Feeds

Apple lifted 'make web go away' button from open source

And that's news to the open sourcers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Apple Safari's new "make web go away" button is based on an open source project distributed under the Apache 2 license.

The Safari Reader – which debuted yesterday with version 5 of the Apple browser — is built using the source code for Readability, an Apache project from Arc90 Labs. In the wake of the browser's release, Arc90 praised Apple for including a tool that mimics its own — a tool that strips a webpage of its ads and site branding, reducing to text and core images — and only later did the outfit realize that Steve Jobs and cult had actually dipped into its code.

The Apache 2 license does not require code contributions back to the community.

Apple does include a nod to Readability in its Safari acknowledgments (Help > Acknowledgments), but true to form, it never said a word to Arc90 — or anyone else. The likes of TechCrunch are still under the impression that Apple built Reader on its own.

Safari acknowledges Arc90

Apple tips hat to Arc90's Readability

That said, the two tools are a tad different. Readability can be used with Chrome, Firefox, and, yes, Safari. It's a bit of JavaScript you add to your browser toolbar as a "bookmarklet," and when you want to strip a webpage down, you simply give it a click. Meanwhile, with Safari 5, Apple does away with the bookmarklet. Instead, it adds a button to the browser toolbar whenever it detects a webpage that's suited to reformatting.

Apple also removes the option of customizing the font and font size. With Readability, you can choose from five font styles, five font sizes, and five margin sizes. But the basic setup is the same. "Safari Reader removes annoying ads and other visual distractions from online articles," Apple says. "So you get the whole story and nothing but the story."

While still unaware that Apple was using its code, Arc90 hailed Apple for taking "another step towards better reading on the web." The outfit was particularly pleased that the tool has been rolled into the browser itself. "For us, the most exciting aspect of the announcement is that content display is being addressed on the Web," it said. "While content packaged 'apps' litter Apple’s own iTunes app store with the promise of a better reading experience, it’s great to see the Web get its due attention."

But you could also say that the tool is a bit of curve ball for web publishers interested in showing you ads and branding. And we have. ®

Bootnote

You can download the Readbility source code here.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.