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Re: pagination features in web apps vs. browsers. (was: Re: [Meeting Summary] Meeting summary for 2015-08-31)

From: Johannes Wilm <johanneswilm@vivliostyle.com>
Date: Mon, 7 Sep 2015 13:36:23 +0200
Message-ID: <CABkgm-RM-wJ+1W5HuSy7g=q47g1aRDeJEwOvVWZZ8WHjszoDAw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
Cc: W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
On Mon, Sep 7, 2015 at 12:19 PM, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org> wrote:

> Hi Johannes,
>
> thanks for this, it is important to get the fact rights. I wonder whether
> it is worth completing the overall view on CSS/Houdini/Pagination on a
> blog, eg, as a comment or a followup on
>
>
> http://www.w3.org/blog/dpub/2015/09/01/dpub-ig-telco-2015-08-31-css-wg-meeting-charter/
>
> ie, the blog you refer to. Do you think you can do this (possibly together
> with the other CSS guys on the group)? Personally, I believe this would be
> great.
>
>
You mean the blog at w3.org? Sure. I'll be happy to do it together with
other CSS people as well.


> On 06 Sep 2015, at 10:56 , Johannes Wilm <johanneswilm@vivliostyle.com>
> wrote:
>
> Hey,
> I read the minutes of the meeting meeting.
>
>
> I don't think it's quite as negative as some seem to take it. It is true
> that browser vendors simply are not interested in most of these features,
> and that will not change no matter with hos much emphasis one makes clear
> that the publishers really would want this.
>
> But we are not very far away from getting the features we need to do good
>  pagination-related features entirely in JavaScript through the CSS Houdini
> group. Some seem to think that that is the end of talking about
> page-related features in the CSSWG. I think it's rather the other way
> round: Browser vendors may not want to discuss those features anymore, and
> they can go drink coffee meanwhile, but once JavaScript starts consuming
> CSS, the authors of JavaScript apps will want to discuss about
> standardization of the CSS features they implement. And the CSSWG may end
> up being the right place for that.
>
> However, it is true that even with Houdini, most of the features that are
> coming are thought up by browser developers, at times with just a
> rudimentary understanding of all the complexities of web apps. And most of
> those talking about web apps are thinking of things like speeding up
> jQuery, not things that are important for us.
>
> It would really help if some other groups besides us who do page-alike
> layout using CSS could show up at the CSSWG meetings and give their input
> on what technical features are needed. Else it can easily sound as if this
> is just something a few hackers at Vivliostyle came up with and noone else
> is interested in.
>
>
> I do not believe anybody would consider this to be features nobody is
> interested in:-)
>

Maybe not, but not of high priority. I'm thinking of the words used by one
of the browser representatives at the CSSWG F2F. He said something like
"You can put white rectangles there and float text between them and you can
call them pages or whatever you like, I don't care... and then I hope we
never again have to talk about this again". Some of the rhetoric there
seems to indicate that for some people, paginated media is a thing of the
past that will be entirely replaced by web browsers.


>
>
> I think Nick is right, that in the publishing industry very few want to do
> something others then can use for free. The browser world is different in
> that sense.
>
>
> Well, not all browsers release their code either:-) But the Readium
> consortium, if successful, may change things.
>

True. But 3 of 4 do. And the 4th one is the one losing market share most
quickly.


>
> But we cannot really ask browsers to please take over the task of creating
> a book display system if they aren't really interested in books at all. The
> publishing world just has to change to survive, and find a way to do it
> without having the browser vendors remove the their features the publishers
> need due to shifting priorities (as we saw with CSS Regions).
>
>
> I understand the first sentence; actually, we had a short discussion on
> the call on whether it is worthwhile and possible coming up (either in the
> IG, or Readium, or wherever) with some sort of a pagination software (in
> JS) that could be used as some sort of a reference and proof-of-concept
> code (that reading system my then speed up, optimize, whatever). And I
> would be interested to hear your reaction on that.
>
> However, I am not sure I understand your second sentence. Can you
> elaborate?
>


Yes, sorry, that was garbled. I meant to refer to the example of CSS
Regions, which was to a large extend driven and development paid for by
Adobe, a company very active in print and paginated media. CSS Regions were
very helpful in providing a way to create page-like entities that with the
help of some JavaScript could be used to create a simple page layout engine.

The problem was, as we know, that CSS Regions, ultimately collided with the
interests of Chrome/Google, who had other priorities for their browser.  So
although that was good attempt by Adobe, it seems we need to find other
ways of getting such features in ways that do not easily collide with the
interests of browser makers. Building on top of Houdini features that
should all be relatively resource friendly to browsers seems like a
promising way forward.

>
> Thanks!
>
> Ivan
>
>
>
>
>
> On Tue, Sep 1, 2015 at 9:28 AM, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org> wrote:
>
>> Meeting summary is here:
>>
>>
>> http://www.w3.org/blog/dpub/2015/09/01/dpub-ig-telco-2015-08-31-css-wg-meeting-charter/
>>
>> Ivan
>>
>> ----
>> 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
>
>
>
>
>
Received on Monday, 7 September 2015 11:36:58 UTC

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