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WikiLayer: A DSL for Wikipedia Annotation


Reading Wikipedia can be the entry to more involved activities (e.g. editing). However, the jump from reading to editing could be too big for some wikipedians who can be intimidated by exposing their content to public scrutiny. Annotating might foster not only reading but be the prelude to editing. Different Web annotation tools exist (e.g. Evernote). Being a Web application, Wikipedia can benefit from these tools. However, general-purpose annotation tools do not make annotation a natural gesture within Wikipedia. That is, annotation editing, rendering or retrieval in e.g. Evernote is dissociated from the editing, rendering or location of articles in Wikipedia. This demo shows WikiLayer, a Firefox extension that supports Wikipedia-specific annotation (hereafter referred to as wikinotes). The approach is characterised as follows: (1) annotation content can be wikitext formatted or obtained through transclusion; (2) annotation rendering is seamlessly integrated within the Wikipedia front-end; (3) annotation editing, management and sharing is achieved without leaving Wikipedia. WikiLayer is realized as a DSL available as a Firefox extension at Examples can be found at

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