Read Barefoot into Cyberspace online. Share your thoughts in annotations. Read other's comments.
This site makes "Barefoot" a collaboration growing from the seed planted by Becky.Read the help page to learn how to use this site. Check out the colophon to discover how and why the site was built.
This work is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales Licence. You are free to:
- copy, display and perform the work
- make derivative works
- make commercial use of the work
With the following conditions:
- Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).
- Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar licence to this one.
- For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the licence terms of this work. The best way to do this is with a link to http://barefootintocyberspace.com/book/hypertext
Getting Started with Fluidinfo
This web-application is a programming example in the O'Reilly book Getting Started with Fluidinfo (whose Flying Spaghetti Monster like cover animal is shown to the right). The design and implementation is explored in detail towards the end of the book. However, a summary is given below.
Fluidinfo is a "social" datastore based upon the simple concept of tagging things with useful information. Put simply, you tag data on objects about things. In the case of this application, there are a set of objects in Fluidinfo that represent each block of text in the work that is Barefoot into Cyberspace. Each of these objects has a unique about value tagged to it to identify it (using the special fluiddb/about tag). For this application we've used about values that follow this naming scheme:
Where CHAPTER and POSITION are replaced by a chapter's short name and block number respectively. For example, the object whose about value is:
represents the second block of text in the prologue chapter.
Each of these objects will have at least the following six tags and associated values (in addition to the fluiddb/about tag that identifies it):
- The HTML content of the block represented by the object.
- A link to the block's licence.
- A reference to the object about the work that is Barefoot into Cyberspace.
- A reference to the block's parent object (usually the block's chapter).
- The position of the block within its parent block.
- A list of any references contained within the block.
When someone creates an annotation a comment tag is attached to the object representing the block of text. The associated value is a string containing a list of one or more comments. Comments are deliniated by the ¶ (Pilcrow) character like this:
Fri, 13 Jan 2012 21:50:57 GMT Comment 1 ¶ Fri, 13 Jan 2012 21:51:01 GMT Comment 2
Each comment starts with its creation time expressed as a human and machine readable version of universal time. The comment starts on the next line until the pilcrow is reached.
This way of storing comments has several benefits:
- Re-use of the comment tag convention.
- Comments are searchable with the matches keyword in Fluidinfo's query language.
- Comments are both human and machine readable.
- It's very very simple (keep it simple stupid).
Use the feedback link at the top of this page to ask questions. To report a bug or request a feature visit the project's homepage on Github.
Alternatively, fork the project and build something amazing.
Comments, suggestions and critique are most welcome!
Using this Application
Well done, you've found the help page. This proves that you're at least capable of navigating a UI and clicking on a "help" link. ;-)
Furthermore, you get to see what others have annotated (each block of text has an associated timeline of comments). As a result, this application turns "Barefoot" into an evolving collaboration of annotations coalescing around the original work.
To read a chapter click the "Contents" link at the top of this page and make a selection. When reading a chapter click on the tag icons next to each block of text to see the annotations people have left (see the image below). If a user has referenced a URL it will automatically become a link. If the link is to either YouTube, Vimeo, TwitPic, yFrog or SoundCloud then the referenced media will be displayed if you click the View media link. This also works if you link directly to a png, gif, jpg, ogg or mp3 file. If there is a number next to the tag it indicates the number of participants annotating the specific block of text (not the total number of comments). Click the "close" button to dismiss the annotations and return to reading the chapter. You'll sometimes see links within the text. Often these work just like regular links by taking you to another page on the web. However, some links are really references. When you click these a pop-over will appear with the relevent reference displayed inside. Try it now by clicking this link (clicking the link again hides the popup). At the bottom of each page are two buttons (Previous and Next) that allow you to move easily between chapters.
What you may not know is that this application is also a programming example in a book about the openly writeable data store Fluidinfo. Getting Started with Fluidinfo is published by O'Reilly. Technical details for this application are explained in the colophon.
In order to contribute annotations you need to have a Fluidinfo account. Sign up at Fluidinfo's account creation page. Make sure you don't sign up using Twitter. Return here and sign in with your username and password by clicking the login link at the top right hand side of this page.
Once logged in you'll notice that when you display the annotations there is also an Annotate this! button that displays a form. Remember that any URLs referenced in the comment automatically become links and if the URL is to either one of the video/photo/sound-sharing websites or a file type listed earlier then the bookreader will display it as a preview. Click the "Submit" button to add an annotation. Your annotations will have a delete link next to them. Clicking it removes the annotation. You can annotate as many times as you like on any number of blocks of text.
Submit feedback about this application (not the work Barefoot into Cyberspace) at any time by clicking on the feedback link at the top of the screen.
That's it and have fun! :-)