W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-epub3@w3.org > August 2019

Re: Documenting EPUB feature requests

From: Laurent Le Meur <laurent.lemeur@edrlab.org>
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2019 10:30:25 +0200
Message-Id: <2C75D4F0-5A82-4650-B390-2F7212626969@edrlab.org>
Cc: Ruth Tait <artbyrt@gmail.com>, Dave Cramer <dauwhe@gmail.com>, W3C EPUB3 Community Group <public-epub3@w3.org>
To: Harri Heikkilä <Harri.Heikkila@lamk.fi>
>> Number 10…. 
>> No native support for book-specific semantics. For academic publishing in particular, the absence of native support for book-specific structures such as glossaries, note reference systems and advanced cross-reference systems pose a limitation that negatively impacts the behavioral repertoire of reading systems
> I agree. In my opinion, the future of ebooks and EPUB depends on how much benefits they can offer compared to paper books. The importance of supporting these kind of features in the future road map should be understood. 
> [Brainstorming, ideas]:
> 1) Annotation & note creating and sharing systems (for example shared highlightnings in textbooks)
> 2) Glossaries (via popups)
> 3) Cross reference systems (with previews)
> 4) Easy support for more typographic finesses (like running headers, block quotes, pull quotes etc.)
> 5) Advanced navigation (see for example how Kindle does it)
> 6) Support of social reading functions
> 7) Creating a working group with companies offering professional publishing tools to support these kind of features in creating / exporting EPUB (Adobe, Quark, Affinity...)
>  Harri Heikkilä, Principal Lecturer (visual communication) 
> PhD (arts), M.Sc (sociology)
> Lahti University of Applied Sciences • Institute of Design
> Address: Mukkulankatu 19, 15210 Lahti. 
> +358 400 214724

Hi Harri,

Some thoughts: 

Several (most) of these ideas are deeply related to reading system functionalities. It's the case for:
- popups for glossary terms
- advanced navigation (interested by more details)
- cross references

or reading application functionalities + cloud infrastructures:
- shared annotations (need for a standard model of annotations including standard pointers to any DOM range (à la CFI), need for widely deployed reading systems supporting such annotations, need for a (free? open?) secured cloud infrastructure for managing annotations). 
- social reading functions (need for more details: is it about comments, likes, personal recommandations?)

Others are deeply related to CSS features / evolutions (-> typographic finesses).

From your list, I only see glossaries (already an EPUB 3 supplementary spec), typography and cross references as related with publishing tools.

Cloud infrastructure is out of reach for the W3C Publishing CG, but defining protocols for synchronizing content with such cloud services could be.

Re. reading systems vs glossaries and dictionaries: if these are finally deployed by publishers, reading systems will implement the spec. The first being logically open-source reading toolkits, because publishers can participate (financially, pragmatically speaking) to such developments.  

Re. reading systems vs typography: reading applications based on a modern Web rendering engine are capable of dealing with any advance in CSS, if implemented in this Web engine and if it does not conflict with dynamic pagination (CSS multicolumn today). Those which are not (often e-ink devices) will be left behind. Participants to the Publishing CG must be clearly aware of that fact, which breaks the EPUB market in two distinct but invisible parts: basic EPUB and advanced EPUB.  

Best regards,
Laurent Le Meur
EDRLab / Readium

Received on Friday, 9 August 2019 08:30:55 UTC

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