The first occurrence of the issue is probably documented here: https://github.com/hypothesis/vision/issues/123, by the head of the company.
I suspect it may take a while before such a color feature might be built in, if ever. (Here I’ll note that I don’t work for or speak for the company or any of the other open source developers on the project, but I am one what one would consider a “heavy user”.) If they have the time (I know they’re very busy), perhaps they may chime in with a potential roadmap or other ideas.
While I’m thinking about it, in an academic context for students, colors may be slightly better indicators of different users’ annotations of a particular text as a means of differentiating one annotator from another more subtly, particularly on texts that are extensively marked up.
Just this difference points out what a mixed bag of functionality colored highlights brings from a usability, design, and user interface perspective. While colored highlights is a seemingly “simple” sounding feature in the analog world where a single document is only annotated by one user, mapping it into a digital shared context is a difficult engineering problem to navigate and solve for. What if your color meanings aren’t the same as those of another?, for example.
While colors can be useful for individuals, do they have the same place in a social annotation product?
I already find it difficult to annotate heavily annotated pages that all use the same color, much less a rainbow of others’ colors. (If this is also you, I’ll note that there’s a handy “eye” icon in the annotation drawer that will allow you to turn them on/off.)
While the value of colors may be useful in some contexts, you could potentially use a few other features, functionality, and methods to creatively achieve a similar feature in Hypothes.is for yourself today. Below are a few potential creative “hacks” that some might try.
You could use the tagging system to create specific tags to stand in for your desired colors: As an example, in some systems I might use the following color designators:
Instead of colors in Hypothesis, for example, one could use the tags “words” or “vocabulary”, “reference” or “citation“, “typo“, “quotes“, or “examples” to stand in for these particular “colors” respectively. I sometimes practice some of these which you can find by clicking on the links, though you may note that in practice I use other tags for them.
In some sense, this is what the software would be doing, particularly with regard to search for these after-the-fact. If you wanted a list of all your “citations” for example, you’d have to search for the color for that and be able to find them all, presuming this search functionality existed with such a color feature. This isn’t really much different than simply tagging all those particular highlights with words like “citation” or “reference” in the first place.
You could created different “groups” (private or public) to stand in for the colors you wish you had, thus a “yellow group” could be used for one “color” of highlight and a “green group” for another. ( See Annotating with Groups for more details.)
Switching between groups for annotating isn’t going to be drastically different than a user interface for switching colors of highlighter. The one drawback (or perhaps it’s a feature?) here is that you will only be able to see one “color” at a time.
As ever, with some work, you could self-host the open source software and modify your copy to add this functionality in for yourself.
Some clever hacks in your browser with CSS might also give you your preferred output. I know some users have done custom work to the Hypothes.is UI in the past: eg. https://tomcritchlow.com/2019/02/12/annotations/, see his gist at the bottom of the post.
Another custom solution which may give you ideas can also be found at https://web.hypothes.is/blog/do-it-yourself-anchoring-and-the-evolution-of-the-hypothesis-toolkit/.
Perhaps adding custom classes on the tags or usernames might allow people the ability to target highlights on a page so that one could define custom CSS rules for each highlight using either usernames of tags as well? Of course, just like the “eye icon” described above, I’m sure there are times that people will appreciate the ability to turn these colors on and off. I personally don’t want the clean interface dressed up in Josephs Amazing Technicolor Annotation Dreamcoat.
Are there ideas or potential solutions for color highlights I’ve missed? How about design problems that might be encountered in implementing color-coded highlights in the older single document/single user model being transferred to a multi-user space with infinite scale? Is color the best and most accessible solution? Are there better things that could be done with color in the product?
Feel free to comment below with your ideas or links to examples.
Interested in other Hypothes.is hacks, tips, and ideas? Try browsing my Hypothes.is archive.
A screenshot appears below:
Here’s a shortened URL for it that you can share with others: bit.ly
It’s a creative inverse of blackout poetry where instead of blacking out extraneous words, one can just highlight them instead. This comes courtesy of some new browser based functionality that Google announced earlier this week relating to some of their search and page snippets functionality.
You can find some code and descriptions for how to accomplish this in the WISC Scroll to Text Github repository.
What kind of poetry will you find online this week?
Search Engine Land is the leading industry source for daily, must-read news and in-depth analysis about search engine technology.
It doesn’t seem to be available everywhere just yet.
SearchEngineLand notes that this could have an impact on the ad market, since a website’s visitors may be automatically scrolled down past its ads to the relevant content. The publication notes that sites may need to change the location of their ads in light of Google’s latest feature. ❧
And of course there will be crazy implications for the adtech space.
Annotated on June 04, 2020 at 09:30AM
Clicking the snippet still takes you to the webpage that it pulled the information from, but now the text from the snippet will be highlighted in yellow, and the browser will automatically scroll down to the section in question. ❧
This is a feature that’s been implemented in most browsers for a while as fragmentions.
Hypothes.is has supported this sort of functionality for a few years now as well.
I’m curious how these different implementations differ?
Annotated on June 04, 2020 at 09:36AM
and started testing the functionality on HTML pages last year ❧
According to Kevin Marks, this is the GitHub Repo they’ve been using for creating this work: https://github.com/WICG/scroll-to-text-fragment#:~:text=the%20worst&text=a%20Google&text=serious%20breakage&text=behavior
Annotated on June 04, 2020 at 12:08PM
I suspect that a reasonable WordPress user could probably set up a free Hypothes.is account and use the RSS feed from it (something like
https://hypothes.is/stream.atom?user=username) to create an IFTTT.com recipe to post it as a public/draft to their WordPress website.
My version presented here has also been augmented by also using the Post Kinds Plugin to which I’ve manually added a custom annotation post type along with some CSS for the yellow highlight effect. These additional coding flourishes aren’t absolutely necessary for those who just want to own the data on their website.
If you want to get even fancier you could also do RSS to IFTTT to do a webhook post to an Micropub endpoint or custom code your own solution using their API. Lots of options are available, the most difficult part may be knowing that something like this could even be done.
An ebook published using TiddlyWiki
For example, type
search textin the standard search and select one of the results, or just click outside of it (to hide the popup list): each of the words you search for will be highlighted separately in the text of the tiddlers.
tl;dr: use this script to build a GitHub Repo like this one where you store all the highlights from your kindle books in an organized way. Kindle sucks, kindle is great We all love reading in our Kindle. You can travel with more than one book at the time, you can search for words you don’t underst...
I’m still tinkering with mine and should have a Micropub based version using IFTTT and Webhooks done soon.
Since I only had 13 highlight posts versus 121 annotation posts (plus various additional annotations and highlights which I’ve rolled up into the body of some of my read posts) over the last year and a half, I felt it seemed redundant and bothersome to maintain two separate, but nearly identical post kinds. Semantically one may think of a highlight on some text as an annotation anyway, thus the idea of annotation subsumes that of a simple highlight.
As of this evening, I’ve changed all the custom highlight posts to be of the annotation kind. Other than the one word visual difference of the post kind text changing from “highlight” to “annotation” this change won’t affect much except for those who may have been subscribed to the highlight feed. Going forward you may consider subscribing to my annotation feed instead.
I had created highlight posts first, but in the end annotation posts have won the day. And for those that don’t have them, fear not, because honestly annotation posts are really just glorified bookmarks with custom text in the context. (The glorification only entails a highligher icon instead of a bookmark icon and a bit of CSS to color the text yellow.) I do find having them delineated for my personal research purposes useful though.
Highlight the web to share the important parts.
After a cursory look, I’m worried what their funding and monetization plans are and where my data will be in just a few years. While it’s certainly pretty, I far prefer the functionality (and community) that Hypothes.is offers, so I’m not moving any time soon. Definitely worth taking a look at for some of its UI features and interactions and future functionality.
The 'Baldwin effect' has now been demonstrated at the genetic level in a population of dark-colored lizards adapted to live on a lava flow in the desert.
One explanation has been that many of an animal’s traits are not fixed, but can change during its lifetime. This “phenotypic plasticity” enables individual animals to alter their appearance or behavior enough to survive in a new environment. Eventually, new adaptations promoting survival arise in the population through genetic changes and natural selection, which acts on the population over generations. This is known as the “Baldwin effect” after the psychologist James Mark Baldwin, who presented the idea in a landmark paper published in 1896. ❧
September 11, 2018 at 08:57AM
Journal article available at: https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdfExtended/S0960-9822(18)30899-6