RE: magazines and OWP (was Re: Prioritisation)

Bill, I'm glad you believe that magazines should firmly be within the scope of this project.
I am constantly challenged as I must provide a strategic, long-term vision/target for the industry as well as provide tactical solutions for the pain-points that are a reality of our current environment.  And we must help publishers get from here to there!

Count me in!

Dianne Kennedy | Vice President Digital & Emerging Technologies
O: 630.941.8197 | M: 630.908.0770 |<> |<>

From: Bill McCoy []
Sent: Sunday, August 9, 2015 12:36 PM
To: Dianne Kennedy
Cc: Jacob Friedman; Ivan Herman; Leonard Rosenthol; Johannes Wilm; Bill Kasdorf; Kaveh Bazargan; Dave Cramer; W3C Digital Publishing Discussion list; Matthew Hardy
Subject: magazines and OWP (was Re: Prioritisation)

Dianne is certainly correct that  magazine workflows are largely Adobe CS-centric, and (per other email) that print-first orientation will likely linger longer in this segment of publishing, at least for major consumer magazines.

But I think it would nevertheless be a big mistake for this group to make working on digital magazine requirements anything other than in-scope and high-priority (at least in the big-picture sense).

The "jazzed-up print-replica" nature of digital magazines as per most solutions to date (including the original Adobe DPS) haven't led to large-scale customer traction, and it seems that Adobe is with its newly announced "DPS 2015" moving towards more OWP-centric experiences, for example by integrating Apache Cordova (aka PhoneGap). I believe there is still a proprietary format for content and that the browser engine may not yet be used to render all content but I'm not sure and the situation seems to be a bit fluid (perhaps Leonard could give us some information about the evolving DPS technical architecture).

More generally it seems clear that the major consumer print magazines are being substantially disrupted by the Web and mobile apps and that both established properties and new media firms will continue to arise that are digital-first and in many cases digital-only. It is clear that these folks will be directly benefited both by improving OWP base capabilities for publishers and by working towards the EPUB-WEB vision.

And I think that magazines are an especially interesting and important use case for EPUB-WEB because they are advertising-centric, and ads in digital content  (in many cases) need to be dynamic not static, come from multiple sources, have robust analytics, and be actionable by the user. These things are of course easy to do with websites but not so straightforwardly with packaged EPUB publications. OTOH digital magazines also (in many cases) need to be distributed through channels, supported via custom applications, and  usable offline, all things that are easy to do with for example EPUB but not so straightforward with websites. Last but not least, magazines are perhaps the pickiest segment about design/layout/typography: if we can make OWP good enough for a consumer magazine art director, it is pretty much guaranteed to be good enough for everyone else in publishing.

Strategically, I see digital magazines in the broadest sense as pushing the need for convergence of publications/websites, online/offline, real-time/dynamic and static/canonical content and improving high-design layout/typography capabilities of OWP... all of which is precisely where we should be looking for high-priority work items to fully realize the EPUB-WEB vision.

Tactically, by this group explicitly working this this area we will be setting a direction that OWP is the right platform for digital magazines...  this would also encourage vendors such as Adobe to move further towards OWP (and in the process help to improve OWP for all publishers).


On Wed, Aug 5, 2015 at 7:43 AM, Dianne Kennedy <<>> wrote:
For magazines the shift to digital-first will be a slow one as workflows are currently highly invested and a near monopoly held by Adobe Creative suite.  In our case digital-first will be some combination of PRISM metadata for the issue and articles within the issue + HTML5.  In fact, PRISM is working on an authoring schema for authors to use as a front end to their CS workflows.  While new magazines may leapfrog, majors are doomed to a slow evolution toward the ideal.

I'm just trying to convey the reality of our situation (magazine industry) and figure out if that is out of scope for this discussion.  If out of scope, I will place any of those thoughts and put any input I have that considers the current reality aside so I can contribute from the proper point-of-view.

Dianne Kennedy | Vice President Digital & Emerging Technologies
O: 630.941.8197<tel:630.941.8197> | M: 630.908.0770<tel:630.908.0770> |<> |<>

From: Jacob Friedman [<>]
Sent: Wednesday, August 5, 2015 9:25 AM
To: Dianne Kennedy
Cc: Ivan Herman; Leonard Rosenthol; Johannes Wilm; Bill Kasdorf; Kaveh Bazargan; Dave Cramer; W3C Digital Publishing Discussion list; Matthew Hardy
Subject: Re: Prioritisation

Publishing is definitely moving toward the web - I can imagine that all printed materials should and will be authored in such a system which respects HTML markup. Essentially, this solves cross-platform publishing...

On 2015-08-05, at 10:20 AM, Dianne Kennedy <<>> wrote:

Question, does this only apply when the WEPUB is the sole point of reference?  In other words, are publications that were originally published in print out of scope for this discussion?

For magazines whose origin is a print rendition, print will remain the publication of reference and we will want to mark where pages were broken in that original source, despite where an individual rendition might break "pages".  The reason for this is that pages are often copyedited to engineer page breaks at important content markers.  Its also important to being able syncronize the point in content that a user returns to as they move between Web to mobile from print throughout their reading day...

Dianne Kennedy | Vice President Digital & Emerging Technologies
O: 630.941.8197<tel:630.941.8197> | M: 630.908.0770<tel:630.908.0770> |<> |<>

-----Original Message-----
From: Ivan Herman [mailto:ivan@<mailto:ivan@><>]
Sent: Wednesday, August 5, 2015 4:37 AM
To: Leonard Rosenthol
Cc: Johannes Wilm; Bill Kasdorf; Kaveh Bazargan; Dave Cramer; W3C Digital Publishing Discussion list; Matthew Hardy
Subject: Re: Prioritisation


On 04 Aug 2015, at 21:38 , Leonard Rosenthol <<>> wrote:

With the focus here on terminology, I think that we also need to be careful about what the definition of a “page” is in this context.

In reading over the various messages here, I see (at least) three different definitions.

1 – The content that fits on the device’s screen/output without requiring any scrolling.
2 – The content that maps to a semantic concept in the publication (eg. Index, chapter, article, etc.) and may require scrolling
3 – The content that maps to the printed or fixed layout representation.

I like this differentiation, and I would think that #2 is indeed very important but we may want to, eventually, completely dissociate it from the concept of paging.

My understanding is that publishers, these days, put some sort of a page mark into the digital output (in the form of an invisible element, of a metadata, etc.). The purpose of this is to be able to *link* (either conceptually or through real hyperlinks) into the document. It is obviously important for various use cases that came up in this thread already (and others) like academic reference or classroom usage. But, just as you say, handling these may require scrolling and that because the concept of these anchors are, actually, orthogonal to display, ie, pages in terms of #1 and #3.

I think there is an interesting discussion to have on where anchors should be put, what is the granularity of those, can (in future) some sort of a robust anchoring approach take over the need for these anchors, etc. It is largely a usability issue, but I think it is better if we separate it from the concept of pagination…



Each of these is a completely valid definition of a “page” of content that one may wish to present to a user in a paginated fashion, where they navigate between other instances of the same.   And, like Johannes, I believe they are all valid use cases for varying types of content – and that (a) authors need to be able to control which they want (perhaps more than one in the same publication) and (b) any UA/RS needs to be able to support what the author has specified.


From: Johannes Wilm
Date: Tuesday, August 4, 2015 at 3:21 PM
To: Bill Kasdorf
Cc: Kaveh Bazargan, Dave Cramer, "<>"
Subject: Re: Prioritisation
Resent-From: <<>>
Resent-Date: Tuesday, August 4, 2015 at 3:21 PM


On Tue, Aug 4, 2015 at 7:50 PM, Bill Kasdorf <<>> wrote:
A quick clarification. I am quite sure that in her e-mail Deborah is using the term "pagination" to mean "maintaining a record in the digital file of where the page breaks occur in the paginated version of record." That's essential to accessibility and other useful things as well (citations, cross references, indexes, etc. in a world in which print is still considered the version of record and references to its page breaks are common.) That's not the same as making the _rendered pages_ in the digital file replicate those in the print.—Bill K

I think it should be possible to offer both things (dynamically paged pages AND making sure that page 32 contains the same content on different devices), possibly with a few tiny changes to rendering engines [1]. Then the insertion of manual page breaks are only needed if there is a specific reason to end a page before it is entirely filled.

Of course this means that:

A) Pages will always need to contain the same amount of text/content on all devices. That may not make sense for some tiny mobile screens for which it may make sense to use a lot more pages.
B) One needs to define the size of a single page on beforehand.
C) Fonts used for rendering need to be the exact same.

For issue A I could think of some solutions that should work for most cases: For example, one may use the same pagination size on 80% of screens by adding extra margins or zooming further in, and in the 20% remaining cases of really tiny or really huge screens, one uses two types of pages:

* One system used for flipping through pages on the system in question where page size equals screen size.
* A second system of pagination that uses the standard page size as reference that is used to assign page numbers, etc. . The device with the small/huge screen that displays small pages should not have problems figuring out what content would have gone on what page if the page size had been the standard size.

How that all would be presented graphically to the user would come down to the preferences of those doing the book design and designing the JS needed to set this up.

[1] At the Frankfurt Bookfair in 2012, we tried to show the first version of the browser-based book-page design that I have been working on quite a bit, but we had a browser on the server create PDFs. Even though everything should have been the same, we found that the browsers on server and demo machine cut the page contents slightly differently. Our investigations went as far as that the dpi of the screen where the browser was running had some influence, even when it shouldn't, but we never quite found out what the reason was. At any rate, the differences were miniscule, but it did lead to some words/letters being moved on to the next page some times. I haven't investigated whether that would still happen in 2015.

From: Kaveh Bazargan [mailto:kaveh@<mailto:kaveh@><>]
Sent: Tuesday, August 04, 2015 1:37 PM
To: Bill Kasdorf
Cc: Dave Cramer;<>
Subject: Re: Prioritisation

Thank you Dave and Bill

Dave I totally take your point about that horrendously long web page. So I agree that we need some kind of paginated layout so you finish one chunk and go to the next. Therefore I also like reading paginated text – at least for long prose. (In fact, I prefer beautifully typeset pages printed on good quality paper!)

My issue is that paginating for an interactive reader like an iPad is totally different to paginating for paper. On paper there is no interactivity, no accessibility (apart from having readable fonts), and no reflow. It is quite natural to flip a page to look at a figure floated onto the next page and very quickly flip back and forth. And quite natural to have footnotes. But on an electronic device it is hard to do that, yet easier to hover the mouse and have a note pop up.

So while I fully support pagination for on screen reading, done by the browser, but I cannot see the advantage of floating figures and tables, footnotes, or traditional indexes for that matter, in an electronic reading environment.

As I write this I see Deborah's mail about electronic and paper versions having the same pagination. That is a constraint that prevents good print as well as good online pagination. My solution would be to do away with page numbers and refer to paragraphs, which would then apply to any reflowing version too!

I feel that for straightforward text it is great that we can have one engine producing the same pages for online and for print. But for complex documents, say critical editions, or STM content, we can take the XML document (or very strict HTML) and pass it to a dedicated pagination engine to do the one thing it is good at.


On 4 August 2015 at 18:11, Bill Kasdorf <<>> wrote:
Also, it's important not to confuse "pagination" with "fixed layout." Most eReaders provide a paginated view that is still reflowable. And most readers (that is, the human kind) prefer that for reading long form content. Even reading the New York Times on my iPad, I have it set to paginated rather than scrolling view. Way easier (especially on a treadmill in the morning).

Of course an important underlying issue here is the EPUB+WEB vision: ideally, we'd like the same file (or collection of resources, whether packaged or not, that constitutes a publication) to be able to behave the same online and offline. Best to have the same standard, non-proprietary, ubiquitous infrastructure native to browsers able to deliver that without requiring separate software.

--Bill Kasdorf

From: Dave Cramer [mailto:dauwhe@<mailto:dauwhe@><>]
Sent: Tuesday, August 04, 2015 12:32 PM
Subject: Re: Prioritisation

On Tue, Aug 4, 2015 at 11:55 AM, Kaveh Bazargan <<>> wrote:
Forgive me for a very basic question, but it is a devil's advocate type of question. And if this is not the place to ask this perhaps you can direct me to any relevant discussions.

My very basic question is, why do we need to "paginate" in the browser in the first place? Why not keep the browser for reflowing and interactive text, which is what it is good at, and use a standard mark-up pagination system (TeX/LaTeX would be my choice) to do what that is good at. If another system has already solved problems like footnotes and floating figures, what exactly is the drive to reinvent that in the browser?

Again, apologies if the answer is really obvious!!


I find that reading long-form content is easier if that content is paginated [1]. Much of the reading we do is now on screens, and HTML+CSS is a very nice way of rendering content that can adapt to a variety of screen sizes and types, not to mention the personal needs of the reader. So I think it would be tremendously valuable to have the ability to paginate in the browser, thus combining some of the design capabilities of print with the flexibility and ubiquity of the web. This would make it easier to develop ebook reading systems and give browser users more choice in how they read, while preserving the accessibility advantages of the web.




Kaveh Bazargan
River Valley Technologies
+44 7771 824 111<tel:%2B44%207771%20824%20111><><>

Ivan Herman, W3C
Digital Publishing Activity Lead

mobile: +31-641044153<tel:%2B31-641044153>

Received on Sunday, 9 August 2015 21:28:20 UTC