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Re: Proposal: PDF alternative using HTML (ZIP/GZIP)

From: Bill McCoy <bmccoy@idpf.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2016 11:44:07 -0800
Message-ID: <CADMjS0Y=wQU9dTCV37kMFvSqu4RYcg9CVAT0vzYYzd26iMaw_Q@mail.gmail.com>
To: Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com>
Cc: Craig Francis <craig.francis@gmail.com>, W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>, Nick Ruffilo <nickruffilo@gmail.com>
Hi, this has been an interesting thread, sorry to chime in late but I
wanted to make a couple of points:

- With regards to "legal" documents, I think some of the discussion is
conflating "self-containedness" (/reliability) with visual fidelity. In an
N-screen world, with visual representation not the only way to communicate
information, the idea that a particular view of content is the *only* way
to represent normative information such as contracts, forms, etc. is pretty
archaic. Of course it's good to have the option to create "WYSIWYG"
documents and the Web does... fixed-layout EPUB 3 documents can use CSS
positioning, SVG, or bitmap images. And EPUB already has a multiple
renditions specification [1] so that you can combine fixed and reflowable
representations into a composite publication, including the means to map
between them.

- The core architecture of PDF is content "typeset at the factory" to
ensure a consistent visual representation. PDF evolved from PostScript  so
at core a PDF is a sequence of page images containing scalable vector
graphics, images, and precisely positioned glyphs. The Web analog is a PDF
file = an ordered sequence of SVG images (SVG having started life as an XML
mapping of the PDF spec). This makes PDF inherently not mobile-ready (in
terms of adjustment of content to different sized screens), not very
accessible, and not very semantically intelligible in various
machine-processing workflows. Computers can drive cars so clearly they can
reconstruct text and structure from visual information, but it's a
heuristic process. As Leonard indicates  it's possible in theory to create
accessible PDFs but since the logical structure features were grafted onto
PDF's sequence-of-page-images architecture years after the fact the result
is pretty awkward which is one reason that most PDF creation tools
(including many from Adobe) don't even attempt it at all, much less to the
level needed to meet WCAG 2.0 standards (it is nearly impossible to fund
PDF content that is actually conformant to the PDF/UA profile ). As well
the W3C WCAG guidelines were designed to work with Web Standards based
content, so don't map so well to PDF. After all if a sequence of SVG images
was good enough we could scrap HTML5 and just use SVG everywhere.

To me it's pretty clear that the evolutionary vector of EPUB/PWP to make
portable web publications truly first-class in the Open Web Platform will
need to encompass both reliable and packaged content (as per today's EPUB)
as well as unpackaged content (which PWP is exploring).  By no means should
we consider the PDF is better for legal documents or really any documents
than a truly Web-based solution. Of course that doesn't mean PDF will go
away but logically EPUB 3 already delivers (with reflowable and
fixed-layout content) a superset of the expressional capabilities of EPUB
and with PWP work we will take things even further and make things even
more Web-native.

But I do think we need to tease apart the key attributes and not conflate
"reliable" with "packaged" with "fixed-layout". Portable Web Publications
need to support all of these attributes even though individual instances
may choose which ones they fully deliver on. I would, with hesitation, even
add "accessible" to this list of separable attributes. I would like all
content in the next-generation portable document format to be accessible,
but as a broad-based part of OWP it's not clear that this is realistic to
set as  a baseline requirement (hence one thing IPDF is considering in
conjunction with our EPUB 3.1 revision is separating accessibility
requirements into a layered profile, separate from the base specification).

Regarding Nick's comment about whether we need "something that works
immediately". Ultimately browsers and operating systems will natively
support EPUB/PWP, as they already do PDF, so all that content will
certainly work "immediately", but I take the comment as whether a
"polyfill" is necessary. To me the "polyfilling"/"prolyfilling" content,
especially when that content is deployed live to the Web, must be a choice
the content publisher can make. It has to be an option as we can't assume
specialized user agents will always exist. But such programmatic polyfills
*must* be optional not mandatory. Cleanly separating content representation
from implementation mechanism is critical to ensure semantics aren't lost
in implementation, If we failed in that we would be worse than PDF, we
would be back to PostScript in which the content was only the side effect
of interpreting programs.

So by way of example, it must be possible to represent content that is
designed to be dynamically paginated without having to ship with it a JS
implementation to do that pagination, especially since in a number of use
cases whatever dynamic pagination that comes along with the content may not
be desired. But if content served up online wants to deliver a default
pagination implementation, it should be able to do so and have some
confidence that it will be utilized where it makes sense and not where it
doesn't. Not always an easy problem but the issue of when a polyfill
associated with content is used vs. an external native implementation is
not unique to publications. What we have to avoid is tying the content
itself to particular code expressions. It's great to design something that
will work really well with Service Workers. Not so good to make something
that requires JS code based on Service Workers, particularly for structured
content that needs to be machine-processed in a variety of ways.

And most of all I don't think we should even consider forking yet another
effort on something different. We already have a "PDF alternative using
HTML (ZIP/GZIP)", it's called EPUB, it's already widely utilized and is
expanding into new segments of content publishing, and with the PWP work
we're hopefully going to take that alternative much further towards full
convergence with OWP.

--Bill


[1] http://www.idpf.org/epub/renditions/multiple/





On Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 1:51 PM, Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com>
wrote:

> >I do feel that there is a need for a document format, as per my
> understanding of PWP, that has the ability to be updated (e.g. for
> publications).
> >But that is different to files that need to remain as atomic units, that
> remain isolated from everything else.
> >
> There is no requirement that a PWP needs to be updatable – that’s just one
> use case where it could.  At the same time, there are also clear use cases
> (such as your own) where the document/publication is “atomic” or “unique”
> and would never be modified.   And these criteria are also separate from
> others such as self-containment.
>
> Thanks for the info below – but I don’t see any advantage for HTML-based
> publications in those workflows.  You wouldn’t be leveraging anything
> specific to the Open Web Platform and its ecosystem.  PDF seems like a much
> better alternative.  (NOTE: a PDF can be 100% identically accessible to
> HTML – it just happens that authoring accessible HTML is easier than
> accessible PDF, but that’s a tool issue not a format issue)
>
> Leonard
>
> From: Craig Francis <craig.francis@gmail.com>
> Date: Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at 9:53 AM
> To: Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com>
> Cc: W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>, Ivan Herman <
> ivan@w3.org>, Nick Ruffilo <nickruffilo@gmail.com>
>
> Subject: Re: Proposal: PDF alternative using HTML (ZIP/GZIP)
>
> On 26 Jan 2016, at 12:47, Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com> wrote:
>
> PWP is designed to cover all of those use cases, as there are many uses
> for publishing content – as seen in the myriad of industries that have
> adopted PDF.
>
>
>
>
> Hi Leonard,
>
> You are probably right, and I'm just thinking about it from a programmers
> point of view (one who has to send reports).
>
> I do feel that there is a need for a document format, as per my
> understanding of PWP, that has the ability to be updated (e.g. for
> publications).
>
> But that is different to files that need to remain as atomic units, that
> remain isolated from everything else.
>
> We also need to think how these files are consumed. For example, if I send
> you an ePub file today, you will probably want to open and save it in an
> e-reader with other books. Whereas if the email contained a PDF file, it
> would be opened/read, but ultimately closed and not saved (where the email
> can be archived if it needs to be read again later).
>
> I might be going into too many specifics, but I have a few examples below
> if you're interested.
>
> Craig
>
>
>
>
>
>
> I work for a company that assess students with disabilities who are going
> to university.
>
> In the UK we have a couple of organisations, such as Student Finance
> England (SFE), who provide funding to those students, so they can the get
> the equipment or support they need.
>
> So the company I work for meet and do assessments for each student, get
> quotes from suppliers, and make recommendations as to what each student
> should have (e.g. a laptop, and note taking lessons).
>
> The report the assessor writes is currently sent to SFE as a PDF file,
> which introduces a few accessibility issues.
>
> Ideally I would instead create a HTML file, package that into a ZIP (to
> include some extra resources), and send it to SFE.
>
> But they will not open a HTML file due to the security implications (nor
> would any student who we send it to, assuming they know that the HTML file
> attachment can be opened in a web browser).
>
> Then, because SFE are so worried about the students private information,
> they actually use PGP (the zip kind) and I believe they open the PDF report
> on a computer that has extremely limited access to the internet (as in, can
> only send and receive email).
>
> So when PWP does becomes available, I doubt they will accept them,
> especially if they know that the report could be updated/changed in any way.
>
> SFE then send out a DSA2 file (which authorises the supplier to dispatch
> the items), and the supplier in turn raises an invoice for SFE to pay...
> neither of these (currently PDF) documents can be editable from a technical
> or legal point of view.
>
> Another example is the Terms and Conditions we send to the student. While
> this is a "living document" that is changed over time, the copy the student
> receives must remain the same for them.
>
> Or when we send some statistics to SFE for the number/type of assessments
> that were completed, even if we later find out that the type of one
> assessment was wrong, and is technically incorrect, that file still needs
> to record what was sent (plus a follow up report to show the corrected
> statistics).
>
> Then, with a couple of my other clients, there are still contracts that
> need to be signed, or invoices that are issued.
>
> All of these better fit the HTML+ ZIP proposal, which needs a very strict
> sandbox.
>
> Whereas with PWP that better suits:
>
> - A writer publishing a fictional story, which might contain typos to be
> corrected.
>
> - A newspaper which includes corrections, as more information is
> discovered.
>
> - An academic writing a paper, where the document can referred to by
> others by a URL.
>
> - An educational book that needs to be kept up to date with the latest
> information, and distributed from a central server.
>
> And as Nick has just pointed out, maybe these documents could have their
> own cookie store / local storage, allowing the document to record your
> notes and answers.
>
>
>
>
>
> On 26 Jan 2016, at 12:47, Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com> wrote:
>
> PWP is designed to cover all of those use cases, as there are many uses
> for publishing content – as seen in the myriad of industries that have
> adopted PDF.
>
> Leonard
>
> From: Craig Francis <craig.francis@gmail.com>
> Date: Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at 7:42 AM
> To: Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com>
> Subject: Re: Proposal: PDF alternative using HTML (ZIP/GZIP)
>
> Thanks for the clarification Leonard,
>
> I can certainly see the use cases for JavaScript, and glad to see you are
> considering them.
>
> Personally I would like to suggest not relying on warnings to the user (as
> they don't really understand what they mean), but I like that you are also
> considering restricting the JavaScript.
>
>
>
> Otherwise I think the proposed HTML+ZIP and PWP documents are similar
> (e.g. using HTML+CSS), but do have slight differences:
>
> PWP: Documents are kept up to date, where (temporary) offline copies can
> be made.
>
> PWP: Published from a central location, so references to it can be made
> (like saying book X from author Y).
>
> HTMl+ZIP: Copies of the document can be created, but once those copies are
> made, they remain as their own entity (typically for archival purposes).
>
> HTML+ZIP: Seen as read-only content (in as much as any computer document
> is read-only), representing a document or data at that point in time.
>
> Craig
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On 22 Jan 2016, at 19:42, Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com> wrote:
>
> Nick – you should be careful to separate the file format from the reader.
> You do it well for PWP and RS, but forgot for PDF.
>
> Yes, a PDF file can contain JavaScript which are documented (according to
> the spec) to run at specific times during the load and viewing of a PDF.
> This is exactly like what JS can do with HTML, which is then what would
> happen when packaged in a PWP.   Certain subsets of PDF restrict the
> presence of scripts entirely or in limited uses – just as EPUB currently
> does as an example of a PWP.
>
> However, there are ZERO requirements (or even recommendations) in the PDF
> standard about a “conforming reader” (the PDF term for a Reading System/RS)
> providing any type of warnings about the presence (or lack thereof) for
> JavaScript.    So any such UI that might exist in your PDF conforming
> reader of choice is that application’s decision.  Other conforming readers
> can/do things differently vis-a-vis JavaScript – including some (such as
> Apple’s Preview) that completely ignore it.
>
> As for JS in PWP – I think it’s much too early to make any specific
> statements about that. We know that some forms of PWP (such as EPUB x.x)
> might choose to restrict the JS, just as it does today – but that’s a
> specific case not the general one.   Same with sandboxing, I don’t see that
> as a PWP requirement but might well exist for certain specific cases and
> implementations.
>
> Leonard
>
> From: Nick Ruffilo <nickruffilo@gmail.com>
> Date: Friday, January 22, 2016 at 12:58 PM
> To: Craig Francis <craig.francis@gmail.com>
> Cc: Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com>, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>,
> W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
> Subject: Re: Proposal: PDF alternative using HTML (ZIP/GZIP)
>
> Craig,
>
> Lets nail down exactly why the PWP wouldn't work for that situation.
> Currently PDF does allow you some "scripting" but before it runs, the user
> is prompted: "this PDF has scripting, do you wish to turn it on"  Would
> something like that (the choice of the reading system) suffice?
>
> Additionally, it is my understanding that the HTML and Javascript would be
> in a sandbox environment, and have limited access (if any) to manipulate
> external files.  It would be the reading system's responsibility to feed
> any data that the PWP would require externally.  So the security issues
> then lay outside of the PWP itself, and more in the reading system -
> something that PWP could possibly address as a note to implementors...
>
> As a note - pretty much any MS Office file can have scripting in it, and
> can actually manipulate files on the filesystem (there are viruses written
> in word and excel).  Because of this, Microsoft warns you before you run a
> script in these formats.  This hasn't stopped business in any way (or IT)
> from trusting the storage and download of such files.
>
> My understanding is that even though the contents are HTML - this is not
> to be thought of as the "open web" but a package format that uses all of
> the open web technology.
>
> -Nick
>
> On Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 12:12 PM, Craig Francis <craig.francis@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> Hi Nick,
>>
>> Yes, I certainly like the ideas behind PWP, and I'm glad to see this is
>> happening.
>>
>> I just don't think it works for the original proposal, which is an
>> alternative to PDF's, having all the benefits of HTML, but still remaining
>> read-only files that can be emailed, and IT Departments can trust being on
>> their computers (ref the security restrictions that can applied).
>>
>> Craig
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On 21 Jan 2016, at 14:16, Nick Ruffilo <nickruffilo@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> Craig,
>>
>> To your point of PWP being a format that has an interaction with a server
>> - I don't disagree, but I think that's only 1 of the two main use cases for
>> PWP.  One of those cases is to be able to be a quality container for
>> ebooks.  Ebooks are expected to be read in an offline mode on devices that
>> may not have any connectivity to the internet.  In these cases, online is
>> simply not an option - therefore the PWP must work in a 100% offline mode.
>> The content creator ultimately has the choice to build their PWP the way
>> they see fit.
>>
>> I imagine a significant majority of PWPs created will be "offline"
>> assuming that popular word processors adopt it as a format.  Mainly because
>> of the business case you brought up - an employee generating an
>> offline-mode file for sharing and archival purposes.  But, there will be
>> many use cases where an updateable, benefiting-from-access-to-the-internet
>> document format is superior.
>>
>> -Nick
>>
>>
>>
>> On Thu, Jan 21, 2016 at 7:02 AM, Craig Francis <craig.francis@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Hi Nick,
>>>
>>> I'm glad to see that you're not trying to dilute PWP with too many use
>>> cases.
>>>
>>> With your comment about exporting it as a HTML file, and emailing that,
>>> this is where the problems currently lie, and why I'm making this proposal.
>>>
>>> I'm not sure which mailing lists you are subscribed to, but in summary,
>>> a HTML file on its own is a big security problem, and it's difficult to
>>> include resources (in terms of development time/tooling)... for more info,
>>> please see:
>>>
>>> https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webappsec/2016Jan/0090.html
>>>
>>> https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webappsec/2016Jan/0089.html
>>>
>>> In regards to PWP, I feel that it is a good idea, and defiantly has its
>>> use cases.
>>>
>>> But I suspect that file format PWP becomes to be known as, will be seen
>>> as something that has an interaction with a server, and allows for the
>>> document to be updated.
>>>
>>> That defiantly has its uses, but as with PDF's, there are cases where
>>> it's good to know that the file sent cannot change, or communicate with an
>>> external server for any reason (instead its seen as being locked down, in a
>>> read only state, via a sand box that the browser provides).
>>>
>>> So where you see PWP being a more versatile format than PDF, that is
>>> good, but I believe we also need a second branch which takes some of the
>>> strengths of PDF, and uses existing technology to fix some of its problems
>>> (which I hope my previous emails explain, but I am happy to discuss if not).
>>>
>>> Craig
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On 19 Jan 2016, at 14:39, Nick Ruffilo <nickruffilo@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> Craig,
>>>
>>> These are great questions, and I hope I can address some of them.  First
>>> off - PWP - like any potential document format - is not aimed at solving
>>> all possible use cases, nor should it.  That said, we also realize that
>>> there is potentially a gap in what software capabilities are today and what
>>> might be needed for a high-quality PWP to function as smoothly as a PDF
>>> would today.
>>>
>>> To speak to your specific case - the PDF sales report.  Using today's
>>> technology, you could export that sales report as an HTML file, attach
>>> that, and open that in your browser.  It can be archived, the local copy
>>> can only be changed by the user, etc,  What is not yet native in most
>>> browsers is the ability to have a package of HTML files.
>>>
>>> For the case of a completely offline file - something more static - PWP
>>> completely allows for that, as long as the package is created referencing
>>> static files that can be grabbed when making the offline package.  That is
>>> completely within scope and a use case that has been considered. PWP does
>>> go one step further and let you have files that reference external
>>> resources.  This would let you keep data charts up-to-date, Make quick
>>> updates to color schemes, or pretty much anything else you may want to
>>> update.  This is a feature - and optional.
>>>
>>> From my perspective - the goal for PWP is to create a package format
>>> that makes sense for the future.  PDF has specific use cases where it is
>>> amazing - it has had many years to be adopted and honed.  Outside of those
>>> use cases,  PWP hopes to cover many things that PDF does not do.  That
>>> doesn't mean that PDF will be useless, as I imagine businesses will be
>>> exporting sales reports in PDF for the next 10 years (the same way people
>>> are still using CSV when there is XLSX format...)  But I believe that PWP
>>> aims to be a more versatile format than PDF which is it's differentiation.
>>>
>>> -Nick
>>>
>>> On Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 7:29 AM, Craig Francis <craig.francis@gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> On 18 Jan 2016, at 20:42, Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> > Actually, Ivan is pointing out that an active work project - called
>>>> PWP
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Hi Leonard,
>>>>
>>>> And yes, good point, I completely mixed up the EUPB3 and PWP (Portable
>>>> Web Publication):
>>>>
>>>> http://www.w3.org/TR/pwp
>>>>
>>>> I've just read though the PWP Working Draft, and have some notes below.
>>>>
>>>> In summary, I think it's a good idea, but I'm not sure it really
>>>> focuses on the same problem (but please let me know if I've misunderstood).
>>>>
>>>> Craig
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Just to set the tone, people like to receive PDF's for documents (e.g.
>>>> sales reports) because they can be treated as an atomic document, that
>>>> isn't really editable (unlike an email), and can be saved for archivable
>>>> purposes (with no reliance on a website to be available to view it).
>>>>
>>>> Another example is someone who sees a webpage with some useful content,
>>>> and they want a copy of that content on their local computer (aka "Save Web
>>>> Page as"), so that they don't need to rely on an internet connection, for
>>>> the website to remain available (or being able to find the page again), or
>>>> the content on that page to change.
>>>>
>>>> Now there are defiantly some similarities to the problems we are trying
>>>> to address, with the main focus for me being the archive format:
>>>>
>>>> https://www.w3.org/TR/pwp/#package
>>>>
>>>> But this seems to be a very general spec, with options to have the
>>>> content unpackaged and delivered over the internet (rather than just a
>>>> single file):
>>>>
>>>> https://www.w3.org/TR/pwp/#state_definition
>>>>
>>>> In contrast, the spec seems to not really focus on being a file that
>>>> can be passed around/archived (e.g. emailing a PDF), but instead a central
>>>> resource which allows for copies of the document to be downloaded.
>>>>
>>>> https://www.w3.org/TR/pwp/#identification
>>>>
>>>> This is useful if you want to have a central location for a document,
>>>> and is kept up to date, but not so good if the primary purpose is really to
>>>> have a copy that is created at one point in time, where the person who
>>>> receives a copy will know that at it will stay as-is (read only).
>>>>
>>>> This setup seems to be confirmed in the security section:
>>>>
>>>> https://www.w3.org/TR/pwp/#security-models
>>>>
>>>> So if I was to send a report to a manager with sales figures, they will
>>>> want to open it on their mobile phone (a quick read before bedtime, I
>>>> assume), then later save it to their desktop computer so they can compare
>>>> it later to the next months report.
>>>>
>>>> So when the Working Draft mentions things like JavaScript Service
>>>> Workers:
>>>>
>>>> https://www.w3.org/TR/pwp/#arch
>>>>
>>>> And the concept of these documents having the ability to do things
>>>> (presumably allowing the content to change, perform tracking, etc), I don't
>>>> think it's fundamentally the right approach to this problem.
>>>>
>>>> But don't get me wrong, Portable Web Publications would be very good
>>>> for Publications... I just don't think many businesses use PDF attachments
>>>> in that way.
>>>>
>>>> :-)
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> > On 18 Jan 2016, at 20:42, Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> >
>>>> > Actually, Ivan is pointing out that an active work project - called
>>>> PWP (Portable Web Publication - to address the need for having a better way
>>>> to publish content using web technologies both in a packaged and unpackaged
>>>> form.
>>>> >
>>>> > A solution that aligns with EPUB (but would not be EPUB 3.x as we
>>>> know it today) is certainly something being serious considered by various
>>>> folks as part of this work.
>>>> >
>>>> > Leonard
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>> > On 1/18/16, 12:26 PM, "Craig Francis" <craig.francis@gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> >
>>>> >> On 18 Jan 2016, at 17:13, Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> >>> So that a user browsing PDFs on the web doesn’t need anything extra.
>>>> >>
>>>> >>
>>>> >>
>>>> >>
>>>> >> I think Ivan is suggesting that EPUB3 might do the same.
>>>> >>
>>>> >> I'm still not 100% convinced how well it will work (as this does
>>>> depend heavily on the OS, and browsers).
>>>> >>
>>>> >> But in both cases (EPUB3, or using a ZIP to wrap up the HTML
>>>> document+assets) most of the building blocks are already in place.
>>>> >>
>>>> >> Craig
>>>> >>
>>>> >>
>>>> >>
>>>> >>
>>>> >>
>>>> >>
>>>> >>> On 18 Jan 2016, at 17:13, Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>> While a PDF file does need a “reader”, it should be pointed out
>>>> that EVERY MAJOR browser (Safari, Chrome, Edge, FireFox) all include PDF
>>>> viewing natively.  So that a user browsing PDFs on the web doesn’t need
>>>> anything extra.
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>> Leonard
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>> On 1/18/16, 11:43 AM, "Craig Francis" <craig.francis@gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>>> On 18 Jan 2016, at 16:13, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org> wrote:
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>>> Yeah. That will take time. On MacOS (starting from, I believe,
>>>> Mavericks) the system comes with an epub reader, so files of this kind are
>>>> automatically opened much like PDF files. Yes, it is an ebook reader on the
>>>> OS, but that is not much different than using a PDF reader.
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>> To be incorporated into browsers is a big step (and would be a
>>>> big step forward) which will need additional spec work. We are kept busy:-)
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>> Good to know, and good point about PDF files needing a reader.
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>> If I could push the format in any way (more so how the software
>>>> works), I would like to be able to send a document that is opened, read,
>>>> and closed without it being imported into some kind of library.
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>> Maybe some ability for email clients to open the file for a "quick
>>>> look" (as per the OSX term), then optionally import.
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>> But I realise this is going away from the idea of using this
>>>> format primarily for books.
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>> Anyway, thanks for the heads up.
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>> Craig
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>>> On 18 Jan 2016, at 16:13, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org> wrote:
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>> On 18 Jan 2016, at 16:58, Craig Francis <craig.francis@gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>> Hi Ivan,
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>> Just to follow up on this, I've been reading the spec at:
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>> http://www.idpf.org/epub/30/spec/epub30-overview.html
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>> And it does seem pretty much what I'm after.
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>> I'm not sure I like the extra meta files, but maybe they are
>>>> useful (e.g. the possibility of containing multiple HTML documents, one for
>>>> each language).
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>> For example. A book may also consists of many chapters each in
>>>> their individual files and the order is not clear. Etc.
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>>> So really the only remaining problem is getting email clients,
>>>> browsers, OS'es to be able to open these files quickly/easily... rather
>>>> than just automatically importing the file into an ebook reader.
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>> Yeah. That will take time. On MacOS (starting from, I believe,
>>>> Mavericks) the system comes with an epub reader, so files of this kind are
>>>> automatically opened much like PDF files. Yes, it is an ebook reader on the
>>>> OS, but that is not much different than using a PDF reader.
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>> To be incorporated into browsers is a big step (and would be a
>>>> big step forward) which will need additional spec work. We are kept busy:-)
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>> Cheers
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>> Ivan
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>> Craig
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>> On 14 Jan 2016, at 11:17, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org> wrote:
>>>> >>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>> On 14 Jan 2016, at 12:05, Craig Francis <
>>>> craig@craigfrancis.co.uk> wrote:
>>>> >>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>> Thanks Ivan,
>>>> >>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>> You are right, I normally focus more on security side of
>>>> things.
>>>> >>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>> But out of interest, EPUB3, is that likely to get the same
>>>> integration as how PDFs work at the moment?
>>>> >>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>> As in, you can email someone an EPUB3 file, and the recipient
>>>> can click/tap on it to quickly view in their email client?
>>>> >>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>> Or simply have the web browser open it, rather than needing a
>>>> dedicated EPUB3 reader?
>>>> >>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>> In theory, all this is possible but the infrastructure is not
>>>> as widespread as for PDF. Eg, you need extensions for Firefox to open an
>>>> epub directly.
>>>> >>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>> So far I've really only considered EPUB as more of a format
>>>> for books (which is probably my lack of understanding of the format), so
>>>> I've never really thought of its use for reports, leaflets, etc (i.e.
>>>> things that PDF's tend to be used for).
>>>> >>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>> EPUB is perfectly capable of handling that out of the box.
>>>> >>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>> Ivan
>>>> >>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>> In the mean time I'll have a read up on the PWP group.
>>>> >>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>> Craig
>>>> >>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>> On 14 Jan 2016, at 10:52, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org> wrote:
>>>> >>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>> Craig,
>>>> >>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>> thanks for your note. Two comments:
>>>> >>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>> - The format EPUB3, defined by IDPF, already does many of
>>>> what you say. On a very high level, it takes a (slightly constrained) Web
>>>> site and puts it into, essentially, a zip file. For many applications, this
>>>> is a worthy replacement for PDF. Note that almost all the electronic books
>>>> you buy today are in EPUB3 or its predecessor...
>>>> >>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>> - The DPUB IG also looks further down the line on a stronger
>>>> integration of digital publishing and the OWP:
>>>> >>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>> http://www.w3.org/TR/pwp
>>>> >>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>> which may lead to significant changes in the future.
>>>> >>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>> Bottom line: this evolution is already happening!
>>>> >>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>> I understand you come more from the security area; there may
>>>> be security issues with EPUB3 or PWP which we do not fully appreciate, so
>>>> any comment is welcome of course!
>>>> >>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>> Cheers
>>>> >>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>> Ivan
>>>> >>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>> On 14 Jan 2016, at 11:34, Craig Francis <
>>>> craig@craigfrancis.co.uk> wrote:
>>>> >>>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>> Hi,
>>>> >>>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>> Recently I've been thinking of some of the problems with
>>>> PDF's, which are useful for creating a document that can be archived,
>>>> emailed, printed, etc.
>>>> >>>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>> HTML has solutions for many of PDF's problems though, for
>>>> example structured text (accessibility), ability to change layout depending
>>>> on screen size (no need for small screen devices to zoom into a fixed A4
>>>> layout), can change font size, better indexing support (searching for
>>>> documents), etc.
>>>> >>>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>> Unfortunately you can't just email a HTML document to
>>>> someone, as this causes a range of security problems, and including
>>>> resources can be difficult (you can inline them, or use MHTML, but these
>>>> are tricky to create).
>>>> >>>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>> So I was wondering if we could take the approach that
>>>> Microsoft Word did with the docx format, Java with JAR, PHP with PHAR,
>>>> etc...
>>>> >>>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>> Have a new file format, associated with the browser, which
>>>> is just a ZIP/GZIP file that contains an index.html file, and everything
>>>> else needed for the document.
>>>> >>>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>> Then from a security point of view, it can be locked down to
>>>> its own little box, so no access to other files on the file system,
>>>> probably no access to cookies/localstorage, no ability to connect to
>>>> another host.
>>>> >>>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>> And from the users point of view, the document could be
>>>> protected with a password (a feature that ZIP/GZIP provides already, and
>>>> the browser can prompt for when opening).
>>>> >>>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>> So would this help with the security aspects of emailing
>>>> HTML files to people (e.g. reports), and be better than PDFs?
>>>> >>>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>> Craig
>>>> >>>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>> ---
>>>> >>>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>>
>>>> https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webappsec/2016Jan/0063.html
>>>> >>>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>> https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=575677
>>>> >>>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1237990
>>>> >>>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>>
>>>> https://wpdev.uservoice.com/forums/257854-microsoft-edge-developer/suggestions/11443002-webpage-zip-as-alternative-to-pdf
>>>> >>>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>> ----
>>>> >>>>>>>>> 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
>>>> >>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>> ----
>>>> >>>>>>> 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
>>>> >>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>> ----
>>>> >>>>> 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
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> - Nick Ruffilo
>>> @NickRuffilo
>>> Aer.io <http://aer.io/> an *INGRAM* company
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> - Nick Ruffilo
>> @NickRuffilo
>> Aer.io <http://aer.io/> an *INGRAM* company
>>
>>
>>
>
>
> --
> - Nick Ruffilo
> @NickRuffilo
> Aer.io <http://aer.io/> an *INGRAM* company
>
>
>
>


-- 

Bill McCoy
Executive Director
International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF)
email: bmccoy@idpf.org
mobile: +1 206 353 0233
Received on Wednesday, 27 January 2016 19:44:43 UTC

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