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

From: Bill McCoy <bmccoy@idpf.org>
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 2015 09:10:13 -0700
Message-ID: <CADMjS0asE_RdGwW-nxA_Agj9Th89UD_2m5FGbbDA3uAkE8MiXg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
Cc: W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>, Deborah Kaplan <dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com>, Liam Quin <liam@w3.org>, Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com>, Ralph Swick <swick@w3.org>, Olaf Drümmer <olaf@druemmer.com>
Ivan,

I support your revised definition.

I think there is still something missing re: what Leonard and I were, it
seems, agreeing on (!) wrt checksums ... that there is a very high degree
of specificity of a particular Portable [Web] Document (which is implicitly
provided for PDF and EPUB by the packaging enclosure).

Basically from your latest definition I would only add to "Portable Web
Document" definition that the "*format(s) of all of its constituent Web
Resources are finite and enumerable*" or something to that effect.
Basically if the formats of resources are dynamic, then the result (to me)
cannot be considered "portable" , because to me "delivery of essential
content and functionality" is squishy, and too low a bar for archival and
multi-channel distribution use cases. Portability to me is essentially
*mechanical* - it means you can move stuff from place to place, server to
server, server to client, client to server, archive it offline, etc.

And this arguably supports Deborah's suggestion to separately define
"Portable Web Resource" - but in my model, that would be any Web Resource
whose format(s) are finite and enumerable. I.e.  almost the same as
"static" content (although the representations could be produced by a
server-side program, for example retrieved from a CMS DB, since they are
finite and enumerable that server-side program is by definition not
essential). Then "Portable Web Document" is just a "Web Document" comprised
of "Portable Web Resources", nothing else need be said (the graceful
degradation part is just a logical consequence).

I just don't see why a "Portable Web Document" should be less precisely
specified than a "Portable Document" that is not Web-based, and clearly
these (in both PDF and EPUB forms, really in any packaged format) offer
that stronger guarantee.

But maybe I'm in the minority on this, if so, again I support your revised
definition as an improvement. If the group does want to bless a squishier
definition of "Portable Web Document" then I perhaps we could also choose a
term to define what I am talking about - something more precisely nailed
down. I'm just not sure why we need both.

--Bill



On Wed, Sep 9, 2015 at 5:43 AM, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org> wrote:

> Hi everybody,
>
> I again try to play the role providing summaries:-) The fact that I am on
> the other side of the pond compared to most of you means that I get a whole
> lot of emails in the morning, so I can do it...
>
> As before, I will try to come up with my synthesis for the next round of
> discussions. I started with Deborah's proposal[1] which seems to summarize
> many points up to that point. Let me give my slightly different version,
> and give my comments below. I am a little bit bothered that this definition
> becomes way longer than what I summarized last time[2], but maybe this is
> just the nature of the beast...
>
> Here it is:
>
> [[[
> * A **Web Resource** is a digital resource that can be uniquely addressed
> by a Unified Resource Identifier (URI), and whose content can be accessed
> through standard protocols like HTTP, FTP, etc.
>
> * **Essential content** of a Web Resource: if removed, would fundamentally
> change the information or functionality of the content.
>
> * **Functionality** related to a Web Resource: processes and outcomes
> achievable through user action.
>
> * A **Web Document** is a Web Resource which itself is a collated set of
> interrelated Web Resources and which is intended to be seen as a single Web
> Resource
> * 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 when delivered
> via a variety of technologies or delivery platforms.
> * A Web Document *should* provide a gracefully degrading experience when
> delivered via a variety of technologies or delivery platforms.
> * A Web Document *should* provide accessible access to content.
> * A Web Document is *not* an object with a precise technical meaning,
> e.g., it is not equivalent to an HTML Document.
>
> * A **Portable Web Document** is a Web Document which contains, within its
> constituent set, the information necessary to provide delivery of essential
> content and functionality, or a graceful degradation thereof, without the
> presence of any other Web Resources.
> ]]]
>
> And here are my comments on a number of points, a bit in an unorderly
> manner:
>
> * I agree with Leonard's comment on [1] that an explicit reference to WCAG
> is not appropriate in a definition. There may be resources that the WCAG
> does not address, it may be a moving target with different versions, and we
> try to keep away from specific technologies anyway.
>
> * I also agree with Leonard that the 'graceful degradation' aspect at
> delivery of a portable resource is essential and we should not remove it
> from the definitions. In fact, it may be considered to be in [1] (looking
> at the term of essential content and functionality) but it does not harm to
> make it explicit.
>
> * The reason why RDF1.1 (that Deborah referred to) has greatly reduced the
> complexity of its definition of a resource was, if I remember well, pure
> pragmatism. From an RDF point of view the fact that it has a unique
> identifier in terms of a URI is all that counts. Any attempt to give a more
> precise meaning may (ehem, does...) lead to an infinite amount of
> discussions. I think this pragmatism is a good idea here, too. Actually, I
> tried to restrict the terminology even further by referring to Web
> resources; in the RDF model, *anything* can be a resource (including
> natural persons like Ivan Herman), and we should not go there imho. On the
> other hand, having a definition for what we mean by a resource sounded like
> a good idea, so I added that.
>
> * There is a major discussion coming up later: a URI is not necessarily a
> URL. It may be a of course a URL, but can also be a URN, which then
> includes DOI-s, ISBN-s, etc. This will require a much finer set of
> definitions (or find them in the literature) because, obviously, DOI-s or
> ISBN should be usable to identify a Web Document. The list of terms on the
> initial glossary [3] includes the document identifier as a term to be
> defined. I would propose *not* to get into this particular discussion for
> now; it is on the list of the terms to define, but let us take one step at
> a time... (B.t.w., the checksum idea, raised by Bill & Leonard, may come
> back at that point.)
>
> * I was not sure about the choice among 'curate', 'collate', etc. I am
> sensitive to Bill's arguments, so I have taken 'collate'.
>
> * Maybe the biggest departure of Deborah's definition: I must admit I was
> not convinced by the necessity of having a separate definition of a
> 'Portable Resource'. I did not see what it brings us...
>
> * I added "delivery platforms"-s to the should-s, to make it clear that we
> also include, eg, different types of displays. I had the impression in the
> thread that we were too focussed on accessibility issues and we did not
> really consider other types of access problems. It may be unnecessary,
> though, I am sure someone will tell me:-)
>
> * The original text had: "identified as a single document by the curator."
> I was not sure about this formulation, and we also dropped 'curation'. I
> went back to one of Olaf's mail who emphasized the 'intention' of combining
> the resources into one Web Document instead. I think the intention is
> fairly similar, it just sounded better:-)
>
> * I hesitated between Deborah's proposal on "presence of any other digital
> content" and Olaf's "independent of any specific infrastructure". I stayed
> by the former because it seemed to be more generic...
>
> * I tried to use only the term "web resource' everywhere and not use the
> term digital content. Just to be consistent...
>
> Gonggg... Third round! :-)
>
> Ivan
>
>
> [1]
> http://www.w3.org/mid/alpine.WNT.2.00.1509081456590.5472@DKaplan.safarijv.com
> [2] http://www.w3.org/mid/E51A8C8A-FD5B-4BB3-B7EA-38B94AC4736F@w3.org
> [3] https://www.w3.org/dpub/IG/wiki/Glossary
>
>
>
> ----
> 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
>
>
>
>
>


-- 

Bill McCoy
Executive Director
International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF)
email: bmccoy@idpf.org
mobile: +1 206 353 0233
Received on Wednesday, 9 September 2015 16:10:45 UTC

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