DPUB IG Telco, 2015-11-30: SW Assisted Publishing Experiment, MathJax White Paper, A11y TF

See minutes online for a more detailed record of the discussions. (The headers below link into the relevant sections of the minutes.)

Basic overview of service-worker based publishing

Dave Cramer gave an overview, with screen sharing, of an experiment of a minor proof-of-concept approach (originally created by Jake Archibald) for what a simple PWP reader based on Service Workers (SW) could do. As an example, a (first chapter of Moby Dick)(https://dauwhe.github.io/epub-zero/acme-publishing/MobyDick/html/c001.html) is loaded into the browser, that publication as a whole can be taken off line (via a dedicated button), i.e., the same publication can be read while off line, too. (This works in Chrome, for the moment.) The “magic” is done via a script running service workers which is responsible for the local caching. The same module can also be used to produce and/or read a “package” (at the moment it is zip).

The site contains some examples, including a scholarly article (running MathJax).

The exact goals of the experiment will have to be described (a discussion on email should follow), and this would also focus on some specific questions that should be solved in future. A major goal here is to figure out how to make a file/folder format that works well, that can lead to a more comprehensive PWP solution.

MathJax white paper

Peter Krautzberger gave an overview on a white paper that MathJax plans to publish soon. The background is that MathJax itself is pretty old. In 2010 was version 1.0 and design started a year before that. They’ve been facing a problem that they need to revamp the internals, but the internal plumbing hasn’t changed much.

Originally, in 2009 and 2010, the goal was to help move math. Browsers weren’t supporting it because no one was using it, and users were not using it because browsers were not supporting it, etc… However, about 5 years later it hasn’t really moved. The choice is either (a) go for a full polyfill approach or (b) to really make use of the advances the browser have made and map everything on top of HTML, CSS, and SVG. Because (a) would not really solve the efficiency issue today, the direction planned is to go for (b). Doing things with grid layout is a good place to start, and it’s the direction they’re working towards.

The discussion at the call was concentrating on the accessibility issue, how this approach would affect it, etc. There may be some proposals coming up on how to use ARIA, CSS, and how these standards (and possibly a next version of MathML) should be adapted to handle accessibility. It has been agreed that this group is in a good position to initiate such an activity, if a clear set of requirements and proposals are on the table.

Accessibility TF

Charles LaPierre reported on the work of the TF. They made an overview of WCAG regarding the relevancy of WCAG to Digital Publishing. All of the concerns of WCAG are relevant, but there are also a number of issues in Digital Publishing that should be addressed more. These (as listed in the current draft): page numbering, drop caps, position/location of text, indication of text, nouns, layouts, influences, deeply nested headings, semantic list-heads, skipability, escapability, diagram models, appendix, and also needed but being addressed elsewhere: notes & footnotes (aria), and annotations.

The TF plans to publish a draft and, eventually, an IG Note, in cooperation with he relevant WAI group.

About Ivan Herman

Ivan Herman is the leader of the Digital Publishing Activity at W3C. For more details, see http://www.w3.org/People/Ivan/

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