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Re: Annotea futures? Annotation standards in 2009...

From: NJ Rogers, Learning and Research Technology <Nikki.Rogers@bristol.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 22 May 2009 16:18:43 +0100
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>, www-annotation@w3.org, public-annotea-dev@w3.org, marja@annotea.org, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-ID: <EC8F4DA58EC40B89E6055E32@[]>
Hi Dan,

You might want to look at our <http://code.google.com/p/caboto/> project 
which was a small spin-out effort from 3 projects each with a social 
software annotations aspect.

We looked at use cases from different contexts and but this has not really 
been about annotating parts of a page but more about annotating resources 
(with a dedicated 'page') such as "an event", or making a time-based video 


--On 22 May 2009 16:00 +0200 Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org> wrote:

> (I'm cc:'ing 3 lists, rather warily; if the thread gets long, please
> consider trimming it to just use semantic-web@w3.org)
> Hi all
> I'm involved in helping advise a new not-for-profit project that is close
> in approach to the old Annotea project, looking at annotations within
> pieces of Web content, and their cross-linking, threading for discussion
> etc. It's now 2009, over ten years since the original Annotea designs.
> The Web has changed a lot since then, but the need to annotate it doesn't
> seem to have gone away.
> See http://annotea.org/
> http://www.w3.org/2001/Annotea/User/Tutorial/quicktutorial and nearby for
> an overview of Annotea.
> Since then Web 2.0 has happened, and now many of the original themes of
> Annotea are part of the mainstream Web developer perspective. And yet ...
> looking at the comments to this 2007 techcrunch survey -
> http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/04/10/5-ways-to-mark-up-the-web/ - I see
> project after project, startup after startup, exploring this space
> without any great emphasis on data exchange standards. I guess many of
> them have APIs, probably a lot of them use RSS or Atom feeds. But we
> certainly haven't yet to the place imagined by Annotea: an annotation
> layer for the Web that allows comments, scribbles, reviews, discussions
> to be freely interlinked and overlaid using open standard formats and
> protocols.
> So I'm mailing the relevant (and pretty quiet) lists but cc:'ing
> semantic-web@w3.org too to ask where folk thing this stuff is heading.
> When is an annotation an annotation, versus a page that happens to be a
> review, or happens to have as it's primary topic another page? For
> annotations at the page level, it might be that mainstream RDF work
> (linked data etc) has fulfilled some of the early promise of Annotea.
> But for the "annotating parts of a page" scenario that lies at the heart
> of many people's notion of annotations, there doesn't seem to be much
> happening in terms of practical and widely adopted standards. Lots of
> startups, experiments etc but they all seem to be islands. And since
> annotation systems are only really interesting when you have enough
> annotations to get decent coverage, this seems a pity.
> Thoughts? Am I missing some developments? What would Annotea look like if
> rebuilt for the Web of 2009? If it's in RDF, the query part would just
> use SPARQL, and topic classification would be SKOS. What else? Is there
> implementation experience from Annotea adopters and implementors gathered
> somewhere? Is there consensus for example on the best bits of information
> to keep if you want a robust reference to a piece of a potentially
> evolving page? How well do modern Web design habits (CSS, Ajax etc)
> interact with the overlay of 3rd party annotations? Is everyone using
> Firefox addons, javascript bookmarklets and Web proxies or is there some
> hope for a cross-browser approach on the horizon?
> thanks for any suggestions, thoughts, links etc.
> cheers,
> Dan

NJ Rogers, Technical Researcher
(Senior Technical Developer and Coordinator of Web Futures)
Institute for Learning and Research Technology (ILRT)
Tel: +44(0)117 3314412 (Direct)
Tel: +44(0)117 3314430 (Office)
Received on Friday, 22 May 2009 15:19:21 UTC

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