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

From: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2015 17:54:48 +0200
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>
Message-Id: <84A426A2-1A8C-4245-8E3C-92DC0A66B6B4@w3.org>
To: Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com>

> On 04 Sep 2015, at 17:52 , Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com> wrote:
> 
> Accessibility is NOT the same as adaptability.  Also, don’t confuse the ability to be to accessible with the actual accessibility.
> 
> So I would agree that the format(s) used to represent a Portable Web Document should enable accessibility.  But I don’t agree that all Portable Web Documents are required to be accessible.
> 

I agree the required vs. enabling; this is what I meant, actually. So re-phrasing what I wrote

"the document should also include enough information to enable graceful adaptation to the user"

Ivan


> Leonard
> 
> 
> 
> On 9/4/15, 11:42 AM, "Ivan Herman" <ivan@w3.org> wrote:
> 
>> 
>>> On 04 Sep 2015, at 17:22 , Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com> wrote:
>>> 
>>>> **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 can live with that.
>>> 
>>> 
>>>> 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.
>>>> 
>>> No, I don’t think adapting to the user is a requirement of the format.  It is certainly a “best practice” but it may not make sense in all cases.  For example, consider a Fixed Layout EPUB - that doesn’t adapt to the user’s device, yet I would expect we would consider that one example of a Portable Web Document.
>>> 
>> 
>> Hm. I am not sure I agree. I believe the format has to provide the means to do that although with possible constraints. Accessibility issues should still be valid for Fixed Layout EPUB. HTML, CSS, etc, are formats, but they all have this requirement deeply built into the format (witness all the accessibility related features, the way CSS is defined to adapt itself on different screen sizes, etc). I believe this is an essential feature of Web documents…
>> 
>> Ivan
>> 
>> 
>>> 
>>> Leonard
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On 9/4/15, 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
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>> 
>> 
>> ----
>> 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
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 


----
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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