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RE: definition of Web Publication

From: Benjamin Young <byoung@bigbluehat.com>
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2017 17:47:37 +0000
To: Bill McCoy <bmccoy@w3.org>, 'Hugh McGuire' <hugh@rebus.foundation>, 'AUDRAIN LUC' <LAUDRAIN@hachette-livre.fr>
CC: 'Matt Garrish' <matt.garrish@gmail.com>, 'Leonard Rosenthol' <lrosenth@adobe.com>, 'Garth Conboy' <garth@google.com>, 'Dave Cramer' <dauwhe@gmail.com>, 'W3C Publishing Working Group' <public-publ-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CY1PR06MB188374C06D4EAA10DA90A4FBB2BF0@CY1PR06MB1883.namprd06.prod.outlook.com>
Hey Bill,

According to our charter, "offline" and "portable" are two difference concepts:

"A Web Publication may be portable, and it may be hosted at some other origin."
...and (separately)...
"A Web Publication must be available and functional while the user is offline."

Technically, they're very different also. A portable document is intrinsicly available (in some capacity) "offline." However, an "offline web [thing]" is by its nature necessary portable-i.e. I can't send you a portable version of https://www.pokedex.org/ despite it being an offline-first web application; you'd have to go there yourself and get your own copy "off the Web."

If it were portable, I could pass it to you via email, FTP, or a thumb drive.

The distinction is important and valuable.


From: Bill McCoy [mailto:bmccoy@w3.org]
Sent: Friday, July 28, 2017 10:59 AM
To: Benjamin Young <byoung@bigbluehat.com>; 'Hugh McGuire' <hugh@rebus.foundation>; 'AUDRAIN LUC' <LAUDRAIN@hachette-livre.fr>
Cc: 'Matt Garrish' <matt.garrish@gmail.com>; 'Leonard Rosenthol' <lrosenth@adobe.com>; 'Garth Conboy' <garth@google.com>; 'Dave Cramer' <dauwhe@gmail.com>; 'W3C Publishing Working Group' <public-publ-wg@w3.org>
Subject: RE: definition of Web Publication

"being available offline" is tantamount to portability. And, offline support is a cross-cutting attribute - one might want to use a web app offline just as much as a publication. So I see that being available san network connection should definitely be a required attribute of Portable Web Publications but not for arbitrary Web Publications (other than as OWP supports offline for all types of content and apps).

I think we are spending an awful lot of cycles on definitional stuff here so I have hesitated to chime in, but to me I think it's pretty simple: a web publication is any collection of web content that has a reliably determinable structure (at minimum, linear order of its top-level constituents). Full stop. That's what uniquely distinguishes a web publication from a web app (which does not have a beginning, middle, end, etc.) and a web page (which is a single chunk of content not an ordered and structured collection). A "web site" is not an actual thing, just a set of web pages, which is why we get into even loose concepts concepts like "microsite".

What this WG will define for WP, hopefully, is a specific means for representing and discovering a concrete structure for Web Publications conformant with the Web Publication specification.  That's it! And I'd rather see us get on with that work rather than debate (redux, for participants who were involved in DPUB IG) high-level definitions.

Yes, that doesn't add much more to the Web than already exists but it's a key gap in OWP that there's no reliable structure for composite content that is more than a single HTML document and a good and tight WP spec will fill that gap.

Without loss of generality, by defining a standard transformation algorithm to make a PWP out of a WP we also solve the  offline problem.

The question about whether content items can change seems similarly orthogonal to the base definition. Since a web publication is a collection of online web content, and web content according to the REST architecture of the Web/HTTP is simply a pointer to a resource that returns, on demand, representations of itself, it follows that these representations can change. I might have a web publication that's a set of Seattle area web cam feeds ordered north to south. That seems an entirely legitimate publication but obviously its resources are not static. Static-ness, however, is a key attribute of portability which means it is fair game for PWP.

I think that a general principle for the WG should be to ask, for each feature, whether it is a possible feature of web apps as well as web publications. If yes, that feature definitely doesn't belong in the base definition of the former, and probably shouldn't even be worked on by the WG (unless for some reason it needs to be done differently for publications and/or it's not timely to define it for OWP as a whole). Web apps may want to be be static or dynamic, just like publications, so it follows that static-ness is not a base attribute of web publications.

Overall I see more stuff flowing to PWP spec, with WP spec being very minimal (and ideally merely a generalization/extension of App Manifest to become a Web Content Manifest that encompasses both publications and apps), as the best outcome we could hope for.


From: Benjamin Young [mailto:byoung@bigbluehat.com]
Sent: Friday, July 28, 2017 7:03 AM
To: Hugh McGuire <hugh@rebus.foundation<mailto:hugh@rebus.foundation>>; AUDRAIN LUC <LAUDRAIN@hachette-livre.fr<mailto:LAUDRAIN@hachette-livre.fr>>
Cc: Matt Garrish <matt.garrish@gmail.com<mailto:matt.garrish@gmail.com>>; Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com<mailto:lrosenth@adobe.com>>; Garth Conboy <garth@google.com<mailto:garth@google.com>>; Dave Cramer <dauwhe@gmail.com<mailto:dauwhe@gmail.com>>; W3C Publishing Working Group <public-publ-wg@w3.org<mailto:public-publ-wg@w3.org>>
Subject: Re: definition of Web Publication

The requirement of a publication being available sans-network connection is one of the key components of making a Web Publications unique next to Web Apps and and Web Sites.

One "killer feature" of the current publication formats (EPUB, PDF, etc) is that they are (or easily can be) available offline.

Without that requirement, we're not adding much to the world of the Web that doesn't already exist.

Putting it into the "nature" of what a Web Publication is at its core, though, gives us something unique and valuable to author, reader, and publisher alike.





From: Hugh McGuire <hugh@rebus.foundation<mailto:hugh@rebus.foundation>>
Sent: Friday, July 28, 2017 9:26:20 AM
Cc: Matt Garrish; Leonard Rosenthol; Garth Conboy; Dave Cramer; W3C Publishing Working Group
Subject: Re: definition of Web Publication

Are we clear yet on how a WP will be "made available for offline reading?"

If we are not yet clear about that (cf convos about service workers) then does it make sense to bake this into the (minimum viable) definition of a WP?

On Fri, Jul 28, 2017 at 2:08 AM, AUDRAIN LUC <LAUDRAIN@hachette-livre.fr<mailto:LAUDRAIN@hachette-livre.fr>> wrote:
Ok, this is much more simple.

Notion of creator/author could be found in the  logical work  and the idea of  boundaries   in  primary/secondary  resources.

But, the loss of  offline  in that tiny definition is a question for me.
It may be optional for WP but IMO, the possibility to make it available offline is a must and that's a difference from a website.

Could we add something like:
The Web Publication is uniquely identifiable and presentable using Open Web Platform technologies and can be made available for offline reading.


De : Matt Garrish <matt.garrish@gmail.com<mailto:matt.garrish@gmail.com>>
Date : jeudi 27 juillet 2017  23:44
 : 'Leonard Rosenthol' <lrosenth@adobe.com<mailto:lrosenth@adobe.com>>, 'Garth Conboy' <garth@google.com<mailto:garth@google.com>>, Dave Cramer <dauwhe@gmail.com<mailto:dauwhe@gmail.com>>
Cc : 'W3C Publishing Working Group' <public-publ-wg@w3.org<mailto:public-publ-wg@w3.org>>
Objet : RE: definition of Web Publication
Renvoyer - De : <public-publ-wg@w3.org<mailto:public-publ-wg@w3.org>>
Renvoyer - Date : jeudi 27 juillet 2017  23:45

> we shouldn't need ot define UA, as that is already defined in HTML

Yes, I wasn't sure about that. I brought it over from the DPIG note and adapted the referenced WAI entry as it seemed important in that document, but I think we can take for granted that the thing processing a WP is its user agent.

I'll take it out and we can always revisit later if there's a pressing need.


From: Leonard Rosenthol [mailto:lrosenth@adobe.com]
Sent: July 27, 2017 5:02 PM
To: Garth Conboy <garth@google.com<mailto:garth@google.com>>; Dave Cramer <dauwhe@gmail.com<mailto:dauwhe@gmail.com>>
Cc: Matt Garrish <matt.garrish@gmail.com<mailto:matt.garrish@gmail.com>>; W3C Publishing Working Group <public-publ-wg@w3.org<mailto:public-publ-wg@w3.org>>
Subject: Re: definition of Web Publication

Thanks Matt - much better.  +1 from me on the new definition.

One minor note - we shouldn't need ot define UA, as that is already defined in HTML (etc.).  Maybe just reference that one...

From: Garth Conboy <garth@google.com<mailto:garth@google.com>>
Date: Thursday, July 27, 2017 at 4:21 PM
To: Dave Cramer <dauwhe@gmail.com<mailto:dauwhe@gmail.com>>
Cc: Matt Garrish <matt.garrish@gmail.com<mailto:matt.garrish@gmail.com>>, W3C Publishing Working Group <public-publ-wg@w3.org<mailto:public-publ-wg@w3.org>>
Subject: Re: definition of Web Publication
Resent-From: <public-publ-wg@w3.org<mailto:public-publ-wg@w3.org>>
Resent-Date: Thursday, July 27, 2017 at 4:21 PM

Yep, SGTM too.


On Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 1:04 PM, Dave Cramer <dauwhe@gmail.com<mailto:dauwhe@gmail.com>> wrote:
On Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 3:48 PM, Matt Garrish <matt.garrish@gmail.com<mailto:matt.garrish@gmail.com>> wrote:
Sorry, link is: https://w3c.github.io/wpub/#terminology<https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fw3c.github.io%2Fwpub%2F%23terminology&data=02%7C01%7C%7C20be4d05253341e5f36108d4d52d06fc%7Cfa7b1b5a7b34438794aed2c178decee1%7C0%7C0%7C636367836747664301&sdata=Z0duCR995ZNUJB6kEc3c72YjXFhL65LXr6x9CqgdL7c%3D&reserved=0>

I'm OK with that definition.


Hugh McGuire
Received on Friday, 28 July 2017 17:48:05 UTC

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