Contributions and Sponsorships for EPubCheck Update Sought

The EPUB3 Community Group of the W3C is updating the EPUB specification to address a set of issues that have prevented widespread adoption of EPUB 3.1. The new EPUB 3.2 specification that will be released in Spring 2019 is expected to help in several ways, but it needs a new EPUBCheck to accompany it.

EPUBCheck helps content creators, sellers and distributors to determine if a publisher’s or author’s digital book is ready to be released for distribution or sale. The tool can detect many types of errors in EPUB: container structure, packaging, metadata, content markup, and internal reference consistency are all checked to ensure that books work well and offer a reliable ereading experience. The whole ebook industry relies on EPUBCheck to guarantee the accuracy of ebooks.

However, EPUBCheck 4.0.2 has not been updated in a significant way since 2016. Without an upgrade, EPUBCheck will not be able to validate files created using newer versions of EPUB. In fact, in its current state, EPUBCheck cannot properly validate many EPUBs that meet the most up to date standards.

EPUBCheck needs a major upgrade for four reasons:

  • To bring it in sync with the dynamically evolving core web specs of HTML, CSS, and SVG and also with the most current version of EPUB 3, which will be finished soon;
  • To fully support the EPUB Accessibility Guidelines, enabling use by everyone;
  • To add new features, such as HTML validation and a better check of media overlays;
  • To support a more rapid response to bug reports and feature requests.

To ensure the availability of a reliable and up-to-date EPUBCheck tool, the the Steering Committee of the Publishing Business Group at W3C encourages interested stakeholders to consider making a financial contribution to this effort to overhaul the code and create a more stable toolset.

For additional details about the need as well as now to make a contribution, please visit the page established by the Publishing Business Group in support of this effort.