RE: The Standards Manifesto - some Annotea comments

Some Annotea goals:

- Annotea uses open standards as much as possible and demonstrates the use 
of semantic web technologies.

- Annotea provides an open published simple annotation schema. We have an 
open invitation for others working on annotations to publish their current 
schemas and work together to support interoperability.

- Annotea is flexible and extensible in many ways. Users can define new 
annotation types that they want to use in a specific working group. It is 
possible to define specific icons for different annotation types. It is 
possible to add new properties to annotations (and a generic way to present 
them in ui). It is possible to make inferences. It is possible to query 
annotation information and use it in many ways integrated with other 
metadata (e.g. TAP could also present annotation metadata). And there are 
many other possibilities, we are just getting to a stage where we can start 
benefiting from the semantic web approach.

Some answers to the server centric comments:

At 10:40 PM 5/22/2002 -0700, you wrote:

> > Your specific scenarios aren't too far from the Annotea work, and similar
> > efforts over on What do you think stands in the
> > way of that work going mom'n'dad mainstream?
>The server-centric model is the thing that stops it going mainstream, I

Annotea is a pretty flexible model. It is quite possible to let the clients 
read annotation RDF also from other sources than the RDF servers. It is not 
implemented right now in Amaya but would be easy to do if there are good 
user scenarios to support these approaches. Amaya already can store/read 
annotations locally.

We have also discussed about adding information to Web pages about where 
the author suggests to go look for annotations so that finding the 
annotation RDF would be easier.

As annotations are RDF it is also easy to search for them and present them 
with a TAP like interface where the metadata structure is presented in a 
sidebar. TAP results could even provide annotation RDF to be used by 
annotation clients.

>Now, when I say "server-centric", what I mean is that you need to be
>using the same discussion/annotea server as me if you want to see my
>annotations.  This would be like saying that you have to dialup to my
>network if you want to read my web pages.  Every annotation server
>becomes an island of metadata.  This model only scales so far.

The purpose of annotation servers is to make manageable islands of 
annotation metadata. Having everyone on the web see all possible 
annotations anyone has ever made from any viewpoint has some scalability 
problems as well. You can see that on when looking all the 
annotations on our annotest server, which is open to everybody.

Annotation servers provide one way to help filter the annotations that 
people in collaborating groups are providing to each other. The client also 
provides other filtering ways, e.g. filter according to author. We have 
also discussed integrating access metadata to annotation metadata to give 
finer control for access in the servers, but haven't yet had resources for 

IE interface comments:

>I have used annotea+Amaya as well, and the functionality is pretty
>similar.  Sharepoint has much higher adoption, but probably this is
>because Mom'n'dad don't use Amaya, and they *do* use IE.  The annotea
>plugin for IE is a pretty poor UI compared to the Amaya one, IMO, and
>more "experimental" than anything.

There is a community forming and I'm extremely happy that Jim Ley, Matthew 
Wilson, Art Barstow and others have provided help with plugins, 
bookmarklets etc. to provide interfaces to Annotea annotations from other 
clients than Amaya.

It would be great if MS would integrate a nice annotation ui for IE that 
would be interoperable with Annotea annotations. Jim Ley's work and the 
Sharepoint ui seem to be good starting points.


Received on Friday, 24 May 2002 16:29:56 UTC