Publishing WG Telco, 2018-02-12: WAM Overview, lifecycles, affordances

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

Short WAM Overview

Romain Deltour gave a short overview of the WAM, see minutes for the details. One issue that came up was if and how the internal representation of the manifest can be reached by various scripts, other than the User Agent proper. This may become necessary if, at some point, an extension or any kind of script is needed to implement a WAM functionality. However, the feeling was that it may be worth postponing this step until we have a better notion of the overall picture.


Hadrien Gardeur gave an overview of the latest addition to the WP draft, concerning the manifest lifecyle. The additions were as follows

  1. A WebIDL added to the appendix representing the infoset/manifest
  2. The lifecycle itself:
    1. Discovering/obtaining the manifest
    2. Processing the manifest (e.g., interpreting the JSON content and turn it into an internal structure)
    3. As part of the previous establishing the default reading order

If the WAM is used 2.1 would essentially disappear, and 2.2 would also be reduced using the extension point of the WAM. 2.3 is publication specific and relatively complex.

There is a pending Pull Request which includes some diagrams; there was a feeling on the call that it is worth adding those.


The new draft also reorganized and has now a section renamed as “Affordances”. A new one has been added on switching to “publication mode”, which includes switching to a mode with enhancements, and also a notion akin to bookshelves. The previous affordances have been reorganized, and user setting has been added alongside progressions (the UA needs to remember where the reader is).

One issue to be decided on is how the spec would define the affordances: is it more descriptive (a bit like CSS) or closely tied to API-s like many Web Platform specs.


There were also some discussion on how the spec should be organized on long term, should is stay monolithic or separate, eg, the affordances and the manifest. This is to be discussed further.

Chris Maden has accepted to act as a “Testing” champion, and is gather information and approaches on testing.

The Synchronized Media for Publishing CG is now up, join it!

Next week (19 February) is US Holiday, no call then.

About Ivan Herman

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

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