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RE: funding for EPUB training (and bigger question about funding for EPUB 3 ecosystem)

From: George Kerscher <kerscher@montana.com>
Date: Sun, 24 Sep 2017 09:16:22 -0600
To: "'Ivan Herman'" <ivan@w3.org>
Cc: "'Bill McCoy'" <bmccoy@w3.org>, "'W3C Publishing Steering Committee'" <public-publishing-sc@w3.org>, "'Karen L Myers'" <karen@w3.org>, "'Bernard Gidon'" <bgidon@w3.org>, "'Brian F. O'Leary'" <brian@bisg.org>
Message-ID: <002901d33548$19540310$4bfc0930$@montana.com>
OK that is good news.
I want to make a tax deductible donation to Publishing at the W3C. I will need a receipt for tax purposes. I will also need a website for providing my credit card or paypal details.
Then as a SC member, I would like to review the balance in our earmarked line item.
And as any person who ever served on a Board knows, you need 100% participation in giving from your board to establish credibility.
I think if we had this set up, then we could solicit for funds and have the infrastructure to implement. We would also have the history of giving in the PBG.
From: Ivan Herman [mailto:ivan@w3.org] 
Sent: Sunday, September 24, 2017 2:34 AM
To: George Kerscher <kerscher@montana.com>
Cc: Bill McCoy <bmccoy@w3.org>; W3C Publishing Steering Committee <public-publishing-sc@w3.org>; Karen L Myers <karen@w3.org>; Bernard Gidon <bgidon@w3.org>; Brian F. O'Leary <brian@bisg.org>
Subject: Re: funding for EPUB training (and bigger question about funding for EPUB 3 ecosystem)
I agree with everything you say, except for the Web Foundation. The Foundation has moved into very different areas and, as far as I can judge it, it would be fairly difficult to use it for that purpose.
I do not think that, administratively, there would be any problem having earmarked funds given to W3C for a specific activity. We have had examples in the past, afaik.
On 24 Sep 2017, at 07:59, George Kerscher <kerscher@montana.com <mailto:kerscher@montana.com> > wrote:
Hello all,
I feel that Publishing at the W3C should be able to solicit  non-profit funds for the industry. I would love to see a mechanism for money to be earmarked for publishing and receive a charitable donation for gifts. The SC should be in a position to manage these funds. One would think that under MIT and the other associated organizations that this could be done. Perhaps this is an activity under the Web Foundation, which I think was founded about 8 years ago?
Perhaps the existing Web foundation could be a source for the most essential work?
I would put epubcheck as the first priority for our fund raising efforts. The W3C maintains an HTML validation tool, and epubcheck  amounts to the same fundamental tool supporting publishing at the W3C.
From: Bill McCoy [mailto:bmccoy@w3.org] 
Sent: Friday, September 22, 2017 10:02 AM
To: public-publishing-sc@w3.org <mailto:public-publishing-sc@w3.org> 
Cc: 'Karen Myers' <karen@w3.org <mailto:karen@w3.org> >; 'Bernard Gidon' <bgidon@w3.org <mailto:bgidon@w3.org> >; 'Brian O'Leary' <brian@bisg.org <mailto:brian@bisg.org> >
Subject: funding for EPUB training (and bigger question about funding for EPUB 3 ecosystem)
There has been a discussion among BillK and others from BISG and several W3C folks including Bernard Gidon (cc:ed) about how to move forward with EPUB online training building on the (originally from MIT) edX MOOC platform that W3C is using for other training [1] . BISG has developed some EPUB training modules already and so the idea is (as best I understand it) to adapt this to the MIT/W3C platform. BISG has generously offered to contribute its IP and resources to this but can’t afford to do it all and there is an “ask” of $60K to $80K for funding to do the development.
So the proximate reason for this email is to ask the PBG Steering Committee to see if we can help in identifying one or more sponsor(s) (who could receive attribution etc.) for this work.

Stepping back though it seems to beg the question about what are the priorities for investing to support maintenance and expansion the EPUB 3 ecosystem. Because we have at least two other areas also looking for funding of a similar order of magnitude: EPUBCheck development including upgrading to EPUB 3.1, and EPUBTest ongoing support. Both involve BISG as well in some respects, especially the latter of course. 
And if we can’t find the funds to upgrade EPUBCheck to EPUB 3.1 then what will the training cover – EPUB 3.0.1, so we are rolling out brand new training on an obsolete version of EPUB 3?  Or EPUB 3.1 but minus any validator so the training is crippled? It seems to me that we would be putting the cart before the horse to resolve this training issue until we resolve the issue about EPUB 3.1 (promote – which means we MUST have EPUBCheck support and definitely SHOULD have EPUBTest support – or give up).

Overall it seems critical to me that W3C be seen as a bona fide conservator and promoter of EPUB 3 even as we accelerate work on PWP/EPUB4. IF EPUB 3 becomes perceived as “abandonware” it will be a big black eye for W3C and, IMO, threaten the migration of publishing technology to the Open Web Platform for which EPUB 3 is a key steppingstone.
So it feels to me that the PBG (led by its SC) should be wrestling with these three things together, even if it seems a bit daunting to consider if and how to gather $200K in resources for three things if we are struggling to find $60K-$80K for one of them.

[1]  <https://www.edx.org/school/w3cx> https://www.edx.org/school/w3cx

Ivan Herman, W3C 
Publishing@W3C Technical Lead
Home: http://www.w3.org/People/Ivan/
mobile: +31-641044153
ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0782-2704
Received on Sunday, 24 September 2017 15:17:02 UTC

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