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A white paper on EPuB vis-a-vis Web - A possible future of Publishing

From: Akshat Joshi <akshatj@cdac.in>
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2015 11:50:26 +0530
To: public-india-timezone-dpub-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <55C9942A.6020107@cdac.in>
Hi All,

Sharing a good white paper from DPuB Interest Group, delineating the 
vision for future digital publishing and the standardization path it is 
eventually set to take.
Link: http://w3c.github.io/epubweb/

Reproducing some of the extracts from the paper for giving you an idea 
about the same. Your comments are welcome.

/*Our Vision*//
//Our vision for EPUB+WEB is that portable documents become fully native 
citizens of the Open Web Platform. In this vision, the current format- 
and workflow-level separation between offline/portable (EPUB) and online 
(Web) document publishing is diminished to zero. These are merely two 
dynamic manifestations of the same publication: content authored with 
online use as the primary mode can easily be saved by the user for 
offline reading in portable document form. Content authored primarily 
for use as a portable document can be put online, without any need for 
refactoring the content. Publishers can choose to utilize either or both 
of these publishing modes, and users can choose either or both of these 
consumption modes. Essential features flow seamlessly between online and 
offline modes; examples include cross-references, user annotations, 
access to online databases, as well as licensing and rights management.//
//
//*Why work on this now?*//
//EPUB can be considered to be at a tipping point. EPUB has been broadly 
adopted globally for trade ebooks, and is starting to gain adoption 
among textbook publishers as well as corporate marketing departments. 
However, EPUB has largely been seen as an “offline” format up until now. 
Various browser extensions supporting EPUB exist (Readium in Chrome, 
EPUB in Firefox, et al.). Other solutions exist for delivering EPUB 
files in browsers (Readium-Cloud, EPUB.js, Safari Books Online, et al.). 
Browser- and cloud-based solutions require relatively complex server 
and/or client software. In many cases browser- and cloud-based solutions 
depend on a proprietary transformation of the packaged EPUB files into 
formats more suitable to network delivery. A focused effort to make EPUB 
a first-class Open web Platform citizen will result in significant 
reduction in the complexity of deploying EPUB content into browsers for 
both online and offline consumption. Further, this focused effort will 
increase the momentum of EPUB and associated web adoption across 
communities who are looking for an open, non-proprietary, 
next-generation portable document format.//
//
//The broader Web Platform can also be considered to be at a tipping 
point. Mobile platform web site use is diminishing in favor of native 
applications. Hybrid applications that use web content alongside native 
application technology, and web-technology-based system applications are 
growing. The specific means of delivering hybrid and 
web-technology-based system applications is currently proprietary to 
specific applications frameworks and/or browser platforms. The point of 
EPUB+WEB is to increase problem solving momentum in package, metadata, 
and offline support applicable to both portable documents and installed 
applications. Open and native solutions to replace proprietary 
packaging, metadata, and offline support are intended to ensure the 
broadest possible general adoption of the Open Web Platform.//
//
//In many respect, the convergence is already happening. In a number of 
areas (e.g., educational publications, travel books, etc.) publishers 
already exploit the advanced possibilities of EPUB3 to produce highly 
interactive documents whose features are very close to what one is used 
to on the Web.//
//
//*(Benefits for) Publishers*//
//Book publishers are investing in the development of technical 
expertise in web technologies. While gaining understanding of technical 
topics is important to new and future publishing workflows, the lack of 
communication between the trade publishers and web application developer 
communities is resulting in unnecessary duplication and investments in 
effort.//
//
//Collaboration between the web content development and publishing 
communities will result in major benefits to publishers. Adopting a 
universal and interoperable format means publishers can concentrate on 
engaging content authors in the production of high quality content. The 
web content development community can be relied on to deal with 
sophisticated technical issues (e.g., CSS, SVG). Potential future web 
content formats (e.g., 3D rendering) and various interactive web 
programs (e.g., visualization tools like D3) will naturally flow into 
the publishing realm through EPUB+WEB, hence increasing publishers' 
opportunities to sell new content products across the board.//
//
//Realizing new opportunities is a reality for publishers traditionally 
considered to be on the leading edge of technological advances in 
working with content. These publishers include STM and educational 
publishing houses, as well as scholarly and journal publishing 
organizations (see the section on scholarly publishing in this document).//
//
//A converged platform will support more tools and services and a much 
larger population of trained practitioners compared to the current state 
of working in parallel universes.//
/

-- 
Regards,
Akshat Joshi
W3C India
C-DAC GIST


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Received on Tuesday, 11 August 2015 06:18:49 UTC

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