January 23, 2022

Digital Publishing: W3C and IDPF Officially Combine

From the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C):

2017-02-01_08-31-06The vision to align Publishing and Web technologies and create a new roadmap for the future of publishing became official today with the announcement that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) have combined organizations.

W3C is the global standards organization that develops foundational Web technologies such as HTML, CSS, SVG, XML and WCAG. IDPF developed the EPUB standard used globally for accessible ebooks and digital publications.

Web Inventor and W3C Director Sir Tim Berners-Lee first shared his vision for the future of publishing on the Web at IDPF’s DigiCon event in May 2016, where the two organizations publicly announced plans to explore a combination to accelerate the alignment of technologies.

The IDPF membership approved the plan, by a large majority (88%), and the IDPF Board and W3C have finalized the transaction. The agreement also includes an unprecedented number of organizations — including most IDPF members and several large publishers who are not IDPF members — that have made Royalty-Free (RF) commitments to ensure that the future of EPUB and the Open Web Platform for publishing is not patent encumbered.


The Publishing@W3C roadmap includes plans to charter new standards work this spring that will focus on both online as well as offline access for digital publications. This means that someone reading on a device that is not connected to the Web may still interact and retain the information when he or she is back online, and vice versa.

To ensure EPUB’s maintenance and advance EPUB’s further adoption, W3C is setting up a separate EPUB (3.1) Community Group that is free and open to anyone to participate.

W3C is also planning to explore meeting the next generation of EPUB requirements in a proposed Publications Working Group.

The next EPUB Summit will take place 9-10 March in Brussels, Belgium.

A newly formed W3C Publishing Business Group will hold its first face-to-face meeting on Monday, 13 March in London, UK, the day before the London Book Fair opens. Participation in the W3C Publishing Business Group is open to IDPF and W3C members, and other interested organizations who wish to join this group. The Publishing Business Group will be the focal point for the community to address new needs and requirements and serve as a forum for industry discussions.

W3C has named Bill McCoy to oversee a smooth transition of former IDPF members and other interested organizations from the publishing ecosystem into W3C. McCoy was formerly Executive Director of IDPF.

Read the Complete Announcement

Direct to Publishing at W3C Website

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.