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Apple

The Safari Reader Arms Race 210

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the prefer-paper-rock-scissors dept.
JimLynch writes "Apple, by adding Reader to Safari 5, is essentially trying to force an e-book style interface onto the web reading experience. It will never work out over the long haul because web publishers will resist and the end result will be an arms race, with publishers on one side and Apple on the other." Another unmentioned issue is that sometimes it doesn't work. I've found pages where content is omitted from the reader UI.
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The Safari Reader Arms Race

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Monday June 14, 2010 @12:40PM (#32566626) Journal

    I've found pages where content is omitted from the reader UI.

    Yeah, that's how it's supposed to work. You see, we did some lengthy behavioral studies and it turns out that t



    hich proves and brings me to the scientifically irrefutable conclusion that the average user actually doesn't use up to 90% of the content they view. After learning our lesson with AT&T, we're all about efficiently utilizing networks and battery power on mobile devices here at Apple. Actually it has saved so much time and resources, we're even eating our own dog food and Apple's networks have been optim

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by thePig (964303)

      While this is funny - this is indeed what is going to happen in some time with the reader interface.
      The web site owners have reason to be peeved - if the user uses reader extensively, for web sites that are ad-based, they have no revenue stream. Why should they then spending their money, time and effort to create the web site contents?

      So, either - as OP pointed out, they will intentionally sabotage reader mode or stop serving web pages to safari altogether. I would actually prefer the second option since I

      • by shmlco (594907) on Monday June 14, 2010 @01:15PM (#32567148) Homepage

        "But what apple now has done is unfair..."

        This from a crowd that rabidly defends its "right" to use AdBlock and FlashBlock and NoScript and Greasemonkey.

        All of which are add-ons designed (in part) to strip web sites of their ad-based revenue streams.

        At least with Safari's reader mode the page loads first -- with the ads. You then make a conscious choice to click the Reader button and just see main body text.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by JustNilt (984644)

          All of which are add-ons designed (in part) to strip web sites of their ad-based revenue streams.

          While I grant your point inasmuch as it's "in part", I think the main appeal of these add-ons is the freedom from the truly annoying ads. I don't mind ads on some sites but the darned instant sound and video ones are absolutely going to go. I use the add-ons then white list sites I trust to not annoy me.

          Also not a minor issue is the prevalence of infections coming about via ads lately. This is on the rise and is rather difficult to prevent shy of NoScript (a pain) or an all out ad blocker. I find it som

        • Re:That Is a Feature (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Angostura (703910) on Monday June 14, 2010 @02:41PM (#32568476)

          Indeed. My take on this is that Reader could actually substantially diminish the need to install Adblock. This benefits the publishers since the whole page (including ads) loads and the user gets a chance to look at the full page before invoking reader.

      • by BobMcD (601576) on Monday June 14, 2010 @01:17PM (#32567170)

        The web site owners have reason to be peeved - if the user uses reader extensively, for web sites that are ad-based, they have no revenue stream.

        No revenue stream? I'm sure Apple will sell them iAds, so what could possibly be the problem?

        lol

      • Re:That Is a Feature (Score:4, Interesting)

        by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday June 14, 2010 @01:17PM (#32567180) Journal
        But very clever, in an evil sort of way.

        Anybody who develops for the web now has the choice of starving(if this catches on broadly), paywalling(good luck with that), or spinning a trivial mobilesafari-in-a-wrapper iDevice App, with the same content and Apple's unskippable iAds...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cgenman (325138)

          ...Or embedding advertising in the main text block, like it used to be.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nine-times (778537)

        I would actually prefer the second option since I think this was a rather unethical thing to do from Apples part.

        Unethical?

        I'm not going to say you're wrong, but I think that idea needs to be fleshed out a bit more. Is it because you think ad-blockers are unethical? Or do you think it's generally unethical to reformat someone else's page? Or are you among those who suppose that this is part of a grand scheme to herd companies toward using iAds?

      • Re:That Is a Feature (Score:4, Informative)

        by rinoid (451982) on Monday June 14, 2010 @01:59PM (#32567848)

        This simply is not true.

        The reader is only invoked after the precious page view, and ad-load (provided one isn't blocking ads in their hosts file -- many regular ad blockers extensions simply disappear the ads, not block them). SO how is an ad-based web site affected? Maybe by increased readership because now their articles which are in shitty typography to begin with and are littered with blinking ads are now actually readable!?

        What Apple has done is neither unfair or harmful to web sites. Period.

        I also use InstaPaper or use the print format to read an article free of all the crap and poor typography.

      • Re:That Is a Feature (Score:4, Informative)

        by gyrogeerloose (849181) on Monday June 14, 2010 @02:01PM (#32567882) Journal

        The web site owners have reason to be peeved - if the user uses reader extensively, for web sites that are ad-based, they have no revenue stream

        That's not correct. The page loads initially with all the ads intact; the "Reader" is an option that can only be invoked after the page loads so the site owner gets the same revenue regardless of whether the viewer uses it or not.

        • Technically they're only getting revenue from the first page of a multi-page article, but you're still right that it's more than they would get with Ad-Block installed.

      • "The web site owners have reason to be peeved - if the user uses reader extensively, for web sites that are ad-based, they have no revenue stream."

        Perhaps they should be less intrusive with the advertising. I have no problem with relevant text ads, placed neatly on the side, that do no interfere with my ability to read an article. That is not what we have seen out of these sites. Instead, we see articles split up across multiple pages, so that more advertisements can be displayed, and we have seen adv
    • by numbski (515011)

      You mean sort of how I use Readability to clean things up before clipping to Evernote?

      http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/ [arc90.com]

  • Force? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mccalli (323026) on Monday June 14, 2010 @12:42PM (#32566658) Homepage
    I wasn't aware someone was forcing me to move the cursor up to the address bar and deliberately click the 'READER' button. I rather thought it was me choosing to do that, mostly to get rid of the junk that appears on these multipage articles.
    I'm using the feature heavily. Totally by choice, not by force.


    Cheers,
    Ian
    • Re:Force? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Duradin (1261418) on Monday June 14, 2010 @12:48PM (#32566732)

      It's from Apple, it's an option, therefore it is mandatory.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by interval1066 (668936)
        Exactly. Its so insanely great anyone in their right mind would certainly choose to use it thus Apple are making it mandatory because you'd have to be insane not to use it, wait...
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by jbeaupre (752124)

      Cause: "to get rid of the junk that appears on these multipage articles."
      Effect: "move the cursor up to the address bar and deliberately click the 'READER' button."

      No one held a gun to your head, but you were certainly sound like you were forced. We're all forced to do things we'd rather not do.

      I'm not criticizing, more like sympathizing.

    • Re:Force? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mikael_j (106439) on Monday June 14, 2010 @12:52PM (#32566806)

      Agreed, I love the Reader feature of Safari 5 and personally I actually hope it annoys, pisses off and financially hurts those who insist on spreading one page's worth of content over ten pages cluttered with regular banner ads, those rollover video ads ("Buy our new software/hardware now, it's totally awesome and I'm totally not annoying you by being loud and covering the content you came here for!") and popover javascript/flash banners (lots of tech sites seem to use these as well).

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by coaxial (28297)

        Unfortunately it seems to fail on those damn "Here's a list we've spread out out over 80 pages." I one time was INCREDIBLY bored and went though an entire "80 Hottest Women in Sci-Fi" things from Digg or Reddit or something like that, and found duplicates. Jesus.

        • by mattack2 (1165421)

          Please write up bugs with specific links to pages with which it doesn't work. They may be duplicates of known bugs, they may not. (I know a few I've written up weren't duplicates.)

          bugreport.apple.com

    • Re:Force? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bonch (38532) on Monday June 14, 2010 @01:01PM (#32566966)

      You'll find a lot of misinformation about the Safari Reader feature because it removes ads and combines those incredibly annoying multi-page articles into one page, so online publishers don't want anyone using it. Arstechnica staff came out against it, with one contributor saying, "Jobs can go fuck himself." Needless to say, my desire to use it when reading their site increased.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Shin-LaC (1333529)
        You know, I used the reader feature for the first time while reading TFA, just to piss him off. But it doesn't look that useful to me. It doesn't start loading the next page until you scroll down to it, so you still have to stop and wait in the middle of your reading (unless you get in the habit of doing a quick scroll to the bottom in advance).
        Also, there is no way of knowing what is being left out of the display, either by design or due to a parsing bug. How do I know that I'm not missing a paragraph or a
        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by azmodean+1 (1328653)

          Try AutoPager for Firefox, it addresses several of your concerns, and from what I gather is far more configurable.

        • by mattack2 (1165421)

          It doesn't start loading the next page until you scroll down to it

          That certainly hasn't been my experience. I have seen it 'pause' a bit once in a while (showing only one page), thinking it wasn't loading subsequent pages.. but then it did (before I scrolled down).

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by mattack2 (1165421)

            ...and just to be sure, I just loaded TFA, brought up the Reader (and didn't scroll).. and it properly loaded all 3 pages.

    • by ronocdh (906309)

      I wasn't aware someone was forcing me to move the cursor up to the address bar and deliberately click the 'READER' button.

      Affordances, affordances, affordances. Choice can still be incredibly restrictive.

  • Forcing? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14, 2010 @12:45PM (#32566700)

    "Safari 5, is essentially trying to force an ebook style interface onto the web reading experience"

    Uhhhhh - you know it's not the default viewing format, right? So "forcing" is a bit leading.

    • by lwsimon (724555)
      Not only is it not default, it is kind of a PITA to use. Even when it works, you have to click in the status bar --- It isn't worth the hand movement.
  • Hype! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by psydeshow (154300) on Monday June 14, 2010 @12:46PM (#32566704) Homepage

    Come on, you're making a mountain out of a molehill here.

    80% of Mac users won't use the Reader function, because they either don't know what it does or can't be bothered to click it. The other 20% probably use AdBlock or some other ad-blocking solution anyway.

    Besides, as others have pointed out, if people want to use Reader on your site's content, then there is something wrong with your design. Either clean it up, or decide you don't care. There is no "arms race" that you can possibly have. What, you're going to stop serving content to Safari? Good luck with that.

    • Re:Hype! (Score:5, Informative)

      by ifrag (984323) on Monday June 14, 2010 @12:55PM (#32566870)

      some other ad-blocking solution

      For use on OS-X, probably using glimmerblocker [glimmerblocker.org]. Nice for those using multiple browsers since it runs as proxy. Also never becomes incompatible between Safari versions (add-on experience in Safari has been less than ideal during transitions).

    • by Smallpond (221300)

      Besides, as others have pointed out, if people want to use Reader on your site's content, then there is something wrong with your design. Either clean it up, or decide you don't care. There is no "arms race" that you can possibly have. What, you're going to stop serving content to Safari? Good luck with that.

      You're not thinking creatively enough. If a site wants to display ads, and you figure out one method of separating the ads from the articles, then they will just change the page design until it defeats that. There are lots of things they can do:
      - Don't supply the content if you don't download the ad.
      - Make the content and ad look as much alike as possible to the browser so it can't tell the difference.
      - Start merging the ads into the articles - imagine one big image file with ads and content, for example.

    • Well, there are ultimately two different issues going on here. The first is that there is a sort of "arms race" right now between advertisers and people who don't want to see the ads (or people who are providing help to those who don't want to see the ads). We have AdBlock and Safari Reader, and they're trying to come up with ways to make those technologies unhelpful. But it's not about Safari per se, and it's not about Safari "forcing" the web to be an e-reader. It's just an issue of ad-blocking

      But th

  • by religious freak (1005821) on Monday June 14, 2010 @12:47PM (#32566722)
    How is this an "arms race"? Analogy doesn't seem appropriate here. **Hype**
  • by BlueBoxSW.com (745855) on Monday June 14, 2010 @12:50PM (#32566760) Homepage

    ... says the guy that can't get his PHP page to function without error.

  • Haha, the example they give for the 'glorious chaos of an article on the web' is an article spread over 8 pages! How glorious.

    • by arth1 (260657)

      Worse than that, it comes with a link "Download as PDF", which by this guy's own logic, he's trying to force a particular text format on his web users, just like Safari.

  • by fermion (181285) on Monday June 14, 2010 @12:53PM (#32566816) Homepage Journal
    Which is the same for /. Does the idle page still give us a text input box 10% of the page?

    On every page I have looked at, the reader has worked wonderfully. It may be the feature, along with clicktoflash, that moves me to safari.

    Saying this will never work over the long haul is like saying the Camino will never work because it includes a default flash blocker or Firefox will never work because there are too many easily installed plugin to block ads. It is a web feature, apparently an open source web feature [developer.com], and browsers that want to focus on user experiences will implement it as a default feature, just like pop up blocking. Browsers that do not implement will show themselves as front ends for advertisers, not browsers for users.

    There are issues. The readers removes the branding from the site. This could be considered bad. But people will use for the same reason that some choose to use ad blocking. The articles spread out over 10 pages, with long waits for ads to load between pages, and infected ads, will give some cause to bypass the predefined interface. Like other tech, websites will adjust. After all, websites serve the customers, not the other way around.

    • by hedwards (940851)
      That definitely needs to be fixed, it's supposed to be 0.10%.
      • That definitely needs to be fixed, it's supposed to be 0.10%.

        It would be an improvement. Reiterate a couple of times and idle would just go away.

    • I think Idle's supposed to be broken. That's kind of the joke.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      After all, websites serve the customers, not the other way around.

      This is the answer. Websites which can't survive ad-blocking don't deserve to survive. Find a less offensive way to do business or die. Paywalling leads to irrelevance for all but the finest of content; if it works for you (the global you) then fine.

  • by EMR (13768) on Monday June 14, 2010 @12:53PM (#32566832)

    So they integrated a "Readability" feature into the browser.. So what.. I've been using this for quite a while as a bookmarklet in Firefox..

    http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/

    Works great and does (nearly) the same thing.. (It doesn't pull in multiple page articles.)

    • by figleaf (672550) on Monday June 14, 2010 @01:08PM (#32567070) Homepage

      There is a even a firefox addon for Readability.
      Safari has apparently taken the code from Readability (it says so in the credits).

      • by Shimmer (3036)

        Yes. The Readability add-on is the best Firefox add-on I've come across in the last few years. So much easier on the eyes.

    • by bonch (38532)

      You say there's nothing new here, then you say your bookmarklet doesn't combine multiple pages. Safari Reader does.

      • Actually, I was just at arstechnica, I enabled the reader, and there was just the one page.

        Has the arms race already begun?

    • by Graff (532189) on Monday June 14, 2010 @02:34PM (#32568380)

      Yes, there's a reason that it does nearly the same thing. Apple's Reader uses code from Readability. Apple credits them in their license agreement and the developers over at Arc90 are happy that Apple is using their code:

      Why We Built Readability [arc90.com]
      By Rich Ziade

      As we've already mentioned, we couldn't be happier that Apple has chosen to leverage our own Readability as a native feature in the Safari browser. As the debate around Safari Reader heats up, we thought we'd chime in and share some of our thoughts, motivations and aspirations for what reading can become on the Web.

  • by magnwa (18700) on Monday June 14, 2010 @12:53PM (#32566840)

    I'm always amused by stuff like this.

    Apple does it: Apple is trying to force an ebook readeresque format.

    Firefox does it in an extension: Firefox is allowing users a cleaner, less intrusive reading environment.

    • by BobMcD (601576)

      So in your mind you see no difference in a pre-rolled feature and an after-the-fact extension?

      Interesting.

      • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Monday June 14, 2010 @01:29PM (#32567350)

        So in your mind you see no difference in a pre-rolled feature and an after-the-fact extension?

        Interesting.

        To the typical end user, there is no difference other than extensions having a higher barrier of entry because they have to be aware of them and know how to install them. Once installed however, they are basically the same from an end user perspective especially if it is not "always on" and has to be toggled on and off by the user like this reader feature.

        • by BobMcD (601576)

          extensions (have) a higher barrier of entry because (users) have to be aware of them and know how to install them

          Ding ding ding!

          Once installed however, they are basically the same from an end user perspective especially if it is not "always on" and has to be toggled on and off by the user like this reader feature.

          Once installed. And when not broken by updates or the like.

          It isn't nearly as simple for the non-skilled user, e.g. Mac's target audience, as you seem to be implying it is. But your comment does show that you're aware of the issue, so I guess that's a start.

      • And if Firefox/Chrome/Opera came out with something like this as a feature, I would think the OP has a point. {Other browser} would be declared to have an important feature while Apple is being evil.
    • I suspect(aside from those who just have a direct bias one way or the other) that this is because Mozilla is(whether they like it or not) basically just a scrappy little software dev house. When you get to the level of extensions, it's at least one level further away from "sinister corporation" than that. Most extensions exist just because some guy hacked them together. Apple, on the other hand, has an entire vertically-integrated and fairly tightly-interlocking ecosystem.

      More specifically, in this case,
  • Its just (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dacullen (1666965)
    Embrace, extend, extingu... oops, wrong evil empire
  • Coincidence? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kylant (527449) on Monday June 14, 2010 @12:56PM (#32566902)
    Call me a conspiration theorist but Apple displaying news content without the embedded ads on the web while at the same time trying to establish their own ad-platform and taking 30% of all ads served on the iPhone is a convenient coincidence, don't you think? Cutting off the publishers' revenue streams while at the same time pushing for a new revenue model on mobile phones and tablets sounds like a plan.
    • The thing about a conspiracy like that is that Safari would have to have more than a 1% browser share to have any success at decreasing ad revenue. The reader is peanuts compared to ad block software for firefox.

      • Re:Coincidence? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by silanea (1241518) on Monday June 14, 2010 @02:06PM (#32567952)
        Safari only needs to have a reasonably high share within a certain target group for this to be a valid strategy. If the whole lot of Apple device users - Macs and i* combined - is essentially shielded from any ads but those served through iAd (or whatever the call it), that would indeed pose a significant issue for certain markets. It is not the death of the Interwebz, but I would not be so quick to dismiss this as a loony nutcase conspiracy theory.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by XxtraLarGe (551297)

      Call me a conspiration theorist but Apple displaying news content without the embedded ads on the web while at the same time trying to establish their own ad-platform and taking 30% of all ads served on the iPhone is a convenient coincidence, don't you think?

      Not really. You visit a page, then click on the reader button. The ads on the page still load, you just aren't seeing them while you're reading if you enable the reader. If you're getting paid by the impression, probably not a whole lot of harm done, because most people don't have the patience to click through 5 pages anyway. If you're getting paid per click, I could see where this might hurt.

    • As far as I know this Reader feature is on desktop Safari. It does not exist in iPhone Safari. For your conspiracy theory to be plausible, Apple would have to enable it in their next release of iOS. If they don't then there isn't much of point.
  • by Space cowboy (13680) * on Monday June 14, 2010 @12:58PM (#32566912) Journal
    Two things:
    • The author states: The web was never meant to provide a reading experience similar to an ebook or print book. That's patently not true. I set up one of the first websites in the UK (when you still had to email CERN to tell them a new website was in the world :), and I remember just how plain and boring^W"quiet" the WWW was This was before the <IMG SRC= tag came along.

      My point is that the web was *exactly* designed for a quiet reading experience, because it was originally supposed to be for easy dissemination of scientific research. That may not be what it is today (and it's perhaps lesser because of it), but "was never meant to" is precisely wrong.
    • The author then goes on to say (in both text and comments) that there are two main reasons websites split articles over multiple pages - to monetise the site, and to help all those users who fret about scrolling the page.

      In my not-so-humble opinion, the former of those two reasons is dramatically more important to the website author than the latter. I'd go so far as to say the latter was a desperate justification for the former. The author apparently thinks so too, because when challenged to reverse his policy (put everything on one page and have a button to split the article into multiple ones), he demurs.

    Now, I'm not against websites making money from advertisers. If that's your business model, all the more power to your elbow, but there are sites out there that extract the proverbial urine, and I'm equally supportive of methods to defeat that. The website absolutely has the right to serve adverts. Equally, the user has the right to work around that if (s)he is sufficiently motivated to. Advertisers seem to want to motivate users to do that, these days, is all I'm saying.

    I'm far more likely to read an article on arstechnica that's spread out over multiple pages specifically because each page has a lot of relevant content and it hangs together well. I'm far less likely to want to read a multi-page article where each "page" is a 40-word paragraph - *those* are the sites that Safari Reader will be a blessing for.

    It's also not clear to me that this is a doomed battle for Reader. HTTP is a simple protocol, and it's relatively easy to forge a user's browsing habits programmatically

    Simon

    • Equally, the user has the right to work around that if (s)he is sufficiently motivated to. Advertisers seem to want to motivate users to do that, these days, is all I'm saying.

      I think this is a big tension that we (as a culture) are trying to work out right now. Advertising does serve a valid purpose in our society. Besides being a strange form of "public funding" for some services, it also informs us of products and services that we might be interested in.

      On the other hand, a lot of the advertisement we encounter is amounts to some creep harassing us to buy crap we don't need and don't want. There are various attempts to manipulate us psychologically and force us to act in c

    • by Arker (91948) on Monday June 14, 2010 @02:37PM (#32568432) Homepage

      Yes, the claim as to what the web was designed and intended for could not be more bass-ackwards. HTML is a semantic markup language, not a presentation language, for a reason. I havent used this safari reader whatsit myself, but from what I have read, it sounds like it is a perfect example of what the web was designed for - it's an example of the client software making independent decisions on presentation and that is exactly what client software is supposed to do.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) *

      I've often said that to get into advertising you have to take an IQ test, Score over 90 and you flunk.

      Advertising people just don't get it. People don't hate ads, they hate intrusive ads. Blinking, flashing, distracting ads make any web site an ugly mess, and who wants to read with something flashing trying to get your attention?

      Sitemasters: don't accept intrusive advertising and you'll attract more eyeballs.

  • Force? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dindi (78034) on Monday June 14, 2010 @01:02PM (#32566984) Homepage

    I do not think they try to force anything.

    Just like Greasemonkey modifies web content, Safari offers and alternate view you can use when navigating to a page.

    I, for one welcome innovation such as this one.

    Arms race? You still go to the page, you still see the banners and the page structure (not missing an ad), THEN you can click on the "READER" in the address bar and bring up the reader interface.

    I welcome the idea of reading an actual article without blinking SHIT all over the place, but then again, the blinking SHIT is there, so if you are interested in it, you can click on an ad.

    And yes, I click on ads when they are worth clicking on, but I am completely sick of people masking google and other ads as contextual links. They barely take you to a page related to most documents.

    • by BobMcD (601576)

      Just like Greasemonkey modifies web content, Safari offers and alternate view you can use when navigating to a page.

      -sarcasm-
      Yes, yes, totally. And since it is possible to compile a binary, you can write your own browser to do anything you want. Just the other day I wrote a browser that didn't do this, in fact. I don't see the difference at all.
      -end sarcasm-

  • I've been using this site for much longer than Safari has had this feature:

    http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/ [arc90.com]

    Does the same thing with no browser extension. You just drop it into your shortcuts on the title bar and it cleans up many webpages. Not perfect, but so much easier than blinking flash crap.

    If people want you to not block their ads, make the site readable with the ads on it.

    • I second that Readability is awesome, and I use it frequently when I use Firefox.

      However, the Safari Reader feature does more than readability--it combines multipage articles into one. Beyond that I think it actually uses Readability code?

      • I'm surprised that so many people use readability, but not AutoPager. It's a firefox extension that merges together consecutive pages. Couple it with AdBlock and NoScript and you have an extremely readable web,

  • by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Monday June 14, 2010 @01:18PM (#32567192)

    I don't see a huge problem with this. Anybody who publishes on the web knows that a client may choose to render the content in arbitrary ways. My browser doesn't have to pull all the images and frames.

    I can see this being a big deal for people using screen readers. Apple should market the reader function as an accessibility feature. Why would you block a technology developed for your blind readers?

    Cory

  • Bad Article, imo (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hemlock00 (1499033)
    "There is a reader option on Safari 5." Would be a much better article than the one posted, while sharing the same information and NOT sharing false info. It doesn't always work 100% is truth, but at the same time I'm not being forced to use it, and it's not by default (the most important). This is a poorly written and misleading article unfortunately.
  • by AccUser (191555) <mhg.taose@co@uk> on Monday June 14, 2010 @01:41PM (#32567526) Homepage

    Whilst I accept that a lot of people presume that the HTML served from their web server is going to be rendered as they intended in the client browser, that is not, and should not be a foregone conclusion. HTML describes content - it is then for the client browser to render that content. Extracting just the content I am interested in is surely a valid use of that content, and unless web sites start to use a different model for their content (i.e. restrictive) then this should not really be a surprise.

    I have used Reader, and I personally like it, but I have only used in on a handful of websites that are chock-full of spurious crap other than the content I am interested in.

  • At some point, and it looks like soon, the Internet will hit a "Tower of Babel Moment" where the so-far successful universal interconnectivity of all systems will falter, fracture, and fragment into limited-interaction groups. By choice or by consequence, participants adhering to different standards will just lose the ability to communicate. Intense vertical integration on one platform will cause fundamental incompatibility with others, and "universal access" will become impractical.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by azmodean+1 (1328653)

      haha, I guess you don't remember AOL, Compuserve or Prodigy. They tried that, and it didn't work out all that well for them.

      Sure there are plenty of companies that want to lock their customers into their specific version of the internet, but fundamentally it's just too easy to get access to the real thing. Even if Safari started mangling pages sufficiently badly by default (which it is NOT doing right now), people could just move to other browsers. If it happened on one of Apple's locked-down platforms,

  • This isn't being forced. This isn't stopping ads from loading. All this does is hilight the article content in an easy to read way, through the user's own actions.

    What we might see as a result is that the content providers might not use the <article> tags (bad), or simply insert a premium-price ad image within the article text on each page, so the article is divided into sections by advertisements when Reader is used (better, still not technically standards-compliant). Initial page loads still view th

  • I have no idea how this plays into the corporate strategic chess game.

    For me, it's very simple. I am Apple's customer, and Apple has put a darned nice feature into the web browser that makes the web work more nicely for me. I'm surprised nobody's done it before. I'm glad they've done it now. I'll enjoy it for as long as it works.

    One of the things I dislike about Microsoft is that they never act as if I were their customer. I always feel that everything they do has a string attached, a hidden agenda, and the

  • by mpaque (655244) on Monday June 14, 2010 @03:01PM (#32568790)

    For persons using screen readers to read web content (Apple VoiceOver, for example) the option to simplify the content of an article and automatically pull it together as a single page is wonderful.

    Try closing your eyes and reading, via a text to speech system, a typical Forbes article broken across five pages packed with links, for example. This option or the Firefox Readability extension speeds things up something wonderful.

  • Most of the comments here are focused on the perceived attack on ad-based revenue, so I won't focus on that. I rank Safari Reader's features as follows:
    1. Improved readability wrt fonts and layout.
    2. Single page view.
    3. Removal of ads, sidebars, navigation bars, etc.

    By far, my favorite feature is the dramatically improved readability. Because I am 50 years old, I find it difficult to read small fonts - and find myself zooming in web pages frequently. Safari Reader helps me overcome these following web design

  • And it's nice and all, but I don't see how it compares to Adblocking (in the sense that those that make money off of ads get upset). It's just something that's on top of your site, after it's done loading. Anyone can do that by extracting the text somehow. Safari implements a tool for it. I still see the rest of the site. There wasn't any obvious full screen option to it that would cover the stuff on the sides, but somehow Ctrl+mouse wheel makes it wider (or thinner) while Ctrl++ doesn't.

    I'll be sticking wi

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