Publishing WG Telco, 2017-12-18: Minor change on Locator doc, ARIA, end-of-year reflections

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

Minor changes on the Locator document

As a result of a discussion on github the document has been renamed (“Web Annotation Extensions for Web Publications”). The short name and, consequently, the repository name has also changed to wpub-ann.

There were also minor additions: there was a discussion on github on the fact that the fragment ID section make sense only if it is applied to a Packaged document but, at this point, we do not have a packaging spec yet. Ie, we do not know whether the group will be in control of a relevant media type. This fact has been emphasized in an editorial note (referring to the fact that the full section may have to be removed in future).

ARIA Review

The Digital Publishing WAI-ARIA Module has just been published as Recommendation. Tzviya used the opportunity to talk a little bit of ARIA in general. ARIA (Accessibly Rich Internet Applications) was written not very long ago to bring information to any language for accessibility and assistive technologies. It can provide information to the accessibility tree (which some of us don’t know exists!): you have the HTML object model, then in parallel is an accessibility tree that is provided to accessibility applications. There are even accessibility APIs that feed into applications that need. The most important thing to be aware of is that if you don’t use ARIA, HTML has native semantics, ie, all HTML elements have an ARIA semantics. Some interesting links for ARIA in general:

What we did for DPUB Aria is that we added some richer semantics coming from the EPUB world, that was never really picked up by accessibility technologies. We then reduced that terminology down to what was more useful. Then we added prefixed-terms to ARIA (using the doc- prefix) – so that it would be distinct from the core ARIA tech. There were 20 terms that were added in that recommendation. Bottom line: we’ve extended the ARIA vocabulary with terms useful for publishers and assistive technology.

(Tzviya may organize a separate, deeper dive.)

Looking backward and forward

This was the last call of the year and at a major milestone (publishing of the FPWD-s); there were some discussion on how the group is organized, and what can be done to be more welcoming to new participants. Lots of ideas were discussed (making it clear what issues are already assigned and which one are not, document more the context of some of the issues and terminology, improve the document for newcomers, possibly organize separate welcome meetings one in a while, etc.). Other comments, proposals, etc, are welcome, using any means of communications.

One of the core statements (from Deborah Kaplan):

I think I’ve heard this reflected—it took me a while once I heard lots of wise experts with expertise—everything we do and everything we talk about touches these disparate fields. Everyone has expertise. Some have written specs, but we’re all here because we have expertise. I’ve been on both sides—guilty of being wise or feeling guilty. From this corner of field knowing something detailed (in my case, accessibility) but I may not know much about locators… We have all different kinds of expertise and it’s important to remember that just because we know one thing well, doesn’t mean we understand the important aspects of everything. And anyone with confidence questions, you’re here because you’re good at this. It’s OK to not know something, and to ask for clarification.

See also the Impostor’s syndrome😉

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

About Ivan Herman

Ivan Herman is the Technical Lead for Publishing@W3C. For more details, see

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