Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares four qualities that will define open and interoperable ebooks of the future during his keynote at IDPF DigiCon 2016 @ BEA. Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989 with the goal of making content on the internet interoperable and accessible, and today it is the primary way that people access the internet. Berners-Lee, keynote speaker at IDPF DigiCon @ BEA 2016, has a similar vision for the ebook and believes that publishers can utilize open web standards to interlink ebook content and share ebooks seamlessly across a host of devices and screens. Using the open web standard HTML 5, ebooks can assume a near-limitless number of forms. “What happens on the page is completely up to your imagination,” said Berners-Lee.
As ebook standards like EPUB 3 further align with open web standards, ebooks will transcend their containers, continued Berners-Lee. “The kind of coding you see in ebooks may also be used in cars, on screens of all kinds.” This is the future he argued publishers should be working towards.
The merging of ebook and web standards could occur faster than many in the industry may have anticipated, thanks to the possible merger of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). Berners-Lee, director of the W3C and Bill McCoy, executive director of the IDPF, announced this possible partnership at the close of the keynote. “It’s not a done deal,” said McCoy, “We are still exploring it.” Today, during the IDPF Open Member Meeting, members will discuss this potential merger and share their input.