Readability

This is one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” ideas. Readability is a web tool that removes all the clutter from web pages and presents you with the text and nothing but the text.

It’s not even a download. You just drag a link to your browser’s toolbar. I’ve tried it in Firefox and Chrome. I didn’t bother with Internet Explorer but it probably works there too.

You can get it from http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/.

Before you add it you can configure Readability’s

  • Style: Newspaper, Novel, eBook or Terminal.
  • Text size: S, M, L or XL.
  • Margins: Narrow, Medium, Wide or Extra-Wide.

Unfortunately I didn’t see a way to change those parameters once the link is on your toolbar. I set mine up with Large text which is a bit too large for my eyes. I’m not that old yet! I guess I can delete it and re-load it.

The other issue I had was when reading this fast-changing blog it did not show the latest article. It showed one from a couple of days ago – presumably what it found in the browser’s cache. This was true on both Firefox and Chrome, Hitting “Refresh” brings yuou back to the original page.

Here’s a screenshot of this blog (in Chrome) as rendered by Readibility.

Readability Example

Readability Example

Much clearer!

Web advertisers won’t be keen on Readability. And content providers I read every day like the New York Times depend on me looking at ads to provide me with free content. Readability addresses this in that I have to invoke it for every page I wish to view. I can’t turn it on for all my web browsing.

So advertisers have a chance to catch my eye before I blank them out. I guess that is a fair compromise. The Bangkok Frugal Photographer likes free, but he doesn’t want to destroy the business model that gives him so much content at no direct cost.

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3 Responses to “Readability”

  1. bkkphotographer Says:

    Another Readabilty problem is that it does not honour some text enhancements like strikeout. In the iMapFlickr post I wrote

    iMapFlickr is in the new Flickr App Garden. I think I can waste spend weeks there playing experimenting with different toys tools.

    with the words “waste”, “playing” and “toys” struck out (it was a joke). This comment text box doesn’t seem to allow it either. That’s misleading to the meaning of a story reas in Readability.

  2. mdee88 Says:

    But I do love the photos on sites.

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