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Systems for web annotation

By extension: Augmented browsing: To display the available annotations.


  • Description: An internet browser and HTML editor by the W3C. Allows to display and manage annotations.
  • Features: Comments, Annotate on fragment, Rich Client, Public and private annotation repositories
  • Timeline: 1994(released) - (present)
  • Site:


  • Description: Allows users to bookmark internet resources. bookmarks can be tagged and commented. Public bookmarks and user tags can be browsed. Therefore it allows a comment on a page to be accesible by the public, and find related resources on a topic.
  • Features: Tagging, Bookmarking, Comments, Web Interface, public and private (both on site)
  • Timeline: 2003 (introduced) - (present)
  • Reference: wikipedia:Delicious_(website)
  • Site:



  • Description: Web annotation plug-in for Firefox. Allows comments and HTML code substitution.
  • Features: Comments, Browser plugin interface, client page alteration
  • Timeline: 2006 (released) - present?

other Systems

Project Xanadu

Search Engines

  • Description: Service(s) to look up resources about requested topics, or linking to a given resource
  • Features: @@@ CHECKPOINT: @@@ Annotations could be made through links, allows searching further information on some topic
  • Timeline: 1993 (W3Catalog), 1996 (Inktomi-Yahoo!), 1998 (Google,MSN) - (present)
  • Further information: Wikipedia:Web Search Engine


  • Description: (wikipedia:wiki): website whose users can add, modify, or delete its content via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a rich-text editor
    • (follow-up) One important feature is the simplicity to link other resources in the same site. Such "wikilinks" allow the wiki software to track the incoming links in any handled resource.
    • (follow-up) Allows to easily building outlines (such as this) of covered topics.
  • Features: @@@ CHECKPOINT: @@@ Annotations can be made either by editing the page, creating an incoming link, or in a discussion page
  • Timeline: 1994(WikiWikiWeb),2002(MediaWiki) - (present)
  • Comments:
    • (limitation) Features limited to resources contained in site
      • (however) Alias pages could be created for external resources, wiki software can still track links to external resources
    • (wished feature) extended links: Links with semantic content (type of link)
    • (wished feature) display incomming links at fragment: Allow that links are displayed on their target fragments, with icons/features of their semantic content.
    • (wished feature) page fragments and incoming links filtered/moderated, so the reader can select what to display (as in Slashdot)
    • Extensibility: Additional features could be implemented through plugins, which some wiki software (like MediaWiki, or JSPWiki) allows.
      • Concretely: Semantic MediaWiki: As of 2012-04-26 (ongoing SMWCon) I check the Semantic Wiki Extension. It looks mostly about adding and using RDF over pages.
        • It uses frequently the term "semantic annotation", but does not mean our kind of annotation, but an RDF property.
        • We might define wiki pages following an Annotea-like RDF schema. But might be like overkill.
        • Our kind of annotation might be more like RDF data over links (rather than pages)
        • Judgement: Semantic-mediawiki might have interesting related qualities, but doesn't seem to be fit for our use cases more than Mediawiki is.
    • (limitation) Annotation bloating might be a concern. In such case filtering/moderation (previous wished feature) might be necessary
      • Except for that, might be optimus for single and reduced user scenarios Use cases
    • It's a knowledgeable system, that might be taken as reference when talking about an annotation system/Obelus.


  • Description: Question and Answer software and sites network.
  • Timeline: August 2008 - Present
  • Features: User reputation, Community based moderation, Tagging, Comments(Answers) on both questions and answers, Contents (Questions and answers) might be modified (with sufficient reputation/privileged).
  • Site:
  • Further Information: wikipedia:Stack Exchange Network
  • Comment: Other Q&A Sites exist, such as


  • Description Allows the users to express concepts in writeups(nodes) of diferent types. These writeups may be linked not only explicitly(hard links), but also using the actual flow of navigation of users:
    • (wikipedia:Everything2#Soft_links): These are two-way links intended to approximate "thought processes," ... Whenever a logged-in user moves from one node to another ... the system creates (or strengthens) the bidirectional soft link between the two
  • Comment: The soft link related with actual navigation is an interesting concept, however, you don't have a guarantee to know where a page is linked from as you might know in a wiki.


  • Description: (wikipedia:Slashdot): is a technology-related news website ... Each story has a comments section attached to it ... Discussion is moderated by a user-based moderation system. Randomly selected moderators assign points of either −1 or +1 to each comment, based on whether the comment is perceived as either normal, offtopic, insightful, redundant, interesting, or troll (among others). The site's comment and moderation system is administered by its own content management system, Slash.
  • Features: Nested comments, user moderation tags, meta-moderation
  • Comment: Worth for its moderation system, but that is dependent on the majority bias (as most user-base based moderation).
  • Further information: Slashdot FAQs, Slashcode documentation


  • Description: (wikipedia:Cyc): Cyc is an artificial intelligence project that attempts to assemble a comprehensive ontology and knowledge base of everyday common sense knowledge
  • Comment: Cyc is intended for machines, and to be used for reasoning/predicate calculus
    • That's a completely different focus than mine. I doubt "Socrates is mortal" kind of deductions might be useful Javier 17:50, 5 April 2012 (CDT)

Content Management Systems

  • Description: (wikipedia:Content_management_systems):allows publishing, editing, and modifying content as well as site maintenance from a central page.
  • Features: Multiple media type, version control
  • Comment: An annotation system might be shaped as a CMS, might aim to have its features.
  • Comment: Features: Interesting question: What features we want in a CMS that are not in a Wiki?
    • Data validation: We might define different type of contents (e.g. a Bibliography reference), and control that the data is valid (e.g. that a Journal/Congress name is spelled correctly).

  • Allows highlighting and commenting on web sites and PDF documents
  • Requires site to subscribe (for a site id), and to include script
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