W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-digipub-ig@w3.org > September 2015

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

From: Bill McCoy <bmccoy@idpf.org>
Date: Tue, 8 Sep 2015 13:41:12 -0700
Message-ID: <CADMjS0Y=wCLdzPttNjL732MPLhH=wM+G2c2nvXkNDJJR+ugz=Q@mail.gmail.com>
To: Deborah Kaplan <dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com>
Cc: Liam Quin <liam@w3.org>, W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
Deborah your examples and analysis were very helpful but also crystallized
for me that I think "curated" (if implying any human involvement) is not
really properly part of the definition.

A computer program to me can validly produce anything we consider a
"Portable Web Document". For example a realization of my monthly bank
statement will be a document, but it is not curated by a human.

If an online calendar is simply a UX over a database then I don't consider
it a "document" (whether or not the calendar entries have been curated).
But if the calendar system can produce a PDF representation of the
calendar, that would be a portable document (but not a "portable *web*

Similarly if you search on Google for "influenza" the results on the left
(the search results) are in no way a "web document" (IMO), the sidebar on
the right (with navigation via tabs) could be considered a "web document"
but is not a "portable web document" - and whether it's truly a web
document could be debated. The PDF that is generated is certainly a
portable document (but not a portable "web" document, as I understand that
term). But whether the content of the sidebar was in the first place
human-curated or machine generated via semantic processing to me is not
decisive as to whether it should be considered a "web document", and
certainly not as to whether the PDF should be considered a "portable
document". In fact I don't know the answer. So thus "document-ness", at
least to me, has nothing directly to do with human curation.


On Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 1:14 PM, Deborah Kaplan <
dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com> wrote:

> Short version:
> 0. I agree with Liam's concerns about the definition of "portable"
> 1. I am happy with the definition of web document and the inclusion of
> "curated"
> 2. But it is not going to need caveats/footnotes/further explanation in a
> full glossary
> 3. At a minimum, for the purposes of digital publishing, we need to make
> it clear that we are not using document to mean the same thing as the
> technical term that the component of "Document Object Model" -- or any of
> the other technical definitions used in W3 projects!
> http://www.w3.org/2003/glossary/alpha/D/80
> Based on the above, and using the changes between the RDF 1999 glossary
> versus RDF 2013 glossary (which I go into more detail about below), I
> propose:
> A **Web Document** is a uniquely identifiable and curated set of
> interrelated Web resources which is identified as a single document by the
> curator. - A Web Document *should* be constructed of resources whose
> formats enable (individually or in conjunction with other resources in the
> same Web Document) delivery of essential content and functionality.
> - A Web Document *should* provide a gracefully degrading experience when
> delivered via a variety of technologies.
> - A Web Document *should* provide accessible access to content and follow
> WCAG. ("Must," if I ran the world, but alas.)
> - A Web Document is *not* an object with a precise technical meaning, e.g.
> it is not equivalent to an HTML Document.
> A **Portable Resource** is a set of digital resources which, taken in
> conjunction as a package, contain all of the information necessary to
> provide delivery of essential content and functionality without the
> presence of any other digital content.
> A **Portable Web Document** is a Web Document which contains within it all
> of the information necessary to provide delivery of essential content and
> functionality without the presence of any other digital content.
> Definition of essential, stolen straight from WCAG 2.0:  "Essential: if
> removed, would fundamentally change the information or functionality of the
> content."
> Definition of functionality, stolen straight from WCAG 2.0:
> "Functionality: processes and outcomes achievable through user action"
> Long version below has my justifications for this definition:
> Liam's questions bring me back to the essential limitations we need to
> acknowledge when we are creating a legalistic glossary for a philosophical,
> abstract concept.
> I believe, Liam, that your question is with the fine tuning of "portable",
> but your examples also point out the problem with "document."
> The 1st part of Ivan's phrasing:
> 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.
> Liam asks:
> 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:
> [Snip]
> * a Web page for an interactive scheduling system that degrades to an
>> image of this month's calendar when used offline is portable
> [Snip]
> You could argue that the webpage for an interactive scheduling system
> counts as curated. And under certain circumstances, that webpage might be
> something its curator constitutes as "a document." Certainly calendars are
> sometimes documents, and certainly documents are sometimes interactive. But
> a interactive calendar scheduling system is not necessarily going to be a
> document, and to a certain extent that has nothing to do with the
> technology, content, or presentation -- it has more to do with intent.
> I think the term "curated" that Ivan has added to the definition is
> enough, and I'm not proposing that we actually change the definition around
> this. But I know that a lot of W3 documents have glossaries which define
> terms which end up having a very specific legal or technical meaning, and I
> think it's going to be important for our glossary to identify that this is
> a case where you can't 100% pin down the definition of what a document is.
> I looked in the W3C Glossary and Dictionary to see if I could find
> anything else equally vague, and most of the equivalent terms are from very
> old documents which have in preempted: WCAG 1.0 has a similarly
> difficult-to-define usage for "equivalent", the ancient Web services
> glossary Had a vague definition for "attribute," the ancient RDF spec tries
> to describe "resource" kind of beautifully:
>     "An abstract object that represents either a physical object such as a
> person or a book or a conceptual object such as a color or the class of
> things that have colors. Web pages are usually considered to be physical
> objects, but the distinction between physical and conceptual or abstract
> objects is not important to RDF. A resource can also be a component of a
> larger object; for example, a resource can represent a specific person's
> left hand or a specific paragraph out of a document. As used in this
> specification, the term resource refers to the whole of an object if the
> URI does not contain a fragment (anchor) id or to the specific subunit
> named by the fragment or anchor id."
> http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/REC-rdf-syntax-19990222/#glossary
> by contrast, the 2013 RDF glossary simply says:
>     "In an RDF context, a resource can be anything that an RDF graph
> describes. A resource can be addressed by a Unified Resource Identifier
> (URI). See also Resource Description Framework (RDF) 1.1 Concepts and
> Abstract Syntax [RDF11-CONCEPTS] "
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2013/NOTE-ld-glossary-20130627/#resource
> The details about the difference between abstract concept versus physical
> items are now in the mentioned Concept and Abstract Syntax guide:
> http://www.w3.org/TR/rdf11-concepts/#resources-and-statements
> -Deborah


Bill McCoy
Executive Director
International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF)
email: bmccoy@idpf.org
mobile: +1 206 353 0233
Received on Tuesday, 8 September 2015 20:41:41 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 19:36:12 UTC