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.

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).

Publishing WG Telco, 2018-08-20: implementations, access mode sufficient, canonical manifest, TOC

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

New draft published

A new version of the WPUB draft has been published: main difference is an updated WebIDL.

Implementations

There has been some implementation works: JSON Schema, and a proof-of-concept conversion of manifest. Both have contributed to the update of the draft, also raising minor issues for making things more precise. These are reflected in the new draft.

accessModeSufficient issues

This accessibility term did not have a precise enough definition in the draft: it should be an array of strings, each being a comma separated list of terms. A further issues is that while the schema.org discussions have concluded in this, the examples on the schema.org site are erronuous.

There is now a PR on github to handle that (which will be merged now) and, in parallel, actions have been started to get the schema.org examples updated.

Canonical Manifest

We inherited great flexibility from schema.org and the need to make authoring easier the manifest in JSON(-LD). Eg, can have a name whose value can be a simple string but also an array of strings, for creators a value can be a string, and array of strings, and each element in the string a Person object, etc. The goal is to make it simple for the authors to create simple manifests. However, this makes implementations a bit more complex. What is proposed (in a separate PR) is the concept of a “Canonical” Manifest, that removes all these ambiguities, as well as a precise conversion of a manifest into such a canonical one. Having this makes the task of implementations clearer, removes possible ambiguities and increases the interoperability on that step.

Issues around TOC

There is an open issue around TOC: whilst the current draft simply contains a reference to locate an (HTML) element in one of the resources for a TOC, is there is need for the definition of a more detailed structure? The opinions converge a log: whereas the EPUB tradition may require a more detailed structure, the Web traditions avoid imposing a rigid structures.

The discussion is still ongoing, with currently no consensus: to be continued…

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Publishing WG Telco, 2018-07-30: publishing status, implementations, start thinking EPUB4

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

Publishing status

A new stable version has been published; a larger community (PBG, I18N, etc) have been asked to review it and comment. Future releases should come more often, e.g., if and when the WebIDL becomes synchronized with the manifest details.

Implementations

There were discussions about possible test implementations; this may include implementations concentrating on non-packaged use cases (e.g., scholarly papers), traditional ebooks, but also producing some WP-s based on existing content. These implementations should produce feedbacks, raise errors, issues, etc.

Start thinking about EPUB4

The group should start thinking about what EPUB4 will include and do. The discussion was not concentrating on any specific issues yet, nor did it come with resolutions, just a set of first thoughts on the technical aspects as well as the “messaging” aspect of things. Some random thoughts from the discussions:

  • the boundaries of a publications should become more crisp than it is today, that will require technical discussions
  • EPUB4 should be, conceptually, as simple as putting a WP into a zip file—although in reality it is more than that, there may be constraints on the zip structure, just like it is the case in EPUB3:
    • links to file system links is an open issue
    • media type and its inclusion into the file
    • etc.
  • a clear messaging will be needed on what EPUB4 should achieve compared to EPUB3. Some things that came up:
    • most of the content is identical to EPUB3 is identical “except” for a better compatibility with today’s Web (“content is king!”)
    • EPUB4 = EPUB3 + Web Compatibility
    • Web compatibility means that editors/authors/etc can rely on the Web Developers’ community in helping developing content: it is also about the compatibility of people
    • full compatibility with publications that are inherently not packaged, ie, a convergence of traditional ebooks with journals, magazines, single-file publications, scholarly communications, comics, audio books, etc.
      • noting that audio books are naturally part of WP already…
      • we are not talking about converting the EPUB3 market but extending it
  • we have to be realistic, and expect that the EPUB3 and EPUB4 markets will coexist for a while, publishers are slow in moving to new technologies (witness the difficulties of EPUB2 vs. EPUB3 transition)

Clearly food for thoughts and discussions later!


The group decided to take a (Northern Hemisphere) summer break of two weeks; next meeting will be on the 20th of August.

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Publishing WG Telco, 2018-07-23: issues on cover and language, implementations, ucr

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

Issues to solve before next draft publication

Cover or cover image

There has been a long Github discussion on the nature of cover: should the respective resource be restricted to an image (leaving the reading system to generate something if it is not) or can it be any resource, e.g., an HTML file provided by the author? Although the discussion raised a number of issues related to usability, accessibility, etc, the issue for now is what should be in the draft.

The decision was to modify the draft to include a more permissive version for cover, and seek feedbacks from the community.

Language and text direction

This is a long standing issue, which has several facets, most issues have lead to a consensus on the issue.

  1. for the directionality, the only fallback at this point is to rely on the Unicode directionality markers
  2. for language, the language provided in the manifest is also defined to be the language of the publication. The question is whether that language value is inherited (or not) in the case the manifest is embedded (via a <script> tag) into the primary entry page. The case when it is raises issues of differentiating between manifests expressed differently.

The decision was to modify the draft to include inheritance, and seek feedbacks from the community.

Implementations

There is a call for experimental implementations once the draft is published. Just a minimal version that

  1. interprets the manifest to provide an internal representation of the data
  2. provide a minimal set of features: read through all resources and provide some sort of an offline access to the content

Such a minimal (and not necessary polished) implementation should reveal problems, missing features, etc.

UCR

The UCR document has been reorganized, and we are now looking at updating it, with the goal of linking it closer to the affordances’ section of the WP draft. A new version should be published in about a month…

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Publishing WG Telco, 2018-07-09: consensus on some technical directions, scrolling and pagination

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

Review of Consensus on Technical Decisions

We agreed that we would create a WP that may require a browser extension of the author/publisher to inject a script in a similar way to the scripts injected for MathJax. This builds on the concepts introduced in BFF. We are leaving PWP aside for now. EPUB 4 will be a packaged WP, possibly with stricter rules. We have not determined much about relationship to EPUB 3 except that, as it says in the charter, there will be functional round-tripping.

Scrolling and Pagination

(this is https://github.com/w3c/wpub/issues/207)
This is an issue of author stating preferences. There was discussion about whether this could be accomplished using CSS. Since styling across multiple DOMs cannot be done with CSS, the group agreed to put hints in the infoset.

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