[annotator-dev] Minutes of Annotator Community Call on 2012-03-29

Nick Stenning nick at whiteink.com
Fri Mar 30 12:06:27 UTC 2012

Dear all,

Please find below my attempt to clean up and summarise the notes taken
in our Annotator Community Call into something approaching a set of
minutes. I've also updated the Etherpad at


and don't forget you can always view the entire history of the pad at



P.S. If you're in a hurry, just grep for the string "ACTION:" to see
if there's anything that applies to you!


Annotator Community Call -- 2012-03-29

In attendance

- David Brodsky, FinalsClub
- Adam Hyde, Booktype/FLOSSManuals
- Randall Leeds, Hypothes.is
- Andrew Magliozzi, FinalsClub
- Amir More, OpenKnesset
- Rufus Pollock, Open Knowledge Foundation
- Robert Sanderson, Open Annotation Collaboration/LANL
- Nick Stenning, Open Knowledge Foundation
- Dan Whaley, Hypothes.is
- Seth Woodworth, FinalsClub

Apologies from Simon Rainer, Yuma JS


1. State of Annotator from Nick
  - What's new?
  - What's coming up?
  - How can the community help?

2. Update about OAC spec from Rob
  - What must Annotator do to conform to the new spec?

3. Update about Shakespeare Annotations from Andrew
  - What can FC.org do to get these in the best shape for OS.org?

4. Update about Hypothes.is from Randall and Dan
  - What are you working on with Annotator?
  - What do you need and how can you help?

[5. Future plans for annotation
  - How should we address Yuma-js integration for multimedia annotation?]

6. What UX improvements can we make? Annotation creation and Annotation viewing?
7. How can we make annotation have more mass-market appeal?


1a. State of Annotator

- Lots of housekeeping recently
- A few unavoidable breaking changes introduced to the Auth API
- Now in a position to make only backwards compatible API changes
- We'll be able to introduce "breaking changes" without breaking old clients

1b. What's in the future for Annotator

- The Changing Content Problem -- http://tinyurl.com/anniss/115
- Threading of annotations/Annotation of annotations --
- Improve the UI to access/search/manage annotations in AnnotateIt --
- Login to AnnotateIt directly from other webpages --
- Update Wordpress plugin -- http://tinyurl.com/bmj8sjv
- Expose annotations in OAC format -- http://tinyurl.com/annitiss/11

1c. What can the community do?

- Be vocal
  - Internally: let the mailing list know what you're up to. Join
    us on IRC (#annotator on Freenode). Pitch in on the GitHub issue
  - Externally: do some evangelism. More people need to know about Annotator!
- Deploy annotator
- ACTION: Create a list of Annotator deployments on the wiki


2. Update about OAC spec

- Reasonable alignment between the OAC spec and the Annotator spec
- See Andrew's spreadsheet: http://tinyurl.com/cxlymlt
- The OAC spec allows any piece of media to annotate any other (e.g.
  a youtube video can be an annotation of a blog post, or the other way around)
- **Other annotators do not have to change their internal schemas**
- OAC asks simply that *if* annotations are exposed as RDF, they should
  the OAC schema


3. Update about Shakespeare Annotations

- FinalsClub did some annotation work a few years ago, got PHD students to
  annotate a whole bunch of things, including Shakespeare plays/sonnets/etc.
- ~3500 high quality Shakespeare annotations
- Some annotations contain images and other media
- The original authors are interested in continuing to participate
  - One of the annotation authors is now studying Milton and wants to contribute
- Will share by Monday


4. Update from Hypothes.is

- Successfully deployed site + integrated store
- https://github.com/hypothesis/hypothes.is (coming very soon!)
- Working on chrome extension re-package of bookmarklet
- Playing with packaging options for distributing annotator plugins
(e.g. https://github.com/hypothesis/js.annotator)

  - UI work
  - OA data model work / RDFa Lite (on the embeds, for example)
  - Start sketching the reputation APIs / model code
  - What to do about portable user ids in the API?
  - real-time plugin

- Get involved: planning upcoming G+ hangouts (ACTION: let the list know!)


5. Yuma-JS discussion postponed.


6. What UX improvements can we make?

- TEXTUS project is working on a canvas renderer for highlights
  - http://textusproject.org/
  - http://www.crypticsquid.com/textus/#/text/textId/0

- OpenKnesset is working on a margin viewer plugin
  - Trying to emulate the margin comments as they appear in google docs
  - Hackathon this weekend
  - Will send a PR when finished
  - ACTION: Amir to send UI sketches to the list if possible

- Hypothes.is are also working on UI sketches for a margin display

- Realtime annotation
  - WebSocket/long-polling/Socket.IO
  - All agreed that this is an important feature, especially for the
    Hypothes.is use case and in general heavily-annotated sites
  - Javascript Operational Transforms: http://sharejs.org/

Conclusions and wrap-up

- A sincere "Thank you" to Andrew for cat-herding.
- This time generally works for everyone.
- ACTION: Organize a new call in one month.
- ACTION: Join this list if you haven't already!

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