Annotation Trees: LDC's customizable, extensible, scalable, annotation infrastructure

In recent months, LDC has developed a web-based annotation infrastructure centered around a tree model of annotations and a Ruby on Rails application called the LDC User Interface (LUI). The effort aims to centralize all annotation into this single platform, which means annotation is always available remotely, with no more software required than a web browser. While the design is monolithic in the sense of handling any number of annotation projects, it is also scalable, as it is distributed over many physical and virtual machines. Furthermore, minimizing customization was a core design principle, and new functionality can be plugged in without writing a full application. The creation and customization of GUIs is itself done through the web interface, without writing code, with the aim of eventually allowing project managers to create a new task without developer intervention. Many of the desirable features follow from the model of annotations as trees, and the operationalization of annotation as tree modification.

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