Call for Proposals 2014

June 5, 2014

Call for Proposals!

Books in Browsers V:
Advancing Open Web Standards and Digital Publishing

23-25 October 2014, San Francisco, CA
at the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts

Submission deadline: July 28, 2014.

Over the last four years, Books in Browsers has advanced from a discussion of how startups might optimize existing publisher workflows to an exploration of the concept of “craft” in digital-native authoring and reading environments. This focus is bumping up squarely against the current limitations of web browsers to author, display, and link page elements together in ways that liberate the next generation of digital publishing.

Simultaneously, there is a burst of interest in how evolving web standards can advance publishing and the practice of storytelling, and reciprocally how the frontiers of design, user interaction, and narrative can inform the objectives for web standards, common open source tools, and widely deployed services. One of the most obvious signposts of this engagement is the emergence of the W3C Digital Publishing Interest Group (DigPub IG).

However, the need for more highly articulated web standards extends far beyond the affordances necessary to support internationalized and interactive ebooks. Supporting the sophisticated graphic arts of desktop-based publishing tools such as Adobe InDesign eludes web authoring environments. The absence of alternatives to these layout applications places roadblocks on the opportunities for digital craft to reprise existing print production practice, much less innovate in areas of precision text or object placement. The lack of coherence in media players for audio and video hinder reliable and uniform cross-platform playback and experience. Tools for working with audio-video integration, such as Mozilla’s Popcorn Maker, are immature and have not been deployed in authoring environments. The litany of real and perceived gaps is long.

In order to encourage conversations among the leading edge of user experience designers and software engineers building authoring, reading, and interaction environments for the web, Books in Browsers V encourages submissions on design goals and open web standards required for digital publishing to achieve its greatest promise, and on forms of digital publishing likely to stress existing web practice. The significance of W3 engagement in digital publishing activities signals a desire to help construct a near-term future where many publishing primitives, such as authoring, editing, annotation, and collaboration are built directly into web rendering engines and user agents, supported by local browser data storage, enabling distributed interactions that advance research, learning, and the enjoyment of new arts.

BiB will be co-hosted by the Project and the Frankfurt Book Fair (FBF) and will take place in a theater space currently being renovated by the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (GAFFTA), a San Francisco not-for-profit supported by the National Endowment of the Arts. (  GAFFTA is also a partner with swissnex San Francisco, the Swiss government’s science, technology, arts, and outreach mission that will host the post-event BiB hackday. BIB V scheduling is coordinated with the W3C DigPub IG, which hosts a standards workshop the following week in Santa Clara, California.

To submit a proposal, please fill out this form: