Digital Publishing IG organizing itself: task forces

As a means to organize its work, the Digital Publishing Interest group has defined a set of Task Forces. Each of these Task Forces represents a specific technical area of work, will produce separate documents, and will have parallel discussions. The task forces are as follows.

Latinreq, i.e., Requirement for Latin Text Layout and Pagination
The task force will produce two documents. One will be a general requirement document for Latin text layout, pagination, and typesetting. This document will be patterned after, for example, the “Requirements for Japanese Text Layout” document that W3C has published a while ago, but concentrating on Latin-based languages. Another document will describe how these general requirements map on specific requirements for CSS 3 or CSS 4.
Page DOM
This task force will concentrate on the issue of representing the concept of a page in an XML or HTML DOM: are the current facilities enough, or is there a need for an extension for the purpose of paged based media publishing?
This task force will look at the metadata vocabulary and identification landscape as used by the publishing industry, and will identify some of the missing features, possible mappings, etc., that the industry needs. The task force will also have to answer the question whether an additional work in this area is necessary and, if yes, whether W3C is the right organization to pursue the work or not.
Behavioral Adaption
Digital publications need to identify the role of specific HTML structural element in a publication beyond what the core HTML tag provide. For example, certain elements should be marked up as being candidates for an index to be generated for the book. This task force will consider the various challenges on how to do this in HTML, and whether extensions to HTML are necessary or not (e.g., by introducing a new set of attributes).
One of the main challenges in, for example, reading systems for educational publications is the ability to annotate the document in a portable manner. Although some of these issues have been dealt with in the W3C Open Annotation Community Group, how to use the general approach in terms of the Open Web Platform as used in Digital Publishing may raise further technical challenges and missing features that this task force will identify.
STEM (i.e, Scientific, Technical, Engineering, and Mathematical Publishing)
This category of digital publishing raises a number of particular issues, e.g., in terms of technical illustrations, interactivity, or usage of mathematical formulas. This Task Force will consider these issues in light of what the Open Web Platform provides, and identify possibly missing features.
Security, Privacy
The latest generation of Digital Publishing standards, like EPUB3, introduce the possibility of (albeit limited) scripting, thereby providing interactivity, connection to outside services, etc. However, these new facilities may lead to specific of security and privacy challenges (e.g., what happens to the information gleaned from the user’s reading habits); these new issues may also lead to new requirements in terms of using the Open Web Platform.
Accessibility has always been at the core of Digital Publishing, e.g., with the ability to produce books in Braille, or in forms of Audio Books. However, these possibilities lead to new challenges that may not be properly reflected in the various OWP technologies, and/or the Accessibility guidelines published by the W3C.
Bridging Offline and Online
This task force is a little bit different from the others: instead of looking at the requirements of current Digital Publishing technologies, it rather looks at some longer term issues on how Digital Publishing and the Open Web Platform would align further in future.

The work have already begun in the various task forces; the goal from now on is that the weekly teleconferences would concentrate on the work of one or two specific task forces to synchronize with the group as a whole. The minutes of those meetings are public. The separate page on the Task Forces on the Group’s Wiki also links to the various use cases in each category that have been collected in the past few weeks.

About Ivan Herman

Ivan Herman is the leader of the Digital Publishing Activity at W3C. For more details, see

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