Forum OpenACS Development: Improvement suggestion for General Comments

General comments is a wonderful module, but lately I've been seeing
improvements on the idea crop up in several places. It would be nice to
be able to add comments attached to specific points on a web page,
somewhat like footnotes or annotations. Two implementations I have seen
are and In both
cases, the software lets the content author place specific comment
anchors on various places throughout a page.

Now, I think the UI can be improved. For example, it would be nice if
individual viewers had the choice of seeing the comments in a separate
browser window (as weborganic does) or to have anchor tags at the
bottom of the page, where general comments traditionally puts comments,
allowing users to jump to a particular footnote area but still keeping
the comments on the bottom of the same page as the original text. And,
of course, users should also still have the option of reading all page
comments in chronological order, the way general comments works today.

Posted by Jerry Asher on
I wonder if the comments could be an ALT tag to whichever comment-icon you choose?  That way the comments would pop up/minimize just by moving a mouse, and clicking on the icon would bring you into the dialog.

I could see how the filter/robot that deals with static pages by adding gc content to the bottom, might be changed to support the quicktopic method of automatically associating gc links to various HTML tags (like H1, H2, ..., TH, TD, ...).

From a UI perspective, I like the idea of mouseovers very much.

It would also be nice to allow permissions (admin-level) and filtering (user-level) by user type.

There's another potential application here as well. It would be
really nice if the same tool allowed people to make their own
personal, private annotations on parts of documents. In other
words, when I go to enter a comment, I can either choose to
make it publicly available or to keep it private to me.