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[pwg] The Unicorn and the Workhorse

From: Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken <tsiegman@wiley.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2018 15:25:27 +0000
To: W3C Publishing Working Group <public-publ-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <SN1PR0201MB161540D09D93276230A100EED5B30@SN1PR0201MB1615.namprd02.prod.outlook.com>
Hi All,


Based on some discussions Ivan, Garth, and I have had offline with some members of the group, it is clear to us that we need to be explicit about the approach that the PWG is taking with spec writing at this stage. We need to produce a specification that is not just academically and ideologically excellent (a unicorn) but is practical and implementable (workhorse) as well. Who will implement the specs we produce? Who will provide the content for the platforms that support it? We have seen great success in the world of EPUB, and we have much to learn from its successes and its shortcomings. It is fun to write specifications that fulfill dreams of ideal Web design, but if publishers cannot be swayed to provide content in the format we create, then all will be for naught.


EPUB has been widely accepted as an interchange and rendering format for books (yes, mostly books). It is accessible, easy to use (not necessarily author), and it is widely implemented. EPUB has its shortcomings as well. This WG must keep in mind the influence of EPUB, knowing its warts and its halos.



So where to next?


High level goal:

  *   Thorough cleanup of EPUB to be web-compatible a la BFF
  *   Make sure that anything that can be done on the Web can be done on EPUB


Approach:

Normative work

  *   Ensure that most of the features and capabilities of EPUB are incorporated into WP/PWP/EPUB4. This is not the same thing as backward compatibility, nor does it mean that we are duplicating EPUB on the Web. It will be functionally compatible.
  *   Assess how to improve EPUB for the Web, making use of today's Web and principles such as those outlined in the Extensible Web Manifesto<https://github.com/extensibleweb/manifesto>. We will work on using existing Web technologies when applicable, but only when they fit our use cases.
  *   Identify approach for processing a WP (lifecycle of the document, potentially relying on WAM)
  *   Distinguish packaging from content in spec prose

Non-normative work

  *   Explore the use cases (https://w3c.github.io/dpub-pwp-ucr/) that influence our group and ensure that they are reflected in our specifications.
  *   Identify what is required of browsers
  *   Possibly create groups (CG? WICG) for feature development on Web

This gives something to talk about on Monday.
Agenda to come.
Tzviya

Tzviya Siegman
Information Standards Lead
Wiley
201-748-6884
tsiegman@wiley.com<mailto:tsiegman@wiley.com>
Received on Friday, 13 April 2018 15:26:00 UTC

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