Publishing Working Group Telco — Minutes

Date: 2018-03-26

See also the Agenda and the IRC Log


Present: Wolfgang Schindler, Avneesh Singh, Adam Sisco, Evan Owens, Jeff Buehler, Tzviya Siegman, Ivan Herman, Romain Deltour, Ben Walters, Dave Cramer, Jun Gamou, Benjamin Young, Nick Ruffilo, Ben Dugas, Bill Kasdorf, Chris Maden, Toshiaki Koike, Peter Krautzberger, Deborah Kaplan, Mateus Teixeira, Rachel Comerford, Lillian Sullam, Luc Audrain, Joshua Pyle, George Kerscher, Garth Conboy, Hadrien Gardeur, Teenya Franklin, Tim Cole, Matt Garrish, Marisa DeMeglio, Charles LaPierre, Ben Schroeter, David Stroup

Regrets: George Kerscher, Ric Wright, Vladimir Levantovsky, Jasmine Mulliken


Chair: Tzviya Siegman

Scribe(s): Nick Ruffilo


Tzviya Siegman: Any new members?

Adam Sisco: i’m new on the call - I’m a representative of NASA / data sciences.

Tzviya Siegman: I hope you’ve looked at the newbie document - we have docs on how to get started and new member orientation. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

Tzviya Siegman:

Tzviya Siegman: Any comments on the minutes from last week? Approved

Resolution #1: Last minutes approved

1. EPUB3.2 update

Garth Conboy: Garth - I’m going to swap the agenda so that we can do the epub 3.2 update first, then you’re free.

Garth Conboy:

Dave Cramer: All the fun is on GitHub:

Garth Conboy: It’s a quick update. The short version is that epub 3.2 work is starting in earnest - officially - as a community group. The process that went on for that was the proposal relative to the technical aspects and justification. That was discussed as a framework taskforce of the publishing business group and a direction for doing an epub 3.2 - which is a recast of 3.1 to being fully backwards compatible. Thats the direction the business group wanted to see the working group to do. That is progressing.

Dave Cramer:

Garth Conboy: The document (link) I pasted is the blueprint. We’re off and running. The exact relevance to the publishing working group is unclear - but they’re going to get to a 4.0 some day. This is removing one incompatible step from the classic epub group and where we are. If there are questions, I’ll attempt to answer.

Tzviya Siegman: Comments?

Evan Owens: What is the likely time when finished?

Hadrien Gardeur: I was wondering - is there an expectation of a path between 3.2 and 4? I know we don’t know what epub 4 looks like. But, the infoset, the ability to convert? Anything?

Garth Conboy: I wouldn’t say ‘plan’ but the idea is to do 3.2 quickly to solve compatibility then a plan to ISO standardization and do the epubcheck. There is interest in the interest group - as we start defining epub 4 - a path from the classic epub world that is not that bumpy is a goal. If that means there is an epub 3.3 that is backwards and helps with forward, thats a possibility

Dave Cramer: As much as it would be lovely to have a clear path from 3.2 to 4 - our concerns are not driven by the future, but by the present, so I don’t think there is going to be much influence from web publications or concern about that to fit into the existing ecosystem.

Luc Audrain: +1 to Dave

Evan Owens: Is there a projection as to when 3.2 will be done and public?

Garth Conboy: We’re making good progress. My strong goal is to talk substantially about it by the publishing summit in May in Berlin. I wouldn’t claim that as done, and I don’t know the process to a Community Group Note - but measured in months and not years.

Evan Owens: Should we tell publishers late summer/next fall it can be implemented?

Dave Cramer: We’ll know more about timing over the course of the next few weeks. We have a CG call april 12th where we’ll talk more about the process and how much work is left. I’m trying to avoid overpromising here.

Tzviya Siegman: This is just an update. If you’re interested in the work, join the CG.

Hadrien Gardeur: I think it’s clear that this is a pragmatic update - epubcheck, and solving pressing problems with epub 3 in general - but I’m wondering for this group, if there will be any impact on our work for epub4? We know the infoset might be different from WP and PWP - making sure an extension might represent items in epub 3 but not yet in WP. I’m not sure we’ve discussed, but any gap between 3 and 4 should be discussed as early as possible even if we don’t have a clear view of what epub 4 is of yet.

Garth Conboy: Another point along those lines is that there will be little changes in the infoset. That is a thing that is known in epub3 land. Knowing how that extends into our manifest is important.

Bill Kasdorf: Just a quick comment - as to what to tell publishers. Another important message is that its OK to do 3.0.1

Ivan Herman: Back to Hadrien - I think it’s worth considering the epub metadata when we talk about WP and information items. We didn’t do that until now really, but when it comes up, thinking back of what was there—we know the format will be different, but conceptually we should try to get there. More specifically, this would be a good item for the face-to-face meeting on this issue. I think the F2F meeting agenda is still coming up today. Maybe it’s worth thinking about a short session on this.

Luc Audrain: Without epub check, there is no use of 3.2 We could say to publishers to support the effort of having epubcheck validate 3.2

Tzviya Siegman: Any other comments?

2. DPUB ARIA Errata

Tzviya Siegman: We’ve spoken about updating DPUB aria a few times, and when we ask people what they want to see, we’ve gotten no requests other then some basic errata changes.
… Matt will post a link to our very simple errata - some typos, code corrections, but from the point it doesn’t look like we’ll be doign any significant updates, so ARIA 1.1 will be simple errata. I have a feeling this wasn’t supposed to be on the agenda. Unless someone has comments, we’ll move on.

Matt Garrish: DPUB-ARIA issues: (note some are already closed)

3. Updates and deliverables prior to F2F

Tzviya Siegman: I see there’s a link to some github issues. This is relevant to the affordances TF. Romain and Benjamin if you can give a quick update on the WAM taskforce.

3.1. WAM Task Force

Ivan Herman: Minutes of separate meeting:

Benjamin Young:

Benjamin Young: We had a good first meeting. I have a project #3, which I can fish up a link - where we started sorting WAM related topics and trying to work them down to a set of tasks to pass on to the WAM spec task force. Some items are new in the pipeline. “Possibly” are things in the discussion face. Not sure who would be the ones to address each item. We are still discussing items and determining actions. Once we have something specific to ask to the WAM team, we will put together a group and propose the right requests. That way we are more organized and aren’t wasting our time with the group. “Handled elsewhere” are things usually handled by other specs or may be addressed by our spec, but are not going to become WAM requests. “Extract smaller issues” is bucket of issues that we can put into the list if need be.

Tzviya Siegman: Is there anything you need from the larger group?

Benjamin Young: We have an eye on the affordances group - we want to see if they identify anything that needs to be accepted. If there are implementors here, they might want to join the taskforce.

Tzviya Siegman: When is your next call?

Benjamin Young: Not yet scheduled, sometime after the first week of April. I would guess 2nd or 3rd week of April. At least 1 more before the F2F, possibly 2.

Ivan Herman: What is our timing for the taskforce and it’s output before the F2F. Having a call in 2-3 weeks is a pretty big gap… Since the telco we had, not much has happened.

Benjamin Young: a large majority of the TF was at a conference last week, so we’ll get back in the saddle this week. Do much more work on Github and email. I’m out in April, not sure Romain’s schedule, but we’re going to push forward.

Tzviya Siegman: We have a chair’s call this week and we’ll get a better idea where we’re headed.

3.2. Affordances Task Force

Ivan Herman: Minutes of separate meeting:

Mateus Teixeira:

Mateus Teixeira: We held our first call March 16th. It was a good meeting, productive. We went over the working document that Jasmine and I put together. We identified a few different work items with a deadline—March 31st. The first item of business - Zheng is looking at the template for how to classify an affordance. We are looking at all the issues we have on github and we want a system way to classify each affordance. I’ll follow up on that as I haven’t seen the progress yet. The other order of business is continue comment and review of the other affordances document. Anyone who wants to review and comment, please do so. The intent is to classify those according to the template in early april. Gather the technical requirements and working with Ivan and Matt to start drafting some part of the spec and have that going before the F2F. Beginning of april have the template. Through april, do that classification work, then in may do some writing for the F2F.
… We also need to set up a recurring call so that we can have a touchbase. We want to have a call every 2 weeks.

Ivan Herman: There was one discussion that did happen last week—Zheng and I went through what was an affordance. It would be worth looking at that.
… We cleaned up some issues and in #143, we discussed some meta-issues

Tzviya Siegman:

Mateus Teixeira: Any additional feedback would be great.

4. F2F meeting

Tzviya Siegman:

Tzviya Siegman:

Tzviya Siegman: Lets turn to logistics for a moment about the F2F. We have our face-to-face page on our website (link above). Thank you Wendy for information about the Hyatt. In our google doc there is information about discounted booking. The google doc has other info as well. If you have not already told us you were coming, please do so. We have a loose agenda, but suggestions for session topics

Nick Ruffilo: are welcome. What came up earlier today?

Ivan Herman: Relationship to epub 3

Tzviya Siegman: I’ve heard notice that booking is not available.

Ivan Herman: It worked for a while, as I made a booking.

Tzviya Siegman: but Romain is not able to now.
… If we just have these items, we have a pretty full agenda. Any topic could go on for a long time, but we’ll make sure things move on. If you want to propose post-event activities, please do.

Luc Audrain: +++

Ben Dugas: POUTINE

5. Conference reports

5.1. ebookcraft

Tzviya Siegman: What was interesting in toronto.. Anyone wish to speak?

Deborah Kaplan: I will say that a lot of people gave speeches about why people should join working groups. Lots of people are part of small publishers that are not members and likely cannot afford to become members. But there was lots of advertisements for the group.

Tzviya Siegman: I was on a call. There were lots of day-to-day workers and lots who were, and everyone wanted to get involved in standards. It was exciting to see.
… And lots of stuff about accessibility.

Ivan Herman: Anything that was said during the talks that has an immediate affect on the technical work we do?

Deborah Kaplan: I think lots of the talks were - us… A lot of the more - the edge of the talks that affect us are those who work with us already. One thing that came from the talks of those who are not involved is that people have a very adobe-focused workflow and they just want things to work or do what they expect. They are excited about ARIA, but they use adobe and they want things to work, or they use something different and the workflow is very simple. They were interested in what we had to say, but the talks/attendees were focused more on what their toolsets can do. What they really wanted were tools that did what we were telling them about.

Tzviya Siegman: I think people were really wowed when they saw a tool that would help them enter the accessibility metadata. Some things I learned about that I didn’t know was how SVG could be done for images and equations. I learned a bit about the details of accessibility that I didn’t know about… There was a big discussion about diversity..

Ivan Herman: In which dimension?

Tzviya Siegman: Women, People of Color, etc…

Ben Dugas: also diversity of material being published by big houses and the disconnect with their output and the audiences out there

Tzviya Siegman: Dave and jiminey blew our minds with some CSS tricks…

Dave Cramer: And how reading system’s hacky pagination ruin everything…

Deborah Kaplan: lee & Low did a great survey on diversity a few years ago (U.S. centric)

Ben Dugas: 1. seeing a lot of momentum on accessibilty, specs and implementation, seems much easier to get attention and effort for things internally (at Kobo) than it had been in the past

Tzviya Siegman: +1, bendugas

Ben Dugas: 2. for the F2F if anyone has suggestions for people at Kobo they want us to bring in let me know. There might be teams/people that would be interesting to you that I wouldn’t have thought of. Customer care, UX, Big Data etc. We don’t want to derail the event but want to take advantage of being able to provide access to people at Kobo.

Ben Dugas: 3. if anyone has general Toronto questions on how to make the most of their time let me know. I know the city pretty well at this point. Whatever your into I’ll have a suggestion or should be able to find someone else who does.

5.2. CSUN

George Kerscher: (talking about CSUN) It was a busy week. I heard more about how great epub was last week than I’ve ever heard before. We’re seeing changes in attitudes from disabled student’s offices about epub. we still hear that you have to ‘goto page’ and things like that. There was alot of buzz about authoring epub and how it can be done by professors - instead of PDF. Amy Mason did a session on evaluating the various tools out there. Didn’t look like there was anything that really made it easy for people to make epubs. That was a big discussion items. Plenty of work to do. Met with Amazon - they publically stated that reflowable epub as ingestion is terrific for them, we hope to work more with them on that. That’s an off-the-cuff summary.

Nick Ruffilo: Why is epub authoring difficult?

Charles LaPierre: Microsoft hear this loud and clear! They are looking into it :)

Tzviya Siegman: +1, bendugas

Nick Ruffilo: Why is epub authoring difficult?

Charles LaPierre: Microsoft hear this loud and clear! They are looking into it :)

Deborah Kaplan: Pandoc came up at ebookcraft as well

Deborah Kaplan: there was a presentation on it

George Kerscher: People want to go from word -> epub. Amazon has easy indie authoring from word. We’ve talked to Microsoft. There was a discussion of iBookAuthor. GoogleDocs (some critisism of the quality of the output). Pages was said to be pretty good. New licensing with ebook author. The desire to import an unprotected epub, adding descriptions and saving it again was something that was wanted. Sigil was mentioned, but it’s not accessible to blind people. There’s been a pretty good healthy discussion about the use of pandoc. It does a lot of the things you need to do. There was a little bit of an add… You would have to go into Sigil first… There was not a clean and easy mechanism to get there…

Charles LaPierre: Bloom is not creating accessible EPUBs yet but is on their radar, used in a number of 3rd world countries.

Nick Ruffilo: Bill - there are two sides: Authoring to epub, and converting to epub. the DSS offices are really unaware of epub. BISG has a taskforce that’s working on trying to address all of these problems. The tool to create it and remediate it are two different use cases

Tzviya Siegman: Anyone else at CSUN that wanted to comment?

Charles LaPierre: CSUN next year March 11-15

Tzviya Siegman: Choosing between ebookcraft and CSUN is always hard… OK - any other comments?

Peter Krautzberger: bye.

6. Resolutions