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

From: Olaf Drümmer <olaf@druemmer.com>
Date: Tue, 8 Sep 2015 22:05:36 +0200
Cc: Olaf Drümmer <olaf@druemmer.com>, Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com>, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>, W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>, Deborah Kaplan <dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com>, Ralph Swick <swick@w3.org>, Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>, Bill McCoy <bmccoy@idpf.org>
Message-Id: <5EF00514-13AB-4A4A-85C2-B4B4A95ECE21@druemmer.com>
To: Liam Quin <liam@w3.org>
On 8 Sep 2015, at 20:52, Liam Quin <liam@w3.org> wrote:

> How is that definition different from every other Web document?
> How do we test whether a document meets the definition?

I always tend to think of portable ABC [substitute ABC with something to your liking to get your own feel about it] in the way that I can carry it around, use it any place I want, possibly put in my cupboard for a day or a year and retrieve it again thereafter for using it again, give it to friends, … Portable music cassette player. Portable camera. Portable TV. Portable lamp. Portable PC. Portable oven. Portable phone. Portable fire extinguisher. Portable chair. Portable launchers of anti-aircraft missile systems.

If you look at the first portable radios, well, given today's standards, they were actually not very portable - but still… - they were portable.

Now thinking of documents, content, …: 

Isn't they main point about an 'intention'? An intention to craft them such that they are more likely than not useful from a portability point of view? So it isn't actually so much about whether one can prove a certain document or piece of content is "absolutely portable", but rather about having been crafted such that an intended audience would consider it to be portable [can be used anywhere, independent of stationary power supplies, not too heavy for carrying, not fixed to a building, …] in a suitable fashion?

Grabbing an obvious example - PDF. PDF had been designed with portability in mind, Nonetheless, one can create well formed PDFs whose portability might be limited because a font was not embedded - and some audiences may have that font locally installed anyway (making it a non-issue), whereas others (or users 50 years from now) do not. 

So - if I may - I would propose a definition along the lines of 

Portable Web Document:
an identifiable content resource intended for use independent of any specific infrastructure

Received on Tuesday, 8 September 2015 20:06:19 UTC

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