[As per ethan's request, i'm following up to zope-web, and set the
reply-to to zope-web, so the conversation continues there.]

Graham Chiu wrote:

> This has been mentioned before, but some sites like the main PHP one
> allow visitors to add comments to web pages.
> My thought was that this should be relatively easy to implement with the
> Zope.org site.  A small form at the bottom of each page, URL0 indexed in
> a SQL table, and when a page is accessed, commentary is returned ordered
> by submission date.
> You may wish to allow only members rather visitors to make comments.
> Anything wrong with this scenario ( apart from comments not being
> Catalogued ) ?

I think this is a great idea - i think being able to put the right
things in just the right places is critical for scalable
collaboration, and often the right place for comments and dialogues
about a page are attached to the page.

The hard part in achieving this, to me, is arranging for reasonably
organization of the commentary - so it doesn't clutter the original
page, and so the accumulation has some kind of useful internal
relationships.  I don't think that's been adequately solved, yet.

Weblogs provide some organizational features - threading, moderation
filters, etc - but they still wind up being way too haphazard for my
tastes.  (I, for one, hardly ever find slashdot discussions to be
worth much, despite careful exercise of moderation thresholds.)

I think wikis' easy editing, linkability, etc, along with my nesting
additions, may provide a basis for something better - but there would
need to be some mroe imposition of structuring.  Just reediting other
peoples stuff, even with the best of intentions *and* version history
for differencing, is too haphazard.

I just saw something very cool from ka-ping yee (a really smart python
guy) for external annotation of web pages:


that may be the kind of thing we'd need.  I imagine an addition to
structured text, and dtml, for explicit annotation markup:

 - structured text could have stuff like

     [+annotation text>content text<+]

 - which yields dtml like:

   <dtml-note support>annotation text<dtml-content>content text</dtml-note>

   which yields markup like:

   <a href="annotations/commentx">
   <img alt="[support] klm: annotation text"
   >content text<a href="annotations/commentx"
   ><img alt="![support] klm: annotation text"
         src="link-r-b.gif" width="9">

   (where the images are little annotation begin/end arrow glyphs).

The idea is that the alt-text conveys the contents of the comments,
with the glyphs indicating the class - comment, support, concern,
question, etc.  The annotations/commentx would be a document in its
own right - wiki-like - where discussion of the annotation - with it's
*own* annotations - could grow.

And for implicit annotation, with annotation separate from the target
text zope text documents (dtml methods and documents, wiki pages,
other derivatives) would all provide annotation features similar to
what the crit.org mediator site does, but without requiring the separate
mediator site...

(I don't know how many of you are familiar with talmudic scholarship,
or marginalia in ancient chinese medicine, eg [...quick google
search...] the yellow emporer's Nei Jing - both texts have layers and
layers of crucial commentary, gradually retained and accumulated
across millenia.  The trick, in this modern age, will be in getting
more, um, immediate, self-organization....)
Ken Manheimer

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