Publishing Working Group Telco — Minutes

Date: 2018-05-07

See also the Agenda and the IRC Log


Present: Wolfgang Schindler, Deborah Kaplan, Murata Makoto, Avneesh Singh, Tzviya Siegman, George Kerscher, Ric Wright, Dave Cramer, Romain Deltour, Jeff Buehler, Nick Ruffilo, Jun Gamou, Franco Alvarado, Ben Schroeter, Wendy Reid, Tim Cole, Lillian Sullam, Ivan Herman, Rachel Comerford, Peter Krautzberger, Chris Maden, Derek Jackson, Joshua Pyle, Hadrien Gardeur, Bill Kasdorf, Gregorio Pellegrino, Garth Conboy, Benjamin Young, Michael Goodman, David Stroup

Regrets: Luc Audrain, Laurent Le Meur, Vladimir Levantovsky, Adam Sisco, Jasmine Mulliken, Heather Flanagan, Matt Garrish


Chair: Tzviya Siegman

Scribe(s): Rachel Comerford


ben-dugas: ben-dugas has joined #pwg

Note: This meeting is cancelled for next week (AC meeting, chairs and staff contacts are there)

1. New members?

Tzviya Siegman:

Tzviya Siegman: no new members

2. Minutes from last week?

Dave Cramer: approved

Tzviya Siegman: approved

Resolution #1: last week’s minutes approved

3. Use Cases

Joshua Pyle: The decision we took was that NickRuffilo would focus on trade use cases and I would focus on scholarly

Nick Ruffilo: as Josh noted, I am taking care of trade and academic use cases - if anyone has experience in the academic space and can help me with use cases
… please volunteer
… academic in this case means education

Tzviya Siegman: existing use cases

Nick Ruffilo: focused around what is necessary and where those gaps are

Rachel Comerford: Franco and I volunteer on educational use cases

Joshua Pyle: I’ve read the use case documents and rather than approach it as a technical spec, I approached it as a scholarly publisher
… I thought about what we needed in order to make these web publications
… every publisher wants to ensure fidelity and usage
… there are no use cases where publishers track usage of their product… if you made a Venn diagram of fidelity (publishing scientific record accurately), controlling the content, and usage
… web publishing is at the center of these things
… publishing fidelity has been the job of pdfs forever

George Kerscher: Or if there was no PDF it would look a lot different.

Joshua Pyle: there would be no scholarly publishing on the web if it weren’t for pdf 20 years ago because it looked the same making it acceptable to librarians
… there were also no use cases for layout/print fidelity
… is this the right place for that?
… scholarly publishers don’t want another pdf
… because it looks like we’re creating another venue for piracy
… we want to maintain the control of html and the publishing fidelity of pdf
… while the rest of the world shares links, in our industry (scholarly publishing) shares actual documents
… should we consider pwp as more of a requirement that it be packable rather than requiring the package format
… can we prune the package requirements to focus on platform requirements etc?

Tzviya Siegman: that last question is something josh and I talked about last week - are we getting bogged down in the PWP details?

George Kerscher: in the use cases do we want to consider professors who are authoring web publications and sending to the publisher or adding to their own LMS

Tzviya Siegman: exactly how broad wpub is will be tackled by bigbluehat

Ivan Herman: thank you… this is the type of conversation we should have had early on
… the issue of print fidelity seems less important today than it used to be
… there are many fewer printed journals than previously
… I just returned from a conference where there is an html publication which is very different from the pdf

Joshua Pyle: +1 offlining

Ivan Herman: from the scholarly publishing POV, what we call “offlining” is much more important than what we call packaging

Bill Kasdorf: +1 to offlining more important than packaging

Ivan Herman: offlining doesn’t mean I want to have it permanently but that I want to be able to read that when I am not online

Benjamin Young: I wanted to mention, which are use cases but also what happens when things fail (as well as what happens when things work)
… it would be great to see these potential fails, apocalyptic scenarios, or “bad actor” use cases documented

Dave Cramer: the question of fidelity is “fidelity to what?” is it the print version which is sometimes a predecessor to digital
… that is out of scope for this working group

Dave Cramer: … Fidelity to the vision of the author!

Deborah Kaplan: a lot of broad assertions are being made about things that are true in some but not all cases
… ie offlining vs packaging - the many generations of coursepacks in education
… there are cases which require both offline and packaging, others that require just one of the two
… I also absolutely think we’re bogged down in packaging details
… I think we need to step back from the technical details conversations where we spend weeks focusing on a single detail

George Kerscher: Perhaps this is purely the domain of CSS, but we want to make sure that our publications facilitate comprehension. A best practice set of CSS for your average author/professor is needed.

Tzviya Siegman: I want to emphasize that both offlining and packaging are important

Joshua Pyle: regarding fidelity - print fidelity is not what I meant even though I said it a few times. The requirements to find the print page numbers are baffling to me. What I really meant in terms of fidelity is faithful reproduction of the science—to do math, scientific formula well
… these aren’t available which is why we have to use so many plugins like mathjax
… if you can give me the formula for a molecule and a tool for rasterizing that is preferable to an image
… we need to reproduce the science for old and new users alike

Peter Krautzberger: there are literally a dozen solutions now.

Peter Krautzberger: seriously.

Deborah Kaplan: But you can ask me offline and I can explain why print page numbers (anyone who wants can ask me offline), and how they are in many Epubs but you won’t see them if you don’t have certain accessibility settings on.

Ivan Herman: +1 to Josh

Tim Cole: fidelity is also important in humanities, such as the appearance of poetry
… it’s also fidelity over time - will someone years from now have the same experience as today
… it speaks to archiving needs

Bill Kasdorf: a journals publication page numbers are going to have different requirements and needs - page numbers in the print journal, in the coursepack, and in the online version

Tzviya Siegman:

Tzviya Siegman: start watching this repository and add your issues

Bill Kasdorf: actually what I was pointing out was that there are three separate publications being discussed (not about page numbers): the journal article, the journal issue that contains that article, and the coursepack that contains that article. Three separate publications with separate use cases.

4. What is the Browsing Context of a Web Publication?

Benjamin Young:

Dave Cramer: definition: “A browsing context is an environment in which Document objects are presented to the user.”

Benjamin Young: we have been talking in terms of manifests and infosets about where stuff will happen
… where the web ideal for the appendix runs/exists etc
… on the web current web apps are currently dependent on a host of specs/browsing context
… when you request a url in your browser it creates a browsing context - the top level context
… when your browser responds in html it gives you the content that you want to look
… when you navigate it gives you what happens next
… the other spaces in which a browsing context can be created is an add on which has it’s own space and its own rules and is not defined by the browser
… it’s determined by another spec much earlier on
… there’s an in progress CG spec that has been in development for a long time for this
… so there is the web experience and the add on experience

Benjamin Young: as the web is built now the browsing context has a lot of prior art and specs for how content is acquisitioned, used, secured, made safe
… whereas an alternate browsing context needs these - how it is acquisitioned, used, secured, made safe
… the web is not as contained a container as the webpub is. 104 asks the question - do we continue with the web model or define a new thing which our spec mentioned in passing - do we need a web publication context. It’s no small fete to establish this.

Ivan Herman: if we decide to go our own way with publication context, we will have to define loads of things which require loads of specifications in areas we may not be familiar, right?

Benjamin Young: the only existing one is the add-on which does not cover the full range

Dave Cramer: there is language - a manifest is applied to a top level browsing context. A top level browsing context with a manifest applied to it is a top-level manifest.

Dave Cramer: “A manifest is applied to a top-level browsing context, meaning that the members of the manifest are affecting the presentation or behavior of a browsing context.”

Dave Cramer: “A top-level browsing context that has a manifest applied to it is referred to as an application context. “

Hadrien Gardeur: in terms of scoping, in terms of what’s in and out for a webpub, we have a different approach than webapps
… we have to be careful in how we talk about this in that it affects our whole infoset

Dave Cramer: if I perform a navigation in a web publication the use has to check against the manifest to determine how to handle the URL

Hadrien Gardeur: this is nothing new in terms of reading systems

Tzviya Siegman: this is what we wanted to depart from in reading systems. This method of checking against a list of items and then checking against the URL is what we want to depart from

Joshua Pyle: +1 tzviya

Hadrien Gardeur: if you’re saying this is problematic, then it is also problematic in web app manifest

Ivan Herman: to be very specific, let’s say I have a web publication and I have solved the personalization issue (ie background color) I would find the link and as a result I go to another place and my background has not stayed as I set it within my personalized interface
… I think this is what is being said - certain effects are varied only for the URL
… the user interface will be defined by the location of the experience

Benjamin Young: a webapp that you load in your browser and do not install in your homescreen will not change your experience but your personalization will not be lost. If you use a webapp manifest to install to your homescreen, you now have a separate running space as defined within the scope
… in that sense, it feels you’ve moved into a book
… the value of webapp manifest is maintaining that personalized experience
… in the case of a webapp and webapp manifest, there is a well documented experience profile for… ??

Hadrien Gardeur: nope

Ivan Herman: we should focus on that which we really have to care about… I have no problem if someone picks up a webpub and does something on the homescreen with it or if someone picks something up from browser and does the same - it can look different and I am okay with that. I’m not sure this is up for us to define

George Kerscher: if the navigation that I call omnipresent (the toc) is the only inside the publication and anything not in the TOC is outside the publication then we have a scope

Ivan Herman: (GTM abruptly ended the call:-( Discussion to be continues on GitHub, e.g.,on Issue 104)

5. Resolutions