We’ve recently been hard at work to enable our community not only to annotate our books online, but also to reply to each other’s annotations. In order to accomplish this, we made use of open source software and added our own modifications to the existing code base. The aim of the annotation service is to engage users and community members in helping us improve our books. Whilst we have achieved this successfully in the past using external websites, the service is now fully integrated into Siyavula’s online content.
What follows is a quick run down of the annotator system on our Everything Maths/Science websites.
When you navigate to the annotatable pages, you may see some pieces of text that are highlighted in red, green or blue. These pieces of text have been annotated by another user. If you select a piece of text by clicking and dragging the mouse somewhere on the page, an annotator button will appear which will open the annotation editor when clicked. The button looks as follows:
Three types of annotation can be made: errata (red), comments (green) and suggestions (blue).
When you move the mouse cursor onto the highlighted text, an annotation viewer will pop up and show you the annotation. We’ve added a box where users can enter replies and comments on each other’s annotations.
Once you have replied to an annotation, other people will be able to see your reply when they view the annotation.
You can delete your own replies by clicking the button labelled with an ‘x’ .
We hope that this tool will enable all of our users to easily capture any mistakes they may find in the books (which we can then fix on the live website and in the next edition of the printed books) and to engage with the Siyavula team and the community at large in discussion around the content of the books and each other’s suggestions and comments.