I don't think it can have been more than about a year since I discovered Firefox's "Reader" mode, and in that relatively short time I have gotten to the point that, when I'm on my phone at least, I instinctively check for whether the icon is available on every single site and hit it the moment I see it, even if the page in question hasn't yet loaded/rendered to the point where I can even assess it's readability. I just do it, because I have literally never once seen a single case where switching to Reader mode made the site *less* usable on a mobile. Not even once. I guess this shouldn't surprise me - nobody would have gone through the trouble of writing the feature if it didn't work well. But what does it say that we have gotten to the point where its of real practical value to automate the process of routinely throwing away the entire product of the web design industry?

@solderpunk I wish there were a browser extension for Firefox that made everything render in Reader Mode automatically unless/until you toggle it for a particular page.

I've also thought about writing a web proxy that does the same heuristics as Reader Mode for getting the "good parts" out of a web page, to make browsing with Lynx more usable.

@gcupc I would definitely try that extension out!

I'd actually love to know more about how Reader Mode works. I suggested something similar on the circumlunar BBS ages ago (not as a proxy for lynx, but as a tool to "liberate" good content from the web and rehost it on Gopher), but everybody convinced me it would be such a tedious and error-prone thing to write that I let it drop. I suspect they must be right, but Reader Mode (which I don't think I'd discovered at the time) is the existence proof that it's *possible* at least.

@solderpunk @gcupc is a standalone version of Firefox's reader mode. It's in Javascript, which may complicate things for your use case, but at the very least it should be able to serve as a decent guide to the (I think otherwise intentionally obscure) algorithm it uses to identify and extract "readable" content.

@alexis @solderpunk Thanks! I would definitely re-implement, but it's good to have the source to refer to.

There's a Python implementation here, but it is based on an earlier readability.js.

@alexis @solderpunk @gcupc No one's mentioned Gemini yet, so here it is! Someone wrote some code that uses Firefox Reader mode (aka readability) to convert HTML into Gemtext.

@solderpunk what's the reader icon look like? This sounds good!

@solderpunk I concur it’s a fantastic feature and I wish it could remember sites I used it on and make it the default. It also tends to drop out much of the ad funk as a bonus

@solderpunk @kensanata reader mode all the way! I’m also a huge pocket user, I know some despise this integration but when I don’t have the necessary focus ahead this is a great tool so I can read stuff when available

@solderpunk there are some extensions at least for desktop Firefox that automatically turn on reader mode for some sites. I bet you could make it an every site reader mode thing!

@solderpunk reader mode fails me sometimes but i've disabled custom fonts since forever. CSS was a mistake? if you give people ways to express themselves, well, they're gonna use them, but the visual context-switching tax is not trivial

@solderpunk @ifixcoinops I love reader mode!! Pro-tip: it's also a powerful bypass for many websites' paywalls.

I really, really miss Firefox's reader mode since switching to Ubuntu Touch (it doesn't have FF).

@solderpunk totally agree! Reader mode on safari is great too. Things load fine, sites don’t break. It’s almost as if a lot of web design could be simplified. Hmm. ;)

@solderpunk hey, can't load replies so dunno if this has been mentioned yet but on desktop ff, if you've reenabled userChrome.css you can add the following to always enable that reader mode button:

#reader-mode-button {
display: -moz-box !important;
visibility: visible !important;

@solderpunk this article explains the methodology of how it works! i found it super helpful! i think homebrewing an extension would be pretty easy based on this knowledge, and worthwhile! (and a good way to automate exporting for gemini!)

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