EPUB 3 Working Group Telecon — Minutes

Date: 2023-02-10

See also the Agenda and the IRC Log


Present: Brady Duga, Wendy Reid, David Hall, Masakazu Kitahara, Rick Johnson, Matthew Chan, Gregorio Pellegrino, Avneesh Singh, Charles LaPierre, John Foliot, Dave Cramer

Regrets: Tzviya Siegman, Toshiaki Koike, Ivan Herman



Scribe(s): Matthew Chan


1. Update on publication process.

Wendy Reid: our PR transition got rejected because we had not made a new CR snapshot since May 2022.
… usual process is CR snapshot after substantive changes, which triggers wider review.
… we spoke with Phillipe yesterday, and all substantive changes in the last 8 months were because of wide review. Specifically security changes.
… which is why we didn’t make the snapshot.
… but they want proof of that.
… i’m in the process of asking for new reviews from TAG and PING.

John Foliot: and APA?.

Wendy Reid: nope, we got fresh ones from them in Feb. and from i18n.
… so we need to go into a new CR snapshot, which involves new 28 day review period, and 60 day patent-related wait.
… the current date structure is if we pub snapshot on 21st, barring required revision, we will transition to PR on apr 11th.
… will publish on may 16th.

Brady Duga: good thing we got that long charter extension.

Wendy Reid: yes, we’re extended until aug.
… we are going ahead with that process. Just making everyone aware of it..
… we may need to change the copyright statement related to some ongoing legal actions.

Bill Kasdorf: the 14 day period Overdrive had to appeal the related legal action may have just lapsed.

Wendy Reid: thankfully we don’t have to do anything for the snapshot.

2. Charter discussion.

Wendy Reid: while we are waiting on the publication process to proceed, there won’t be much to talk about aside from the Charter.
… usual process is that when your spec goes to Rec status, the WG transitions to a Maintenance WG.
… if anyone comes up with errata, or there is additional work that needs to be done, the Maint. WG will do it.
… we did the same thing in the 2 years following Audiobook spec.
… we still need to write a charter for the Maint. WG.
… there was a proposal that the Audiobooks Maint. WG charter expired, and that instead of having 2 Maint. WG running at the same time with overlap in membership, we wondered whether it would make sense to have a single Maint. WG that oversees epub, pub manifest, and audiobooks all together.
… Maint. WG only meets when something comes up. e.g. Audio books one met 2 times last year.
… most of the work is monitoring the github.
… and addressing issues that get raised.

Avneesh Singh: If possible we should name it as Publishing maintenance WG, instead of Publishing WG. It would give an option open to have a new Publishing WG for further development.

Bill Kasdorf: do we know where pub manifest is being used? what it is being used for?.
… i’ve been co-chairing NISO working group that is promulgating new standard that uses pub manifest as part of our spec.

Wendy Reid: unless someone announces they are using it, we don’t know.
… i’ve found out about implementations mostly by accident.
… i found out that Google uses Audiobook LPF format as one option for AI generated audiobooks.
… but no one said anything.

Bill Kasdorf: i brought it up because this seems to be another argument in favor of a consolidated maint WG.
… knowing that Audiobooks is being used and Pub Manifest is being used is related info.
… shouldn’t be silo’ed.

Charles LaPierre: +1 to Avneesh’s suggestion on the new name for the Maintenance WG.

Brady Duga: makes scheduling for TPAC easier too, just avoids the possibility of conflicting meeting times.

Wendy Reid: AvneeshSingh suggests calling it “Publishing Maintenance Working Group”. Sounds good to me..
… epub will not be a standard that accepts new changes. So maint will only be errata and editorial fixes..
… but other two do accept new changes.
… so the joint maint wg could work on new features.
… so we would have to make that clear in the charter.

Avneesh Singh: are the w3c staff okay with having this sort of dual purpose maint wg.

Wendy Reid: before i proposed this I did ask Phillipe and Ralph, and they said it was okay.
… the major argument was that there is just so much overlap in membership.

David Hall: i like the idea of combining them. More bandwidth for other things.

Wendy Reid: https://w3c.github.io/charter-drafts/charter-template.html.

Wendy Reid: https://www.w3.org/2020/12/epub3-wg-charter.html.

Wendy Reid: for reference, here is the template, and the current epub Charter.

Wendy Reid: https://www.w3.org/2020/11/audiobooks-wg-charter.html.

Wendy Reid: and this is maintenance Charter for Audiobooks.

David Hall: https://www.w3.org/TR/epub-33/#sec-pkg-metadata.

David Hall: we have a how to write an epub guide that we want to link to the actual spec. Suggested practices for linking to spec? What URL should we be using?.

Wendy Reid: i don’t believe the link will change. The one you provided will definitely not change. Doubt the anchors would change at this point.

David Hall: thanks!.

Wendy Reid: especially as we enter CR snapshot and PR. Barring comment about something we must change, we will not be touching the document at all.

3. NNEL (National Network for Equitable Library Services) Publishing A11y Summit.

Charles LaPierre: brief update on NNELs Publishing A11y Summit. We were looking at certification and metadata. Sustainability of a11y ecosystem for publishers. Marrakesh treaty.

Wendy Reid: it was pub on by NNEL (National Network for Equitable Library Services).
… goal was to bring all players in publishing industry together to talk about born accessible publishing.
… Canadian based/Canadian govt funded, but we’ve had international guests over the years.
… biggest take away was that industry has made massive strides in producing front and backlist a11y content, but does a11y metadata appear in retail streams?.
… where is this info being surfaced? (Aside from a couple notable implementations like Redshelf and VST).
… big questions about Marrakesh Treaty and what it means for copyright.
… and the sustainability of the a11y publishing ecosystem. In Canada, it is partly funded by the fed. govt. and those grants are ending next year. As far as we’ve heard there are no plans to continue past 2024, so how do we keep the momentum going?.
… how do we keep it going elsewhere (e.g. EAA).

Bill Kasdorf: our general perception is that a11y metadata exists, but that its not being used in retail channels. To our retails in the call, do you have metrics about the epubs that are coming in to you, what percent have a11y metadata?.

Wendy Reid: we have quite a bit (don’t know exact number).
… any GCA certified pub would have it.

Bill Kasdorf: its not optimism that people are supplying a11y metadata, its the truth.

David Hall: i imagine i could check it. If i’m allowed to share our stats I will.

Wendy Reid: an interesting point that came up during the summit, was platform validation of a11y metadata.
… we getting a lot of a11y metadata, but we don’t have good way to validate those claims about WCAG standard compliance, a11y features etc..
… some people are manually checking.
… certification helps with that.

Gregorio Pellegrino: a11y TF of publishing wg was discussing this. Maybe in publishing cg we will work on best practices for retailers, libraries, etc. on this topic.

Bill Kasdorf: for retailers, just provide it with a disclaimer saying “the following are the publisher’s assertions about a11y”.

Wendy Reid: but at the end of the day the RS has to take on the burden of customer feedback, etc. etc..

Matthew Chan: [on Zoom screen].

Charles LaPierre: its a bar graph, showing month over month improvement in epubs ingested with a11y data. Starts small, but grows to about 30-40%.

Wendy Reid: okay thanks everyone for your feedback today.