Publishing@W3C—Fundraising for EPUBCheck: phase 2
We Still Need Your Support: Join The Effort to Update The Tool We Use to Validate EPUB Files
Work to update EPUBCheck and make it useful in validating files began in September 2018 and is still going on until 2020 Q2. It is a 24 months development plan. Let’s recall here that this work aims at making available a common tool used by all the participants of the eBooks market, for free, as a way to facilitate interactions between each other.
Phase 1 achieved
The phase 1 of the project, which was focused on updating EPUBCheck to EPUB 3.2 was successfully completed in April 2019.
Phase 2 needs your support
The phase 2, which started immediately after, is aimed at making the EPUBCheck development environment more maintainable and at enabling easier contribution from the community in the long term.
Will you contribute?
Thanks to the Phase 1 contributors to this fundraising plan! (see the donators names and logos below)
There is still a chance for you to be part of this hall of fame in using the online contribution form that will help you registering your payment.
What is EPUBCheck?
A tool that validates EPUB files, EPUBCheck helps both content creators and content sellers/distributors to determine if a publisher’s or author’s digital book is ready to be released for distribution or sale. The tool can detect many types of errors in EPUB: container structure, packaging, metadata, content markup, and internal reference consistency are all checked to ensure that books work well and offer a reliable ereading experience. The whole ebook industry relies on EPUBCheck to guarantee the accuracy of ebooks, and EPUBCheck 4.2.2 now provides the support we need, but we must continue to maintain this precious tool.
You already benefit from EPUBCheck
Most retailers will not accept an EPUB file unless it successfully passes EPUBCheck validation. During the creation process, files are typically run through EPUBCheck several times to ensure the accuracy of your product. EPUBCheck is the decisive tool that allows developers and vendors to identify errors at an early stage and that keeps corrupt files out of circulation.
Phase 1 has brought EPUBCheck validation up to date
The EPUB3 Community Group has updated the EPUB specification to address a set of issues that have prevented widespread adoption of EPUB 3.1. The new EPUB 3.2 specification has been released in Spring 2019 and has a new EPUBCheck to accompany it EPUBCheck 4.2.2.
EPUBCheck plays a strategic role in the ebook production and distribution life cycle and as the EPUB specification evolves, so too does the need to update the tools we use to create and validate EPUB files. It needs to be maintained for four primary reasons:
- To keep it in sync with the dynamically evolving core web specs of HTML, CSS, and SVG and also with the most current version of EPUB 3
- To fully support the EPUB Accessibility Guidelines, making your products usable for everyone
- To add new features, such as HTML validation (in coordination with the W3C validation services) and a better check of media overlays
- To offer better service to the publishing industry with a faster response to bug reports and feature requests
To ensure the availability of a reliable and up-to-date EPUBCheck tool, we ask for your financial contribution to this effort to overhaul the code and create a more stable toolset.
Phase 2 consolidates the future of EPUBCheck
Phase 2 started with major refactoring of the test suite for harmonizing the organically grown tests and for making it easier for new developers to contribute to the project.
Several sponsors have already committed funds to the EPUBCheck upgrade
Several sponsors have already committed funds to support for an update to EPUBCheck. Their foundational support is critical to the project, and we need to make sure that the resources are adequate to both update the tool and provide for its continued maintenance over the next two years.
We have selected DAISY’s proposal from a competitive selection process to update EPUBCheck. We anticipate a total sum of up to US$150,000 for the code work and maintenance that will be needed for this overhaul. Sponsors can join the effort for a contribution of $1,000 or more, with tiered support as follows:
- Leadership Sponsors: US$20,000 or more
- Sustaining Sponsors: US$15,000-19,999
- Supporting Sponsors: US$10,000-14,999
- Friend: US$5,000-9,999
- Helper: US$1,000-$4,999
- Or, whatever amount is good for you!
Your support for this development effort does more than demonstrate your commitment to digital publishing. It will deliver a tool that you, your company, and your customers will benefit from every day. A critical part of the digital book ecosystem, EPUBCheck delivers value by ensuring book files are ready to be distributed and consumed as intended. Readers love books that work.
You can contribute using the online contribution form that will help you registering your payment. Contributors can be acknowledged (via logo) on the EPUBCheck home page; the size of the logo will depend on the level of contribution.
List of donators
Commitments to date have been received from:
- Macmillan Learning
- DAISY Consortium
- Publizon A/S
- Hachette Livre
- LearningMate Solutions Inc
- Voyager Japan, Inc.
- QA InfoTech
- Penguin Random House
- W. W. Norton
- Lumina Datamatics, Inc.
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Verlag C.H.Beck oHG
- Libreka GmbH
- Zeilenwert GmbH
- Cenveo Publisher Services
- BookNet Canada
- Rakuten Kobo Inc.
- Diogenes Verlag AG
- Pagina gmbh publication technologies
- The Electronic Book Publishers Association of Japan
- Nord Compo
- Firebrand Technologies
- Advanced Publishing Lab. Keio Research Institute at SFC
- Hyweb Technology Co., Ltd.
- Suhrkamp Verlag AG
- Verlag C.H.Beck oHG
- Bookwire GmbH
- Tech Forum 2021 attendees
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Publishing@W3C is committed to continue to develop and promote EPUB 3 as the packaged accessible interchange and delivery format for digital publications. The EPUB 3 Community Group (“EPUB 3 CG”) provides a forum for ongoing technical development of EPUB 3 and related extension specifications and ancillary deliverables.