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 use it as well, and btw. bookmarking in Reader mode also saves the site for offline! I think you're asking the right questions about the bigger picture though
@solderpunk I forgot to mention the save-for-offline feature is possibly only in the Android version of Firefox
@b_smith Good to know about!
@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.
@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.
@solderpunk what's the reader icon look like? This sounds good!
@shapr Like a small page of paper with text on it. See e.g. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/firefox-reader-view-clutter-free-web-pages
@solderpunk don't tell the news corporations, today i found out that reader mode bypasses paywalls ^_^
@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 sadly, I know a handful of sites that turn into just the first section or just a few words with reader mode. But for the entire rest of the Internet: Sooooo good!!
@kensanata @solderpunk I have Safari's reader mode turned on permanently as the default view on my phone and I got so used to it that I'm often genuinely shocked by how much effort people have gone to making their sites unreadable when I'm not using it. Also influenced the design for my blog, which now aims for "slightly nicer than reader view but same energy"
@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 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 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! http://zumguy.com/enabling-reading-mode-on-your-website/ (and a good way to automate exporting for gemini!)
masto instance for the tildeverse