The work of W3C members on publishing standards is currently achieved in three different groups:

  • The Publishing Working Group has achieved the specification of W3C Audiobooks and its Lightweight Packaging Format companion. The first will soon be a W3C Recommandation, the second stays a simple Note for now, which will not stop its wide use in the industry. The more global Web Publications specification will stay as a Note until the industry perceives its importance.
  • The EPUB 3 Community Group has achieved the release of the EPUB 3.2 specification, i.e. a clean writing of the EPUB 3 standard. Because the work has been done by a Community Group, open to everybody, it is a Note, not an official W3C standard. This does not hamper its wide use by in publishing, but being an official W3C standard would be a plus (see below).
  • The Publishing Business Group is a place of exchange for business needs, expressed by companies from the publishing industry, worldwide. The requirements and thoughts of this Group feed the technical Groups and this is here that funding has been raised for the development of an updated EPUBCheck.

As detailed in this blog post, this structure will change soon:

  • An EPUB 3 Working Group will replace the Publishing WG. Its charter will be to make EPUB 3 a W3C Recommandation, i.e. an official standard. This mainly involves making sure that the specification is compliant with W3C rules. Some updates may be applied also, triggered by the Digital Publishing Survey launched a month ago (it is still time to fill it!); but with a prime requirement: backward compatibility with EPUB 3.0.1.
  • A Publishing Community Group will explore and incubate new ideas, as well as collect feedback from the broader community.
  • The Publishing Business Group will continue advocating for business needs, working on communication and outreach and coordinating with the other groups.

EDRLab will continue participating to these groups, and serve as a link between EDRLab members and the W3C.

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