Classilla and Readability

Since the release of Classilla 9.2, I’ve noticed its increase in speed and overall performance on my Power Macintosh 9500/132 (which is at the moment the slowest Mac I’m running Classilla on), so I’ve put it to the test by just browsing all the sites I usually visit, and so far I haven’t encountered problems worth to mention. Small misalignments when rendering this or that site are fine by me, provided the general readability is not compromised.

And speaking of readability, the other day I discovered by accident that Readability — the useful and elegant JavaScript bookmarklet created by the fine folks at Arc90 — actually works in Classilla, and works well. Here’s an example:

Classilla & Readability

The only catch is, of course, that JavaScript must be enabled for the website you’re visiting, otherwise the Readability bookmarklet won’t work. In Classilla JavaScript is disabled by default and can be activated on a per-website basis by clicking the ‘S’ icon in the lower right corner. So, if you usually read articles from BBC News or CNN, for instance, you can put those sites in a whitelist and enjoy further readings by giving the articles a Readability treatment. You’ll read better and Classilla will feel faster, especially on older Macs. Admittedly, there were some sites that gave me some trouble — trying Readability on a couple of New York Times articles made the browser quit unexpectedly — but in my (limited) experience that was the exception rather than the rule.

I was about to notify Cameron Kaiser, the mighty developer of Classilla, but reading the Mac OS 9 List I found out he discovered this functionality himself, and added:

For [Classilla] 9.2.1 I am actually going to incorporate Readability into Classilla as C-D-Article. This means Readability becomes chromed, meaning it will operate even with NoScript (well, in 9.2.1, Script-B-Gone) blocking scripts, and will make layout much simpler and help with troublesome sites until the 9.3 layout rewrite.

Let me know what you think of this or if anyone thinks this would be a bad idea.

I actually think it’s an excellent idea.

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5 thoughts on “Classilla and Readability

  1. Despite a few hiccups, I’m loving each new version that comes out. This just makes it better – and coincidental, seeing as how Safari has a readability option now.

  2. The only catch is, of course, that JavaScript must be enabled for the website you’re visiting, otherwise the Readability bookmarklet won’t work. In Classilla JavaScript is disabled by default and can be activated on a per-website basis by clicking the ‘S’ icon in the lower right corner. So, if you usually read articles from BBC News or CNN, for instance, you can put those sites in a whitelist and enjoy further readings by giving the articles a Readability treatment. You’ll read better and Classilla will feel faster, especially on older Macs. Admittedly, there were some sites that gave me some trouble — trying Readability on a couple of New York Times articles made the browser quit unexpectedly — but in my (limited) experience that was the exception rather than the rule.

    +1

  3. Regrettably Riccardo uncovered some layout bugs that Readability exposes which I can’t wallpaper over. Since I don’t want to add a feature that is likely to be heavily used and unstable, I’m deferring this until after I do the layout rewrite (which will be 9.3.0).

    The conversion of NoScript will still be in 9.2.1, however, and then I’m going to fast-track working on the total layout rewrite off a later Mozilla release with backports to the 1.3.1-level XPCOM and NSPR on a separate internal branch.

    There’s always something …

    (Obviously you can still use the bookmarklet, of course.)

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