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

Re: Documenting EPUB feature requests

From: Wolfgang Schindler <ws.schindler@googlemail.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2019 13:38:31 +0200
Message-ID: <CAH2qv+xq=egoGqV+A_qwJ2F2pPF8x7+YaJkGd9j-=nzq2y2bgQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Laurent Le Meur <laurent.lemeur@edrlab.org>
Cc: Harri Heikkilä <Harri.Heikkila@lamk.fi>, Ruth Tait <artbyrt@gmail.com>, Dave Cramer <dauwhe@gmail.com>, W3C EPUB3 Community Group <public-epub3@w3.org>
To promote the use of EPUBs, we will need affordances that make a
substantial difference to the printed book. I think Harri's list nicely
describes important affordances, we could/should offer to our customers.

If you don't want to rely absolutely on individual programming, in my
opinion we need specific semantic markup in our data (from the publisher or
author) as a basis for implementing a specific functionality. If we have a
standard descriptive vocabulary, publishers could stick to that and have
future-proof data that are independent of the programs implementing the

I agree that you could argue that markup that is not used for implementing
a certain functionality, doesn't offer any affordance to the audience which
is of course true. But having a standard to describe your data, is in my
opinion a value in itself, though I would also wish to see implementations.

Re. reading systems vs glossaries and dictionaries:This is a kind of hen
and egg issue. To add semantic markup to your data, is a huge investment in
terms of money and human resources which a publisher can't afford if there
is no implementation with adequate functionality and usability which would
allow him/her to create a viable product. On the other hand, a potential
implementer would insist on a certain level of demand from the market
before he/she starts developing. We have a sample data set and as far as I
know Merriam-Webster also has some data tagged according to EPUB
Dictionaries and Glossaries.

We should be very careful to drop descriptive vocabulary because it has not
been implemented!

Best regards,

Am Fr., 9. Aug. 2019 um 10:32 Uhr schrieb Laurent Le Meur <

> 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 11:39:08 UTC

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