Publishing Business Group Telco — Minutes

Date: 2018-09-11

See also the Agenda and the IRC Log


Present: Ivan Herman, Karen Myers, Dan Sanicola, Liisa McCloy-Kelley, Daihei Shiohama, Ric Wright, Dave Cramer, Rachel Comerford, Bill Kasdorf, Avneesh Singh, Teenya, Julie Blair, Garth Conboy, Leslie Hulse, Julian Calderazi

Regrets: Luc Audrain, Tzviya Siegman


Chair: Liisa McCloy-Kelley

Scribe(s): Karen Myers


1. EPUB Community Review

Dave Cramer: We have been getting updates; 23 commits to repository
… we are making progress

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: How long is this review period?

Dave Cramer: I think more or less…

Rachel Comerford: It formally ended, but we are waiting for people to come back to us

Bill Kasdorf: it was an assigned - the review period?

Dave Cramer: things should settle by end of the month
… and get feedback; not massive deadline, but we are pretty far ahead

2. epubcheck

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: Tzviya is out due to holiday
… do we have an update on EPUB Checker and its development?
… Rachel, George?

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: We have contracted with Daisy to do the work and we are in process of getting the fundraising site going
… we have worked out also with Daisy also to manage the funds and intake
… we are working on agreement between us to make sure it’s done safely, correctly
… we’re about a week or so out from having that live
… We would start development as soon as there are enough funds available committed to cover the first page
… either funds received or invoiced

George Kerscher: As soon as we have confidence that funds are on their way in
… it takes a while for some companies to actually deliver the money
… as long as we have confidence we can start the work
… I tested the site this morning

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: you tested this morning and things worked well?

George Kerscher: yes, it was working this morning
… the early commitment people we will likely get started
… Important to point out that distribution of funds will be approved by the SC sub-committee
… and make sure the deliverable are there
… we will have the checks and balances in place to manage the contract

Ivan Herman: The not-yet-fully-final landing page is at:

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: Luc has volunteered to lead this. In his absence Tzviya is leading. Today we happen to be without both of them
… Any questions on EPUB Check and the fundraising

Ivan Herman: Maybe worth noting
… the plan is Tzviya who will make a blog post
… and there will be more push once the page is live and operational

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: that’s a good note to make
… Folks here in the group should think about their networks and how we can help to promote this
… any other questions?
… ok
… Last time when we met, we were in the Asian time slot
… we talked about the fact that people should review the EPUB Check requirements
… Do people know they can and should do that?
… any help needed there?
… What is the feeling about all this?

Ric Wright: I am willing to review the issues

Julian Calderazi: me too Liisa

Julian Calderazi: I’ll take a look this week

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: Thank you, Ric for saying you will review
… and thank you, Julian
… Anyone who feels there needs to be some non-technical translation of those issues, or is everyone ok reviewing as is?

Julian Calderazi: (ok for me)

Ric Wright: I’m OK with it “natural”

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: OK
… If you have other thoughts you don’t want to share in public forum, please do so


Liisa McCloy-Kelley: Who is going? Please note in irc

Dave Cramer: +1

Rachel Comerford: +1 TPAC

Garth Conboy: +1

Ivan Herman: +1

Ric Wright: 0 - I am not

Avneesh Singh: +1

Karen Myers: +1

Karen Myers: George +1

Garth Conboy: Geroge +1

Julian Calderazi: -1

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: +1

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: Sounds like a good group of us are going
… We will send something out to encourage others
… We have been put on the agenda for an hour for the Working Group meeting
… what do we want to talk about?
… Ideas?

Dave Cramer: I think this would be a good time to start talking about the business implications of Web Publications
… and how publishers might want to use Web Publications

Garth Conboy: yes certainly second Dave’s comment
… I think also Business Group folks
… who are not participating in the WG
… would be good to come to a cursory understanding of the progress made there; the WP draft
… some discussion of EPUB4
… come with opinions regarding the utility of what has been done so far
… to various business cases
… and suggestions for prioritizing our going forward efforts
… i am interested in…we have been taking a WP first
… setting bounds of a Web Publication
… is that the right direction first
… or should we look at EPUB4 and how we would package it
… WP v EPUB4 is discussion I would be interested in

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: Ok

Bill Kasdorf: One thing I think might be useful for BG members
… is a bullet list version of what is different between WP and EPUB
… for some it will be hard
… to say
… they won’t read the spec and have a hard time speculating whether that will be useful to me
… maybe some kind of cheat sheet would be useful

Karen Myers: +1

Ivan Herman: +1 to Bill_Kasdorf

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: That’s a good point, Bill

Dave Cramer: as we talk about EPUB4 and WP relationship, also EPUB3 relationship
… what makes sense in near- and future term
… relationship between all those things is fairly unclear

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: yes, I agree
… To Bill’s point, it’s hard to focus; make it simple and easy to digest

Bill Kasdorf: I was referring to EPUB3 differences
… EPUB 4 may be more like WP than EPUB 3

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: We have to understand the upgrade and compatibility areas

Garth Conboy: that is a good topic

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: Anyone else have topics to talk about while we are in france

Dave Cramer: all done

George Kerscher: One of things I am interested in
… I think of this in education
… where EPUBs are being used widely and LMSes are being used as well
… many times EPUBs are being ingested into LMS systems
… or things that kind of look like Web Publications are being digested in LMS
… I don’t have a clear idea of how different publications integrate with different LMS systems and different market models
… Seems like this is on the cusp of EPUB and Web Publications
… Not sure if it’s something we can discuss
… Also we have been doing a lot of Accessibility testing on EPUB and various reading apps
… Feel like we should be doing same thing within their counterpart, the LMS

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: George, I think those are really good points
… from a publisher’s perspective it’s hard to test
… what will happen with those systems

Ivan Herman: With all my respect to EPUB
… which should also be discussing and hearing about those areas of publishing that did not pick up EPUB for various reasons
… The hope we have from technical side is that there will be unifying elements
… Scholarly, journal have not picked up so much on EPUB
… we don’t want to concentrate only on EPUB v Web Publications
… another area that has come to the fore
… is the realization that Audio Books fit the Web Publications work perfectly
… there is a task force now looking at the few small things to make it better
… we have to be careful not to lose sight of publications that are not based on EPUB today
… but we as WG need feedback to those areas; very much so

Bill Kasdorf: +1 to Ivan

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: Any other ideas?

Avneesh Singh: A practical thing: Is 1 hour enough for all these business discussion in TPAC?

Karen Myers: I would like to hear a report on the Tokyo Publishing Workshop at TPAC

Dave Cramer: Who is going?

Ivan Herman: me, Dave, Luc, Laurent

Daihei Shiohama: I will, Daihei

Ivan Herman: Makoto of course
… who is on both groups
… I think that is it
… quite a few people from the Pub BG
… In two weeks from now there will be a call and a first impression can be given

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: Yes, we will definitely have it on the agenda in two weeks
… people should continue to think about what we can accomplish when we are together
… what to work on, what we can accomplish, how to prepare

Ivan Herman: Can I add one more thing
… one of the problems I have had
… The Business Group
… has not really looked over our shoulders
… maybe a discussion on how to have more regular contact between the two groups
… it should not be once a year at TPAC kind of thing
… Many people on WGs are techies
… which is good and bad at same time
… It’s good to have feedbacks regularly from the Business Group and we have not had that. We should discuss how we can have that after TPAC

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: That’s a great point, Ivan

Dave Cramer: you can look over the shoulders of the community group

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: Lots of shoulder looking!
… Need to be tall :)

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: any more comments before we move on?
… ok

4. Conferences

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: a handful of us got into a conversation on conferences
… and whether there would be interest in the BG picking up conferences
… there was a feeling that there were already a lot of conferences out there
… Would it be helpful to just start by collating a list of the various EPUB conferences

Ivan Herman: EPUB or Publishing?

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: Publishing
… I was thinking EPUB, thinking about standards
… we can broaden it to publishing more broadly and what segments and parts
… Good example is DBW
… a number of people used to attend the EPUB tracks
… but this season it has shifted and has become more marketing oriented

George Kerscher: marketing is good

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: totally

Karen Myers: +1 collate and annotate list

Julian Calderazi: I’ll collaborate with a list in LatAm

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: Are people interested in conferences to learn things and share things
… I was thinking that this Fall marks 20 years for eBooks at PRH
… it’s not all solved, but it’s no longer the Wild West Frontier to figure out
… Karen, you agree
… Julian, you have offered to do a list for LatAm

George Kerscher: Library space
… and we regularly present at Accessibility conferences
… and best practices and standards for Accessibility in those places
… It is great when we see others carrying the general message
… not just their own corporate message
… but saying good things about the standard and W3C
… working collaboratively to build the marketplace

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: if nothing else, collaborating on the conferences helps us keep clear on what are the events and also be clear on who could represent us and carry our messages to various segments

Bill Kasdorf: I go to a lot of non-book conferences [names]
… I do an update at STM every year
… but not the same as a W3C person
… IPTC is the news industry people
… getting to IVan’s point thinking beyond eBooks
… folks like AP, TR, Bloomberg, etc.
… who was your colleague who spoke, Ivan?

Bill Kasdorf: those kinds of organizations
… something more formal for W3C would be good
… SSP meeting is end of May or June
… program is locked in by January I think
… always possibility of trying to get onto the program
… STM is more of a seminar/workshop and I always speak at that
… not like the word isn’t getting out
… but not being done in a W3C branded way

Ivan Herman: +1 to Karen

Karen Myers: would be good to use W3C Publishing landing page as place for the various publishing segments and their conference calendars

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: Would be good to figure out where to anchor this conversation

Ivan Herman: Isn’t there a public calendar we can put in on our page?
… or federate several of those?

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: I honestly don’t know of anyone. Billk?

Bill Kasdorf: these sectors are siloed
… scholarly doesn’t know about @

Ivan Herman: Is it possible to integrate more those silos
… SSP does a good job of that in scholarly
… there are organizations Rachel could speak to in education that probably do that

Ivan Herman: If there are feeds of any kinds that come from different segments, the rest is just putting up code on our page

Bill Kasdorf: those organizations would welcome that

Ivan Herman: We should try to get those sector-specific feeds

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: See if they exist

Bill Kasdorf: I can work with Karen on some of them

Karen Myers: +1

Action #1: BillK, Karen and Liisa, plus Julian to work on these lists

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: George, would be good to figure out Accessibility events

George Kerscher: I don’t know of any feeds
… at DAISY we keep a calendar about year out of the important Accessibility conferences

Dave Cramer:

Bill Kasdorf: Lots of library conferences that also all over Web technologies

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: a great point

Ivan Herman: related to Libraries
… we have begun speaking to the archival organizations
… there is some early interest in setting up a workshop some time next year
… they have their own problems
… like Library of Congress, European libraries
… that’s a different community

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: We can continue with this by email
… let’s continue

5. Discussions on new requirements

5.1. anchor image and text

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: Desire to ensure this image and this text will always be on the same page
… we have often tried to solve that
… but almost nobody supports it
… is this just my problem, or do other people have this issue, too?

Bill Kasdorf: +1 very common issue

Julie Blair: +1

Dave Cramer: This is a complicated thing in web space
… don’t know how much space you will have
… image is this big, not sure how much will fit on screen
… to make it a reality you have to figure out how to scale it
… captions staying with an image using flexbox

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: which is also not supported

Dave Cramer: widely supported on the web anyway
… most of web solutions become problematic in EPUB reading system
… because of the pagination and user personalization challenges; they are re-writing both the mark-up and the CSS
… makes it tricky
… it’s an interesting question: I don’t have a solution but would like to talk to people about it

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: next week in Japan?

Dave Cramer: yes

Ivan Herman: Question to Dave
… we know the pagination story
… and there are promises to do it
… with all these new CSS, Houdini approaches
… would that make combination of pagination and CSS solutions with black boxes work?

Dave Cramer: At this point, I don’t know enough about how things like Flexbox and Grid interact with fragmentation

Ivan Herman: If you don’t know, nobody does

Dave Cramer: probably Fantasai knows, and we can ask her

Ric Wright: Dave, are there some samples that you have that use grids that don’t work?
… I use grids a lot on web but not on EPUB

Dave Cramer: I have EPUB flexbox examples that work
… for example in Readium which is lovely
… yes, I have not tried much with grid

Ric Wright: I’ll have a look on it on my own

Dave Cramer: there is also this more general question of taking other elements like side notes
… we can sort of do with floats
… it does get tricky

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: I am just thinking about how we as content creators
… help the reading system to understand when things have to stay together and when things can move around
… so pagination can be optimized for both the content and the reader

Dave Cramer: I would love to have some examples that show people; this is what happens in our books that is terrible

Ric Wright: +1 to Dave

Dave Cramer: this is how it should be
… that goes a long way in showing people and getting advice in how it should be
… a few screen shots would be very helpful

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: yes, I think that’s the kind of things this group could pull together

Dave Cramer: I would be happy to get those and show to CSS

Ivan Herman: I am interested in how these flow back to core techs; the HTML and CSS
… the core reading systems
… eventually will use the core web engines
… that should be our goal
… eventually some of these things may lead to delegate someone to also go to CSS WG besides Dave
… certainly this group should be the mover for something like that

Dave Cramer: Absolutely

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: I think the thing we all have to mindful of
… is that some of these requirements come from conversations people are having about doing these things sooner v later
… may be reading system-specific kludges
… how do we deal with cart before the horse?

Ivan Herman: yes, I hear that

Garth Conboy: Dave commented on constraining the image side
… that will help on some reading systems
… have image and captions
… and if reading system or pagination system gets in the way
… that is a bug to be filed with reading system vendor
… If you have page break insize a void
… any paginator cannot constrain image side on its own

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: thinking about not times of a caption
… see this in kids’ chapter books
… important for them to associate a paragraph with text to a certain image
… make sure each page is text/image/image/text
… we will manage order of things by always putting image first
… we force a lot of white space

Garth Conboy: white space is cheap in eBooks

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: true; just don’t want to much of it

5.2. broader support for mixed and fixed/refloat pages

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: Ok, moving on
… to related issue of this
… how do we get broader support for a mixture of fixed and reflow pages?

Garth Conboy: Mixed in same flow of content?

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: yes

Ric Wright: Supported in Readium already

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: I want next systems to reflow

Dave Cramer: some do that

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: I want all of them to do it

Garth Conboy: Do your fixed items as in-spine SVG

Dave Cramer: but we have reading systems that don’t do well with SVG

Garth Conboy: speaking for systems that don’t like the mixture

Dave Cramer: this is a problem; 10-20 years in we have not solved the problem
… to get reading systems to support everything we think they should support

Ivan Herman: Why don’t they support SVG?
… web engines today do a reasonable job of rendering SVG?

Garth Conboy: some reading systems don’t support in-spine SVG; we are not one of those

Dave Cramer: Still some marketshare for non-web rendering engine reading based systems

Ivan Herman: Ok, that’s the answer

George Kerscher: In our Accessibility testing we test for SVG
… testing for size without degradation of image quality
… is important to Accessibility people

Ivan Herman: That will be an interesting question for next week’s workshop

Ric Wright: Kudos to Garth
… SVG is in spec; Readium supports, but it does not work that well
… I have never seen SVG in the spine

Garth Conboy: not uncommon coming from Japanese content

Ric Wright: I would be interested to see some examples

Ivan Herman: Likely we’ll see some next week

Ric Wright: Great
… underlying browsers support SVG pretty well
… but biggest problem is if they do local references to the URIs to gradients
… in some browser that does not work
… they lose the basis of how to link to it so the rendering is poor
… whoever wrote the SVG support in Adobe Illustrator; it often breaks in the browser engines
… sorry to get technical but wanted to throw it out

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: we have three minutes left

6. AOB

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: anything else to talk about today?

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: For those going to Japan next week, we hope you have a great workshop
… for those not going, please think about what we want to accomplish for when we are all together in France

Julian Calderazi: you too all

Liisa McCloy-Kelley: have a great day!

7. Action Items