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The Kindle has an "article mode" that removes extraneous stuff and displays just the web page content (like Readability). However, this feature appears to be unable to detect the content of SO pages. I don't know what it might take in the way of tweaking to support this, but hopefully it's something minor.

(I typed this question in the browser on my Kindle. It's workable, but certainly no iPad.)

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  • Is this on the K3? Commented Sep 24, 2010 at 9:05
  • @Marc: Yes, I've got a K3 WiFi+3G. Commented Sep 24, 2010 at 9:12
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    Is there any documentation on this mode or is everyone expected to just figure it out on their own? Commented Sep 24, 2010 at 9:51
  • @Jeff: I had a quick look for documentation but nothing obvious turned up. I'll keep looking. Commented Sep 24, 2010 at 9:57
  • Related question: stackoverflow.com/questions/3588529/… Commented Sep 24, 2010 at 10:54
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    Related (or, possible duplicate?): Format question pages so Safari 5 can enter Reader mode.
    – Arjan
    Commented Sep 26, 2010 at 11:12
  • @jeff Usually those look for a single div with a large body of text and assume that's the only part you're actually interested in.
    – badp
    Commented Sep 26, 2010 at 11:18
  • Am I right to assume that, just like with Safari Reader, you probably won't see comments and votes in Kindle's Article mode? In Reader, this blog post does show some code-formatting, but is missing an inline image. (I doubt I'd ever use Reader for SOFU.)
    – Arjan
    Commented Sep 26, 2010 at 11:35
  • @Greg, any chance the examples I gave trigger Kindle's Article mode? If so, is the result the same?
    – Arjan
    Commented Sep 28, 2010 at 18:55

2 Answers 2

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I figured I could find some long questions in the Featured section. Indeed, for example, How to exclude a folder that is producing warnings/errors in an Eclipse project? currently triggers the button for Reader in Safari. Like expected:

  • This only includes the question text (but it seems complete, including the images).
  • No comments.
  • No answers.
  • No votes, and no option to vote on the fly.
  • Abuse of Markdown options (like odd usage of quotes in this example) yields odd results.

However, in other situations a relatively long answer can trigger Safari's Reader option, like Shog9's answer in What is the reason for the top secret two space newline markdown weirdness?

1: For some question, Safari Reader decides to render the text from the question.
2: For some other question, Safari thinks the main text is to be found in one of the answers.
3: Code blocks might be lacking the horizontal scrollbar.
4: Reader does not show an inline table with images from a SO blog post.

So, though the above applies to Safari's Reader, I guess the following also applies to Kindle's Article mode:

  • I guess it's hard to get both the question and its answers included.
  • If this works, then I guess for questions with many answers, one wants all answers to show together. (Safari Reader can do pagination, but I doubt it can get pagination from results that are already paginated by the web server. Even if it can: currently the SOFU pagination repeats the question on each page, which might interfere with other pagination.)
  • Like with the feature request for Reader support: I kind of think that voting (seeing votes, and casting votes) is important, and putting an effort in supporting Safari's Reader or Kindle's Article mode, also disables voting for those who're using that layout.

(Still: do the above examples also trigger Kindle's Article mode? And how? Wondering if this very answer will trigger Reader as well? Yes, it does for now, as long as this answer is the longest? It ignores the new paragraph below the images...)

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  • The Kindle browser shows the same elements as what you've described for Safari's Reader mode. I guess that's unsurprising, since the Kindle browser is Webkit-based. Commented Sep 28, 2010 at 19:07
  • @Greg, aha, then maybe this question is a duplicate of Format question pages so Safari 5 can enter Reader mode? But maybe wait until you're 10k here, if that allows you to merge questions? ;-)
    – Arjan
    Commented Sep 28, 2010 at 20:21
  • That may indeed be a dupe (but that question is rather rudely worded IMO). I can't merge though, that's a diamond-mod function no matter how much rep you might have. Commented Sep 28, 2010 at 20:30
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Readability modes usually involve heuristics methods looking for one area hosting the actual content standing out from the remaining link bars/ad bars/content-free areas. This works okay for newspapers or blogs, which normally do conform to this general characterization.

Sigh. (source to picture)

StackOverflow and pals, however, do not fall in this scheme. Content is spread all over the page in multiple places, so readability modes will either make a completely wrong choice (see Arjan's screenshots) or just do nothing at all.

I don't think there's a way to purposefully output readability-mode-friendly pages. They usually work against the wishes of the site designers anyway, removing links and ads and completely replacing CSS.

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  • 3
    Hehe, adding this additional long answer killed the Reader option for this very question!
    – Arjan
    Commented Sep 26, 2010 at 17:13

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