So basically they made Readability a built-in feature...
Steve Jobs didn't get around to mentioning Safari 5 in his WWDC keynote last night, but it rolled out anyway shortly after he finished up, and today publishers throughout the world are surely beginning to wonder, 'hang on, what's this Reader thing?' Safari 5 has a nice little button next to the URL that effectively kills the …
Have used the Readability extension for a while I can recommend it. It does pretty much the same thing as this Safari button, allows for customisation of the look of the page and works with Chrome, Firefox and Safari (no installation required, just drag and drop the button).
Reading articles is so much easier.
Indeed, which is great. I'd love it if Opera did something similar.
I haven't tried it in Safari yet, but I like the idea of it automatically linking multi-page articles which isn't great in Readability. However, I like the customisable format - a non-white background is easier on the eye.
In Opera you can: fit to your screen width; fit to small-screen format; ignore web author's CSS formatting and use your own. I don't remember if you can still disable table rendering...
Most of which still doesn't add up to analysing a web page containing interesting text surrouded on all sides by masthead, menu, section shortcuts, archive article links, andnadverts, adverts, adverts - but a lot of the time, it helps. When you're not participating in a web site designer's creative visual experience, but fighting against it.
As for Safari's tool, it will be interesting - and funny - to see which web pages are presented as having either the wrong content as the point of the page, or none at all.
I do not use Safari, nor will I try Safari 5. However, I really hope that they don't block this feature because I think it's great. I use ad blockers and it really changes the browsing experience. Having this next step in which everything but the text is taken away would be great and I hope it continues. The amount of advertising on the web today is atrocious, but unfortunately the only way for these companies to make money.
Should I wish to, I can make Safari show as MSIE 6, 7, or 8, as Firefox 3.6 or 3.5, (Mac or Windows) or as Opera 10.5 (Mac or Windows) with a mere click of the mouse. I use that feature fairly often when some site or another has a quote problem unquote, said problem vanishing softly silently into the aether as soon as I change the user-agent about 99.99% of the time, indicating that the 'problem' was merely because someone didn't like Safari.
I find it quite amusing to set Firefox on Windows to report to be Safari on OS X and visit certain sites just to view the resulting freaking out.
But, hey, do carry on with your irrational hatred. It's so amusing.
Most of the web sites make their money from advertising , if people aren't able to see the advertising then the sites loose revenue. This is going to blow up in apples face, either there will be lawsuits aplenty or sites will refuse Safari connections.
If people want to view websites without ads perhaps the sites would be better opening a subscription method were they pay to view the site without adds.
If the new functionality in Safari is allowed to continue expect to pay for access to more sites, or see less and less choice in sites to view since many will go out of business due to loss of advertising revenue.
This seems more like an attack on Google than a tool being issued for the benefit of all mankind.
It rather depends on where Apple intends to go with it, if anywhere. As it is, it's a piece of user-controlled functionality within a minority browser, and it's not worth publishers bothering about while that remains the case.
If it got bigger it might be an issue, but I'd guess that it would gain functionality and flexibility as it did get bigger. Presenting new content in some kind of book chapter format is kind of meh, IMO, so that would have to change.
For what it's worth, our tech people have had a look at it, and it looks like it could be blocked if that's what a site wanted to do, or (heh) ads could be inserted in it if that's what a site wanted to do.
Blocking it could tend to irritate those who use it. True, it'd be a small percentage of a small percentage, but still...
And inserting ads would be counter-productive. If, for example, El Reg were to do that, I would make careful note of the ads inserted and make sure to _not_ purchase anything so advertised. And, if the ads were particularly noxious, I might go so far as to contact those being advertised and let them know that they won't be getting any business from me, and why.
But that's just me. For some reason there are those who say that I have a bad attitude. Can't imagine why this could be.
And, in any case, I usually run with AdBlocker active, anyway, so odds are that most ads wouldn't show up, anyway, and those which did would, as above, be carefully noted and reported back to the AdBlocker people so that they could make sure to block them. There's a nice new version of SafariAdBlocker out this morning, just for Safari 5, too. And it kills some ads which had leaked through with the old version. Ah, bliss.
...till The Reg, SlashDot and all your other favourite advertising-funded websites have gone out of business and you're ranting on some no-name/don't care blog about the poor quality of journalism compared to what it used to be, or crying about how unfair it is that you have to pay for it.
Call me when you're part of the solution, not part of the problem. Until then...
If you put in ads which don't blink, strobe, and generally scream at you, if you don't have pop-up (or, worse, pop-under) ads, if you don't flat out lie in the ad, if you don't produce ads which insult the intelligence of the would-be consumers, then perhaps ad-blockers wouldn't be so popular. As marketting morons mostly try to attract attention by whatever means possible, I go way out of my way to avoid seeing _any_ ads. When I watch tv, which is not often as I don't have the time, I use my DVR to store shows for when I have the time to watch them, not the time that the TV execs want to show them. And then I use that same DVR to fast-forwards past the ads... unless, of course, as I go past an ad it looks interesting. In which case I have a look at _that_ ad. Ads in print publications are ignored, unless I'm specifically looking for something... and then I'll look at the ads for exactly long enough to see if it's about what I'm looking for. And, finally, if in the past I've bought something from a certain company (HP, Sony, Asus, Dell, Lexmark, I'm thinking of _you_) and it's been a problem and then customer non-support have been twats about fixing the problem, then _nothing_ that any ad says will _ever_ convince me to buy anything from you again. (#1 on the FAQ on the Lexmark site for the old Lexmark Z23 printer: "Why is my printer so slow?" Glacial, I would say. #3 on that same FAQ: "Why did the Z23 ship with only the color (Merkin site, Merkin spelling) cartridge?" Yes, they really shipped with just the colour cart so that you had to either go and buy a black cart or live with muddy brown text output while at the same time sucking down the already inadequate ink in the colour cart. No, I've not bought anything from Lexmark since, and never will again.)
Now, if the ads are interesting and actually relevant to what I'm reading, and don't get in the way, well, that's different. It's also damn rare. If you fix your business model and reign in the mad marketters then attitudes towards ads may change. Until then... bite me.
Ah, people like you make me laugh. Full of idealism, without a clue how the things you consume come about. I bet you were shocked when you found out your Nikes came from a sweatshop in India, eh?
Do you honestly think that large and ethical businesses just appear? Do you think that we wake up one morning with a million pounds from The Business Bunny (tm) that lets us create a sales team with advertising standards and guidelines? No, small businesses and start-ups have to chose a compromise between editoral integrity and feeding our children. I personally draw the line at pop-ups, pop-unders, crazy frog, and a bunch of other things, but when you're growing sometimes you just have to lube up and take one for the team in the hope that one day you can tell someone with a flash video ad in blue and purple to take a hike.
And please - stop with the "change your business model" crap. There IS no other viable business model. Either come up with one yourself, or just shut up and ignore them (the ads) while you enjoy your content like every other non-moron out there.
Every time you whinge about the injustice of ads while you're getting free content that someone else has paid for (in time or money), baby jesus kills a kitten. Fact.
I prefer the approach of simply ignoring the ads - the company then pays the web site and I get the content that I want. What - distracting you say? No more so than driving downtown... Hell, I've even been know to click on ones I hate just to extract the extra $ ...
Given the vast number of ads on the internet - does anyone actually believe that even 5% of them really work?
Where do people get their ideas of what OSX can/can't do? I moved from Debian a few years ago and have found almost nothing which I can't run on my Mac which I used under Linux.
Some 'Penguinistas' could do with looking around outside their little bubble occasionally to see what is going on on other platforms.
Yet Another AdBlock Clone :-)
OK, so Firefox's AdBlock also tries to pre-filter, which doubtless annoys the dickens out of any site - including El Reg - that has advertising. But I do wish site owners could see how clean and readable their sites tend to be sans ads.
So: how many sites actively block Firefox with AdBlock enabled? Can they even tell?
I've tried it and loved it also. I can see how content providers might not be thrilled if we can just skip all the ads on page #2, 3, etc., but whenever you come upon a web page that uses a font point size of about 6.5, which isn't uncommon, this is truly great.
However, that particular issue is actually much worse with e-Mails, so i hope they also implement it in Mail at some point (and automatically, at that).
Are they insane? When I navigate to a site, unless there is some obnoxious landing page, in which case I'm going to navigate clean away again, I don't ever see a TaC page. How can they expect me to be bound by something that I would in all legitimacy never have seen?
I don't block ads (except flash ads because they're just bad) because I accept the right of the publisher to make money. I'm not in anyway legally beholden to view those ads though, and there's a reason why a web browser is a called a 'user agent' not a 'service client'.
This looks like a nice feature, well implemented, and I'm looking forward to trying it out. Especially on multi-page articles it could make browsing much more pleasant. The NYT needs to get a grip.
iAds can be used in iPhone/iPod touch apps only. Developers of apps can choose to use them, if they wish. General internet browsing is entirely subject to whatever advertising the advertiser the site's owner has chosen to use.
But, y'know, don't let research or facts get in the way of your anti-Apple rant.
Now, if you happened to be Google, then you might have something to say...
The comment is valid and it wasn't a rant. This is a rant. Apple have just announced they're going to provide an advertising platform and at the same time they're allowing their fanbois (like you) to block other ads. It's just another move towards the Jobsian Apple-only world view and like a gullible fool, you can't see it for what it is.
Please wake up and smell the coffee (or do you only drink white plastic odour-free iCoffee(TM)?)
I'd seen and played with Readability a few months ago and thought that "this would really be great in a browser". And then I promptly forgot about it, pushing it on to some mental back-burner. I didn't even try to see if an extension to put it in a browser was available.
I don't mind web advertising for the most part, not even those gyrating banners of days (hopefully) past were enough to put me off. No, what really just tore it all up for me were those pesky ads that would double-underline certain words in text and pop something up. I even let that ride until one day a Flash animation popped up in one of them. I was severely annoyed and wrote the editor of the web site in question. He basically rebuffed my concern and said that it was OK because those ads made more money.
Oh really? (heh...I once donated money to that site!)
And that, folks, was the day I finally installed AdBlockPlus.
(When one of your "daily driver" computers is an NCR P4 clocked at 1.5GHz (shut up, it works and it's paid for) you tend not to care so much about what makes the webmaster a lot of money, as not overwhelming your machine is more important.)
I was already working toward getting very tired of all the needless "cognitive toxins" that have become a part of the web browsing experience and that kind of a response just finished it off.
Aaaaanyway...I'm not the biggest fan of Safari but I would hope that other browser makers take note and include something similar. And yes, it runs fine on the previously mentioned hardware...much better than it does on a vastly more powerful Dell Dimension 8300.
"No, what really just tore it all up for me were those pesky ads that would double-underline certain words in text and pop something up. I even let that ride until one day a Flash animation popped up in one of them. I was severely annoyed and wrote the editor of the web site in question. He basically rebuffed my concern and said that it was OK because those ads made more money."
The problem is that if reader takes off, that's what you'll get more of. Not a sensible banner and reasonable sidebars from Google Ads, but embedded ads that beat reader (or sites will just find a way to spoof reader into thinking that it's not something to read.
I use the aardvark plugin on firefox to do similar things. Doesn't just have the one-click thing that this offers, but it lets me click to isolate (or remove) a particular block on the page (amongst other web developmenty things).
I mainly use that when I want to print content without wasting stacks of paper, ending up with a narrow column of content on the printed page, surrounded by navigation bars and blank spaces where ads would have been. Instead I get the relevant article nicely filling the A4 page...
Will have to upgrade Safari though and give this a try too.
I wondered what the deal was with the iPad supposedly saving news organisations and the owners being relatively okay with it. Now it seems that the idea is to completely kill off ad-supported news sites and making them have a paywall in order to get any money for when you view their site.
I'm more surprised that no one has done a Firefox extension for this before now.
I can't see how any T&Cs are affected by this because it's a local rendering issue. It's not as if the page is being rebublished or anything like that. It's a bit like saying adblockers violate T&Cs - all you are doing is NOT downloading the advert - you can't stipulate that you MUST download it!
Is this the latest move in the Apple vs Google war, maybe? Google depends on Web ad revenue, so if Steve gives users an option to remove all Google's money-making ads the minute a page has loaded, how big a dent will he put in Google's profits? Especially as most ad-blockers are not installed by default, you actually need to know a bit technically to find and turn them on, whereas Apple have just given users a nice, big, one-click buton solution (i.e., the average luser will be able to use Reader whilst not even knowing ad-blockers exist). Heck, most users don't even know how to block pop-ups in Firefox! So what if M$ and Mozilla follow suit and add ad-removal buttons as standard, how much ad revenue would Google stand to lose.....?
Fabulous, let's get rid of all those nice graphics, the fun interaction, all those WEB2.0 features, the jQuery etc... Yep, we've spent years making the web capable of some amazing things but absolutely, let's go back to the old days. Why stop here? Why no go back to the lovely green glowing text on a black background?
At least a green text on black screen won't chew my battery off. And if you spent years making the web capable of eating CPU cycles and RAM just to do something "funny" which could be simplified and optimised you should have an wrist slap at least.
As a simple test, I have created a Word document on Office Live, typed some words cursing RIA and as I typed, it ate 100% CPU and reached 88MB RAM usage, on MSIE 8. Then I opened Word 2010 Beta: max 8% CPU and 20MB RAM usage while monkey typing. This on Windows 7.
Another test: Outlook 2010 Beta eats ~50MB to display inbox+email, while a single message on Gmail needs 95MB, on IE 8 and a little less on Firefox with AdBlock. Apple OS X's Mail uses 61MB, while Gmail on Safari uses 130MB. I won't test it on Firefox/OSX because I have lots of plugins installed. Oh, and I can also read my mail when I'm without internet connection.
And I leave a question: how those cloud/RIA applications would do any better than any native application on netbooks/internet tablets/smartphones if they are such resource hogs?
It's not actually removing the adverts, it has to load up the page (with adverts) and then you click the button to show just the text, you are still downloading the adverts and the entire webpage.
It'll make it's way into the iWhatever though as a nifty "function" but, odds are when you press the button it'll display the text AND an advert supplied by Apple, that'll be the next "feature" they add.
So if enough people start using features like this, content providers are going to rebuild their websites in a more complex manner that will bollox other features on people's browsers.
Of course they could start building websites where the advertisements are interesting and relevant, and displayed unobtrusively enough that people wouldn't bother with the Reader feature in the first place ... but nah, they'll bollox their sites.
You can only bounce your web viewers around so much before they'll just leave and find what they want (or as close as they can get) somewhere else.
Technically-adept types who know how to implement things to make the web work for them will be the first, and then word will slowly get around until the average web browsing member of the public knows...maybe not why or even what the problem is, just that someone they know and trust said there was a problem and not to visit said site any more.
That's only a problem if the Reader engine merely analyses the page source. I believe it does much more than this: I think it works on the generated output of the page render (recall that this is not necessarily an application-level enhancement to Safari, but to the WebKit framework itself).
I just updated my Mac to Safari 5 to try this out....
Took a minute to work out that the button is in the URL field, not on the toolbar (d'oh!).
I really like this feature, it makes reading articles so much easier on the eyes and I think I'll make use of it a lot.
Thanks for pointing it out!
...their ad-selling program with their ad-wiping capabilities? Or does Apple only mean to make the Web readable, and not its wonderful, magical, etc. newpaper-reading app? Or if you buy ads from Apple, does that mean your ad is deemed non-annoying by Safari? And if you can read free Web news (or even Web news behind a paywall) with all the annoying stuff removed, aren't even the fanbois going to decide the Web browser offers a superior reading experience?
In people's rush to install ad blockers and welcome features like this, there's the danger that we'll lose sight of the fact that advertising pays for much of the Internet. Many web sites are reliant on click-throughs and advertising revenues for funding, hide or obscure those adverts and in the short term the site gets less click-throughs, then in the longer term the ad providers aren't going to pay as much due to the diminished effectiveness of their ads.
It's pretty much like what's happening to commercial TV these days, the ads have become much less effective due to the shift in the way we watch TV, with many people now recording TV and fast forwarding through the adverts. Companies are no longer investing the same amounts of money into TV advertising and commercial TV is suffering as a consequence.
Yes, I have little interest in the adverts on a web page, but find it quite easy to ignore most except perhaps the pop-ups. It's a price I'm willing to pay for the "free" Internet. However, banish those ads and I think the Internet will be a poorer place for it
I'm afraid that the sites have only themselves to blame. It was actually El Reg which drove me to first install AdBlock Plus with the annoying ads they had which get out of their box and obscure the content - there was some annoying BT woman on a chair who pushed back across the whole page (and a dragon at some point).
This was taking advertising beyond a joke, and so although these might have paid more, it has hurt the bottom line because it irritated me enough to take action. I'm actually pretty light on blocking ads, only blocking the really irritating ones, as I realise that advertising pays for the site. However, many people driven to blocking ads may decide to go the whole hog.
All the browsers now have an option to block pop-up windows. That was a reaction to a similar bout of advertising overkill. It is a fine line for advertisers - if they get too in your face, they get a punch in the chops.
Advertising used to be based on persuasion (or seduction)....
True, to many good sites depend on ad revenue, but if you are a regular user of such sites then you will leave the ads on (you may even click a few just to send some revenue). But, if that same site starts hiding the info you need behind dozens of po-ups or pop-unders, flash ads or embedded ads, then you may get p*ssed-off visitors switching on the ad blockers. So, strike a balance, make sure you have each page carry an embedded message such as "This webiste is funded by advertising, if you value our service then please visit our sponsors by clicking on the ads", should balance out nicely.
On the flip side, you can do what some webscum did to my brother's company - take his money for a click-through ad on their website, then set a farm of zombies that regularly imitated clicking on the ad so they could take his money. He couldn't understand why his ad costs were going up but he wasn't getting any more business, until I pointed out his hit-rate was far too constant, even at weekends! The hoster pretended the zombies were nothing to do with them.....
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