Publishing WG Telco, 2018-02-05: Core issues raised by the TAG

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

The meeting was almost entirely devoted to some fundamental questions triggered by comments by the TAG: “…is the goal of this group to make a new packaging format for specialist book reading software and devices, or is it to obtain first class support for missing book-related features in the web platform as a whole? If the latter, then it is an order of magnitude more likely to be achieved by building atop existing platform features…”.

This question started an (unfinished) discussion on how to formulate that both targets are valid, what the relationships are with the Web Application Manifest (a.k.a. WAM) and the issue whether a publication should “carry” its own script to render/display the content (a bit like a Web Application does). There are several issues with this approach: the stability of the “publication”, the complexity to develop such a script for a publisher, etc. It is also important to emphasize that even if many requirements can be done by current Web Technologies, it is also the group’s goal to ensure that creating a Web Publication is easy for publishers, whether large or small. On the other hand, the reality is that such scripts should probably be necessary for the deployment of Web Publications on the Web, at least at first; the challenge is to use them without imposing too much on the publications (e.g., dedicated reading system could ignore them).

The discussion is ongoing on the mailing list and the issues’ list…