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Construction.gif May 2013

At the moment, this page is more of an attempt to look back and summarize the past as a means of planning how to bring together the various outcomes of the project.



A short restatement of points from the Manifesto

  • Encourage writeable archives
  • Support a decentralized web / distributed / thrives on copies (mimiphilic?!) where copying and distribution strengthens the "usability" and richness of the archive
  • Finding a balance in responding to current web and archiving practices in seeking solutions in open standards
  • Meet each of these goals in producing useful software tools based open/standard/free protocols and tools, such as RDF, and concepts like linked open data
  • Supporting workflows that allow multiple, distributed, contestable and ongoing outcomes


Distributed has technical implications, such as architectures that allow for multiple servers, or in any case avoid reliance on a single centralized one. Cloud computing in an interesting and related phenomenon in that different technical solutions (involved in distributed code) reveal a range of issues practical, financial, geographical/(inter)national, political.

A second aspect however is more editorial; many online content management systems, even radically participatory ones such as wikipedia, encourage a centralized and consent-seeking editorial process. How could a distributed CMS allow for distributed (many servers), localized (to specific contexts/institutions), and potentially contentious / discordant views coexist and strengthen each other rather than be competitive or unviewed through isolation.


Code libraries are condensations of practice; AA has been influenced by either direct use or study of several popular code libraries related to the web


AA has developed through a series of workshops and practical applications. See History

Software / Tools

Main software outcomes of the project.


Javascript library for supporting annotation/playlists based on a virtual timeline. Used in Video wiki, Oral site, Open House, TransLearning.


Javascript/ (jquery/d3) module for interactive navigation of rdf graphs. Used in Toneelstof / Who's Who

Active archives web player

Popup media player (in the tradition of lightbox/fancybox). Used in Toneelstof

Video wiki

Django project for time based annotation of video. Used in Open House, Constant video wiki, TransLearning

Python script to render a dynamic site as a "portable" set of static files

Core components


  • Shift from API/Django-specificity to a suite of tools that are joined by a consistent use of (RDF-defined) data models
  • Django: Shift to new rdfindexed view decorator (instead of "indexed model" settings mess)
  • Django: Move to more use of RDF, avoiding redundant Django Models
  • The Core is:
    • an RDF index
    • getting media-specific metadata from URL
    • a "meta" wiki or thesaurus/ flexible taxonomy tool where terms are managed, grouped as synonyms, filtered, remapped
    • accessible via SPARQL & other (minimal) functional APIs
    • provides filters as a means of transforming and cutting up resources
    • provides powerful over views as tables, graphs
    • supports various outputs as feeds...
    • New ways of addressing resources (but online and offline), including:
    • ... permalinks and "content-addressing" of resources (as opposed to URLs) / snapshots
    • ... consistent support for fragments, as both a means of cutting up and addressing parts of resources
    • Support for flexible embedding of media
    • A "media player" that embraces all the media of the web (audio/video, documents)
  • A Sniffer:
    • Maps a URL to RDF
    • Adapts existing APIs/tools to produce RDF describing online resources
    • is decoupled from a view (through RDF)


  • Thumbnails
  • Media Player (aabox)

Timeline annotation

An abstract timeline as a means of cross linking different materials. Part of our approach is the use of Document fragments as annotation


  • Downloading a video, watching the "online" version (with annotations) using your local copy (selectable which version is played).
  • Same thing for annotations ?!
  • Image embed: thumbnail, click to see "bigger", download link to original.
  • Multi-source playlist (Toneelstof)
  • Cross-institutional image gallery


Personal tools