Article View Update: Now with Multi-page Support!
I have been working hard on a huge new update to the Article View and I’m excited to tell you that it’s finally ready.
Note: Updates to the Article View require no changes or updates on your end. However if you’d like to update any articles that were saved before today you will need to redownload them.
The Article View will now automatically assemble multi-page articles for you! You no longer have to save each page individually or hunt down a single-page/print view of an article. In fact, you can even save any page within the set (ex. page 3 of 10) and the new Article View will still grab and combine all of the pages before and after.
A Word on Development
Multi-page support was Read It Later’s longest standing feature request. The reason it has taken so long to implement was not a lack of importance. (In fact, I think this is easily one of RIL’s best features now.) The delay was making sure that it was done right. If you’ve been here a while you may remember that an early version of RIL’s iOS app actually had multi-page support but it was removed in 2.0 because I was not satisfied with the experience. I shelved it and decided to wait until I could give it the focus the feature deserved.
I had 3 requirements I had to satisfy:
- Non-language specific – RIL is a global platform with over two-thirds of its users living outside of the US. The parser could not simply rely on looking for specific language like ‘Next’ in the page.
- Non-site specific – There should be no site specific rulesets that have to be constantly added or updated.
- Be able to save any page – Most of the time when I save a multi-page article its when I’m half-way through it. I wanted the parser to be able to find all of the pages before and after the page that was saved.
I’m happy to report that after toiling in the bat cave, I’ve finally built a multi-page feature that I’m truly proud of. I have been testing this for weeks and have yet to find an article that the parser was not able to stitch together. Go try it out and let me know what you find!
Note: If you try it on an older article and it does not work, be sure to refresh it first. RIL may be serving you the old cached version processed by the old parser.
The new parser has support for RTL languages like Arabic and Hebrew. RTL languages will now be displayed in the proper direction. The update also provides improved detection of articles written in RTL languages.
In addition to multi-page support, this update brings a significant number of improvements to the parser’s ability to detect article content. Thank you to all of you who have sent in Article View reports. They were incredibly useful in improving the parser.
Improved Author Detection
Author and byline detection has been dramatically improved. I am planning a larger update to improve this even further in the future.