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January 18, 2014

Some W3C Documents in EPUB3

Filed under: Code,Digital Publishing,Python,Work Related — Ivan Herman @ 13:04
Tags: , ,

I have been having fun the past few months, when I had some time, with a tool to convert official W3C publications (primarily Recommendations) into EPUB3. Apart from the fact that this helped me to dive into some details of the EPUB3 Specification, I think the result might actually be useful. Indeed, it often happens that a W3C Recommendation consists, in fact, of several different publications. This means that just archiving one single file is not enough if, for example, you want to have those documents off line. On the other hand, EPUB3 is perfect for this; one creates an eBook contains all constituent publications as “chapters”. Yep, EPUB3 as complex archiving tool:-)

The Python tool (which is available in github) has now reached a fairly stable state, and it works well for documents that have been produced by Robin Berjon’s great respec tool. I have generated, and put up on the Web, two books for now:

  1. RDFa 1.1, a Recommendation that was published last August (in fact, there was an earlier version of an RDFa 1.1. EPUB book, but that was done largely manually; this one is much better).
  2. JSON-LD, a Recommendation published this week (i.e., 16th of January).

(Needless to say, these books have no formal standing; the authoritative versions are the official documents published as a W3C Technical Report.)

There is also draft version for a much larger book on RDF1.1, consisting of all the RDF 1.1 specifications to come, including all the various serializations (including RDFa and JSON-LD). I say “draft”, because those documents are not yet final (i.e., not yet Recommendations); a final version (with, for example, all the cross-links properly set) will be at that URI when RDF 1.1 becomes a Recommendations (probably in February).

October 27, 2010

Publication of the Last Call for RDFa Core 1.1

The W3C RDFa Working Group has just published the “Last Call Working Draft” for RDFa Core 1.1. As Manu Sporny, the co-chair of the group, said in his tweet, this W3C jargon is equivalent to a “feature freeze”. Ie, the group does not know of any outstanding technical issues and of missing features that it would reasonably plan to add. Put it another way, this is last round of commenting before proceeding to final implementation testing and, hopefully, to a final W3C Standard. I.e., Last Call doesn’t mean that the group takes no more comments; on the contrary, technical comments are very welcome and necessary to make it sure that the final outcome is correct. Please, send your comments to the groups mailing list: public-rdfa-wg@w3.org (there is also a public archive).

Although lots of things have been discussed in the past few months (i.e., since the last draft published in August) not many things have significantly changed, in fact. Most of the changes are editorial, making the text clearer, more precise, etc. (You can look at the “diff” file, if you are interested.) This document is for the Core, i.e., the generic RDFa processing that can be used for any DOM. It is to be expected to have, in a few days, a similar document published for XHTML+RDFa 1.1 by the same Working Group, and an HTML5+RDFa 1.1 by the HTML Working Group.

I have also worked, in parallel to the specification work, on a modified version of the RDFa distiller. While the “official” service remains unchanged and relies on the current RDFa Recommendation, there is now a “Shadow” version, that relies on RDFa 1.1. The underlying code has undergone some cleanups beyond the adaptation to RDFa 1.1 so I am sure there are bugs…

Finally, a blatant self-promotion: Stéphane Corlosquet, Lin Clark and I will give a tutorial at the upcoming ISWC conference in Shanghai on RDFa and Drupal. The RDFa part relies on 1.1… (There are links to the slides on the page but you do not expect us not to touch them any more before the tutorial itself, do you? So make sure you look at them again after the event…)

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