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The Year of Testing Dangerously
The EPUB 3.3 Story
Dave Cramer and Wendy Reid
1
Introductions
Dave Cramer
Dave Cramer is a Senior Digital Publishing
Technology Specialist at Hachette Book Group. He
develops standards, workflows, and tools for both
print and ebook production using web technologies.
He started working with ebooks in 2001, and created
the first commercial EPUB files for Hachette in 2007.
He was co-editor the IDPF fixed layout specification,
and wrote BISG's Field Guide to Fixed Layout. He's a
former member of the W3C's CSS Working Group,
and helped edit specs on paged media. Dave is now
co-chair of W3C's EPUB 3 Working Group, working
on the forthcoming EPUB 3.3.
Wendy Reid
Wendy Reid is the Accessibility and Publishing
Standards Lead at Rakuten Kobo. She is responsible
for Kobo’s Accessibility and Standards work, where
she mainly focuses on digital accessibility and
standards for ebooks and audiobooks. She is one of
the co-chairs of the EPUB3 Working Group and
Audiobooks Working Group, as well as the editor of
the Audiobooks W3C recommendation.
2
Quick Glossary of Acronyms
W3C - World Wide Web Consortium, a standards body that
focuses on producing specifications for web technology
PWA - Progressive Web App
3
A gif of a small kitten covering
it's mouth with its paw with its
eyes wide.
It all begins with a dramatic test
result
4
Demo of some tests, Why are
we testing?
5
W3C Recommendation Process
Every Recommendation (W3C's term for specifications) that
W3C publishes goes through the process, which defines
specific steps for how a document goes from a draft to an
official W3C standard.
Even though EPUB 3 has been around for years, it was never a
W3C standard, so for this version, we needed to work through
the process to make it official.
6
The Process
The process is comprised of various steps a document must go
through before it can be published as a Recommendation.
1. First Public Working Draft
2. Revised Working Drafts
3. Candidate Recommendation <-- we are here
4. Proposed Recommendation
5. W3C Recommendation
7
During the Process
The process is meant to ensure that any specification a group is
working on meets a number of different criteria:
• Accessibility
• Architecture
• Internationalization
• Privacy
• Security
8
Candidate Recommendation and Interoperability
The Candidate Recommendation stage is for testing, where the
document is tested by user agents (aka reading systems) to
ensure the requirements of the specification are achievable.
Each feature must be verified by at least two implementations,
in order to ensure interoperability. For EPUB, this will be the
first time we'll be able to see which reading systems have
which features implemented.
9
A gif of David from Schitt's
Creek saying "This is a
teachable moment for all of
us"
What can we learn from testing?
10
Image description: A table with 6 columns and 4
rows showing the results for 3 tests. The columns
are titled "id", "req", "Android (PWA)", "iOS (PWA)",
"Web (Chrome)", and "Web (Safari)". The first row
is a test for CSS support, where all implementations
pass. The second row is a test for MathML support,
where the Android and Web implementations fail,
but the remainder pass. The third row is a test for
CSS and SVG support, where all of the
implementations pass.
What the test result looks like
Results for three tests, performed on four different
implementations.
11
Interoperability
For EPUB, interoperability has long been a state we desired
but had no real information on. A lot of anecdotes ("this book
works fine on Apple Books, but not on Kobo!"), occasionally
some small tests, but very little published, referenceable
material.
The tests for EPUB will provide some of that information, which
we can use to help inform future publishing standards.
12
If you build it... they might not come
Early versions of EPUB3 were optimistic, including features that
sounded necessary and important to publications, but were not
present in reading systems or tools. "If we build it, they will
come" was the philosophy.
11 years later, many have been implemented, but some have
not.
Testing will allow up to see exactly where things stand, so we
can build better books and features in the future.
13
Drew Barrymore saying "They
changed my life"
The impact of EPUB 3.3
14
Document Reorganization
Version 3.2
• EPUB 3.2
• EPUB Packages 3.2
• EPUB Content Documents 3.2
• EPUB Open Container Format
3.2
• EPUB Media Overlays 3.2
Version 3.3
• EPUB 3.3 Core
• EPUB 3.3 Reading Systems
15
Making a more readable EPUB specification
Most of the changes to the documents were to aid in the
readability and comprehension of the specification. The two
parts, Core and Reading Systems, organize the requirements of
the specification into its two primary parts: Content and User
Agent.
Core contains all of the requirements for content creators,
while Reading Systems covers the requirements for user
agents.
16
Privacy and Security
The biggest addition is sections on privacy and security for both
documents. Writing these involved creating a threat model for EPUB. What
is a threat in EPUB?
• Scripting
• Compromised or malicious remote resources
• Phishing/spoofing
• Collection of user data
• User-generated content
17
Updates to EPUBCheck
A new EPUBCheck version will be released with full support for
EPUB 3.3, it is currently in beta for anyone interested in trying
it.
18
Updates to EPUB Accessibility
EPUB Accessibility 1.1 will be released along with EPUB 3.3.
New additions include:
• Allowing EPUB creators to conform to the latest version of
WCAG
• New recommendations for page list and page numbering
• Updates to ensure conformance with EAA
• refines attributes for accessibility metadata fields
19
Removing unused features
In EPUB 3.3 we have identified three types of unused features:
• Under-implemented features - features where there may be one or more
implementations, but are not commonly used and should be considered
risky for content creators
• Deprecated features - features the working group no longer
recommends be used, as they have limited to no support in the market
• Legacy features - features we have retained for backwards compatibility
with previous versions of EPUB, but may not be supported by reading
systems
20
Under-implemented features
• rendition: flow - This feature was designed with the intention of allowing content
creators the ability to tell a reading system to display content vertically scrolled. It
includes the ability to do paginated scrolling or free-form. While a scrolling feature is
implemented in many reading systems, it is more at the user discretion than creator's,
and this feature is potentially at risk.
• manifest fallbacks - Fallbacks were intended to allow content creators to provide an
alternate version of a file if the main one did not render. In practice, it so far appears this
feature is under utilized in content, but also under-supported in reading systems, putting
it at risk.
Any feature determined to be under-implemented will be updated as such once testing is
complete to confirm implementation status.
21
epub:type
epub:type has been recommended against as an accessibility
enhancement in version 3.3, in favour of better support for the
ARIA properties in browsers, and increased adoption of the
DPUB ARIA roles for documents.
In EPUB 3.3, we recommend replacing epub:type with ARIA
role and the appropriate value when it is being used for
accessibility reasons.
22
New Media Types
EPUB 3.3 adds two new media types:
• WebP, a modern image format for the web, which allows for
smaller file sizes with the same quality as JPEG or PNG
• OPUS, an open source audio codec also designed for the
web, with streaming, storage, and a wide range of support
for different bitrates and sampling rates
23
The Best News of All
24
You are already
creating EPUB 3.3
files!
25
26

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The year of testing dangerously: The EPUB 3.3 story - Tech Forum 2022

  • 1. The Year of Testing Dangerously The EPUB 3.3 Story Dave Cramer and Wendy Reid 1
  • 2. Introductions Dave Cramer Dave Cramer is a Senior Digital Publishing Technology Specialist at Hachette Book Group. He develops standards, workflows, and tools for both print and ebook production using web technologies. He started working with ebooks in 2001, and created the first commercial EPUB files for Hachette in 2007. He was co-editor the IDPF fixed layout specification, and wrote BISG's Field Guide to Fixed Layout. He's a former member of the W3C's CSS Working Group, and helped edit specs on paged media. Dave is now co-chair of W3C's EPUB 3 Working Group, working on the forthcoming EPUB 3.3. Wendy Reid Wendy Reid is the Accessibility and Publishing Standards Lead at Rakuten Kobo. She is responsible for Kobo’s Accessibility and Standards work, where she mainly focuses on digital accessibility and standards for ebooks and audiobooks. She is one of the co-chairs of the EPUB3 Working Group and Audiobooks Working Group, as well as the editor of the Audiobooks W3C recommendation. 2
  • 3. Quick Glossary of Acronyms W3C - World Wide Web Consortium, a standards body that focuses on producing specifications for web technology PWA - Progressive Web App 3
  • 4. A gif of a small kitten covering it's mouth with its paw with its eyes wide. It all begins with a dramatic test result 4
  • 5. Demo of some tests, Why are we testing? 5
  • 6. W3C Recommendation Process Every Recommendation (W3C's term for specifications) that W3C publishes goes through the process, which defines specific steps for how a document goes from a draft to an official W3C standard. Even though EPUB 3 has been around for years, it was never a W3C standard, so for this version, we needed to work through the process to make it official. 6
  • 7. The Process The process is comprised of various steps a document must go through before it can be published as a Recommendation. 1. First Public Working Draft 2. Revised Working Drafts 3. Candidate Recommendation <-- we are here 4. Proposed Recommendation 5. W3C Recommendation 7
  • 8. During the Process The process is meant to ensure that any specification a group is working on meets a number of different criteria: • Accessibility • Architecture • Internationalization • Privacy • Security 8
  • 9. Candidate Recommendation and Interoperability The Candidate Recommendation stage is for testing, where the document is tested by user agents (aka reading systems) to ensure the requirements of the specification are achievable. Each feature must be verified by at least two implementations, in order to ensure interoperability. For EPUB, this will be the first time we'll be able to see which reading systems have which features implemented. 9
  • 10. A gif of David from Schitt's Creek saying "This is a teachable moment for all of us" What can we learn from testing? 10
  • 11. Image description: A table with 6 columns and 4 rows showing the results for 3 tests. The columns are titled "id", "req", "Android (PWA)", "iOS (PWA)", "Web (Chrome)", and "Web (Safari)". The first row is a test for CSS support, where all implementations pass. The second row is a test for MathML support, where the Android and Web implementations fail, but the remainder pass. The third row is a test for CSS and SVG support, where all of the implementations pass. What the test result looks like Results for three tests, performed on four different implementations. 11
  • 12. Interoperability For EPUB, interoperability has long been a state we desired but had no real information on. A lot of anecdotes ("this book works fine on Apple Books, but not on Kobo!"), occasionally some small tests, but very little published, referenceable material. The tests for EPUB will provide some of that information, which we can use to help inform future publishing standards. 12
  • 13. If you build it... they might not come Early versions of EPUB3 were optimistic, including features that sounded necessary and important to publications, but were not present in reading systems or tools. "If we build it, they will come" was the philosophy. 11 years later, many have been implemented, but some have not. Testing will allow up to see exactly where things stand, so we can build better books and features in the future. 13
  • 14. Drew Barrymore saying "They changed my life" The impact of EPUB 3.3 14
  • 15. Document Reorganization Version 3.2 • EPUB 3.2 • EPUB Packages 3.2 • EPUB Content Documents 3.2 • EPUB Open Container Format 3.2 • EPUB Media Overlays 3.2 Version 3.3 • EPUB 3.3 Core • EPUB 3.3 Reading Systems 15
  • 16. Making a more readable EPUB specification Most of the changes to the documents were to aid in the readability and comprehension of the specification. The two parts, Core and Reading Systems, organize the requirements of the specification into its two primary parts: Content and User Agent. Core contains all of the requirements for content creators, while Reading Systems covers the requirements for user agents. 16
  • 17. Privacy and Security The biggest addition is sections on privacy and security for both documents. Writing these involved creating a threat model for EPUB. What is a threat in EPUB? • Scripting • Compromised or malicious remote resources • Phishing/spoofing • Collection of user data • User-generated content 17
  • 18. Updates to EPUBCheck A new EPUBCheck version will be released with full support for EPUB 3.3, it is currently in beta for anyone interested in trying it. 18
  • 19. Updates to EPUB Accessibility EPUB Accessibility 1.1 will be released along with EPUB 3.3. New additions include: • Allowing EPUB creators to conform to the latest version of WCAG • New recommendations for page list and page numbering • Updates to ensure conformance with EAA • refines attributes for accessibility metadata fields 19
  • 20. Removing unused features In EPUB 3.3 we have identified three types of unused features: • Under-implemented features - features where there may be one or more implementations, but are not commonly used and should be considered risky for content creators • Deprecated features - features the working group no longer recommends be used, as they have limited to no support in the market • Legacy features - features we have retained for backwards compatibility with previous versions of EPUB, but may not be supported by reading systems 20
  • 21. Under-implemented features • rendition: flow - This feature was designed with the intention of allowing content creators the ability to tell a reading system to display content vertically scrolled. It includes the ability to do paginated scrolling or free-form. While a scrolling feature is implemented in many reading systems, it is more at the user discretion than creator's, and this feature is potentially at risk. • manifest fallbacks - Fallbacks were intended to allow content creators to provide an alternate version of a file if the main one did not render. In practice, it so far appears this feature is under utilized in content, but also under-supported in reading systems, putting it at risk. Any feature determined to be under-implemented will be updated as such once testing is complete to confirm implementation status. 21
  • 22. epub:type epub:type has been recommended against as an accessibility enhancement in version 3.3, in favour of better support for the ARIA properties in browsers, and increased adoption of the DPUB ARIA roles for documents. In EPUB 3.3, we recommend replacing epub:type with ARIA role and the appropriate value when it is being used for accessibility reasons. 22
  • 23. New Media Types EPUB 3.3 adds two new media types: • WebP, a modern image format for the web, which allows for smaller file sizes with the same quality as JPEG or PNG • OPUS, an open source audio codec also designed for the web, with streaming, storage, and a wide range of support for different bitrates and sampling rates 23
  • 24. The Best News of All 24
  • 25. You are already creating EPUB 3.3 files! 25
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