Advancing Portable Documents for the Open Web Platform: EPUB-WEB

2014-11-26

Markus Gylling, IDPF, and Ivan Herman, W3C

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, with attribution to W3C and IDPF

Copyright ©2014 IDPF® and ©2014 W3C® (MIT, ERCIM, Keio, Beihang)

Bridging the Web and Digital Publishing: EPUB-WEB

Markus Gylling, IDPF, and Ivan Herman, W3C

2014-11-26

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, with attribution to W3C and IDPF
Copyright ©2014 IDPF® and ©2014 W3C® (MIT, ERCIM, Keio, Beihang)

EPUB-WEB is a vision for the future

EPUB-WEB at a glance

The vision

  • Portable documents are fully native citizen of the Open Web Platform
  • Separation between online (i.e., the “Web”) and portable (i.e., “EPUB”) is diminished to zero
  • This means:
    • Content authored for primarily offline use can be used online by loading it into a browser
    • Content authored for primarily online use can be easily saved as a portable document for offline use
    • These should be doable smoothly, solely based on the user’s interaction

The vision

  • Publishers can choose to utilize either or both of these publishing modes
  • Users can choose either or both of these consumption modes
  • Essential features flow seamlessly between on-line and off-line modes, like
    • cross-references, user annotations, access to on-line databases
    • licensing and rights management
    • etc.

Why bother?

EPUB at an inflection point

  • EPUB 3 is getting adopted by publishers
  • But rendering EPUB 3 requires:
    • browser extensions; or
    • significant development on top of “browser cores” for software/hardware solutions
  • EPUB as “first class Web citizen” would mean an easier and quicker deployment

Web Platform at an inflection point

  • Usage of (mobile) apps come to the fore (although often based on the same “browser cores”)
  • EPUB-WEB development would go in parallel with the development of general issues like packaging, metadata, or offline support

A number of use cases…

For example: book in a browser

Joseph Reagle's book as a web page
Extract of Joseph Reaggle’s PhD on the Web
  • On a desktop I may want to read a book just like a Web page:
    • easily follow a link “out” of the book
    • create bookmarks “into” a page in a book
    • use useful plugins and tools that my browser may have

For example: book in a browser (cont.)