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Re: [Glossary] Definition of a portable document (and other things...)

From: Deborah Kaplan <dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com>
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2015 10:38:52 -0400
Message-ID: <CANSiVPYtKzvSz-Xa-Yyhhz1SZQDL=ompr_KDGGKo+3UgTSL66Q@mail.gmail.com>
To: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
Cc: W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>, Ralph Swick <swick@w3.org>, Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>, Bill McCoy <bmccoy@idpf.org>
Are we comfortable with how *general* this is as a definition for a
document?  What do we mean by a "set"? By this definition, my personal
website is a document. And, depending on how you define "set", could also
construed to mean, say, a collection of 32 unrelated pages on the MIT

Does a set need to be editorial constructed to be a standalone type of
object in order to be a document?

On Fri, Sep 4, 2015 at 10:29 AM, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org> wrote:

> > On 04 Sep 2015, at 16:09 , Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com> wrote:
> >
> > Thanks for bringing this back up, Ivan.
> >
> > Your suggestion for Portable Web Document has some interesting tidbits,
> but I’d like to tweak it a bit…
> >
> > **Portable Web Document** is a specific collection of uniquely
> identifiable resources that can be accessed either online or offline.
> >
> > Now, let me explain why I made the changes I did.
> >
> > First, degradation is a feature of a reader/viewer and not of a file
> format.
> Hm. That is of course true.
> > So we can’t talk about that in the definition of the format itself.
> > Second, I thought online/offline, being terms that we use elsewhere fit
> better than “active server infrastructure”.
> > And finally, since we don’t define “portable” anywhere else (at least
> not yet), we can’t really use it in this definition.  (remember what they
> taught you in school - you can’t define a word with itself).
> >
> I agree with that… although, at least in mathematics, such recursive
> definitions are not unusual. But even in those, I agree, we must start
> somewhere… I guess we can leave that transitivity part aside for now.
> I think the problem I have with the removal of the degradation is that
> your definition suggests the document is exactly identical whether online
> or offline, whereas we agreed on the thread that this may not be the case
> while still keeping the same document (the font case, for example).
> What about:
> **Portable Web Document** is a uniquely identifiable set of resources that
> can be accessed either online or offline, and that provides enough
> information to ensure a graceful degradation when presented to the user
> even if offline.
> (I am not sure about the term "information" although, in the general
> sense, it is probably o.k.)
> Re-reading this I also miss another 'user facing' feature that is not in
> any of these definitions. I think the graceful degradation is a matter of
> not loosing things if something is not around (again, the font example is a
> good one), but I wonder whether we should not include another issue to the
> definition, namely that the document should also include enough information
> to gracefully *adapt* to the user. What I mean is: adapt to the users'
> device (format, resolution, etc), to the user's possible accessibility
> issues, etc. I think we should also make it part of the definition.
> Ivan
> >
> > The other terms in the glossary page look like a good start as well on
> other things we need to define and agree on.
> >
> > Leonard
> >
> >
> >
> > On 9/4/15, 9:54 AM, "Ivan Herman" <ivan@w3.org> wrote:
> >
> >> Dear all
> >>
> >> A few weeks ago Leonard started a long thread[1] on the necessity to
> properly define, ie, have some sort of a glossary entry, for some of the
> terms we use or will be using. (Leonard's mail[2] was only on the term
> "Portable Document" but his concerns are, I guess, more general.) This
> issue came up recently on one of our telcos, too.
> >>
> >> There are a number of terms that I believe we do have to define at
> least for our own work. I have put some (as agreed on the call) on a wiki
> page[2]; I am sure there are more. For each of those terms I think we had,
> in the past, a certain level of fuzziness in what we said and maybe wrote;
> maybe we should begin this new era of the new charter to clarify our own
> thoughts...
> >>
> >> I think the fundamental term we have to start with is indeed the
> concept Portable/Web Document that Leonard hit through the EPUB+WEB paper;
> so maybe we could decide first on a definition that we can all live with as
> a basis. Indeed, we also have to answer a fundamental question: why is
> digital publishing, portable documents, etc, different than just putting a
> page up on the Web?
> >>
> >> I have gone through the thread[1]. It have actually copy/pasted some
> extracts at the end of this mail (after my signature...) which I found
> important at least for myself.
> >>
> >> The thread almost concluded with BillM putting forward a definition
> in[4] but Leonard disagreed with it [5]. To move forward, let me offer
> modified version of Bill's definition as follows (I also put it on the wiki
> page[3], just as a placeholder!):
> >>
> >> [[[
> >> **Portable Web Document** is a uniquely identifiable set of resources
> that together provide a graceful degradation when presented to the user
> even if an active server infrastructure is not available. All components of
> a portable document should themselves be portable.
> >> ]]]
> >>
> >> There was an agreement on the thread that the notion of portable
> document has some fuzziness; hence the term 'graceful degradation'. I think
> this reflects some of the arguments: e.g., a font being on the Web
> (Leonard's example) may not create a problem if it is a choice between two
> latin fonts, but may become one when it is a special font for some very
> special character sets. The document should be considered as 'portable' in
> the former case but shouldn't in the latter. I have also added the
> reference to the identity; I believe it is very important that the
> particular collection of resources should be have togetherness that can be
> identified.
> >>
> >> WDYT?
> >>
> >> Ivan
> >>
> >> [1] http://w3.org/brief/NDYy
> >> [2]
> http://www.w3.org/mid/C3B52A44-551D-428F-90BF-90E8F00682B9@adobe.com;list=public-digipub-ig
> >> [3] https://www.w3.org/dpub/IG/wiki/Glossary
> >> [4]
> http://www.w3.org/mid/CADMjS0bNRY4=McXrKgB9rSaf%252BbpgF2-CfPswcLNo57nEfq1soA@mail.gmail.com;list=public-digipub-ig
> >> [5]
> http://www.w3.org/mid/CB60B578-959E-4D4C-9D77-A30085E26F6F@adobe.com;list=public-digipub-ig
> >>
> >>
> >> ----
> >> 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
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> To me what fundamentally distinguishes portable documents from
> arbitrary websites is solely that portable documents "promise" a reliable
> consumption experience without respect of any particular server
> infrastructure and, especially, without such server infrastructure
> providing interactivity. (BillM)
> >>
> >> [...]it is reasonable to consider the publication complete[...] 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. (BillK)
> >>
> >> [...] 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. (BillK)
> >>
> >> 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" (BillK)
> >>
> >> [...] I think that a fully portable document/publication should be
> expected to have the transitive property of portability. That is to say,
> all its components (like quizzes) should themselves be portable. The less
> this is true the less we can consider the overall publication to be a
> portable document and the more it is a website (BillM)
> >>
> >>
> ----
> 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
Received on Friday, 4 September 2015 14:39:21 UTC

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