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

From: Deborah Kaplan <dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2015 14:51:05 -0400
Message-ID: <CANSiVPbbtOaVAELGVT1Z51nG5cuOa2uz=DUaow+UJVGbGB0Nvw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Bill McCoy <whmccoy@gmail.com>
Cc: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>, Bill McCoy <bmccoy@idpf.org>, Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com>, W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>, Liam Quin <liam@w3.org>, Ralph Swick <swick@w3.org>, Olaf Drümmer <olaf@druemmer.com>
This is an attempt to simplify the conversation, moving away from specific
examples and technical terminology. If it just adds complexity, let's
pretend I didn't say anything. My basic summary as I think that Ivan's
earlier definition of "portable" is just fine. ;)

A Web Document consists of:

1. Content, that is
2. Encoded in some format

"Content" might mean text, captions, a video, a visualization, data, math,
musical notation, the smell of cloves in a mug of cider on a winter morning.

"Encoding format" might mean PDF, plaintext, HTML5, Epub, SubRip, AVIs,
OGGs, Flash, WMV, MathML, LaTeX, Sibelius, FragrenceML, etc.

Certain elements of a web document sit on a wobbly line between "content"
and "encoding format," such as fonts.

When a web document is *portable*, that means that the object being
described as portable:

* Given a toolset which can render all the encoding formats,
* But in the absence of any other web resources
* Can display its all of its essential content.

This is still wobbly, to be sure. For example, as Leonard has been pointing
out, caching is a thing. But I think -- staying away from the discussions
of specific technological caching solutions, which are relevant to defining
"portability," --  a web document which contains enough of its  remote
content cached to be displayed in the absence of other web resources is
portable *only with that cache*. That is to say, the "portable web
document" is the web document + cache. A web document that has the
potential to be cached but has *not* been is not portable; it has
non-portable dependencies.

But I think that this should resolve the questions of leaving it to
open-ended or too specific. Because we are not addressing specific
technologies, we can just say that any aggregate whose content is portable
is itself portable.

(Again, if this adds more confusion, let's pretend I didn't say anything.
I'm trying to synthesize, not add more chaos. I did enough of that in the
other thread.)

Received on Thursday, 10 September 2015 18:51:33 UTC

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