reason is
that I am not yet satisfied with its feature set.

But I like the idea of publishing via the web so much that I may not
try too hard to push papers through editorial review boards in the
future.  Of course, there is value in reviews, and that is partly what
annotation systems may provide, but there will be many many more
forums for publication.  Making such publications citeable with
long-lived identifiers is a URN issue more than anything else.

Daniel LaLiberte (liberte@ncsa.uiuc.edu)
National Center for Supercomputing Applications
Received on Friday, 6 December 1996 10:50:17 UTC

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