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Re: EPUB Rec track (Was Re: [minutes] 2019-10-01)

From: AUDRAIN LUC <LAUDRAIN@hachette-livre.fr>
Date: Thu, 3 Oct 2019 07:28:42 +0000
To: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>, Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>
CC: Dave Cramer <dauwhe@gmail.com>, Garth Conboy <garth@google.com>, W3C Publishing Business Group <public-publishingbg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C503E5FB-C3F4-4974-916F-C186DA8D633E@hachette-livre.fr>

In PBG Tuesday call, we did speak of the necessity of a roadmap for the future of EPUB and that this is being worked on in the  EPUB3 CG. It was also identified that any timeline would come after a clear roadmap.

From the minutes :

Dave Cramer: The CG is discussing its roadmap and how we want it to evolve
Avneesh Singh: I see something missing in the spreadsheet
… how will EPUB change
… also relates to future roadmap
… suppose CG sends us on a roadmap that they think are essential
… but we are not able to move forward on them because they are not yet mature specifications
… let us proceed and make decisions then
Avneesh Singh:
… let’s work closely with EPUB3 CG and then determine a timeline

As for the scenarios, I must admit I don’t understand why scenario for EPUB number 2) is bearing some items that are already being standardized on the Web Publication base, namely

  *   (c) audiobooks, being the result of the PWG,
  *   (a) sequential art is already incubated by EDRLab and BDCoMa CG on Web Publication,
  *   (d) bringing in some early Web Publications content : isn’t the Web Publication note here for that?

At least the consensus from the PBG call is to let the EPUB CG work on an EPUB Roadmap first.

Another quote from the minutes :

Wendy Reid: I said this in Fukuoka
… should a WG, not nec publishing, to handle the work of EPUB3 Rec Track
… because I don’t doubt things will change as we get privacy and horizontal reviews
… what is clear is that EPUB3 does not succeed if it is not backwards compatible
… any charter written must make backwards compatibility a requirement
… the perk is that we have a decade of incubation and implementation
… not like the problems we had with Web Publications where there were not problems identified or implemented
… There is space for the CG
… ideas to get incubated and could be
… rigor of the standardization process will be good in the long run
… industry has made it incredibly clear is EPUB is what they want to work on and what they want to sell

I personally fully support this as the EPUB3 CG bears the maximum representation of the publishing industry.


De : Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
Date : jeudi 3 octobre 2019 à 08:09
À : Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>
Cc : Dave Cramer <dauwhe@gmail.com>, Garth Conboy <garth@google.com>, W3C Publishing Business Group <public-publishingbg@w3.org>
Objet : Re: EPUB Rec track (Was Re: [minutes] 2019-10-01)
Renvoyer - De : <public-publishingbg@w3.org>
Renvoyer - Date : jeudi 3 octobre 2019 à 08:09

Let me add two more variables to the equation, continuing along the lines of Jeff's scenario (2).

I have heard that the current EPUB 3.2 document would need a strong editorial re-write or even re-structuring, without touching the technical content. If this is indeed correct, then it may make sense to publish this re-written EPUB 3.2 as a Rec, that would then be a starting point to 3.4, 3.5, etc. By doing so, it would be easier to track changes later. Of course, if this is not the plan, i.e., any change would start directly with the current document, then this factor goes away.

Another point: Jeff said:

> If we believe that in three years there is enough meaningful content for  an EPUB 3.5, then I would not advocate taking EPUB 3.2 to REC.

I wonder whether a more incremental model would not be a better option, i.e., not to wait three years with a big set of changes but, rather, publish new releases relatively often (say, every 12-18 months) even with only a few new technical features. Some sort of a more agile model, not unlike what is happening in the HTML land.


On 3 Oct 2019, at 02:36, Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org<mailto:jeff@w3.org>> wrote:

On 10/2/2019 6:10 PM, Dave Cramer wrote:
On Wed, Oct 2, 2019 at 12:56 PM Garth Conboy <garth@google.com<mailto:garth@google.com>> wrote:
And... jumping the gun...

Given your two scenarios, Jeff, I'd tend to lean toward #2.  :-)

Jeff, do you think work on #2 should happen in the CG or in a WG? Or CG first and then WG?
For those on the thread who forgot what #2 is, let me re-produce it here:
2. Let's assume that we collectively believe that there are additional meaningful enhancements for EPUB that we expect to deliver in the next three years.  These could be sourced from several directions: (a) Sequential arts (manga) requirements, (b) some level of interop with Kindle, (c) bringing in some of the audiobooks content into the core EPUB spec, (d) bringing in some early Web Publications content, (e) natural evolution of the core EPUB 3.0 spec which was already approved 8 years ago.

If we believe that in three years there is enough meaningful content for
an EPUB 3.5, then I would not advocate taking EPUB 3.2 to REC.  I would
prefer to put our energies into the new function.
to which Garth said - yes let's work on that, and Dave said that the CG is developing some proposals.
Now comes Dave's question do we do that work in a CG or in a WG.
W3C's general approach to such questions is that the work should be incubated in a CG and standardized in a WG.
When the work is still exploratory (incubation phase) it is too expensive to put it in a WG.  Teams will experiment rapidly with different approaches; make many changes; and won't want the overhead of doing that in a WG.
But CGs lack the rigor of WGs.  The work is not as well known, it will not get the testing; horizontal review; level of patent protection; and the imprimatur of the membership (AC) and Director.    So when the work reaches a greater maturity level it should be transitioned to the REC track.
A roadmap provides an expectation of which new capability will be ready technically or needed by the marketplace on what schedule.  One (or several) Community Group(s) could "hang out a shingle" and immediately start working on some subset of the workscope.  The Business Group could use the roadmap and assess when the work should start transitioning to the REC track.
I don't know the roadmap so I can't answer the question directly.  If some of the work is already mature/needed we could start a WG tomorrow.  If it all matures in two years we could plan to start a new WG in two years.  More likely, the work matures at different paces.  The BG proposes a charter (some months from now) outlining the expected roadmap.  Depending on how many distinct "traunches" of function are involved - there could be a single EPUB 3.5 deliverable proposed, or incremental 3.3, 3.4, etc. deliverables - there could be different deliverables identified in such a charter.


Ivan Herman, W3C
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Received on Thursday, 3 October 2019 07:29:09 UTC

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