Epubcheck Needs You
This is a guest post from Tzviya Siegman, co-chair of the W3C Publishing Working Group.
epubcheck needs you
Do you use epubcheck? Most developers who have even thought about EPUB rely heavily on epubcheck, the open source validation tool for EPUB. Most retailers will not accept a file unless it passes epubcheck. Most publishers require that their files pass epubcheck in order to enter their content management systems. Most developers run files through epubcheck regularly for a sanity check.
Here’s a little secret. Epubcheck is maintained by two developers, Romain Deltour of DAISY and Tobias Fischer of Pagina, with occasional contributions from others. Those developers have full-time jobs, and they are working on other projects. Romain has been shifting his attention to other projects at DAISY (check out https://github.com/daisy/ace). That means that epubcheck is down to roughly 3/4 of a developer (plus me, doing a little bit of project management). Historically, there has been input from developers across the industry, and we thank the numerous contributors over the years, but now we are at an all-time low. Without epubcheck, EPUB cannot thrive.
So, it’s up to you, the industry that relies on epubcheck to enable its continuity. We need Java Developers, but we also need people who are familiar with EPUB to help document changes to the specifications. We need people who love GitHub to help us clean up our site and log issues. We need people to help with daily trouble-shooting and people to help with longer-term projects, such as support for EPUB 3.1.
You must be wondering what you I do to rescue this crucial tool:
- Join the party at EPUB 3 Community Group at https://www.w3.org/community/epub3/. We have a special task force for testing and validation. You know you’ve always wanted to join a task force.
- Read our How to Contribute page. There’s a lot of information about what we need and what skills are required to help out.
- If you can’t do those things, we’ll take your money so we can pay other people to help out. Contact me if this is your favorite option.
Tzviya Siegman is Wiley’s Information Standards Lead. Tzviya wrote and maintained Wiley’s ebook specifications and stylesheets and serves as Wiley’s liaison to industry standards groups. She currently works in Wiley’s Platform Architecture Group, joining her interests in content structure, standards, accessibility, and linked data. Tzviya co-chairs the W3C Publishing Working Group, helping to make the web and publishing better friends.