Publishing WG Telco, 2018-10-01: Audiobooks

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

The group welcomed Wendy Reid (Rakuten/Kobo) as the third co-chair of the Working Group


The full meeting was devoted to audio books. WP can express audiobooks easily, because audio files are Web Resources and, as such, can be part of the WP list of resources, reading order, etc. The task is to add some necessary terms to the manifest and make it more explicit in the specification what is expected from readers. There is already an experimental example on how that could work even in a browser (with some extra javascript). Some specific issues discussed on the meeting.

Expressing duration

There are terms for this (duration) that can be reused. The only issue is that the value of that term is expressed in ISO 8601, which is not very user friendly. However, this format is used at various places already (HTML, XSD datatypes, etc) so it was accepted as a format instead of coming up with something new.

Bitrates and formats

There are a number of formats out there, and the question was whether WPUB should be prescriptive in this area. The overall consensus is that we should be as permissive as possible, and follow the lead of other standards in this respect (e.g., for the audio element in HTML)

Reading Order

The question was whether it creates any problem if (1) audio elements are listed in the WP’s reading order and (2) if these audio elements are mixed with other illustrative resources like diagrams in PNG or PDF. The overall consenus was that this should not create a problem.


A F2F agenda is now online and will be finalized soon.

About Ivan Herman

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

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