Publishing WG Telco, 2018-12-17: vanilla browser, explainer

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

Entry page and the vanilla browser

The question that was discussed was “can a primary entry page be opened in a vanilla browser” and what can be expected. The question was later modified to “Is it possible to open the entry page in any standards-compliant user agent that is not WP-aware (henceforth “minimal browser”)”. While the question sounds like a tautology—since the entry page is html, it can be opened in a browser—the real issue was whether that page is “meaningful”. That raises questions like:

  • are we talking about a fully declarative publication only or a publication with a (albeit possibly minimal) polyfill (or equivalent)?
  • is it required to provide a ToC in the primary entry page, or can the user, potentially create a completely empty page?

There has been no formal resolution on the call.

WP Explainer

Dave Cramer has produced a draft for a “WP Explainer” for a very high level overview of what the WPUB work is where it goes today. The goal is to, sometimes after the holidays, submit this to a general TAG review. The discussion focused on some possible improvements:

  • spell out things that, though obvious for the publishing community, may not be for “outsiders” (e.g., role of ToC)
  • talk about the expectation (and non-expectation) v.a.v. browser engines (e.g., that the community may have to develop its own extensions and not expect browser engines to do everything)
  • the role and influence of EPUB in the design
  • etc.

The explainer will be updated based on these comments.