Re: "Annotation" and "annotation" (was: RE: [data-model] Proposed Abstract for Web Annotation Data Model Spec)

Hi Jacob,

On Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 9:47 AM, Jacob Jett <> wrote:

> I think though we need to be clearer that it isn't just any kind of
> association between things (RDF does that natively) but, rather it is a
> certain kind of association. It has specific semantics and while the web
> presents certain opportunities for new functionalities at the end of the
> day an annotation links some content or process to a specific thing that it
> is intended to convey some information about.

Typically [[weaselwords]] they are, but there are many use cases where
people intuitively want to use an annotation without the aboutness.

Some examples:

* Transcribing some text in an image for accessibility ... is the
transcribed text "about" the region of the image? Maybe?

* Tagging the mention of an entity in some text with its identifier. Is the
URI "about" the segment of text? Maybe?

* Highlights and bookmarks -- there's no Body to be about the target.

> I would not, for instance, use an annotation to gather things into a
> collection. That's a very different kind of association to make.

Nor would I, personally, and yet tagging is often used for exactly that
reason.  For example, tagging your music files is essentially organizing
them into sub-collections, and interfaces let you filter on those.  Or
github issues -- the tags (labels) are almost always used to group the
issues into what amounts to collections.

I agree (of course!) with the spirit of being precise in our definitions
and at the same time being easy to understand and relate to, but it's very
hard without excluding significant use cases that have been considered to
be in scope of the work.


Rob Sanderson
Technology Collaboration Facilitator
Digital Library Systems and Services
Stanford, CA 94305

Received on Friday, 14 November 2014 19:36:52 UTC