Overwhelming majority in favour
The merger of the IDPF and the W3C seems likely to go ahead in the new year, following an overwhelming vote this month of the IDPF board in favour of combining the two organisations.
The IDPF is the global trade and standards association for electronic publishing. In addition to advocating for EPUB, the IDPF has a declared mission of fostering open, accessible, interoperable and innovative digital publishing.
The merged group will aim to maximise the benefits of co-operation between the digital publishing and web worlds.
Some commentators have expressed concern at the loss of the IDPF as an advocate focused solely on the EPUB industry and its users, perhaps because much ebook technology was not web-based in the past. Now the justification for the proposed merger seems to be that the continuing convergence of the EPUB platform with the Open Web Platform is an opportunity to enhance the relevant technologies with the direct involvement of both the digital publishing sector and web platform developers.
The proposed IDPF/W3C merger is seen by supporters as a strong endorsement of the role that the EPUB format will play in the future of digital publications in general, not just the publishing industry.