DPUB IG Telco, 2015-12-21: Locator Task Force

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

Locator Task Force

The goal of the discussion is to set the right goals for the task force. There are two inputs:

Bill Kasdorf gave a short overview of some of the main points in the PWP document. These are:

  • It is important to keep in mind the differentiation between identifiers and locators, e.g., the locator may refer to a personal copy
    • publishers had been discussing a work identifier, and not any possible instance, this approach simplifies things
    • there may be a misunderstandable statement in the 1st note in the document on the usage of DOI-s and friends for books; that will be handled separately via an issue
  • Another notable section is the emphasis on the manifest; the group agreed that working out the details of what should appear in the manifest is one of the important goals of the task force
    • a related question is whether there is a need/goal to have a specific media type for PWP; it has been agreed that this is something to be decided later, not at this point
  • Finally the issue on “content URL”, ie, what is the URL of a constituent resource came up; it has been agreed that this is probably the fuzziest part of the current text. On the other hand, usage scenarios like shared CSS files or JavaScript libraries for PWP-s show that this issue is very important: the same resource may have different URL-s depending on where one comes from, and this must be clarified.

Subsequent discussions on the goals made it clear that the point of the first bullet is to say we are not going to create new identifier schemes but it must be emphasized that any identifier scheme adopted by the community should work with whatever PWP will have. As for fragment identifiers, while the group would try to keep away from defining new fragments for exisiting media types, it was recognized that new type of information may appear in a PWP (i.e., for the manifest) that may lead to the necessity of defining new fragment identifiers. But that is for later.

Another class of issues that came up is the issues coming up frequently in the library world. Someone may want to read “Moby Dick” and any copy of the text will do. A scholar will want to see the 1943 version. Someone may want a specific copy in a specific library. The OCLC tends to talk about the specific manifestation (the 1943 edition). But the item level is what we need to talk about. The individual copies is finer grained than the library world tends to think about. These are all using locators, which, in this case, are used as identifiers, and the question is whether we should work on how those identifiers/URL-s should be “minted”. It has been agreed that this is beyond the scope of the TF (and of PWP in general).

Finally, it has been recognized that the outcome of the work of this TF may actually be important for the ongoing IDPF EPUB 3.1 work; recommendations of this Task Force may provide a forward compatibility to EPUB 3.1 if the TF can finish its work before mid-spring 2016.

Operationally, a parallel series of calls will be set up for this task force.

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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