Transclusion in the digital domain is the possibility of embedding and linking content in order to build a dialog between parts. For example, embedding a tweet, or a video, is a form of transclusion. However, I can't embed parts of a web page in order to compose a new one.
In my mind, I can't think about transclusion without thinking about Cortázar's book: Último Round.
Maggie Appleton1 [@zotero-374Transclusion and Transcopyright Dreams] discusses transclusions in a way it reminded me of how webmentions work, and what the IndieWeb proposes (see the microformats specification). She quickly identifies the caveats associated with embedding content of others, mainly of link rot, but also of moderation nightmares (I briefly discuss this on Web Mentions and Comments).
Should transclusion work both ways, embedding content and letting the source know that I did so? I find that Hypotes.is is building in that direction, adding notes and highlights (public, private, or shareable) directly on the website. It is missing, however, the version-control aspect of it. If the source changes, the notes become meaningless. Zotero stores a copy of the website. See also what Gwern does to guarantee long-term retrievability of the content they link to.
The federated wiki is an early example of transclusion between websites that follow a standard. Pop-over links are also a visual way of transclusion. Is it possible to think about non-visual transclusion? For example, transclusion can come up in the way of concepts and knowledge, even if they are not pieces of written material that can be embedded into a page. (see: incremental change leads to unsustainable educational paradigms).
Most challenges of transclusion are lifted if one considers private networks of knowledge (private but not necessarily individually own). For example, a knowledge network of a company, research group, etc. Sources are immediately vouched for, and content could be either public-facing or only internal. I wonder if there is any system in place for this to work in closed communities of people.
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