CritLink: Public Web Annotation

Ka-Ping Yee

Inspired by the ideas of Xanadu and the Memex, and developed for a project of the Foresight Institute to enable critical discussions and enhance productivity for those using the web, CritLink takes vital steps toward a truly connected and interactive Web structure.

The CritLink software can be used to provide an annotation service for the whole Web, or within a workgroup to privately annotate any public Web site or a local Intranet. Annotations can be applied to any plain text or HTML document, including any other annotation, and they can be stored anywhere, publicly or privately, in the same way as any other Web document.

When CritSuite has been used to comment on a document, text relevant to the annotation will be bracketed by small colored markers. The colors indicate the nature of the comment: green for support, red for an issue, blue for a comment, or orange for a query. The markers also contain small symbols to help them appear more distinct: a plus sign for support, a minus sign for an issue, a hash mark for a comment, or a question mark for a query.