[p2pu-dev] Online annotation tool (update)

Dan Diebolt dandiebolt at gmail.com
Thu Mar 3 21:01:05 UTC 2011

I think this Annotator is great but needs better integration with browsers.
Feedback below:


(1) Works in Chrome. In FireFox I could not add any text - the field
appeared but just acted like it was un-editable. In Opera it would not save
the annotation - got strange message: "Sorry we could not undefined the
annotation". Could not get Annotator to work in Safari or IE at all. Didn't
spend much time looking at it though.

(2) I had to poke around to figure out how Annotator works. Once you
highlight text and click the pencil icon appears it might be helpful to have
placeholder text "Enter your annotation here" which would disappear once the
mouse is clicked within the textarea and a user enters his actual text.

(3) Needs more distinctive highlighting as yellow is used to indicate active

(4) Also it seems like there should be some type of namespace or identify
associated with a particular annotation session to avoid collisions when two
different users markup the same page for different purposes. Without making
the tool too complicated, how could you get user's identity associated with
an annotation. Or are all annotations anonymous?

(5) maybe add some more controls to hide/show all annotations or move to
previous/next annotation with distinctive highlighting.

(6) It would be interesting to have appropriate language comments(/* ... */,
<!-- ... --> etc) inserted if annotator was used with one of the
collaborative source code sharing services. This isn't so far out as it
might seem and would be great for WebCraft courses.

(7) Would be interesting to load/save annotations from/to ANY data store as
specified by options on a callback or ajax call.


On a related note, there was a great Chrome extension added to all the Stack
Exchange sites which recognizes HTML, CSS and JS code bocks in the post and
automatically creates a jsFiddle from the code blocks if a user makes some


Tools like this need to be integrate with the P2PU platform so users don't
have to jump to external services and load/install something or register to
get the benefit of the tool.
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