Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Advanced Document Notes

I just started a Google App Engine trial and my goal is to prototype an application I've always wanted. If it works, I will even use it. It's really simple to explain -- I want to take notes against documents. Then, I want fulltext search through everything.

There are files. Some are public some are private. Let's assume they are all PDF articles that I want to write about.

There is a common document store and a private document store. Documents can be shared, and you can read eachother's notes! Yay! But some are private, because sharing them would be bad for some reason. So you have access to the global store (which is like a wiki) and the private store.

Okay, so you log in, and can upload a file. Yay! Then you take notes against it, which is stored in a notes file and related to the original file.

Then, you can have a display where the PDF is viewed on the left and the notes are viewed on the right.

So, you could share something like a PDF, text file, web page or even binary media file, and share comments on it. I envisage it as being great for the following uses:

1) An academic who wants to create a personal store of research notes
2) An academic who wants to collaborate on creating research notes, such as with fellow researchers or students
3) Anyone who wants to share comments about files.
4) A workplace where a group wants to share around a file for comment

I just hope I can find time to actually do this. I don't think it will be particularly hard, but neither do I have a lot of free time.

Anyway, cool! GAE!

I'm trying not to think of any additional functionality at this stage, but ideas keep popping into my head anyway.