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Z39.98 Authoring and Interchange Framework - User Documentation

This is a portal for information relating to the use of the Z39.98 Authoring and Interchange Framework for Adaptive XML Publishing - the next generation DAISY XML.

The content referenced from this portal is maintained by the Z39.98-AI user community. If you don't find what you are looking for, you can ask in the the forum, or even better, join the community and help us create new content.

Recent Events

7 August 2012: It's Official!

Z39.98 is now an official ANSI/NISO standard, and ready for use by producers. From the press release:

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) and the DAISY Consortium announce the publication of the new American National Standard Authoring and Interchange Framework (ANSI/NISO Z39.98-2012). The standard defines how to represent digital information using XML to produce documents suitable for transformation into different universally accessible formats. The standard is a revision, extension, and enhancement of Specifications for the Digital Talking Book (DTB), commonly referred to as the DAISY standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2005(R2012)). ...

The A&I Framework standard will be of interest to any organization using an XML authoring workflow, developers and publishers of universally accessible digital publications, and agencies interested in creating profiles for new document types to integrate into distribution formats, such as EPUB.

6 February 2012: New NISO Identifier

NISO has assigned a new identifier for the specification: Z39.98

The specification and schemas have all been updated, but references to the old number will be found in the user portal until they can be cleaned up.

19 December 2011: Final Standard

The specification has been submitted to NISO for approval.

28 March 2011: Draft Standard for Trial Use

Development of the Z39.98 Authoring and Interchange Framework Specification has reached the stage where the Working Group believe it is ready for test use as the final step before presenting to the NISO Board for certification. Your assistance in evaluating the specification for its completeness and usability is consequently requested at this time.

The review period begins Monday, March 28, 2011 and runs until Wednesday, September 28, 2011. All issues should be reported in the Issue Tracker. For general comments and questions, please use the DAISY Contact Form (select the category Standards).

Please see the Request for Reviewers for additional information.

03 January 2011: Third Working Draft released

The third Working Draft of the Z39.98 Authoring and Interchange Framework Specification is now available.

This release address a number of outstanding technology issues from previous drafts, namely the adoption of the following standards:

  • RDFa 1.1 Core
  • RDFa+XHTML 1.1
  • XML 1.0 (Fifth Edition)
  • Associating Style Sheets with XML documents 1.0 (Second Edition)

The release also adds a number of markup simplifications, such as the associate attribute for binding elements and the automatic association of citation elements to quotes.

Please refer to the revision histories available with each profile's documentation for more information on these and other changes that have been made with this release.

The Working Group does not anticipate making any more releases prior to the Draft Specification for Test Use. All reviewers are asked to thoroughly consider all aspects of the specification so that any outstanding issues can be identified and resolved before moving to the next phase.

15 October 2010: Second Working Draft available

The second Working Draft of the Z39.98 Authoring and Interchange Framework Specification is now available.

This new draft does not represent major changes to the specification, but is an iterative release addressing a number of issues in the ongoing development of the profile catalogs. Noteworthy improvements to the core modules include:

  • a major refactoring of the object, annotation and note elements to simplify and standardize their usage;
  • the inclusion of a new description element for attaching accessible descriptions to any element in a document; and
  • the addition of the by attribute for attributing the contributor of content.

Please refer to the revision histories available with each profile's documentation for more information on these and other changes that have been made with this release.

The Working Group requests that reviewers continue to focus on the same aspects detailed in the first Working Draft release outlined below.

21 May 2010: public review release of Z39.98-AI

As of 21 May 2010, the first major public draft of the Z39.98 Authoring and Interchange framework.

The working group asks reviewers to focus primarily on the below aspects. Please provide feedback and/or questions to the forum or the Issue tracker.

The May 2010 review release defines three profiles. Are there additional profiles you would like to see available to support the kind of content you are producing? Earlier requests have included a simple book profile (with reduced complexity, supporting primarily basic leisure books) and a consumer medical information profile. Share your thoughts in the the forum!
profile schemas 
Found a bug, a missing element, or other oddity in the schemas? File a report in the Issue tracker.
profile schema documentation 
Profile schema documentation is provided through each profiles' resource directory (follow the links given in the profile catalog). Do you find areas of the documentation insufficient, and if so which? Tell us through the the forum, or file a report in the Issue tracker.
Features are optional add-ons to profiles which address a specialized information domain (examples include mathematics and speech synthesizer pronunciation instructions). Experts in respective fields, please review the functionality provided and give us comments and questions through the the forum, or file a report in the Issue tracker.

Introductory reading


An FAQ is available at ZedAI_FAQ.


An user forum is available at http://www.daisy.org/forums/zedai.

Issue tracker

An issue tracker (filled with technical stuff, avoid if you are allergic) is available at the working group source repository.


Want to contribute to the deployment and implementation of Z39.98-AI?

The Z39.98-AI working group welcomes contributions of all kinds, including:

Bug reports 
Report any bugs that you find (in schemas and documentation) to the Issue tracker
Feature requests 
Request missing features to the Issue tracker
Best practices/Tutorials 
This wiki will be the home for extensive documentation on how to use Z39.98-AI in various production environments and with various tool chains. To help others get set up, you can contribute wiki materials that details your usage.
Pipeline 2 
The DAISY Pipeline 2 project is intended to become a host framework for transformations of Z39.98-AI documents to various output formats. Participation in the Pipeline 2 projects is warmly welcomed.
Online validator 
If you can contribute to the development and hosting of an online validator for Z39.98-AI, let us know.
Oxygen Author mode 
If you can contribute to the development of Oxygen Author mode support for Z39.98-AI, let us know.


For questions and proposals, contact mgylling [at] daisy [dot] org

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