Packaged Web Publications

W3C First Public Working Draft

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David Wood, Ephox Corporation
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This specification defines a packaging format for combining the resources of a Web Publication [wpub] into a single portable file.


At this point, this is just a skeleton for the specification-to-be. At the moment, the focus of the Working Group is on the Web Publications document.

Status of This Document

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document. A list of current W3C publications and the latest revision of this technical report can be found in the W3C technical reports index at

This document was published by the Publishing Working Group as a First Public Working Draft. This document is intended to become a W3C Recommendation. Comments regarding this document are welcome. Please send them to (subscribe, archives).

Publication as a First Public Working Draft does not imply endorsement by the W3C Membership. This is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to cite this document as other than work in progress.

This document was produced by a group operating under the W3C Patent Policy. W3C maintains a public list of any patent disclosures made in connection with the deliverables of the group; that page also includes instructions for disclosing a patent. An individual who has actual knowledge of a patent which the individual believes contains Essential Claim(s) must disclose the information in accordance with section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy.

This document is governed by the 1 March 2017 W3C Process Document.

1. Introduction

Editor's note

The editors request community comments on especially on Sections 2-4 via the group’s primary mailing list. The archives are publicly visible, and anyone can post a mail.

Editor's note

A key decision on this specification will be the choice of packaging mechanism (section 5). The working group has decided to evaluate Web Packaging (see the Web Packaging Format Explainer) and to wait for its maturation before proceeding. This has been a major cause of the publication of this specification as a First Public Working Draft in such skeletal form.

2. Conformance

As well as sections marked as non-normative, all authoring guidelines, diagrams, examples, and notes in this specification are non-normative. Everything else in this specification is normative.

The key word MAY is to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

2.1 General Conformance

A document is a Packaged Web Publication if it:

Additionally, a document that is a Packaged Web Publication MAY contain:

2.2 Conformance Classes

This specification defines two conformance classes: one for Self-Packaged Web Publications and one for Standard-Packaged Web Publications.

A document is a Self-Packaged Web Publication if it meets the following criteria:

A document is a Standard-Packaged Web Publications if it meets the following criteria:

3. Terminology

Packaged Web Publication

A Web Publication [wpub] that has been packaged into a single information resource, enabling it to be transported and stored independent of any specific address or protocol. A Packaged Web Publication does not have to originate on the Web (i.e., have a specific URL that is accessible via HTTP); the only requirement is that it conform to Web Publications. Similarly, it is possible to unpack a Packaged Web Publication to create a Web Publication, but there are practical limitations to doing so (e.g., re-publishing cross-domain resources will require that a client be able to access all domains used).

Self-Packaged Web Publication

A Packaged Web Publication [PWPUB] that defines its own package format.

Standard-Packaged Web Publication

A Packaged Web Publication [PWPUB] that is packaged using the packaging format defined in 5. Packaging.

4. Descriptive Properties

Issue 10: What Metadata are Specific to a PWP?

A Web Publication is anticipated to have some Descriptive Properties, or WP-specific metadata. What PWP-specific metadata should a PWP contain, if any?

5. Packaging

Editor's note

PWP will require the selection of some sort of packaging format in order to be a Packaged Web Publication.

Some options currently under consideration include, but are not limited to:

All of these have pros and cons. For example, Web Packaging is not finalized, the CBOR specification precludes inclusion of a general compression scheme (although one could add one on top of CBOR), and SQLite is not a standard of a recognized body.

Issue 11: What Packaging Format/Style Should a PWP Use?

What packaging format or style should a PWP use?

6. Profiles

Editor's note

The editors realize that the concept of profiles of implementation is probably contentious. Much discussion is anticipated before this section is likely to be brought to conclusion.

7. Security

Editor's note
Placeholder for security issues.

8. Privacy

Editor's note
Placeholder for privacy issues.

A. Acknowledgements

This section is non-normative.

The following people contributed to the development of this specification:

The Working Group would also like to thank the members of the Digital Publishing Interest Group for all the hard work they did paving the road for this specification.

B. References

B.1 Normative references

Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels. S. Bradner. IETF. March 1997. Best Current Practice. URL:
Web Publications. Matt Garrish; Ivan Herman.2018-01-04. URL: