Report Number: CS-TR-97-1582
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Computer Science
Title: Shared Web Annotations as a Platform for Third-Party Value-Added, Information Providers: Architecture, Protocols, and Usage Examples
Author: Roscheisen, Martin
Author: Mogensen, Christian
Author: Winograd, Terry
Date: January 1997
Abstract: In this paper, we present an architecture, called "ComMentor", which provides a platform for third-party providers of lightweight super-structures to material provided by conventional content providers. It enables people to share structured in-place annotations about arbitrary on-line documents. The system is part of a general "virtual document" architecture ("PCD BRIO") in which--with the help of lightweight distributed meta information--documents are dynamically synthesized from distributed sources depending on the user context and the meta-information which has been attached to them. The meta-information is managed independently of the documents themselves on separate meta-information servers, both in terms of storage and authority. A wide range of useful scenarios can be readily realized on this platform. We give examples of how a more personalized content presentation can be achieved by leveraging the database storage of the uniform meta-information and generating documents dynamically for a particular user perspective. These include structured discussion about paper drafts, collaborative filtering, seals of approval, tours, shared "hotlists" with section-based visibility control, usage indicators, co-presence, and value-added trails. Our object model and request interface for the prototype implementation are defined in technical detail in the appendix.