Publishing Business Group

28 April 2020


Angela Doll, Avneesh, Bill Kasdorf, Cristina, Daihei, dauwhe, Garth, George, Ivan, Jeff, Karen, Laurent, liisamk, Michelle Kelly, rralph, wendyreid, Wolfgang
Julie Blair

Meeting minutes

<Karen> +1 welcome Michelle Kelly

Michelle: With Legible Media--platform launching in a month. She works with publishers on NA and expanding to Africa. Angela is here too.

Thorium Reader (EDRlab)

<Ralph> https://‌lists.w3.org/‌Archives/‌Public/‌public-publishingbg/‌2020Apr/‌0012.html "Laurent's email" with pointer to his presentation

Laurent: Speaking on support of audiobooks at Readium specifically Thorium.
… EDRLab--nonprofit global association supported by member fees and grants.
… Readium: not an application or a reading app. Set of SDKs focusing on different OSs.
… Focusing on EPUB, supporting LCP
… Mission is to enable the development of reading apps, incl. audiobooks and image-based publications.

<Avneesh> It is strange, George and I can hear each other on phone line, but cannot hear Laurent

Laurent: Wrt audiobooks, publishers, aggregators, retailers may apply DRM
… Based on LCP.
… Currently have 21 apps based on Readium technology.
… Lots of power in Readium--you will find it in many applications.
… R2 Reader is a test application supporting W3C audiobook format.
… People still rely on ??? formats for audiobooks
… The is also a cloud reader, Readium Web, which is audiobook enabled.
… This will support W3C audiobook format when it's finalized.
… Thorium Reader: Windows 10 and 8, Mac, and Linux.
… Thorium is totally free, highly accessible, and open source.
… Right now 20k users on Windows 10; can't tell about Mac or Linux.
… Majority of users are US, India, and Japan.
… Used a command line tool at first. Then created a mapping from W3C format to internal Readium format.
… Wanted to be protected by LCP.
… You can import a W3C audiobook in an LCP server.
… (Transitioned to demo.)
… Showed moving from track to track, changing speed, etc.
… HTML TOC is not yet implemented.
… You can have several windows open in Thorium, so you can read in one while listening in another.
… Demo'ed providing small LCP license with the content.
… Version 1.3 is out today on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It's in the wild!
… LOC in the US wants to install Thorium in various locations in the US.
… There should be a lot of use of Thorium soon.
… Next steps: Not yet any W3C audiobooks content in the wild.
… We developed this to support the W3C and enable implementations.
… There needs to be support of LCP because publishers require DRM. Need to encourage support.
… EDRLab needs financial support. Software is free globally, supported by membership and grants.
… Internationalization: already implemented in multiple languages.
… Interface is designed to be accessible, e.g. with screenreader; has keyboard shortcuts; etc.
… It's able to be customized, of course.
… We think this is the most accessible application for EPUB, now including audiobooks, on the market today.

<George> George loves Thorium and is using it on Windows.

Laurent: Continuing to work on refinements like display adjustments for accessibility.

<Zakim> jeff, you wanted to ask about the profiles of those that are downloading

Jeff: Very interesting--glad to see how you're helping the ecosystem and the standard.
… What do we know about the 20k users? Interesting that the 3rd most users are from Japan.

<George> I was in a presentation about Thorium and a dyslexic person said wow I can now read. We were showing a dyslexic friendly font with adjusted spacing and margins.

Jeff: Is there interest in audiobooks in Japan? How do we find out how Thorium is being used there?

Laurent: Good partnership with JPL, good opportunity to localize the application for Japan.
… Also good potential in Korea and China where we have partners.
… Good access to libraries in China.

Jeff: Will this be repeated for an Asia-friendly timed PBG call?

Daihei: Very happy to facilitate users in Japan. Don't know about audiobooks in Japan yet.
… But interest in this sort of system is high, especially for comics/manga.
… I will try to coordinate something for Japanese PBG members and others for Laurent to present to.

Cristina: Is Italian implemented?

Laurent: No. Not difficult. E.g. Dutch was done by KB.

George: Very pleased with the accessibility in Thorium--really good. Has ability to turn MathJax on or off for MathML.

Ralph: Will I get update notices automatically?

Laurent: Yes.

<Daihei> @Laurent: will you share the slides with all?

Liisa: Thanks so much, Laurent. We'll work on getting people engaged.

Cristina: Will you share the slides?

Laurent: Yes, I'll send them.

EPUB 3 WG Charter

Liisa: Topic: EPUB 3 WG Charter.

<dauwhe> https://‌w3c.github.io/‌epub-3-wg-charter/

<Ralph> EPUB 3 WG charter issues

dauwhe: There are a few issues. See link.
… I added a bunch of success criteria. Hope that will help us focus the scopel
… E.g., multiple implementations, all features supported, changes should fix real issues in the ecosystem, etc.

<Ralph> [Dave reads from section 3. Success Criteria]

<Ralph> 3. Success Criteria

dauwhe: Still want people to continue commenting.

Ivan: One open PR, along the lines of what Dave said. Puts removal of existing features out of scope.
… Hope this addresses the concerns about disrupting the existing market.

<Ralph> pull #29

Ivan: Two related issues still pending.
… Duration of the WG. Google questions whether 2 years is enough.
… Also Dave raised the issue that the timing in the charter are guidelines rather than hardcore limits.
… Not 100% sure if all AC members will be happy with that, but let's see.
… One comment from Mateus still in the works.
… WG taking on responsibility for IDPF registries is another issue.
… Would still like to have more comments from publishers globally.
… Need that before starting the AC process.

dauwhe: Looking at making the scope a bit smaller. Right now we have a mix of WG and CG incubating features.
… Maybe we should leave the incubation to the CG and focus the WG on writing and executing tests, getting language precise, etc.
… What is the least change we can accomplish for EPUB 3.x to get the spec to Rec quality level.

<Ralph> Takami-san's comment #31

Daihei: Totally agree--we need comments globally. Two new questions: disruption from new version and potential disruptions by HTML5 serialization.

Ivan: Takami-san proposed a change that we have accepted and closed the issue.
… Adding a version of EPUB that is not backwards compatible would be very problematic.
… This charter is not for the long term future; it is focused on the next 2-3 years.
… Perhaps we should keep such issues in a parking lot for future consideration.

Avneesh: Agree to have WG focus on quality of spec and CG to focus on incubation.
… Wrt EPUBCheck, is the WG taking responsibility for that?

Liisa: Somewhere the responsibility for EPUBCheck needs to be explicit.
… Re new features, need to think about how we get incubation to happen in time for the charter timespan.
… I would like to see some new features coming out of the survey.

dauwhe: EPUBCheck is critical part of the ecosystem, it needs to fully support EPUB 3.x or it will be a failure.
… WG needs to do everything possible to enable EPUBCheck to support its work

Ivan: Some discussions were pushing EPUBCheck into a reference implementation, which I pushed back on.
… Avneesh, please look through charter text and let us know what needs alteration.
… EPUBCheck should be in cooperation with the WG but the work should probably be elsewhere.
… Wendy: Agree with Ivan. We discussed EPUBCheck extensively. Can't make WG responsible for it but it needs to have a big hand in making it successful.
… Wrt reframing the charter deliverables: I think we need to push more incubation to the CG.
… We have a number of features that are in demand and needed.
… Important for CG to test those out. E.g., HTML5, APIs, JavaScript need incubation in the CG.
… Just revising the spec will be a 2-year project.
… Taking out the incubation work makes that more achievable and lets the CG work in parallel.
… Should result in a much better spec informed by the CG incubation work, rather than rushing that in at the end.
… It's very important work and shouldn't be rushed.
… Ivan: Should we modify the text about new features to be explicit that the new features must go through an incubation period in the CG.

<liisamk> +1 to Ivan's suggestion

Ivan: Making the process more explicit and more binding is needed.
… We need to be careful not to tie the hands of the WG.

Jeff: Very good comments. These conversations are less chartering issues and more chairing issues.
… It will be very healthy on an ongoing basis for the chairs of the WG to keep track of what's going on in parallel in the CG.

<dauwhe> +1 to Jeff

Launch of EPUB Reading System Bug GitHub Repo

<liisamk> https://‌github.com/‌w3c/‌epub-rs-bugs

Liisa: My team will start populating some of the RS bugs (see link).

Ivan: I set up the Github repo but it's currently an empty shell.
… It needs some explanatory text.

Liisa: Will do.

Garth: There are only two more meetings of the PBG scheduled. Let me know what to do about that.

Liisa: Will do that too.

Update on EU standardization process

Cristina: Re EU standardization process. Have met with group responsibility for accessibility requirements in EU.
… Included George, Avneesh, Judy Brewer, et al.
… The Commission may ask for a mandate, which will look for available standards to base on.
… EPUB Accessibility spec is being submitted to ISO.
… ISO standard should be evaluated by EU Commission.
… Another option is an ISO TS which might not go through EU standardization body.
… Spec needs a very strong technical basis and needs to conform with current EU requirements in development.
… We think the TS route is best because the EU body may create some changes.
… Need to assess alignment of EPUB Accessibility with the EU accessibility act.
… The commission may rely on more than one technical specification.
… This work is moving pretty quickly.
… Looking to have a mandate by next June.
… We have time now to address this so we can be ready when the commission needs something from us.
… Feel free to be in touch with me if you need more information

[Ivan what do I need to do now?]

<ivan> you: nothing

Minutes manually created (not a transcript), formatted by scribe.perl version 114 (Tue Mar 17 13:45:45 2020 UTC).