IDPF Executive Director Bill McCoy has published an opinion piece on digitalbookworld.com, sharing his perspective about the significant benefits of the combination of IDPF with W3C for the future of EPUB and book publishing.
A self-appointed “Save the IDPF. Save EPUB. committee" is publicly attacking the plan to combine IDPF with W3C, even though it has already been approved by the IDPF Board and membership, and is expected to be finalized within weeks. Their basic assertion is that the planned combination will be bad for the book industry. How the combination is likely to impact the book industry is certainly an important question. But, regrettably, their communications have also included misleading information about the plan to combine. This post focuses on setting the record straight about the facts.
The Open Meeting about the combination of IDPF with W3C is set for this Wednesday, January 18 from 12:30pm until 2:00pm US Eastern Time. Meeting space has provided courtesy of the Digital Book World 2017 Conference (DBW 2017) taking place January 17-19 at the NYC Hilton Midtown.
IDPF recently requested that all organizations that have contributed to EPUB, whether or not current IDPF members, authorize their inclusion as a co-submitter with IDPF on the submission of the latest version of EPUB to W3C as part of implementation of the combination of IDPF with W3C, which was overwhelmingly approved last November by the IDPF membership. Some questions and misinformation has arisen regarding this request so we are publishing this follow-up covering several frequently-asked questions about the request.
The Pantone Color of the Year for 2017 was announced last month as "Greenery, symbolic of new beginnings". This struck a chord with me as the coming year promises to be a new beginning for our community which came together in 1999 as the Open EBook Forum (OEBF) to develop open standards for digital books, reinvented itself in 2005 with a broader remit when it became the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), and then found mainstream success with the development of the key EPUB standard.
While I know a number of IDPF members and others in the publishing community have expressed concern at the prospect of IDPF no longer being a standalone organization, I also know that many of you share my excitement and optimism. By joining forces with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), we will continue to expand and accelerate the convergence of EPUB and the Open Web Platform in service of our mission to foster the global adoption of an open, accessible, and interoperable digital publishing ecosystem that enables innovation.
The IDPF Membership has unanimously approved EPUB 3.1 as a Recommended Specification, by a vote of 72 YES to zero NO votes. 73 members voted (including one abstention) representing 54% of the members in good standing. significantly above the 25% quorum requirement.
As part of work towards implementing the plan to combine IDPF with W3C, proposed initial charters have been drafted for the anticipated new W3C Publishing Business Group and W3C EPUB 3 Community Group.
The IDPF Board has called a vote of the IDPF membership to approve EPUB 3.1 as the new current version of EPUB. Voting will be open through January 3, 2017. The EPUB 3.1 project began in October of 2015, with a goal of simplifying the specification and better aligning with the Open Web Platform. EPUB 3.1 is a significant update but includes no significant new features: it corrects many errata, reflects updates to HTML5 and other dependent Web specifications since the finalization of EPUB 3.0.1 in June, 2014. and adds specificity to accessibility guidelines. Additonally, the EPUB specification has been significantly reorganized, with general conformance requirements now a separate document that also serves as the main "entry point" to the EPUB specification.
IDPF will hold an open meeting and webinar on January 18, 2017 from 12:30pm-2:00pm US Eastern Time to update IDPF members and the publishing community about the planned combination of IDPF with W3C. This will be an open forum for discussion, and the latest updates regarding the combination will be shared by IDPF President George Kerscher, other IDPF Board members, IDPF Executive Director Bill McCoy, and Karen Myers, W3C Business Development and Communications. The meeting will take place at the Digital Book World conference in New York City.. A DBW conference pass is not required to attend the meeting, but a special IDPF discount to DBW is available (http://idpf.org/news/idpf-discount-to-digital-book-world-conference-jan-...)