The web was created to provide access to a “universe of documents.” Since then, the Web has become many things, but documents and, by extension, publications, have remained close to the heart of the Web.
Many publishers use EPUB to bring digital content to their readers. EPUB is built from Web technologies, but publishing uses the web for so much more, from everyday matters of communication and marketing to learning management systems and online journals. Print and digital books are bought and sold on websites.
But publications are still not first-class citizens of the web. EPUB exists in silos, somewhat disconnected from the web. Long texts make special demands on readers. We expect to read books and publications even while offline. We hope to share publications, save them, keep them. We expect a kind of permanence to publications, which we don’t typically expect of web sites.
Publishing at W3C works to identify and solve problems. We want publications on the Web to be more capable, more beautiful, more accessible, and easier.
How to Participate
We welcome global participation in Publishing@W3C activities from any organization interested in joining the conversation about the future of publishing. For those interested in maintaining EPUB 3 technical requirements and advancing further adoption, we encourage you to join the new EPUB 3 Community Group which is free and open to all. Simply go there to sign up.
The focal point of general conversations for the future of publishing takes place in the Publishing Business Group; to join the Group, please go to the Group’s page to sign up. Participation in this group requires a modest fee.
The core technical work on future forms of publishing on the Web takes place in the Publishing Working Group. Participation in that group requires to be a regular W3C member; to join that group, please sign up here. The regular W3C membership also covers the possible participation in any Business Groups, including the Publishing Business Group, but also any other Interest or Working Groups at W3C. To become a W3C member, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The activity has also set up some Community Groups to concentrate on specific issues. The Publishing Working Group will watch the progress of work in these Community Groups and take it into consideration as appropriate. See the side bar for the list of those. There are also a number of other community groups, set up by the community at large, whose topics may be relevant to publishing; see the W3C Community Groups’ page for further details. All these groups are free and open for all.
W3C Groups Relevant for Publishing
There are many areas of technical work at W3C in which the publishing community is already participating. Among these are the CSS Working Group, or various groups in the Web Accessibility Initiative. Participation in Interest and Working Groups is open to regular members of W3C.
There are a number of groups working on technologies that will also be of interest and the publishing roadmap evolves including Video, Audio, Graphics, Web Payments to name a few.