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RE: Some significant items for discussion on "What is a Web Publication?"

From: Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2017 18:32:36 +0000
To: Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com>, "DPUB mailing list (public-digipub-ig@w3.org)" <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CY1PR0601MB14222240840A6F343BE799DADF730@CY1PR0601MB1422.namprd06.prod.outlook.com>
Leonard's first point made me think of an interesting use case. In educational publishing, and especially higher ed, there are "textbooks" (which can be physical or digital, and the latter can include plenty of non-text and non-image resources), which should clearly fit the definition of Web Publications. But there are also "courses." The publishers tend to distinguish the two, though there may be a significant amount of overlapping content between a "course" and a "textbook" used in that course. The course is more interactive, with assessments (tests, quizzes, exercises, group activities, etc.), and data is usually collected in the course of the "course" wrt students' activities, results, progress, what they look at, what they skip, etc. But the "course" definitely is conceived and created as a "thing." Can that "course" be a Web Publication?

And a quick thought re Leonard's point wrt "– is that “A Web Publication must be available and functional while the user is offline”: I think we may wind up needing to add "be able to be made" to some clauses like that, e.g., perhaps in this case "– is that “A Web Publication must be able to be made available and functional while the user is offline”.

Bill Kasdorf

VP and Principal Consultant | Apex CoVantage


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From: Leonard Rosenthol [mailto:lrosenth@adobe.com]
Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2017 11:16 AM
To: DPUB mailing list (public-digipub-ig@w3.org)
Subject: Some significant items for discussion on "What is a Web Publication?"
Importance: High

While working on the PWP document today, I can into a few things that I’d like to raise for discussion (either via email or phone tomorrow, or both).

Let’s start right up front with the definition of a Web Publication ☺.   It currently reads “A Web Publication (WP) is a bounded collection of resources, envisioned and created as a whole”.  I would like to review the second half of that sentence – about the envisioned and created as a whole.  In the world of documents, the most popular feature of processing applications is the ability to combine parts of other documents together to create a new one.  In that use case, the resources weren’t “envisioned and created as a whole”.  You could say that the author/publisher envisioned that collection and intentionally collated those resources together – but that’s different from what is here.  I would also put forth that the application of annotations to a WP can create a new WP that also was not “envisioned and created as a whole”.

There is a requirement that “The package must include the unique identifier of the manifestation—a Web Publication’s origin is essential information if a PWP becomes portable”.  Two paragraphs later it goes into further detail about the origin inclusion and even mentions trust. Unfortunately, that requirement seems to imply some potential implementation considerations that the WebPackaging work is proving to not be feasible – see https://github.com/dimich-g/webpackage/issues/7.  I would like to remove the second half of that sentence (about the origin) and also remove the bit about trust from the latest paragraph.  Let’s just leave it open that we want a unique identifier, but that’s it, and that the origin is not necessarily related to the identifier.

Here’s the one where George, Charles and others are going to be scream – but I believe it is an extremely important point – you can’t mandate accessibility in a WP (ie. “A Web Publication must be accessible to the broadest possible range of readers”). We should make it a strong recommendation (a “should” vs. a “shall” in ISO terminology) and do all we can to promote this direction.  However, given our goals to support not only curated publications but also ad-hoc publications, it is not reasonable to expect them all to be accessible.  Just as not every page on the web is accessible, web publications need not be either.

Another area that we cannot mandate – but should make a strong recommendation – is that “A Web Publication must be available and functional while the user is offline”. An author may produce a publication that is only designed to be used online – for example, one that connects to an online system. We don’t wish to prevent the development of such a publication.

Finally, I think we say too much about the use of the manifest.  It says “We also introduce the abstract concept of a manifest, which serves to carry information about the constituent resources of the publication, their sequence, and presentation”.  I think we should only say that it carries the resources and not mention sequence and presentation. This is consistent with our statement, earlier in the same section, about how we aren’t going to define “manifest” (and leave it in the generic FRBR sense).

Received on Sunday, 22 January 2017 18:33:11 UTC

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