Annotea Project


Annotea is a LEAD (Live Early Adoption and Demonstration) project enhancing the W3C collaboration environment with shared annotations. By annotations we mean comments, notes, explanations, or other types of external remarks that can be attached to any Web document or a selected part of the document without actually needing to touch the document. When the user gets the document he or she can also load the annotations attached to it from a selected annotation server or several servers and see what his peer group thinks.

Annotea is open; it uses and helps to advance W3C standards when possible. For instance, we use an RDF based annotation schema for describing annotations as metadata and XPointer for locating the annotations in the annotated document.

Annotea is part of the Semantic Web efforts. The annotations are stored in annotation servers as metadata and presented to the user by a client capable of understanding this metadata and capable of interacting with an annotation server with the HTTP service protocol.

The first client implementation of Annotea is W3C's Amaya editor/browser. Nothing prevents other clients from implementing these capabilities too. The current Amaya user interface for annotations is presented in the Amaya documentation.

Learn more

You can find out more from documents that explain Annotea.

Try it out

To be able to use the annotations you need to do the following:

  • Install the latest version of Amaya
  • Configure the user name, annotation post server, and annotation servers in Amaya. W3C offers a public annotation service for testing purposes at http://annotest.w3.org/annotations. Before using the W3C public service, please read theAcceptable Use Policy. As this is a trial service W3C does not guarantee that it will store annotations permanently. To do that you need to ask about other available annotations services from your local administrators or start a new service yourself.
  • If you select to use the W3C trial service, you need to request a user id and password from our annotest access database. Note: Other services are likely have adopted other procedures for providing access.
  • Use the annotations through the Amaya user interface.

You can also use an interactive Web user interface for the annotest service. It lets you query the annotation database and see the RDF that is stored in there. You naturally need the annotest access database user id and password here too.

Install your own server

It is also possible to install your own annotation server. We encourage others to install the server. Read the Annotea service installation instructions for further information.

Write new clients

You can write other clients, plugins or proxies that communicate with the annotation servers. You only need to follow the Annotea protocols and understand the annotation schema.

We have done some work on JavaScript interfaces to Annotea using bookmarklets. This approach only provides document-level annotations and not fine-grained annotations that are possible with Amaya. However, the JavaScript bookmarklets should work with any browser that supports JavaScript. See Interfacing Annotea Via JavaScript for more information.

See also the new Annozilla client.

Give us feedback

Feedback on the service in general can be sent to www-annotation, a publicly archived mailing list (you can also subscribe to the list). This list is also for discussions about annotation services and approaches in general.

Amaya bugs and Amaya related information can be reported as usual to the Amaya mailing lists.

Marja-Riitta Koivunen

Last updated $Date: 2001/07/02 12:48:55 $