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

From: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 7 Sep 2015 16:48:33 +0200
Cc: Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com>, Deborah Kaplan <dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com>, Ralph Swick <swick@w3.org>, Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>, Bill McCoy <bmccoy@idpf.org>
Message-Id: <E51A8C8A-FD5B-4BB3-B7EA-38B94AC4736F@w3.org>
To: W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
Hi everybody,

I make use of the fact that some of you enjoy the Labor day long week-end in trying to find an equilibrium point in the (great) discussion. I did not want to answer individual mails; instead, here are some general comments that came up in the thread and that I find important to pin down:

- We should remember *why* we need this definition: because we must be able to be clear what we are working on. Ie, the question we must be able to answer is: "why is digital publishing, portable documents, etc, different than just putting a page up on the Web?". This is not an imaginary question: I have faced this question already in the past few weeks. And a vague answer is not enough, we must justify our own work.

- We should separate between what an *instance* of a document offers and what is made available, as possibilties, by the constituent formats. While we may be able to make restrictions on the latter, it is much more difficult to do so for the former.

- As a followup to the previous point, we should avoid being overly strict and dismissing instances too strictly. Referring back to Buckland (as quoted by Deborah) we need to be pragmatic here. The choice I'd make, in a true W3C fashion:-), is to use 'SHOULD' in the definitions when needed, which is not the same as MUST. (Although I have the impression that Deborah would have required a MUST...)

- It seems that the original definition of a "Portable (Web) Document" was lumping together two different notions, namely a "Web Document" and a "Portable (Web) Document". These are two different things, and it makes sense separating these. Leonard and Deborah did arrive to this conclusion but, from a different point of view, Peter raised something similar.

So... as some sort of summary and a new starting point for further discussions (Nick, I hope this helps) here is my current proposal for the discussion:

A **Web Document** is a uniquely identifiable and curated set of interrelated Web resources. A Web Document should be constructed of resources whose formats enable (individually or in conjunction with other resources in the same Web Document) a graceful adaptation to the users' needs.

A **Portable (Web) Document** is a Web Document that has enough information to ensure a graceful degradation when presented to the user even offline. A Portable Web Document should also include enough information for a graceful adaptation to the user's needs.

Let the second chapter of the discussion begin...


P.S. Deborah, I have added the emphasis on "Web" resource, because we are really talking about the Web. Sorry, this makes your monkey out of the picture:-)

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 14:48:49 UTC

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