Publishing WG Telco, 2018-11-19: Use cases, Minimal Viable Product

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

UCR and “Minimal Viable Product”

The UCR has been reorganized: an explicit UC for TOC has been added, and the list of requirements contains now “classes of conformance” (the term is not final) to categorize possible implementations.

The “minimal” category is in line with what the group referred to as “Minimal Viable Product” or “Minimal Viable WPUB” at the F2F meeting in Lyon, ie, to define what is the minimal set of feature that a WPUB User Agent is expected to do. The group spent therefore the time going through the “minimal” table to see whether the list does (does not) correspond to an MVP. (Actually, the list discussed at the call was an earlier version, the editor‘s draft already reflects some of the changes.) This discussion was the first step towards such an MVP specification, to be done in the coming weeks.

F2F dates

A proposal for a F2F meeting was made for the 6-7 May, 2019, in Cambridge, MA, USA, hosted in the Kendall Square offices of Google.

Publishing WG Telco, 2018-11-12: Origin, TOC

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

Origin

The question on “origin” came up in the discussions and issues (e.g., #321) in the past. Daniel Weck gave an overview (completed by Leonard Rosenthol) of what “origin” means in the context of the Web and what effect it may have on our specifications. It is closely related to the security issues and model on the Web. It does raise questions like “does the manifest have to be same origin as entry page?” or “if WP is just a collection of stuff that are glued together with a manifest, then it leaves open the possibility of someone creating a publication without my consent.” A typical issue may be whether the group should consider whether some pieces MUST be same origin.

The discussion did not draw a final conclusion on what of the origin issue should be reflected in the (normative) part of a standard, and what should be more in a possible document on deployment and implementation choices. It is also a question whether any restriction should be made based on today’s security model, which may cause problems in the future. A smaller group will explore the problem area further.

Note the related issue 104 around browsing contexts, that is still open.

TOC

There is a long standing issue on TOC; one of the aspect of that issue is what type of prescribed HTML structure is useful and realistic to provide a framework for an HTML based TOC. Juan Corona made an online demo of an algorithm he was looking at (available on github) exploring the space. It seems that a more general HTML structure may be defined for a TOC, though it does need further work to specify it.

Possible F2F dates

A proposal for a F2F meeting was made for the 6-7 May, 2019, in Cambridge, MA, USA, hosted in the Kendall Square offices of Google. To be decided.

Publishing WG Telco, 2018-11-05: TPAC memories, possible rechartering, use cases

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

TPAC

Wendy Reid wrote a nice blog post on TPAC summarizing the two days and the main outcomes.

Possible Rechartering

One of the pending issues (to be decided by the Business Group) is whether the WG would take up a standardization track for EPUB 3.2. If this indeed happens, the group will have to re-charter. The details of what Rec track would mean for EPUB 3.2 (testing methodology, tests, etc) will be the subject of discussions within the EPUB 3.2 CG, whose results should be brought into the WG if successfully recharter.

Rechartering would also include re-thinking the work on WPUB and related specs. One possible approach is to “modularize”, having a slimmer document on the Web Publication Manifest, and dedicated standards for specific areas. Audiobooks is the first, comics, scholarly publishing, etc, may come later. Packaging may have to be delayed for the general case (though may be defined specifically for dedicated standards) hoping for the Web Packaging work to come to the fore. Decision must be taken on EPUB 4 (the messaging might be tricky with EPUB 3.2 also ongoing).

The details will have to be made in a new charter, to be drafted first by the Publ. champion, WG chairs, staff, and then publicly discussed before voting begins. The TAG’s opinion may have to be sollicited, the role of the separate Publishing CG should be clarified (as a source of possible new technologies). This process will take several months…

Use Cases

The new version of the UCR makes the bridges between the use case requirements and the current text. There is a good match, and there are only 5 requirements that may not have a direct counterpart in the WP draft.

The work should continue in using these bounds to come up with a clear statements on affordances, ie, answering to the question “what should the User Agents do?”.

Publishing WG Telco, 2018-10-15: use case document, WP-s in non WP-aware browsers

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

Use Case Document

The group discussed the current state of the Use Case document and what should be done around it, also in view of the dedicated session at TPAC. The editors plan a GAP analysis of the document in relation to the WP draft. The feeling is that the use cases are there, it is more a question on how to present them in relation to the draft. The ultimate question the document should help with is to give more specific features that WP-aware User Agents are supposed to accomplish when handling a WP.

WP rendering in non WP aware browsers

The question raised by issue 271 is what can be said about non WP aware browsers when rendering a WP (essentially, the primary entry page). The discussion converged towards the question whether this would be mostly some sort of a general design principle: in every step on the way the design should try to assure that a feature does make sense when such a situation occurs. A typical example is the handling of the TOC: if it is part of the primary entry page, the browser can use it directly, but also adds to the information set via the manifest, and a WP-aware User Agent can provide a richer functionality.

The questions arising are what other features could have a similar treatment (pagelist, title, boundaries of the WP), whether the design principle may lead to restriction (eg, the TOC MUST be in the primary entry page as opposed to any resource in the WP), etc. This may lead to the issue of profiles (a WP that is authored with a generic browser in mind, or only for a packaged version, ie, EPUB4), how would these different profiles relate, etc. Certainly a discussion to be followed.

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Publishing WG Telco, 2018-10-08: pagelist, incubation

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

Pagelists

The group discussed issue on pagelist. Pagelist are necessary to describe set of links that helps navigation when the book has a equivalent print representation. It allows content creators to encode references to “printed pages” (nothing to do with “page numbers” generated in the context of dynamically-paginated reflowable documents, i.e. the reading system’s own pagination capabilities).

The resolution is to add such page lists, using the same structure as ToC, but referring to doc-pagelist DPUB ARIA role. Pull Request to come…

Incubation

There was a discussion whereby it would be beneficial to set up a separate stucture where incubating new ideas would be possible, ideas that go beyond the charter of the WG, discussions that do not belong to the main thrust of the WG’s work but are nevertheless important and forward looking. The group discussed what structure would be the most beneficial, and the decision is to set up a separate Community Group, closely related to the Working Group.

Publishing WG Telco, 2018-10-01: Audiobooks

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

The group welcomed Wendy Reid (Rakuten/Kobo) as the third co-chair of the Working Group

Audiobooks

The full meeting was devoted to audio books. WP can express audiobooks easily, because audio files are Web Resources and, as such, can be part of the WP list of resources, reading order, etc. The task is to add some necessary terms to the manifest and make it more explicit in the specification what is expected from readers. There is already an experimental example on how that could work even in a browser (with some extra javascript). Some specific issues discussed on the meeting.

Expressing duration

There are schema.org terms for this (duration) that can be reused. The only issue is that the value of that term is expressed in ISO 8601, which is not very user friendly. However, this format is used at various places already (HTML, XSD datatypes, etc) so it was accepted as a format instead of coming up with something new.

Bitrates and formats

There are a number of formats out there, and the question was whether WPUB should be prescriptive in this area. The overall consensus is that we should be as permissive as possible, and follow the lead of other standards in this respect (e.g., for the audio element in HTML)

Reading Order

The question was whether it creates any problem if (1) audio elements are listed in the WP’s reading order and (2) if these audio elements are mixed with other illustrative resources like diagrams in PNG or PDF. The overall consenus was that this should not create a problem.

TPAC F2F

A F2F agenda is now online and will be finalized soon.

Publishing WG Telco, 2018-09-17: Issue Review, UAs that are not WP-Aware

Incubation

We reviewed options for formal incubation of new ideas. After some back and forth, we agreed to create a new GitHub repo for incubation purposes.

GitHub Project Organization

We are taking advantage of GitHub Projects to help plan meetings. See https://github.com/w3c/wpub/projects/4 to see what is coming up on calls and F2F meetings.

Issue review

We looked at PR #331 and the corresponding issue #325. Hadrien Gardeur recommends that we remove the fallback on the title element in the entry page because the infoset does not require a title.

Issue #271 is about what happens when a WP is opened in a user agent that has not been enhanced to support WPs. Tim Cole pointed out that we might serve ourselves better by approaching this slightly differently. When one opens a WP in an existing UA, you should see something, and it should be usable. However, we need to remember that there is a distinction between regular web pages and WPs. The elements that are accessed by opening the WP in a WP-aware UA are what distinguishes a WP from a website. There was some discussion about what those things are and a reminder that we still need to tie our documentation back to the Use Cases document.

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Publishing WG Telco, 2018-09-10: ToC structures, ToC pointing out of bounds, term renaming

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

ToC structures

The discussion on Issue 291 on the structure of Table of Content (ToC) continued after the last call and on github. The favored approach is:

  1. An algorithm is proposed to retrieve a ToC from an HTML content in general
  2. The approach for the UA is that if that algorithm fails, then the referenced ToC structure is displayed as is

The problem is that it seems to be difficult to define such an algorithm in general; it may seem necessary to define an HTML structure for ToC, ie, to define a preferred ToC structure (and its retrieval algorithm). The agreement is that we leave this until the TPAC F2F and, if no suitable algorithm is found by then, we take up (a relaxed form of) the EPUB3 Nav structure and incorporate it into the WPUB spec, together with a clear algorithm for that structure.

Pointing outside the WPUB boundaries from ToC

The question (see Issue 276) is whether a ToC entry is allowed to point at a resource that is not within the declared “boundaries” of a WP, ie, not listed in the default reading order or the auxiliary resources. The resolution is that a ToC entry SHOULD point to within the boundary (but using a MUST is not really reinforceable). Editorial changes on the document would be made accordingly.

Possible renaming of schema.org terms

The question (see Issue 312) is whether the current terms used by schema.org should be renamed to their more “natural” equivalent (e.g., use the more natural title instead name). The agreement was that, although technically possible via JSON-LD contexts, we should not “redefine” schema.org terms. The only exception (also done by schema.org) to remove the @ from the JSON-LD “keywords”, like @id, @type, @language, and @value

TPAC

A preliminary TPAC agenda is now online, still subject to change depending on new topics or adjustments with visitors.

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Publishing WG Telco, 2018-08-27: Table of Content structures

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

There were only one topic discussed on the call: Issue 291 on the structure of Table of Content (ToC). The current draft is fairly often as for the exact content of an element designated as a ToC and the issue is whether more should be said. A summary of the issue is also available, which was the starting point of the discussion.

However, no consensus have been identified on the call. One possible compromise solution was put forward on the call, namely the possibility to define two, different approaches: one a more structured version which puts structural requirements on the HTML element identified as a ToC (reminiscent of the similar requirements in EPUB), the other being completely unstructured, under the full control of the author but that the User Agent may not interpret as part of some pop-up ToC, “just” display unchanged.

The discussion is going on; see the issue comments for further details.

There will be no call on the 3rd of September (Labor day in the US).