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Discussion on: How would you build a Medium-esque highlighting feature?

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Jan Vlnas

Take a look at Hypothes.is, it's an open-source project to bring annotations to the whole web. The core parts are the client (for creating and display of annotations) and the h server for storing annotations.

Hypothes.is contributes to the Web Annotation standard, which attempts to solve exactly these kinds of issues you've mentioned. The basic idea is that the annotation is an entity, which marks a part of a document using the combination of selectors, see Web Annotation Model for specifics and Web Annotation WG for more W3C recommendations.

Ideally there should be an open ecosystem for web annotations instead of proprietary, locked-in solutions like Genius, or site-specific, like Medium.