AC Meeting Summary, Archiving, Locators, Use Cases

See minutes for a more detailed record of the discussions.

AC Meeting Summary
Ivan Herman provided a summary from the recent AC Meeting. Bill McCoy of IDPF presented about PWP. Web Platforms Group (formerly HTML and API groups) will publish HTML 5.1 CR in June. It looks like Service Workers will move forward, but Packaging for the Web and the FindText API are on hold. There was a lot of discussion about EME and Security. DPUB should be aware of this, no immediate needs, but pay attention in the future.

Archival TF Update
Tim Cole gave an update from the Archival TF. They have been gathering data by meeting with archiving organizations. They have met with LOCKSS and CLOCKSS, and Leonard Rosenthal will soon provide information about PDF/A. LOCKSS/CLOCKSS indicated that a lot of necessary information will be provided by the manifest. The TF has been drafting use cases and general information about archiving as well.

Locators TF Update
Ben DeMeester provided an update about the Locators TF document which is all but complete. The document provides a lot of terminology and definitions. Ivan Herman added that there are some terms like “PWP Processor” that are not really defined for now. The chairs are discussing whether to publish this document on its own or incoporare it into the PWP White Paper. The first section of this document has been shifted to use cases for the use case repository.

Use Cases
Heather Flanagan requested that we move forward with creating a use cases publication modelled after the use cases in CSV on the Web. We agreed that we will address use cases around packaging at the virtual F2F. Other use cases should be added directly to the wiki or as a GitHub issue.

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DPUB IG Telco, 2016-03-21: A11y Update, STEM CG, Use Cases document

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

A11y TF Update
Deborah Kaplan updated the group on the status of the A11y Note. DAISY Consultants are helping to edit the document. We will publish by the end of the month then circulate to the IG for review and publish.

Peter Krautzberger and Ivan Herman have been working on drafting a charter to form a new CG that focuses on a bottom-up approach to math on the Web. The group will bring together those who are already implementing solutions for MathML, ChemML, Music, etc. The goal is to pave the way for new standards and optimized implementation architecture. Feedback is welcome. The charter and group should be announced within the next month.

Use Cases Redux
Romain Deltour continued to lead the group through a framework for use cases for PWP. The IG agreed to point to existing Web Annotations’ Use Cases instead of duplicating them. There was a discussion about how best to handle use cases related to the concept of a package. Romain suggested referring to the TAG’s notes from preparing Packaging on the Web, even if we do not use their definition of “package”. There are several mini-use cases to address, including stream-ability, nesting, update-ability. We may assign short use cases to a sub-group or set these as placeholders to discuss at the F2F. Heather Flanagan and Romain Deltour will make some editorial decision about editorial next steps and report to the group.

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DPUB IG Telco, 2016-03-14: 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.)

Use Cases Document

(The discussion continued where last week’s discussions left off.)

Romain put together a wiki page collecting the current use cases on the Wiki. The bullets reflect only the current categorization, but is not necessarily the final one; actually, the goal is to have larger use cases that span over several use case and requirement categories.

The group went through the bullet points and the relevant use cases on a very high level; some general conclusions

  • The “portability” use case are about what it means when a PWP is moved off line, changes its state and ownership. Related to this issue, it is important to show, through a use case, that the fact of having a single URL for a collection of Web resources is an important notion. In general, portability is one of the most important use case area that has to be set right.
  • Use cases for manifests are very important; probably the notion for manifest/metadata will come up in many different cases (and not only on accessibility issues, which is reflected on the current set of items).
    • the terminology for manifest vs. metadata should be carefully considered…
  • The group already agreed that pagination is out of scope for this document, but there is an aspect that should be described, namely that a PWP consists of many different document and pagination should go smoothly from one to the other
    • As an aside: there are areas, like pagination or styling, that are out of scope to this document, mainly because other groups are busy with them; nevertheless, these should be referenced from the PWP use case document to form a coherent unit.
  • Use cases should emphasize the need of PWP-s being rendered by browsers, although not clear whether explicit references to polyfills is a good idea here (it may be too implementation specific)
  • Use cases around scripting: the real issue in this case is related to privacy and security, what are the requirements that must be covered by a PWP, and what does that mean for security?
  • Personalization (or is “user preference” the right term?)
  • Internationalization is related, in this respect, to multiple rendition. Again, it is worth digging up the IDPF use cases when multiple rendition was introduced in EPUB.

Discussions to be continued…

DPUB IG Telco, 2016-03-07: Accessibility Note, Use cases

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

Accessibility Note

Charles LaPierre reported on the Task Force’s activities. Task Force is working on a document (to be published as a Note). The has been a lot of discussions, the document was also presented at IDPF meetings, and received reviews by experts in the relevant W3C WAI groups. The current plan is to rewrite the current set of “suggestions” in the document and to do a GAP analysis instead. Indeed, using a GAP analysis instead of terms like “WCAG should…” will make this document easier to adopt for groups like EPUB A11y. (The Task Force has also reached out to the IDPF EPUB WG on the subject of accessibility profiles.). Other plans include to rewrite the abstract, convert some Google documents into wiki tables, change the “tone” of the document in general.

The plan is to organize a meeting with the WCAG WG (probably March 25) as well as with the IDPF groups, after the current re-write round, to then go for a publishable state.

Subsequent discussions on the call were around the exact scope and choice of topics in this document.

There are issues that are currently in the document but they may not have to. A characteristic example is the area of drop caps. On the one hand, that feature is now part of CSS, under the responsibility of that WG; the accessibility aspect of usage is not relevant to the WCAG (which concentrates on the principles) but on the correct usage of that CSS property with regard to accessibility. Problems around this feature drifts towards issues of authoring practices, techniques, which is different than what the note is all about. Which may mean that, as a future work, accessibility techniques may have to be picked up by this task force eventually.

The other major area is the accessibility issues surrounding publications of, e.g., mathematics, chemistry, music, etc, i.e., more complex structures. The accessibility requirements for these are significant, but their solution probably does not come from WCAG but, rather, by turning towards approaches like ARIA. Again, these may be part of a future work of this Task Force, but not necessarily a topic for the current document to be published. It has been agreed, however, to add some words about future work into the note.

The task force urgently need other volunteers to help in this editing round!

Use Case Document

Prior to the call, Romain Deltour published an overview of the current use cases.

Previous work reviewed the older use cases; many of them are out of scope, many have to be reworked and/or rephrased. The Wiki page above listed the identified areas where more use cases are needed. In any respect, the document has to start from scratch, because the use case collection is is very uneven in terms of details and quality. It is probably necessary to merge use cases, because the current collection is too fragmented, some of them just one-liners and not very developed.

There were some discussion about the exact scope of this document. It has been agreed that the goal is to collect use cases for the purpose of PWP. Other, legitimate use cases for publishing are covered by the feedback to the CSS Working Group, the accessibility task force, etc; the goal in this case is to have a solid basis for an eventual, more standard-oriented work on PWP.

The discussion started late on the telco, and are to be followed on the next call.

DPUB IG Telco, 2016-02-29: Locators, CSS and STEM

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

Locator Task Force Report

Ben de Meester gave and overview of the activities of the Locator Task Force so far. (There are two draft writeup on the repo: one on the overall issues and one on the specificities of a the locator reference.)

The fundamental approach the Task force is getting at is to give a separate role for a canonical locator for a PWP, which is agnostic to state (packed or unpacked). This canonical locator points to a PWP as a resource. Using that canonical locator the rest of the processing may rely on the world view of a PWP on the Web (i.e., accessible via HTTP) and unpacked, like a Web page.

When dereferencing that canonical locator, the response contains, in some way or other, a metadata that lists not only the canonical locator but the specific locators at different states (e.g., the different forms of packaged content). To handle those locators the TF is considering a separate abstraction, namely a PWP Processor that has the task of converting, if necessary, references to a canonical locator (or URL-s constructed with that canonical locator as a “base”) to specific resource locators.

The ways the PWP Processor work is independent on how exactly the server is set up. That latter may use a simple deployment scheme (where, for example, the canonical locator coincides with the locator of an unpacked version of the content) or a more complex one based on content negotiation. A draft figure depicting the basic functioning of a PWP Process is also in development by the Task Force.

There is a difference between an identifier and a canonical locator, whereby the former may be simply a URN, and stays the same for different instantiations of a PWP (which will all have a different canonical locator). Of course, there might be cases when these two coincide, but that is not required.

The current model considers only the situation when the content of a PWP is, essentially, a tree like structure with the locator at the base. In general, a PWP can include a set of other resources; in that case, some sort of a mapping table may have to be used by the PWP Process. This, at this moment, has not yet been discussed by the TF, but has been postponed instead.

The next steps are getting some details right and produce some sort of a document describing the general mechanism in terms of a semi-specification.


The requirement of collecting STEM related issues for the CSS Working Group came on on the last meeting. The discussion, however, became more general insofar as how to decide which problem, raised for a specific STEM area, is relevant for CSS, which one is more for HTML or for SVG or for others.

As a coincidence, there has been some discussions around the particular issue of mathematics. We know that the acceptance of MathML on the web is, at this moment, very low. A possible way forward is to create a separate group (probably a Community Group) that would bring together developers/implementers of mathematics on the web and analyze the situation very much bottom up (regardless of syntax) to decide which features are needed for, in this case, mathematical layouts in terms of CSS, SVG, ARIA, HTML, etc. Some of the features may already exist, or may only need some extra control, some of the features should be defined, etc. If such an analysis would be successful, creating a mathematical layout engine on top of existing OWP features would become much more feasible; a mapping of a syntax (LaTeX, MathML, or others) may follow later. That approach can be followed by other engines, eg, for chemistry markup; actually, many of the features may be general and not bound to a particular STEM area. This way of moving forward may be implemented in the coming months…

DPUB IG Telco, 2016-02-22: Report on EPUB3.1 and on CSS F2F meeting; ARIA call for comments

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


Tzviya Siegman gave an overview of the ongoing EPUB3.1 work. IDPF has issued a first draft for EPUB3.1, which is currently under review by the community. The timeline is very aggressive. The goal is a better alignment with OWP, with Accessibility, general consolidation and simplification. Some highlights of the proposed changes:

  • Specification reorganization with an umbrella document
  • Move the the nav files for publications, removed ncx files
  • You can use either HTML or XHTML serializations (before it was on XHTML)
  • Replacing epub:type with the entries in the DPUB-ARIA module (not fully replaced yet)
  • Work on “browser friendly format”, related to PWP
  • Limited metadata set (although there is pushback on this)
  • Require WCAG2.0 conformance, will provide an a11y module
  • Remove epub:switch

A F2F meeting is planned in April, in Bordeaux where there will be a decision on deferring some features, and producing a major new draft.

The EPUB 3.1 needs feedback!

(There is also a public slide set presenting the changes.)

CSS and Houding TF Meetings

Alan Stearns gave a report on the CSS Houdini TF and the CSS WG Face-to-face meetings.

The Houdini Task Force worked on four first public drafts:

  1. Custom properties and values (a “level 2” of the current document already in the mainstream of the CSS WG)
  2. Typed Object Model, a better version of the CSS Object Model
  3. “Worklets”, i.e., running constrained scripts
  4. Custom paint, using worklets, to add your own painting code

These are all already experimented with in Chrome, hopefully interoperability in future.

As for the CSS WG, the interesting issues from the meeting for the DPUB IG:

  1. Microsoft is working on a new draft specifying properly the table behavior, with emphasis on interoperability
  2. Handling of extended color displays
  3. Character alignments in table, big progress on edge cases
  4. Lots of work on test suites for writing modes

The group also talked about font metrics in Houdini, just defining the problem a bit better.

Subsequent discussion addressed the pagination issue; the current strategy of, eventually, writing a pagination script on top of Houdini, with custom layout, is still in people’s mind.

This group could continue to provide issues, e.g., on problems raised by STEM publications. (Note that the issue on character alignments in tables was very much triggered by the feedbacks of this group.)

A final problem area is personalization, which is of interest for many, but nobody really knows how to do it. The idea of setting up a common Task Force on the top between the CSS WG and the DPUB IG will be explored

ARIA Extended Image Descriptions

The ARIA Working Group issued a request for comments on the @aria-details and the @aria-linktype attributes, both are relevant for the DPUB ARIA module.

The former resembles the @aria-describedby attribute, already in the specification, but makes the usage of the attribute much more specific, to be used indicating the details of a specific element (like an image). Although not restricted to, it is strongly related to the (upcoming) <details> element in HTML5.

The latter is used to describe the nature of a link; it is a lot like a @rel attribute, but with a specific, controlled vocabulary which is still to be defined (there will be a core set of terms, and the DPUB-ARIA module will add some more).

Comments on these attributes are welcome!

DPUB IG Telco, 2016-02-08: PWP Use Cases

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

Admin: due to the US Presidents’ Day, next meeting is on the 22nd of February.

PWP Use Cases

The whole of the meeting focused on the use case collection of for PWP. The editors of that upcoming document (Romain Deltour, Heather Flanagan, and Dave Cramer) collected a set of issues, flagging the various use cases that had been collected on the Wiki page of the DPUB IG when it started. The meeting went through some of the issues, primarily concentrating on the question whether those issues are in scope for the document or not. Some “meta” issues were noted

  • When an issue is not specific to PWP or is way too big for PWP, than the use case may have to be discarded from the final list
  • We should not mix up the general Publishing requirements with those specific to PWP
  • Other task forces concentrate on specific questions (CSS alignment, Accessibility) and it may be better to avoid duplication with those. However, it is probably worth adding a reference to those cases, and their importance, into the upcoming document
  • There are also other sources of use cases that should be looked at, e.g., the functional requirements for pagination, started by Brady Duga, or the first part of the PWP draft.

The discussion concentrated on some specific issues, the most important are:

  • Styling and layout (issue #3): those collection of use cases are mostly covered by a separate task force
  • Pagination (also in issue #3): many of the issues around pagination related to the browser (or the reading system). Some aspects of pagination like merging several files/documents into a smooth reading experience is a PWP issue, whereas the exact event mechanism that may be needed may not be. Ie, there should be a “PWP Focus” on pagination, and the rest should be, possibly, kept in a separate document (see also the document started by Brady Duga)
  • Domain Specific content types (issue #4): most of these are discarded; they are about the content, these are general DPUB and not PWP specific
  • Identifiers (issue #5): already agreed to be out of scope (even for the IG)
  • Identifiers (issue #6): the use cases must be consolidated
  • Content and Markup (issue #7): a specific issue came up with the use case related to using PWP as a dictionary with other PWPs, it was agreed to keep it (it is also a good case on why to use the @role attribute, for example)
  • DRM (issue #14) and Security ((issue #16): this was only a placeholder on the wiki; we may need some very general use cases on the necessity to use encryption (eg, using W3C technologies for this), but it may be more general, touching on issues like CORS, too. We should not move beyond this to more specific use cases. The

It is also generally true that the old collection does not have specific use cases for, e.g., the importance of offline vs. online; this must be added to the final collection.

More discussion on the other issues to come on forthcoming meetings…

DPUB IG Telco, 2016-02-01: Outreach, Accessibility Note, CSS Table Samples

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


Karen Myers and Nick Ruffilo reported on outreach plans. One area is to do a summary for the work we’re doing—and providing them to reporters and let them come to us for more information, so we’re not guessing or doing speculative work. We still want people to volunteer for blogs and writing, but we want to provide packaged information to people.

The group also spent a certain amount of time collecting a list of relevant events, conferences, workshops, etc, and see who in the Interest Group may be present on those. This may help in media outreach, synchronizing messages, etc. The plan is to put this list on the group’s Wiki page soon.

Accessibility Note

Charles LaPierre and Deborah Kaplan reported on the work of the Accessibility Task Force. The TF worked on a draft note. When we went through the existing W3C documents and looked at things that digital publishing said is important—we found a set of 8 items that can be addressed by existing W3C and WAI groups. We can say that “we would like a particular thing to be included”. We have precise things we need to ask—but we know specifically what to ask for. The future work section in the draft is more “someone is working on it and we want to follow it” or “this is going to require more work” and we really need to think about it.

Some additional accessibility issues came up during the discussion, related to logical reading order (CSS may make things look very different than in the document itself) or the overall problem of accessibility vs. (CSS) generated content. The latter is, potentially, a huge gap.

The group also spent some time on what the best way forward is in contacting the right experts in the WAI activity in the group. The plan is to talk to the relevant groups as soon as possible and, eventually, to publish the draft as a W3C Note. It is also possible that works will be done in direction of the WCAG Extension mechanism (the first draft in this direction has just been published at W3C).

CSS table samples

A number of examples for complex tables with complex alignments have been collected, showing the difficulties and complexities of what is used in publishing. These tables will be, eventually, forwarded tot the CSS Working Group for further analysis, although the IG may have to find the right expert who can check whether those tables can be reproduced via HTML+CSS or whether there are gaps in the current specifications.

EPUB Summit in Bordeaux, France, in April 2016

The newly created European Digital Reading Laboratory (EDRLab) is organizing an EPUB Summit in Bordeaux, France, in April 2016. It will be an important moment of collaboration among various players of the Digital Publishing ecosystem, including the Readium Foundation, IDPF, experts and representatives of digital publishers, and also W3C. Relationships of Digital Publishing and the advances of the Open Web Platform will be an important topic on the agenda, closely related to the work of the W3C Digital Publishing Activity. For further details, please consult the Event’s Press Release (also available in French). I am looking forward participating in the discussion!

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DPUB IG Telco, 2016-01-25: POE Charter, PWP Use Cases, CSS Use cases

DPUB IG Telco, 2016-01-25: POE Charter, PWP Use Cases, CSS Use cases

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

POE Charter

W3C plans to start a new Working Group called “Permissions & Obligations Expression Working Group”; the charter is currently under the review of the W3C Advisory Committee. The origin of the work came from the ODRL Community Group‘s specification which is already widely used, eg, in the news community.

The main goal is to be able to combine obligation and rights when coming from different sources. The problem arises in the area of data sets published on the Web, but also when publishers combine various materials (photos, videos, etc) into one publication and they have to know what are the rights and obligations of the final combination of assets. This is where the work at POE comes in.

It will rely on current ODRL 2.1, which will be published as a first draft in May. The final standard is not expected to be radically different.

Discussions on the meeting looked at the position of RightsML with relation to POE (it is expected that this will be a specific profile of POE), on the relationships to other groups like IPTC, LCC, etc. Clearly, coordination work and external connections in the two main usage area (data and publishing) will be important for the Working Group. The use cases to be provided should also include the interest of the publishing community, that clearly has a major stake in the area.

W3C members participating in the DPUB IG (and others) are encouraged to vote!

PWP Use case and requirements

It has been agreed to set up a task force to gather use cases for PWP. Romain and friends have set up an initial github repo for that purpose, although it is still fairly empty. A first step is to look at the list of current use cases, and decide which are relevant and which are to be filtered out for this exercise. A separate github issue has been opened for that; next step is to have a short description of each referenced use case and discuss the relevancy (or not) of those on email.

CSS Use cases

Issue #18 on the CSS WG is on the alignments of tables and whether the current CSS facilities are adequate for what the digital publishing community needs. There were some discussions between experts at Wiley and one of the editors of the CSS WG (Florian), based on scanned texts back fro 1974 that exemplified principles. Understanding these examples requires specific knowledge, though… These will be collected and discussed further. The point for this group, however, is to collect the use cases and it is up to the CSS WG to decide whether those problems are real or not with relations to the possibilities of CSS.

Admin issues on meetings

The group discussed the possibility of holding a virtual F2F meeting rather than a “real” one, due to the difficulties to find the right time and place in around April/May. We will try to do this.