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RE: "Completeness" as a feature of a POW (aka EPUB+Web)??

From: Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 2015 19:27:47 +0000
To: Bill McCoy <whmccoy@gmail.com>, "Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken" <tsiegman@wiley.com>
CC: Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com>, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>, "W3C Digital Publishing IG" <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>, Bill McCoy <bmccoy@idpf.org>
Message-ID: <CO2PR06MB57204667EE219D94FF8F71DDF7D0@CO2PR06MB572.namprd06.prod.outlook.com>
We had also mentioned including "does not require a particular browser or browser cache" in the definition. Would that still be good to include?
--Bill ak

From: Bill McCoy [mailto:whmccoy@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2015 3:24 PM
To: Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken
Cc: Bill Kasdorf; Leonard Rosenthol; Ivan Herman; W3C Digital Publishing IG; Bill McCoy
Subject: Re: "Completeness" as a feature of a POW (aka EPUB+Web)??

proposed concrete definition:

portable (in Web context) means: does not require active server infrastructure.

or to state it another way, portable means that all programmatic elements are part of and execute in the context of the content ("code-on-demand" in Roy Fielding terms).


On Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 12:16 PM, Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken <tsiegman@wiley.com<mailto:tsiegman@wiley.com>> wrote:
As for the semantics, we should probably focus on what we mean by "portable," and not get quite so hung up on what we mean by "complete." That is verging very close to the argument about what "is"


Tzviya Siegman
Digital Book Standards & Capabilities Lead

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Kasdorf [mailto:bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com<mailto:bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>]
Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2015 3:00 PM
To: Leonard Rosenthol; Ivan Herman
Cc: W3C Digital Publishing IG; Bill McCoy
Subject: RE: "Completeness" as a feature of a POW (aka EPUB+Web)??

The example of the embedded quiz was not what I was considering "dynamic," in the sense of something that is potentially different every time it's accessed (and perhaps whose whole point is that _only_ the current-when-accessed version is what is intended). For the example of the quiz, I would argue that the _quiz itself_ doesn't change, but the answers provided by the student obviously do (ditto any grading provided by a widget). So I would consider the quiz, in that case, legitimately part of the publication, but the answers not to be.

Nevertheless, you have a good point, the portable publication may in fact go "fetch" the quiz, or something even simpler like a streaming video. So in those cases I would agree that the quiz or the video, though external resources, _should_ be considered part of the publication, and the publication not to be "complete" without it. I deliberately use quote marks because that appears to me to be the true edge case.

If the portable version of the publication contains the widget that provides the quiz, or if the video is embedded, then there isn't really a question.

What this is leading me to question is whether a publication needs to be "complete" in order to meet the EPUB+WEB vision in the sense of "identical in all three states (online, cached, portable)." This discussion is leading me to lean toward entertaining the notion that it's perfectly reasonable for "a publication" not to lose its identity just because some resources might need to be retrieved from the network. I realize that may strike folks as a major concession to the vision of EPUB+WEB, but I would point out that the alternative seems to make less intuitive sense. Particularly in education, there will be LOTS of cases where rich functionality is fetched from the network. (Ditto for magazines and news.) It does not seem reasonable to me not to still consider the portable version the same publication, as long as it has the appropriate links and fallbacks.

And I guess that gets me at least most of the way back to where I started, which would be to consider the publication complete as long as it contains the links to external resources. But there is definitely a gray area, which then comes down to when the resources are intrinsic to the publication and when they are  not.

It's going to be hard to draw a line here. . . . This is potentially one of those issues where we can get wrapped around the axle on the semantics without contributing anything very useful to the solution. I would not want to draw such a strict line on "completeness" that it would undermine the concept of a publication existing in online/cached/portable states, or that it would leave out huge classes of publications like rich textbooks, magazines, etc.

As for the semantics, we should probably focus on what we mean by "portable," and not get quite so hung up on what we mean by "complete." That is verging very close to the argument about what "is" is. ;-)

--Bill K

-----Original Message-----
From: Leonard Rosenthol [mailto:lrosenth@adobe.com<mailto:lrosenth@adobe.com>]
Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2015 2:30 PM
To: Bill Kasdorf; Ivan Herman
Cc: W3C Digital Publishing IG; Bill McCoy
Subject: Re: "Completeness" as a feature of a POW (aka EPUB+Web)??

I think the second case - dynamic content - is not as clear cut as you make it out to be, Bill.  It is very dependent on how that information is presented - or how much of the publication’s “content” is actually derived from that data.

Sure, if we are only talking about a single value on a page (such as a stock price or the current weather), not having it probably wouldn’t impact the understanding of the material or the consumption experience of the publication.  BUT consider something such as an embedded quiz in a textbook, where the questions themselves are coming in live…if they aren’t available (either live or cached) then the student can’t continue.


On 8/13/15, 11:38 AM, "Bill Kasdorf" <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com<mailto:bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>> wrote:

>Just a quick observation wrt Ivan's example of citations to external publications (my deliberate wording). The papers cited in a journal article (often scores and sometimes hundreds of them) are NOT part of "the publication," they are referenced by the publication. The citations are part of the publication; the cited resources are not.
>We need to be careful, in considering the concept of completeness, to distinguish between whether we are talking about "the publication itself" vs. "the publication and everything else it references."
>This also applies to dynamic content, e.g., a link that fetches up-to-date information (a stock price, the weather in Sydney, comments from other students in my class on what we're studying, etc.).
>In both of those cases, imo, it is reasonable to consider the
>publication complete (and, put the other way around, inappropriate to
>consider it incomplete) if those links/citations are present, even if
>they are not actionable at a given time (e.g., when the portable
>version of the publication is consumed offline), and whether or not the
>external content has been cached. This is _very_ important for
>publications like magazines and news publications. (Be careful to avoid
>reflexively thinking "books.")
>--Bill K
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Ivan Herman [mailto:ivan@w3.org<mailto:ivan@w3.org>]
>Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2015 12:55 AM
>To: Leonard Rosenthol
>Cc: W3C Digital Publishing IG; Bill McCoy
>Subject: Re: "Completeness" as a feature of a POW (aka EPUB+Web)??
>good catch, the formulation is indeed not clear. Obviously, there is a need for external link to various things; to take the area of academic publication as an example, such a publication may include references to other papers, it may include references to research data (that may be too large to be included in the document), etc, and it is essential to keep the hyperlink nature of those references. In this sense, "completeness" is not meant to be "fully self-contained".
>I think that Bill's answer[1]:
>"portable documents "promise" a reliable consumption experience without respect of any particular server infrastructure and, especially, without such server infrastructure providing interactivity."
>what I believe we all mean. I am not sure "idempotence"[2], proposed by
>Bill, is really the right term, but I do not have a better one at this
>point either:-(

>l [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idempotence

>> On 13 Aug 2015, at 02:31 , Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com<mailto:lrosenth@adobe.com>> wrote:
>> In rewriting the document about Portable Documents for the web (thanks for the suggestion & link, Tzviya), I can across the following paragraph:
>>> EPUB can be viewed as simply defining a specialization of Web content that assures that a collection of content items has the needed properties of completeness and logical structure, and does so in a standard way that other processing tools and services can reliably create, manipulate, and present such collections. This completeness constraint is key for bridging the current gap between an online and offline/portable view of the same content (see <a href="#whynow">section on usage patterns</a> below).
>> While not spelled out here or in the “section on usage patterns”, I am going to take the terminology of “completeness” to mean “fully self-contained” (aka no external references).  If it means something else, feel free to ignore what follows (but only after you correct me :).
>> In the current use cases for EPUB (books, magazines, etc.), the desire by the publisher to have everything contained inside the package is clearly key – just as that same property has been a tenant of the various PDF subset standards (PDF/A, PDF/X, etc.)  However, there also exists for PDF use cases where external references are a key aspect to the workflow – for example, external content or color profiles in a variable or transactional workflow (eg. PDF/VT).   As such, I would like to suggest that as a portable document for OWP, that there also needs to be a provision for external references in this POW (Portable Open Web) format.
>> I know that there have been discussions about this around EPUB in the past for large assets (eg. Video and audio), but I would put forth that the same principles could also be applied for other types of content as well.  Be it advertisements in a publication, current data sets in a STEM publication or even just a reference to the latest version of a common JS library used by the publication.
>> What do others think about this?   Is completeness/self-contained a requirement in a POW?
>> Thanks,
>> Leonard
>Ivan Herman, W3C
>Digital Publishing Activity Lead
>Home: http://www.w3.org/People/Ivan/
>mobile: +31-641044153<tel:%2B31-641044153>
>ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0782-2704

Received on Thursday, 13 August 2015 19:28:19 UTC

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