Re: Annotation

Tim Berners-Lee (
Fri, 20 Nov 92 12:26:47 +0100

Date: Fri, 20 Nov 92 12:26:47 +0100
From: Tim Berners-Lee <>
Message-Id: <>
To: (Marc Andreessen)
Subject: Re: Annotation 


> From: (Marc Andreessen)

(Annotation mechanism described)

> Drawbacks:

> (a) Anyone who wishes to annotate a document must be running HTTP or
>     have some other way of making his annotation available as a
>     document from his machine to the web -- possibly too much grunge
>     work for real ``users'' as opposed to hackers.

"Real users" are going to have to be able to publish easily anyway.
That means that future clients must have push-buttons for publishing.
The client will check whether there is a httpd running which gives
access to the document the guy has written. It it has, it allows
him to annotate other things with it. It also makes the background
a different colour depending on how public it is, maybe. Give people a secure  
feeling they know what is public and what ain't.

As there are 1001 ways of configuing a server now, this will mean that
we will have to define a way in which we recommend it is done by all but
the hacker group.  For example, we allow any user to create a ~/Public
directory (sorry, "folder") and copy or link in anything to be published.
The document name would be mapped from //machine/author/xxx to
~author/Public/xxx for example.

The client would check whether there was an httpd running which gave
access to the document, and if not would offer to run a simple
installation script if the guy has root access.  The httpd daemon code
would come bundled with the client, as well as the configuration file.

A start would be a server installation script.