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

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Date: Fri, 22 May 2009 18:35:44 +0200
Message-ID: <4A16D460.3060600@danbri.org>
To: Matthew Wilson <matthew@mjwilson.demon.co.uk>
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>
On 22/5/09 18:24, Matthew Wilson wrote:
> 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)
>> 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
> implementations.

Worth noting, and going into the practical details. Were you working 
solely with the Mozilla RDF APIs? XUL Templates etc? Or other more 
modern RDF libraries?

>  > 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
> XPointer)?

Yup. This might be worth taking up with the HTML5 and WHATWG folks, 
since they're trying to write a spec that has a recovery model for ugly 
messy markup.

>  > 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.

If there aren't many problems, in what sense does it not perform well? 
(internal Engineering uglyness, or problems that will affect users?)

> 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.

Yep. Perhaps the pages that are problematic that way might also be 
problematic in terms of assessibility, and Mobile Web -readyness too? 
Which would at least give authors other motivations to fix their markup, 
apart from annotate-ability.


Received on Friday, 22 May 2009 16:36:30 UTC

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