EPUB 3 Working Group A11y Telco — Minutes

Date: 2020-11-26

See also the Agenda and the IRC Log


Present: Avneesh Singh, George Kerscher, Cristina Mussinelli, Matthew Chan


Guests: Luc Audrain

Chair: Avneesh Singh

Scribe(s): Wendy Reid


1. EPUB A11y and the EUAA

Avneesh Singh: Part of the charter is aligning EPUB Accessiblity with the EUAA

Avneesh Singh: EU accessibility act requirements: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/dir/2019/882/oj?eliuri=eli:dir:2019:882:oj

Luc Audrain: We know the principles of EPUB Accessibility is WCAG
… we know all this
… in the EUAA, we find the same principles and requirements
… these are spread inside the act in different concerns for products and services
… product is devices (ATMs, websites), and the services are files, like EPUBs
… services could be ticketing, ecommerce, etc
… the provision of ebooks for reading is providing a service
… services is where POUR comes in
… the wordings are different between EPUB Accessibility and EUAA
… how do we synchronize them
… do we need to make them align in their wording?

Avneesh Singh: There is a difference here
… the EUAA has functional requirements
… EPUB Accessibility has success criteria
… EPUB Accessibility has more specific guidelines
… for example, EUAA says there should be alternatives for text content, based on WCAG
… instead of adjusting the success criteria, we should work on mapping of EU requirements with success criteria of EPUB Accessibility.

Luc Audrain: Section 3 of EUAA (see link)

Cristina Mussinelli: This is what is existing in the directive
… it’s very high-level
… as it also covers websites and other services
… is WCAG is more based on success criteria or functional requirements
… for the directive, they adopted based on WCAG
… when you are talking about EPUB Accessibility, it also refers to WCAG

Avneesh Singh: Yes, it refers to WCAG

Cristina Mussinelli: This is very high-level
… I think that mapping the high-level requirements to success criteria in EPUB Accessibility is a good idea

Luc Audrain: That’s how we need to make it
… the discussions we had with Inmaculada (EU), for EPUB the requirements of the EUAA are covered
… in EPUB Accessibility

Avneesh Singh: What is the format of this? Do we want to provide mapping?
… what is the structure and timeline

Luc Audrain: The format should be a document with a mapping
… where EUAA and EPUB Accessibility meet
… the timing would be good to see in Q1 2021
… January
… she has to plan for the method in mid-2021
… June
… in June she would have to say “There’s something for ebooks”, and could point to EPUB
… and it has been developed openly through consensus
… she could direct the commission to this
… otherwise she would have to direct an EU standardization body to develop one of their own

Cristina Mussinelli: I don’t think they would choose a format
… they would choose any format that meets the requirements
… we need to not only consider EPUB
… the commission will not only recommend EPUB
… it would be impossible for the commission to select only one

Avneesh Singh: As far as success criteria, EPUB Accessibility is format independent to good extent

George Kerscher: Do we need to change the title of the document in revision?

Avneesh Singh: That is a broader discussion

George Kerscher: It’s a possibility though?

Avneesh Singh: There’s ways of doing it
… we start with EPUB Accessibility and change the name

George Kerscher: Something like digital publication conformance and discoverability
… we need an introductory statement of how this document meets the requirements of the EUAA
… link to the places in our specification that meets the functional requirements
… walk through the document with links and affirmative statements

Luc Audrain: I don’t think we should change the name
… it’s for EPUB
… and this will avoid the question of PDF
… the commission will need technical specifications for ebooks in general
… we haven’t thoroughly discussed this with Inmaculada
… if we say it is for digital publications, would it cover PDF?

Avneesh Singh: The discussion we had in the past, the takeaway was if the EU is going for a harmonized standard, it needs to work with different technologies
… if they want a technical standard, then any non-profit org can submit a specification
… there can be more than one that meets the functional requirements. We can submit technical specifications for EPUB accessibility, PDF association may like to submit theirs..

Luc Audrain: It’s not for us to explain how PDF meets the requirements
… what we would try to prove is that EPUB conforms

George Kerscher: I agree, and if we don’t have to change the name that’s fine
… when we think of the services
… the provision of books by a publisher, once it’s delivered to Amazon and changed, would the specification still be applied
… everyone who ingests changes the book in some way
… it doesn’t honour the original

Avneesh Singh: EU provides the functional requirements, Amazon has to meet them

Cristina Mussinelli: The requirements are laid out, we need to provide the details, but it won’t be format-specific
… if there’s a new format that is accessible and compliant in the future, they can’t go back and change things, it needs to be future proof

Luc Audrain: If in the case that the commission uses the technical specifications, any format on the market needs to prove conformance
… it would be Amazon’s job to prove that the kindle format is conformant
… anyone publishing to PDF would have to do the same
… on our side, we have to so the job for EPUB
… I don’t know if the commission would ask us for PDF

Avneesh Singh: Speaking from a technical perspective, if we make EPUB Accessibility purely abstract like WCAG, it would be challenging in this timeline … we would have to move a lot to techniques

Luc Audrain: I don’t think that is mandatory

Cristina Mussinelli: We might need to add other metadata
… the requirement is to have metadata distributable in the chain
… if we discuss schema we might also need ONIX

Avneesh Singh: There is a provision for having metadata other than schema.org
… for this call we should focus on the high-level plan
… do we need a clarification from the representative to make EPUB Accessibility an abstract specification
… or can we focus on EPUB

Luc Audrain: It might be a good time to discuss with Inmaculada
… we have a new revision
… we plan to provide the necessary documents
… showing the conformance
… there is a missing link here between the act and the technical specifications

Cristina Mussinelli: I’m not sure we need to go to her
… we have done many meetings
… she will not tell us exactly what is needed
… we should start working
… then we will have an idea of the challenges
… if we tell her to accept this, we can seem like we’re forcing this
… we should focus on the mapping

Avneesh Singh: Timeline wise, we will be prepared to have a FPWD in February
… a draft of what we expect to send could be sent in January

Luc Audrain: This timing should work

Avneesh Singh: Short term plan, working on this mapping document
… it should show the direction by January
… after which we’ll get feedback and carry on based on the feedback
… Cristina and Luc, you will be working on this?
… I will help as well, but I want the Europeans to take the lead

Cristina Mussinelli: Gregorio as well
… I am wondering how to format this
… perhaps a table
… with the EUAA requirements in one column, the EPUb Accessibility mapping, and comments

Avneesh Singh: That sounds good

Cristina Mussinelli: We’ve done it before, but we need to see if we have a 1:1 mapping for the elements
… it could be that there are empty spaces

Wendy Reid: That would be a good visualization of any gaps

George Kerscher: I think the important gaps are if there’s a missing requirement for an EUAA requirement
… have an intro from the EPUB Accessibility doc, then the table, make any issues clear in the comments

Luc Audrain: I can start a first draft
… we can work together to figure this out
… we can divide the work
… there’s less than 15 requirements

Avneesh Singh: Where would we like to collaborate?
… wiki on GitHub

Luc Audrain: I am ok with that

Cristina Mussinelli: Then we can all access the document

Avneesh Singh: The optimized way is markdown and pull requests, but that is too heavy way right now

George Kerscher: Is it easy to format a table in the wiki?

Avneesh Singh: It’s just markdown

Cristina Mussinelli: I’ve received from ISO the documents that EPUB Accessibility has been approved
… its official?

Avneesh Singh: We were expecting approval in November, so it might be the notification

George Kerscher: Did that come in today?

Cristina Mussinelli: I got it this morning

Avneesh Singh: All of the EPUB specifications in ISO are available for free
… so we have the action plan, I will create the wiki and we can start collaborating
… anything else to discuss today?