Portable Web Publications Use Cases and Requirements FPWD

How do publications differ from web sites? What are the nuances of publishing on the web and making use of the tools of the Open Web Platform? Do publishers really need more than linked web sites? Yes, we do! Portable Web Publications Use Cases and Requirements provides detailed use cases and requirements from the Digital Publishing Interest Group, focusing on two primary issues. These use cases look at the portability of published works, which allow users to transfer their books, articles, and magazines from state to state and device to device. The document also seeks to define the book or publication as a rightful citizen of the Open Web Platform. Thousands of years of successful history, knowledge and information sharing in easily consumable, producible, and storable formats must be recognized as we focus on the tools of the Open Web Platform and what it means for Publishers, Authors, and Readers today.
We welcome your feedback on GitHub.

DPUB IG Telco, 2016-09-12: Preparation for TPAC, UCR Publication

See minutes online for a more detailed record of the discussions.

Preparation for TPAC F2F

These are the important pointers:

The meeting concentrated on some of the details on what should be on the agenda, like

  • WCAG connections
  • CSS Houdini status and work
  • CSS Media queries
  • XSL-FO vs. CSS
  • Changes to be done on the PWP draft
  • Preparation for the meeting on the future of the work at W3C

UCR Document

The FPWD of the UCR document is ready to be published (to be done tomorrow, 13 September). Heather gave some overview on the recent changes (too numerous to list here). Sections have been cut, the section headers are no longer the Requirement descriptions, etc. A number of editorial issues came up and will be added to the github issues’ list for further discussion. There will be a separate session at TPAC on the UCR document.

DPUB IG Telco, 2016-08-22: Use cases

See minutes online for a more detailed record of the discussions.

Note that, for holiday/vacation reasons the next two meetings will be cancelled.

Use Case Documents update

Section on horizontals

That section is almost ready. The agreement is that the various use cases should get an extra label on which horizontal area(s) they refer to. A simple security related use case will also be added, though a separate top level section on security will also be created.

Distribution and sharing section

The old content underwent a radical edit to align it with the rest of the document. More about on email (the editor of that section was not able to join the call).


The old section 6 was merged and only one section created. Few use cases were moved into the ‘fundamentals’ (2.1.5, 2.1.6, and also 2.1.13). It was agreed that a more thorough definition of “states” should be added to the section as an introduction, and maybe an explicit reference to the fundamental use cases that are relevant to this area. Also, because this is a fairly technical stuff, it is better if this section moves to a later position in the overall document.


There are now five different areas in the section. The question is really whether there is a need (or not) on a use case on Braille; is it really different on PWP than on the Web in general? This led to a more general discussion: what are the reason that accessibility gets more emphasis in the publication world than elsewhere, and could that be succinctly described in this document? That is still left open for now.


A few annotation related issues/use cases have been added. Otherwise there was no real progress the past week.

Editing timeline, schedule

The goal is to have a FPWD published for the document before TPAC. The following schedule has been agreed on:

  1. There is a (temporary) feature freeze on the document on the 31st of August. It is important to have the security section and the updated introduction “in” (and anything else that can improve things)
  2. Nick Ruffilo goes through the document on the 1st and 2nd as an overall editorial round in unifying style, terms, etc
  3. Heather takes hold of the document on the 5th of September to finalize an overall editorial round again on style, terms, etc.
  4. Ivan takes hold of the document on the 12th and gets it through the W3C publishing process.

A final version of the document would then be published after TPAC, probably beginning of October.

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DPUB IG Telco, 2016-08-15: Frankfurt Fair, Use cases

See minutes online for a more detailed record of the discussions.


Karen Myers reported that a group of colleagues are active in a new EU project (FREME) that has relevance to Digital Publishing; that group will have a booth at the Frankfurt Book Fair (October 19-23). They offered the IG to join them on that booth at some point to talk about the work the IG is doing, talk to people, etc. We will have to find out who in the group will be in Frankfurt. To be followed up

Use Case Documents update

Lots happened in the past week on the UCR, the meeting went through and reviewed some of the changes. The important points:

  • There is now an introduction. There were some concerned on the call that it may be a little bit too book centric (as opposed to general publication centric) although the concept of a book as a good introduction to the concepts. Also, a somewhat more “formal” definition of a PWP is needed to make the rest of the work more palatable. These changes will be done by Boris Anthony.
  • Deborah Kaplan reported on some review of the fundamental use cases and, mainly, on the fact that it would be important to have a use case and explicitly mention the “horizontal” dependencies and the importance they have (internationalization, accessibility, security, etc.). At the moment the relevant section is just a start, but it has been agreed that the terms should be made more precise, make it clear that publications, often, have an even more stringent (and possibly context specific) requirement. Ivan Herman accepted to propose some changes.
  • Charles LaPierre reported on the changes he made on the accessibility section. The issue is to avoid repeating issues and use cases that are already listed elsewhere; the group decided to make back links whenever possible instead of repeating things unnecessarily. Charles will take care of that

There are still a number of areas that are not yet in the document but it is known to be worked on by people (who could not be on the call): locators and states, archiving, etc. To be reviewed in a week. It was also agreed that Heather Flanagan and Nick Ruffilo will make a general stylistic review of the text towards the end. The ideal would be to get this published before TPAC…

DPUB IG Telco, 2016-08-08: Annotation, Use cases, TPAC

See minutes online for a more detailed record of the discussions.


Benjamin Young gave an overview on the status of the Web Annotation specifications (those include a model, vocabulary, and a protocol). The documents are currently in Candidate Recommendation, i.e., testing possible implementations to check whether the recommendations are error-free and consistent.

There were some discussions on the relationships with accessibility, more exactly whether the new specifications have (or not) accessibility implications. The agreement is that the documents themselves, as they do not define user interface or user agent behavior, do not have any accessibility aspect, but it is nevertheless important that implementations would avoid using, e.g., images for annotations (instead of accessible content). That, however, is not under the purview of the current testing period.

Use Case Documents update

There were some evolutions in the document, primarily in the section on manifests. There is a separate branch with a new version; in this version, manifests and packages are separated. The use cases for manifests have been cleaned up, relationships to the fundamental requirements have been added, and two new use cases have been added on how to find a manifest and whether the final manifest should be, possibly, a combination of several ones. The second requirement may lead to specification and implementation complexities, though.


The group spent some time on planning the TPAC meeting insofar as finalizing which other groups in wants to meet and on what topics exactly.

DPUB IG Telco, 2016-08-01: TPAC and Use Case Planning

See minutes online for a more detailed record of the discussions.


The W3C Technical Plenary (a.k.a. TPAC) meeting is a few weeks away; the groups spent some time on identifying which other Working and/or Interest Groups we would like to meet. At present, the list includes ARIA, CSS, Web Platform, I18N, SVG; others may come up in the coming weeks. The group also had some discussion on setting up the agenda for the IG’s Face-to-Face meeting.

Use Case Document planning

To move the Use Case document forward, the group has assigned a number of sections in the document to specific persons for further editing. (See the meeting agenda for details.) The idea is to have a publishable use case document by TPAC, possibly even before…

DPUB IG Telco, 2016-07-11: Use Cases on Manifest and Metadata

See minutes online for a more detailed record of the discussions. Part of the “minutes” took place on a Google Document that was live-edited collectively.

DPUB IG Discussion on Manifests and Metadata

The group focused on the section Manifests and Metadata. The group dicussed the importance of User Agents being able to know metadata about package, its components, and their relationships.

Hiatus for the Remainder of July

The DPUB IG will be on hiatus for the remainder of the month of July. We will meet again on 1 August. Enjoy your time away.

DPUB IG Telco, 2016-06-27: Use Cases Document, joint meeting with IDPF EPUB3.1 WG BFF Task Force

See minutes online for a more detailed record of the discussions. Part of the “minutes” took place on a Google Document that was live-edited collectively. See also the minutes of the separate meeting with the IDPF EPUB3.1 WG.

DPUB IG Discussion on Use Cases Document

The meeting was entirely concentrating on the refinement of the Use Case and Requirement Document. The goal was twofold:

  • Find a common structure for use cases. The structure of the [Annotation Use Cases[(https://www.w3.org/TR/dpub-annotation-uc/#tagging-a-publication) document may be the pattern to follow
  • Continue “filling in” some of the use cases that, at the moment, are only a one-sentence entry in the document. After discussion it was agreed that the “fundamental” issues on why several files are used, why there is a need for an extra information on the logical sequence of document, for a separate description of the content of a publication, of for the list of “essential” resources, etc.

The next meeting on the 4th of July will be cancelled, but that is followed, on the 7th of July, by another virtual F2F where further live editing should occur.

Separate meeting with the IDPF EPUB3.1 Working Group’s BFF Task Force

The current meeting was preceded by an ad-hoc meeting between the DPUB IG and the IDPF EPUB3.1 Working Group’s BFF Task Force. The latter is looking at what it would mean if an EPUB3 document was “exploded” on the Web and interpreted directly, how to make that option more palatable to browsers, authors, etc. There is a GitHub repository reflecting the current stage of discussions, concentrating on re-thinking the manifest for such an exploded EPUB3, as well as the usage of the various auxiliary files. Obviously, there is a lot of commonalities with the PWP goals and ideas.

The meeting concentrated on presenting the work so far, essentially around manifests, to participants. It was agreed that further meetings will be necessary, and that, eventually, the work should be merged into one to avoid duplication. This also means that the DPUB IG’s UCR document should also be critically assessed from the point of view of BFF in the future.

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DPUB IG Telco, 2016-06-20: CSS WG, Use Cases Document

See minutes online for a more detailed record of the discussions. (The headers below link into the relevant sections of the minutes.)

Bridging with the CSS WG

This was a continuation of the discussion from last week on how to bridge with the CSS WG better. What was agreed is that there should be more active contacts with (a) reading system developers who hit the major issues themselves and are major part of the ecosystem and (b) with technical people in e-publication production who may hit issues that they have to circumvent with special code (possibly polyfills). It would also be important to find out how the features defined in XSL-FO are currently used in publishing and what difficulties are hit when those are mapped onto CSS. Two actions are planned

  1. organize a meeting with the major Reading System developers, like Google Play, iBooks, Readium, AER.IO, Bluefire, etc, to collect their input
  2. set up a (wiki) page to collect the XSL-FO experiences (eg, from Antenna House, Prince, etc) that should be mapped on CSS and what difficulties they hit

It was emphasized that real business cases are needed; an experimental implementation in a not-widely-used platform will not be convincing enough for browser manufacturers…

Use Cases’ Document Structure and Editing

The discussion (also in preparation to the upcoming Virtual F2F) was mainly on how to structure the current use case document. The example of the use cases of the archival task force was mentioned, although it was felt that the structure in that document is a little bit too complex (and also related to some sort of a workflow), so it should be somewhere in between. Also, some real “story” should be added around the individual use cases, which are often just a one sentence. It was therefore agreed that, for example in section 2.7 of the document we should all add a story around 1-2 case, and then organize the document accordingly.

What are also missing for a proper organization are

  • succinct definitions of the requirements that are referred to from the use cases
  • prioritization of the requirements

It was also noted that some requirements are mutually contradictory; these should be at least called out and, possibly, discussed and decided upon. (Part of this may be the subject of the Virtual F2F.)

DPUB IG Telco, 2016-06-13: CSS WG, priorities

See minutes online for a more detailed record of the discussions. (The headers below link into the relevant sections of the minutes.)

CSS F2F meeting report

Dave Cramer gave a report of the recent CSS WG F2F meeting, that took place in San Francisco. The main point of interest for this group are:

  • Flexbox and grid. Both of these have evolved significantly. Flexbox is now in CR and grids has also evolved a lot.
  • Alt text in generated content. Generated content has been picked up again, and it will include the possibility to add “alt” text to it. Although this is still a complex issue, the goal is to improve the accessibility aspects of generated content
  • Discussions on baseline grids, to control alignment of stuff across pages and columns. This, and another feature called hanging punctuation. Both are important for, eg, CJK languages.

CSS Priorities’ document

There is a document on CSS priorities that the group has started to edit. The goal was to come up with a wish-list of things the publication community would like to be able to do but cannot do. However, it is fairly difficult to get these points onto the CSS WG’s agenda, and a simple listing of priorities will not really cut it. The problem is that the browser developers will see this as a theoretical thing, and dismiss it, unless there is someone who is trying to build something but coming up with a roadblock. What really counts and makes people think and move is people come not only with wishes, but some sort of implementations – polyfills or not – is how groups like CSS operate.

There were some discussion on the call on, e.g., how to “use” and cooperate with the Readium consortium, how to get more input, etc; the discussion will continue on subsequent calls.