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Backlash vs. Third-Party Annotations from MS Smart Tags

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 13:42:49 -0700
Message-Id: <a0510031ab75022635cb5@[]>
To: www-annotation@w3.org
Hi folks--

I've been following some of the media accounts of Microsoft's new
"Smart Tags" feature in Windows XP's IE 6.  [In short, Smart Tags allows
Microsoft to display different-looking links to MS-chosen resources
around specific words, when enabled -- basically, it's a crude third-party
metadata system.]

There has been a lot of backlash against this idea in the media, including
from the Wall Street Journal and others.  While some of this is merely
that people tend to dislike ANYTHING Microsoft does, a lot of the sentiments
seem to be actually directed at the concept of third-party metadata
annotations and links.

A lot of people -- primarily web designers or web content authors --
seem to be incensed over the idea that a third party could provide
information "on a page" (as displayed by a user agent) which was not
placed there by the original author.  To those people, Annotea is just
as evil and wrong as Smart Tags.

Anyone have any thoughts on this, and what effects this type of
reaction will have upon the eventual widespread adoption of the
Semantic Web?  Is the developer backlash against Smart Tags a sign
that the SW may never be accepted?

Discuss. ;)


Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Technical Developer Liaison
Reef North America
Accessibility - W3C - Integrator Network
Tel +1 949-567-7006
Received on Friday, 15 June 2001 16:48:21 UTC

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