EPUB 3 Working Group Telco — Minutes

Date: 2022-08-26

See also the Agenda and the IRC Log


Present: Ivan Herman, Masakazu Kitahara, Avneesh Singh, Matthew Chan, Wendy Reid, Charles LaPierre, Dave Cramer, John Foliot, Brady Duga

Regrets: Toshiaki Koike, Matt Garrish


Chair: Dave Cramer

Scribe(s): Matthew Chan


1. Deprecate embedded audio or video as targets for Media Overlay <text> references.

See github issue epub-specs#2397.

See github pull request epub-specs#2402.

Ivan Herman: See Description of the issue background.

Ivan Herman: on a high level, what you can do with MO is associate a piece of time-stamped audio with a piece of text.
… it is used in a bunch of a11y situations.
… it is pretty well specified.
… based on the tests I have made so far it is well implemented too.
… however the specifications also try to allow association of an audio clip with a video (or several videos).
… now you have two time related media side-by-side.
… for that to work, the spec needs to define what is happening, considering that videos themselves often have UI controls themselves.
… the spec tries to make some sense of this use-case, but this is really underspecified.
… also, even for the cases which are relatively clear, we haven’t found any implementations.
… so we have a complicated case, underspecified in spec, and not implemented.
… in side conversation with Avneesh, we did not find any important proper use case in a11y area.
… the tests I created were trying to take a video and add a piece of background audio. But this is an artificial use case, as adding background audio to a video can be done much more easily in editing software rather than via MO.
… so this lead to suggestion that we should just deprecate this type of video/audio MO from spec.
… Marisa, mgarrish, and I opened #2397 to discuss.
… based on this Marisa created PR #2402.
… but we wanted to discuss with WG first.

Dave Cramer: the fact that we don’t have implementations of this weighs heavily to me.
… reluctant to keep this in the spec for that reason.

John Foliot: is anyone aware of popcorn.js?.

Ivan Herman: is there any use-cases for this in the a11y area which requires this?.
… MO has been included in the spec primarily for a11y reasons, although it is useful for other things.

George Kerscher: i agree generally. Audio descriptions for the blind is implemented in TV as a second audio channel that can be turned on.
… don’t know the technology behind it (mixer behind the scenes that combines audio channels?).
… don’t know that we can break new ground here by adding that feature, but its something people would want.
… what happens with descriptive audio is that the on-screen action is described for the blind person.

John Foliot: http://ncamftp.wgbh.org/rd/hgp/hgp.html.

John Foliot: watch the example at: http://ncamftp.wgbh.org/rd/hgp/hgp.html.

John Foliot: there is a package called popcorn.js. Work done a while back by WGBH, where they were using this js library to use time-stamp markers to activate functions.
… this is a demonstrated use-case, but i’m not aware of anyone who has taken this and run with it.
… not sure that we need this in our spec, as long as we’re not frustrating the use of it in epub.

Avneesh Singh: this is removal of 9.3.2 from the RS spec. No one is blocking the creation of such MO files.
… say you have a video going on, and you need description for it, MO doesn’t seem like a good solution for this.

Ivan Herman: the largest part of the MO concentrates on associating audio track with text.
… this is not being touched.
… the section that is affected is “embedded-media overlays”, i.e. where HTML includes a video track.
… to what John said, if there are js libraries that can do things in a website, they can do it in an epub as well. No problem..
… what you described is a nice tool that can be used to get additional feature while a video is running. This can work in an epub as well.

Wendy Reid: agreed. I think we’re just removing something that is creating confusion/opening ourselves up to adding another unimplemented feature.
… i haven’t seen this in an epub or in any RS.
… description of video of visually impaired is not done via MO.
… RS would have to implement accessible media-player or epub would have to come with one, larger problem.

John Foliot: More info about accessible media requirements: https://www.w3.org/TR/media-accessibility-reqs/.

Ivan Herman: can we pass a resolution that once editors are ready, that we can merge PR #2402?.

Proposed resolution: Once the edits are finalized, merge PR 2402 and close issue 2397. (Wendy Reid)

Matthew Chan: +1.

Wendy Reid: +1.

Dave Cramer: +1.

GeorgeK: +1.

Ivan Herman: +1.

Brady Duga: +1.

Masakazu Kitahara: +1.

Avneesh Singh: +1.

John Foliot: +1.

Charles LaPierre: +1.

Resolution #1: Once the edits are finalized, merge PR 2402 and close issue 2397.

2. Changes to accessibility conformance identifiers and accessibilitySummary.

See github pull request epub-specs#2400.

See github pull request epub-specs#2401.

See github issue epub-specs#2399.

See github issue epub-specs#2398.

Avneesh Singh: the main issue here is how to handle accessibilitySummary.
… should it be mandatory, or only recommended?.
… we settled on recommended, and highlight the cases where you should definitely provide this data.
… this also requires a change in something else. People were using this field to explain a11y conformance.
… mgarrish suggested that we should make the conformance field more human-friendly.
… which means you don’t need to explain this in accessibilitySummary.

Dave Cramer: ak ch.

Avneesh Singh: so these are the two PRs.

Charles LaPierre: agreed. In addition, mgarrish also clarified that there should only be one accessibilitySummary, in the language of the epub.
… the accessibilitySummary is now recommended. It should include anything that is not captured in the other (machine readable) meta fields.
… not duplication.
… we will rewrite a11y best practices around how to display epub metadata to users.

George Kerscher: the EUAA will require the presentation of a11y data, so we feel that if the other fields that are currently machine readable can be communicated to users via best practices, then accessibilitySummary can just be for anything else.

John Foliot: what happens if the epub is in more than one language? Then what lang should accessibilitySummary be if there should only be one? Multiple languages in one?.

George Kerscher: there’s always a base language for the publication, so the accessibilitySummary would use that language..

John Foliot: the accessibilitySummary, as explained, is intended to be human readable. So screen readers should be able to read it. I should be able to use tools like language tagging, pronunciation markup, etc..
… so maybe that human readable summary should support multiple languages.

George Kerscher: the name summary is inaccurate. It’s not a summary of the whole document. It uses the term summary as a holdover from Schema.org.
… we would propose to reference the Schema.org description in the a11y best practices guide, to make this clear.

Avneesh Singh: a lot of the details which have been shared about a11y guidelines have been working in Publishing CG.

Ivan Herman: i’m looking at preview of the spec where description of accessibilitySummary does not make explicit reference to languages.

See github issue publ-a11y#94.

Ivan Herman: also accessibilitySummary is part of the package document, so you can repeat it in a different language?.

Wendy Reid: there’s a note in the PR about not repeating the accessibilitySummary.
… “do not repeat this property to declare translations…”.
… since there is no hierarchy, the RS might pick the wrong language.

Ivan Herman: it’s an xml document, so adding a language is technically possible.

Avneesh Singh: we’ve been discussing accessibilitySummary for a couple months now, JF has made good points but we are in CR now. We will defer these things to the next version rather than expanding our work on this currently.

Wendy Reid: any other questions re. accessibilitySummary? Changes to conformance identifiers?.

Proposed resolution: Merge PRs 2400 and 2401. (Wendy Reid)

Ivan Herman: +1.

Charles LaPierre: +1.

Wendy Reid: +1.

Matthew Chan: +1.

Avneesh Singh: +1.

Brady Duga: +1.

Masakazu Kitahara: +1.

Dave Cramer: +1.

Resolution #2: Merge PRs 2400 and 2401.

3. EPUBCheck and EPUB Accessibility 1.1.

Wendy Reid: shiestyle asked whether epubcheck would throw errors when epub accessibility is missing.

Avneesh Singh: it don’t think so, that is what ACE is for.

Dave Cramer: there is also the matter of that making lots of existing epubs invalid.

4. AOB?.

Avneesh Singh: we have a history of meeting with APA during TPAC.
… they contacted us.

Avneesh Singh: See details on the joint meeting.

Avneesh Singh: here is the link to meeting, it is the 15th in the morning.
… it is a mutual update meeting.
… agenda items available via the link.
… discussion of whether we need another horizontal review of a11y for epub 3.3.
… probably not though.

Ivan Herman: similarly with i18n, nothing major has happened recently.

Avneesh Singh: mgarrish suggested that maybe APA can just review our changelog to satisfy themselves that nothing major has happened that would require review.

Wendy Reid: okay, thanks everyone who has replied so far about if you are attending. It helps with planning..

George Kerscher: is there another place where we are supposed to be identifying where we will show up?.

Wendy Reid: no, just on the registration form.
… i was asking because i could see who had registered, just not whether they registered for in person or virtual.

Ivan Herman: the list i provided was for those who will be present in person.

Brady Duga: will the chairs be there?.

Wendy Reid: yes.
… if you are attending in person, please review stuff sent by the events team in regards to safety precautions.
… i will be sending TPAC agendas out today.
… see you all very soon!.

5. Resolutions