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Re: Handling WPs on the Web, was Re: Jotting down some discussion topics

From: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2016 04:51:00 +0100
Cc: Peter Krautzberger <peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org>, Michael Smith <mike@w3.org>, W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
Message-Id: <EB7D283D-4A37-4A5C-B058-535CC5B06593@w3.org>
To: Marcos Caceres <marcos@marcosc.com>

> On 21 Sep 2016, at 02:35, Marcos Caceres <marcos@marcosc.com> wrote:
> 
> From the notes:
> 
>> There is also an orthogonal issue that came up, which may be more related to how a WP would
>> be handled on the Web. If, in abstract, we talk about a WP Processor, most probably implemented
>> on top of Service Workers, what is the processing model.
> 
> I'll note that talking about a  WP Processor might be premature. We've
> not shown that a WP is not just a collection of web pages (i.e., there
> might not be any additional processing involved on the side of the
> browser, or we can't just talk about "user agent").

Because we do not know (and considering the alternatives below), I did find using a separate term (at least for now) clearer; in practice the term 'user agent' (whether this is precise or not) is still associated withe the browser and the browser only for many. I would prefer to avoid a possible confusion.


> 
>> Is a WP:
>> 
>> 1. A separate application relying on a browser engine (but with its own chrome)
> 
> Hopefully not.

:-) Personally, I agree, as I note below, but it is a valid alternative… Let alone the fact that if it is combined with possible unpacking, that is what happens today with all EPUB readers.

> 
>> 2. Some sort of an extension or add-on (I am not sure what exactly is the right term these
>> days, and we have to explore that) relying on a browser, but re-using the browser chrome.
> 
> Creating a plugin (or, better, using something like Electron) might be
> a good start. It's still a browser tho.
> 
>> Ie, if I have, say, a hypothes.is annotation extension added to my browser, I should be
>> able to use it when consuming a WP
> 
> It would be very sad if hypothes.is doesn't become, or is not already,
> a web service. Are they involved in this effort?

I am not sure what you mean by web service: they do have a server and corresponding service on the web, but to make use of it you have to run some javascript on the client. This can be done by using a bookmarklet, or the server of the content can include it in the content.

They are not (yet) directly involved.

> 
> Having a chrome only extension is, meh. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
> 
>> 3. There is no WP, in fact, because the browser does it all.
> 
> As representing a browser vendor (Mozilla), I'm super bias - but it
> would be very sad if the users of the web didn't benefit from this
> effort. So yes, we would want the browser to do it all and we should
> fight really really hard to make sure browsers do it all for the
> benefit of all:)

:-)

> 
>> (My personal feeling is that No. 1 is of course possible but not very interesting (this
>> is what current ebook readers do already, nothing new there). The ideal thing would be
>> No. 3, but that may be considered as a long-term goal; different browser vendors may have
>> different interest and they may decide that a WP is not a "fundamental" feature that should
>> be on the Web. I guess No. 2 is the realistic model that we should have.)
> 
> For an IG, yes: a good proof of concept could work ala 2.

We are on the same page!

> However,
> there is a lot of overlap between this effort and other efforts
> underway at the w3c - efforts I'd like to point out go beyond the
> requirements that this group has jotted down in really really exciting
> ways (e.g., web manifest, wake lock API, network information API, web
> share API, the whole suite of service workers background sync +
> "foreign fetch", etc.) - and this effort's requirements can directly
> motivate and inform decisions in those other efforts. So, we might be
> able to prototype the future much more quickly and directly by getting
> bits that meet the requirements piecemeal into browsers (and we might
> not even need to lift a finger a lot of the time).

Absolutely. If and when we begin to draft some sort of a WG charter in this direction, we will have to look into all this, and I would appreciate your help when the time comes! We will absolutely need the contacts and information like that when the time comes…

The planning for the coming months include a thorough re-write of the separate PWP document, in light of these discussions, and these should all be looked at…

Thanks!

Cheers

Ivan



> 
> Kind regards,
> Marcos


----
Ivan Herman, W3C
Digital Publishing Lead
Home: http://www.w3.org/People/Ivan/
mobile: +31-641044153
ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0782-2704





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