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Re: [h2o-discuss] Re: meta-discussions

I set up a test page for the annotation engine at the unwieldy URL of

garf@look.boston.ma.us wrote:
>J proctor wrote:
>>Like open source in general, this is a public relations and education
>>campaign.  People have to know about and *want* a standard before vendors
>>will react and provide it.
>I agree. I would hope that all users, especially technical people, demand
>interoperability standards compliance as consumers.

Let me add quickly that I see the annotation engine I wrote as more proof
of concept than particular model from which to build.  Building working
models is probably the best way to determine what a standard should
contain.  This one shows the limits of positioning comments against
snippets of text -- difficult user interface and slow display, but also
preserves note placement against changes in the underlying text.  It also
suggests other desirable features, such as the ability to add threaded
comments beneath "seed" notes, or static means by which to refer to the
notes themselves.  

Standards can be requirements of browsers, servers, or markup language, or
they can also be internal specs, describing how an annotation system would

>>I think it's important to remember that simple annotation is *only* an
>>intermediate step towards the kind of discussion that we want.

>>There you go.  A spark for a meta-meta-discussion (are notes the best
>>thing we can talk about?), and a call for new ideas, preferably with
>>examples, about the information architecture (including infrastructure,
>>interface design, and any other "i" words you can think of) necessary to
>>get the Web caught up, at least, to what we can do with email.

The Berkman distance learning projects often find ourselves trying to
replicate email communications in a web form.  The combination of the
ease-of-use and "push" nature of mailing lists with the graphical
representation and archival qualities of the web has been elusive.   We
have been using combinations of  mailing lists,  HyperNews threaded
messaging, and our home-grown "rotisserie" (randomly pairing respondents to
a common question for further exchange). 

What architecture will best support and encourage online communications?

--Wendy (should be studying for the bar) Seltzer

Wendy Seltzer (914) 834-3869
wendy@seltzer.com | wseltzer@law.harvard.edu | http://wendy.seltzer.org
Go Annotate: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/projects/annotate.html