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

From: Bill McCoy <bmccoy@idpf.org>
Date: Tue, 8 Sep 2015 12:28:40 -0700
Message-ID: <CADMjS0Ya9QSvxc_X8Q0yAr=nt=GMKGFxx8EzGqRiEV002AwmqA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Liam Quin <liam@w3.org>
Cc: Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com>, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>, Olaf Drümmer <olaf@druemmer.com>, W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>, Deborah Kaplan <dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com>, Ralph Swick <swick@w3.org>, Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>
Just to pile on Liam's message, I think it's very helpful to test our
proposed definitions via specific examples (with good definitions it should
be clear into which buckets particular examples fit). One case I'm
wondering about is the distinction between Web apps that provide views of a
document, and the document itself.

For example consider
Is this itself a "Portable Web Document" or even a "Web document"?
Personally, I don't think so, I think of it as a Web app that presents a
particular user experience for a document, the resources comprising the
underlying document itself happen to exist at
 but I'm not sure it can be considered a Web document if it's hidden away.
Same case as a view of an EPUB or PDF file presented via a solution like
Safari Books Online or Google Play Books, which in some cases the
constituent resources (such as pre-rasterized images of the pages a PDF
file) may not even exist at publicly accessible URLs but only as records in
a back-end database.

Or, to twist one of Liam's examples around, suppose you have a wiki system
that does do automatic locale-based translation. If a user agent cached the
French-language content of a Wikipedia entry, it would be usable offline,
but would that cache be considered a "Portable Web Document"? Would the
original page (which requires active server intelligence to decide what to
serve the user) be considered a [Portable] Web Document?

Personally I feel that the fundamental point about portable documents
(whether "Web" or not) is that it is the content itself that we are
concerned with being portable/archivable/redistributable, not about
manifestations of that content being usable offline due to e.g. caching.


On Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 11:52 AM, Liam Quin <liam@w3.org> wrote:

> On 2015-09-08 09:31, Leonard Rosenthol wrote:
> A **Portable (Web) Document** is a Web Document that should provide a
>> graceful degradation when presented to the user even offline. A
>> Portable Web Document should also be able to adapt to the user's
>> needs.
> I haven't followed all of this thread, but maybe that's good since a
> definition should stand alone...
> How is that definition different from every other Web document?
> How do we test whether a document meets the definition?
> Examples that meet the definition:
> * a Web page that needs an android-only plugin but that works offline is
> portable by this definition, even though it's platform-specific
> * a Web page for an interactive scheduling system that degrades to an
> image of this month's calendar when used offline is portable
> * the project gutenberg electronic edition of encyclopaedia britannica in
> 11 volumes (maybe; see below)... although it might not fit on your portable
> device.
> Possible examples that don't meet the definition:
> * a wikipedia page has links that can't be followed
> * an ecommerce site such as ebay or amazon,where you can't buy
>   things when offline (or is that graceful?)
> * a text file that doesn't translate itself if the user needs to read it
> and doesn't speak the original language (i.e. what exactly is meant by
> adapting to a user's needs?)
> Liam
> --
> Liam Quin, W3C
> XML Activity Lead;
> Digital publishing; HTML Accessibility


Bill McCoy
Executive Director
International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF)
email: bmccoy@idpf.org
mobile: +1 206 353 0233
Received on Tuesday, 8 September 2015 19:29:08 UTC

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