[annotator-dev] Annotator plugin for Wordpress, a first progress report
andrea.giulio.fiore at googlemail.com
Thu Jun 2 09:38:23 UTC 2011
As announced, here is my report about the progress of the Wordpress
Annotator plugin project I have been working on in the last few days.
I have just completed a first 0.1 version of the plugin providing the
currently active Wordpress theme with no need of manually editing the
- Option to configure, through a CSS3 selector, the portion of the
document in which the Annotator widget should be embedded.
- Option to decide whether to show only authenticated users’ annotations
or to show also annotations made by anonymous users.
- A rudimentary regular expressions based mechanism for configuring in
what pages/blog sections the Annotator widget should be included.
Again, code is located at: https://github.com/okfn/annotator-wordpress/
and a demo page with the plugin in action can be seen here:
(the second one is likely to change, please refer to the README file for
up to date URLs).
While finishing up this first coding iteration, I have also taken note
into the GitHub issues section
(https://github.com/okfn/annotator-wordpress/issues) of a number of
possible features that I am considering to add next. This is by no mean
a definitive road map for the project, and I am absolutely open to
critiques, comments, and feature requests.
In short, I think the most urgent feature to implement is a more
granular and user friendly system for configuring what sections of the
blog should be annotable and what should not (see issue #6 for details).
Another design issue that probably should be addressed - or at least on
which I need to get my head around - is how blog annotations should be
moderated (see issue #3). Bloggers are already used to moderate comments
on their blogs and I assume they will expect to do exactly the same with
inline annotations. I guess what we need is a way to discriminate
between annotations explicitly created and displayed through the blog
(which I think blog owners should be able to moderate) and annotations
displayed through a browser-based mechanism such as the bookmarklet
(which I think blog owners should not be able to moderate).
I am aware that several of you have been working on the annotator since
some time now, and I imaging that this latter issue might be one that
you have already discussed and addressed. If this is the case, please
let me know how should I approach the problem :)
Finally, I would like to look a bit more deeply into possible usage
scenarios and user groups for the Wordpress plugin and the Annotator in
general. Mark has pointed me at the excellent Digress / CommentPress,
which has been used already in a number of collaborative writing
projects such as Write to Reply, as well as New York Public Library ‘s
Candidate 2.0, and Consumer International ‘s A2K.
As Rufus has argued, the Annotator has the advantage over Digress of
being layout agnostic and of allowing to annotate smaller content units
than just paragraphs. Moreover, the Annotator is based on a more
sophisticated architecture which is open ended and easy to extend one
both the client and the server side.
However, I think that one job Digress actually does better than the
Annotator is to provide a way of navigating and filtering the
annotations that actually facilitates a rich conversation between users.
For instance, try compare the way inline annotations are organised on
the Future of the Book’s Iraq Study Group Report
(http://www.futureofthebook.org/iraqreport/) with the way they are
organised in the Openshakespeare website.
I have not looked yet into the Annotator’s filter bar Plugin
(https://github.com/okfn/annotator/wiki/Filter-Plugin), but I imagine
that pushing the design and the development of this component a bit
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