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[pwg] Meta comment about complexity

From: Ric Wright <rkwright@geofx.com>
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2017 14:02:05 -0500
To: <public-publ-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <D5A0D8DE.5C1708%rkwright@geofx.com>
Folks,

I have gotten way behind in my reading lately due to Readium management,
preparing to move and some health issues (note to self: you canıt
bench-press 200 pounds anymore so why did you think you could manhandle a
200-pound, fully saturated hot-tub cover down a set of stairs?  :-)

So I have spent most of today reading or re-reading all the issues and the
last few weeks of traffic on the mailing list.  Two items strike me, one
procedural and one substantiative (at least IMO).

First, there is a LOT of duplication and rehashing in the issues and emails.
This canıt be completely avoided, but I think we need to work a lot harder
at keeping the issues and emails more granular and focused.  I know this is
not a new comment, but reading all of it more or less at once certainly
emphasizes this problem.

Second, as many of you know, I have had a fair amount of experience on both
the reading-system side (SVG Viewer, Tahoe, RMSDK/ACS4/Digital Editions,
Readium 1/2) and the authoring side (SVG/InDesign/Illustrator/LiveMotion,
EPUB/InDesign/epubcrude/custom tool-chains).

One of the reasons, IMO, for the lack of full-featured compelling EPUB3
documents is that authoring complex, full-featured EPUB3 is HARD. Rendering
is actually easier, especially as a lot of the work is delegated to the
browser. But most EPUB3 documents are really just EPUB2 with a navdoc.

Reading through all these emails and issues, I am kind of boggling at how
someone could actually author something that could work as a plain web-page,
as a WP, be packaged as a PWP and/or EPUB3/4.  Itıs doable of course ­
anything is doable (old adage: ³Sure, we can do that ­ how long do you want
to wait and how much do you want to pay?²).  But if the bar to create
portable content is too high, we will end up in the same place as EPUB3,
with almost everyone creating content to the lowest common denominator, both
because then it will work most places and it isnıt wickedly difficult to
create.  If that happens, you could argue we have failed.

I donıt have any magic wand or bullet to solve this, I just thought I would
point it out (again) so we keep it in mind when we start contemplating
complex scenarios.

Finally, bear in mind that reading systems, in general, canıt just support
WP/PWP/EPUB4 ­ they have to support all the old stuff (EPUB2/3) as well.  In
some cases, reading systems have simply crammed multiple engines in there
(e.g. Adobe, BN and Kobo come to mind), but it is not an elegant solution
and incurs a significant cost in testing if nothing else.

Anyway, just my two cents after a long, long slog through all the stuff.

BTW, there is a third item ­ Ivan is going to have fun when he gets backŠ
:-)

Ric
Received on Friday, 28 July 2017 19:03:35 UTC

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