EPUB 3 Working Group Telco — Minutes

Date: 2021-03-12

See also the Agenda and the IRC Log


Present: Laura Brady, Ken Jones, Deborah Kaplan, Masakazu Kitahara, Ivan Herman, George Kerscher, gregorio, Gregorio Pellegrino, Avneesh Singh, Toshiaki Koike, Tzviya Siegman, Brady Duga, Ben Schroeter, Wendy Reid, Bill Kasdorf, Matt Garrish, Teenya Franklin, Hadrien Gardeur, Charles LaPierre, Garth Conboy


Guests: Dave Cramer

Chair: Dave Cramer

Scribe(s): Ben Schroeter


1. WG Status report

Dave Cramer: let’s check in on where we are, what we’ve done, what we have left to do
… reached first public working draft on time
… done some good work on the spec (thanks Matt G!)
… progress on internationalization (thanks Ivan!)
… left to do: testing, horizontal review for a11y, security/privacy, TAG review
… html serialization, scripting, general open issues

Ivan Herman: accessibility work is important, might be on time with European requirements

Dave Cramer: thanks Avneesh for driving that!
… thoughts on how it’s going and what we should focus on next?

Tzviya Siegman: heavy lifting done by same few people, would be good to get feedback from a wider group

Gregorio Pellegrino: +1 to a11y for FXL

Ken Jones: +1 to a11y for FXL

Ivan Herman: 2 technical issues we need to solve: a11y aspect of fixed layout, what would we do with html5 and scripting
… we need a clearly formulated set of arguments for html5 vs xhtml vis a vis scripting

Avneesh Singh: concerned about community feedback, need more engagement with Publishing Community Group - maybe one call per month to collaborate and get input from the community to show that EPUB3 is connected to publishing community
… HTML5 vs XHTML - need deadline to make decision
… end of April?

Wendy Reid: my bad, I have a draft of a wiki outlining three main approaches for fixed layout a11y, will post today

George Kerscher: should we go beyond community groups for feedback? do more than ask for comments on a link to a spec? provide documentation on what’s changed? would take a lot of work but might be useful.

Charles: the title of the wiki will be important, can’t change later.

Ivan Herman: +1 to George
… reach out to mailing list from last time’s commenters?
… if we have a smaller group for scripting/html5, we could have a separate call
… it’s urgent that we make a decision about this in short order

Charles: html5 & scripting: thought we were just trying to get spec close to what it was, surprised that we are taking on this scripting work and not deferring to next iteration

Dave Cramer: scripting is in scope per the charter

Ivan Herman: it’s ok that we say we will stay where we are, but W3C review will surface the question and we need a reasonable answer and be ready to articulate

Bill Kasdorf: Is there a way to do that without making the current xhtml model invalid? If we use HTML5 model, what are the implications for the other things in the spec, like epub:type - need to enumerate these

Ivan Herman: xhtml5 is a valid format on the web today. any epub3 using that remains valid.

Matt Garrish: if epub navigation document doesn’t change we can add html. what about testing framework and plan? do we need that to go to CR?

Dave Cramer: yes we need testing in place before CR

2. alternate ways of meeting

Dave Cramer: new topic: in our chairs meeting we were talking about how to help people participate in the WG
… should we have separate meeting for newbies?
… Q&A sessions?

Gregorio Pellegrino: intro to W3C would be useful; maybe we could record it for newcomers. could cover github, IRC, etc.

Tzviya Siegman: in the past we did some intro sessions and invited anyone but geared toward newcomers to the group. walked through working mode and overview of githup repo. Introduced the chairs and key people. opened it up for questions (lots about IRC).

Gregorio Pellegrino: I was at the tzviya introduction :)

Dave Cramer: is the general sense we should do intro sessions?

George Kerscher: we talked about a call for wider review of the spec, maybe we could welcome others first and then offer assistance and intro sessions. Perhaps through community group because anyone can join those.

Tzviya Siegman: gpellegrino was it helpful when you attended intro session?

Gregorio Pellegrino: yes it was helpful.

Ivan Herman: to reiterate what I said before, having separate topical course on specific issues would be helpful.

3. virtual page numbers

See github issue #1542.

Dave Cramer: this issue is about virtual page numbers. most reading systems make something up when they are absent. is lack of standardization a problem? location things in kindle are wack.

Gregorio Pellegrino: investigate how users with print disabilities as well as RS developers use the page list. How can we improve the user experience?

Hadrien Gardeur: page list is not very useful for RS developers. It’s a string so it’s problematic, so building UI off that is problematic. Best we can do is provide a list so you can jump to a page. Everyone invents their own system. Readium shows progress and “locations.”
… everyone has been doing their own thing for years so it will be difficult to try to move everyone to same approach. also shouldn’t rely on authoring.

Tzviya Siegman: what about pagebreak? publishers are using that and it goes hand in hand with pagelist

Hadrien Gardeur: you have to render the whole content behind the scenes. anytime you have to examine the content is problematic to do live. there is a complexity cost if you need to calculate.

George Kerscher: I did not envision this as something the RS had to do. I envisioned we would determine an algorithm and the pagelist in the nav doc would have the virtual page numbers.
… also have heard that bibliographic references and citations are more dependabple with page numbers, would like to afford the same with virtual page numbers but have it baked into the content and not rely on algorithms.

Charles: if we could provide publishers with a standalone tool to search for pagebreaks we could proved a pagelist for the nav doc.

Brady Duga: not sure how we would get something like this adopted. RS implement how they like, might be hard to dissuade. Also there would be processing issues.

Avneesh Singh: +1 to Brady. More suitable for best practices, not spec. Looking at spec made me think about non-western languages.
… we should try to minimize special processing. Imagine if a browser could open our spec. less burden put on RS the better.

Deborah Kaplan: avneesh++

Dave Cramer: print publishers should number paragraphs instead of pages, lol.

Ken Jones: problem is no markers in output from InDesign.

Dave Cramer: generating a PDF from marked up content and trying to port pagebreaks back to markup file is tricky.

George Kerscher: Word to EPUB tool does pretty well with page numbers. Want to incorporate data visualization for pagelist in the checker that flags inconsistencies or problems. Re: internationalization, not sure how that would work. Trying to bridge print to web publishing; this is one of those areas that help us bridge between analog and digital.

Ivan Herman: do we need a resolution that says the page numbering doesn’t need to be addressed in the spec, but rather somewhere else? Is this the direction we are headed?

Dave Cramer: This is a multifaceted issue that affects authoring and reading systems and tools. Not quite comfortable with a resolution at this time.

4. timezone changes

Dave Cramer: Don’t forget the US springs forward this weekend. After two weeks Europe will be back in sync with the US. However, our “East Asia Friendly” meetings are set to Japan time, ie, the meeting will stay the same for those meeting in Japan.