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

From: Matthew Wilson <matthew@mjwilson.demon.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 22 May 2009 17:24:02 +0100
Message-ID: <4A16D1A2.5080602@mjwilson.demon.co.uk>
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
CC: www-annotation@w3.org, public-annotea-dev@w3.org, marja@annotea.org, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>, Eric Prud'hommeaux <eric@w3.org>, jose@w3.org, "Ralph R. Swick" <swick@w3.org>
Dan Brickley 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

> 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.

IMO the use of RDF seems to add a significant "complexity tax" on 

 > 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?

As an implementer, it seems to me that XPointer is not a great solution 
for determining a selection of a web page. Theoretically it's only 
specified for use with XML and not with HTML. Annotea glosses over this 
problem, but there are real compatibility questions which I haven't seen 
answered definitively (for example, if you have an 'implied' element not 
present in the markup like "tbody", is it present in a constructed 

 > How well do modern Web design habits (CSS,
 > Ajax etc) interact with the overlay of 3rd party annotations?

Arguably Annozilla doesn't even work well with less modern Web design 
(the hacks it performs in order to display icons in the document are 
pretty horrible), but it doesn't seem to have caused many problems in 
practice - or at least I haven't had many reported to me. My guess is 
that the use of Annozilla is pretty limited and that it isn't getting 
any widespread use on any pages with significant Ajax usage. It's 
obviously trivial to create an Ajaxy page which would expose the 
limitations of the schema, and you would imagine that real-life usage 
would have the same difficulties.

Received on Friday, 22 May 2009 16:24:36 UTC

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