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Sun, Dec. 12th, 2004, 12:00 pm
WebCited

Awful name, nifty idea (IMO anyway). One I've had for, $god, 5 or so years now. Talking to Gavin Bell, who deserves a big shout out for his help on the AV side of the LPW, in the Union post-workshop inspired me to think about it again.

Basically the idea is that you go to a web site and type in the URL of another page. The WebCite cgi goes away and fetches it and then rewrites it so that every word is replaced with

    <div class="word" id="webcite_"[% id %]" onClick="highlight([% id %])">
        word
    </div>

or the moral equivalent, with each word having a different id (obviously).

When you click on two separate words they're highlighted in a different colour and then you can hit submit and it gives you another URL a la makeashorterlink.

When you plug this URL in again it would show the page with the relevant passage highlighted.

I can see a couple of problems -

* Local Store versus Retrieve Everytime

Local Store means more work on my part and potential copyright problems. Retrieve Everytime has the potential that the page might change thus creating gibberish.

Potentially I could do some sort of clever diff matching thing based on approximate distance into page and a text sequence. Maybe

* Highlight Colour

If I choose bright yellow as a highlight colour and the page is bright yellow then we're screwed.

I suppose I could potentially offer several different colours.

* URL encoding

Store all the details on the server or try and encode it all in the URL?