This document was a WorkInProgress and subject to change (e.g. to add/delete
issues, bug reports, etc.). As of early 2002, active development on the
to lack of resources. Refer to the
Annotea home page
for information about other client interfaces.
The W3C's Annotea annotation
system is an open, Web-based shared annotation system based on an RDF
infrastructure. The W3C has implemented the user interface aspects of Annotea
in its Amaya web browser. The tight
integration of Amaya and Annotea provides the user with a single entry point
to create, edit and view fine-grained annotations.
This document describes an alternate, experimental interface to Annotea
interface is browser-independent but when compared with the Amaya
implementation of Annotea, it has several limitations that are documented below.
How to Use
The JS interfaces have been tested with
Netscape's Communicator (NC) bookmarklet facility as well as Microsoft's
Internet Explorer (IE) and the Mozilla browser.
To use the JS interface to create annotations, add the following
bookmarklet to the browser and name it something like "Create
To retrieve annotations for an arbitrary document, add the following
bookmarklet and name it something like "Retrieving Annotations":
Note that the width and height values may be adjusted for the user's
for installing bookmarklets.
To use this service, the address of a running Annotea servlet is required.
The W3C runs an experimental Annotea servlet at
- A resource can be annotated without viewing the resource
- New annotation types are easy to add
There are limitations to a JS-based interface to Annotea (as opposed to native
security model which make some useful information unavailable to a script
unless certificates are used. Among the limitations are:
- The user's name cannot be determined within the script
- A script is not allowed to access a local file system thus local
annotations are not possible. This also makes it difficult to store
configuration information (e.g. the server to use.
- Only document-level annotations are possible with this release
Additional Work To Do
Among the additional work that could be done:
- Add support for fine-grained annotations. If you have some ideas about
how to do that or would would like to work on it, send email to the author.
- Create an interface that provides arbitrary queries to an annotation
- Package the JS interfaces into a folder of bookmarklets
- Use certificates to eliminate some of the limitiations described
Aside from the additional work described earlier, here
is a list of known problems, bugs and general annoyances:
- Annoyance: cookies are used to store some user supplied data (e.g. the
name of the services). If a browser supports cookies and they are
disabled, some data may have to be frequently re-entered.
- Enhancement: in the record view, make each of the items in the Property
column a link and when the link is selected, post a new window with the
- Enhancement: in the list view, instead of the document at the top being
a window, make it an editable text field.
- Defect: with IE the caching of username and password apparently does not
- Enhancement: in the list view, make selection of Title column invoke the
View button. See
- Enhancement: add a W3C icon to all of the windows.
The Annotea Servlet
The servlet's Java sources are available in the W3C CVS
The servlet uses the following Java packages:
are also in the
W3C CVS Repository.
Defect reports should be sent to www-annotation.