Here's a Rebol one liner that opens a GUI, reads web page and sends it as email:
view layout [u: field "email@example.com" h: field "http://" btn "Send" [send to-email u/text read to-url h/text alert "Sent"]]
Most software systems have become needlessly complex. We rebel against that complexity, fighting it with the most powerful tool available, language itself.
which is a descendant of the original Readability.js published by Arc90, before they decided to turn it into a proprietary Instapaper clone.
It extracts what looks like article text from the page markup. DOM elements included for a printer-friendly view could possibly be helping, but it doesn't target that directly.
I suspect it's looking at the page before it's fully rendered and determining that it doesn't meet some criterion for reader mode.
The separation of structure and formatting is not practical for serious media of any kind. You can't separate form and content. Nor would most people want to, because (visual and other) complexity is an inevitable and rewarding part of human experience...
Your blog post may be beautifully styled, but that makes no difference if I can't even load it, or the fonts are so thin I have to squint to try to read, or the glaring white background makes me see floaters. A blind person doesn't care about the whizz-bang of $framework if your JS-only site breaks their screen reader.
For other use-cases... that's why we have HTML and stylesheets. The problem has been solved, mostly sort-of.
As already mentioned, this is demonstrably false. I'm choosing to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you don't understand how a great amount serious media is served nowadays, since the alternative means you are attempting to score internet points with a second-level contrarian post. But I have to wonder where you've been.
The separation of structure and formatting is not practical for serious advertising platform of any kind.
They may not be on the device you chose to support.
Kept the page size below 1MB, server time around 0.3s (ProcessWire), onload below 3s.
And too many Kindle books...
I haven't ever paid for any blog-type content, but I probably would if someone marketed it right.
With advertising, I don't see why everyone's assuming it would be impossible on a plain text medium.
I listen to podcasts that have sponsors. They just talk about their sponsors in the middle of the show. They try to make it sincere ("I use this product myself" etc). It seems to me like this is a very high quality type of advertising, compared to blockable little ad server banners.
The problem with this is that the content producers have incentives to add content they get paid for, and people who pay to have others shove content in front of readers have an incentive to make that content as eye-catching as possible.
So first it's just text. Then it's bold and underline, both of which have legitimate uses in real content but both of which are also obviously useful for ads. Then it's blinking, and to hell with light-sensitive epileptics. Then it's all over.
The alternative is the old radio trick of weaving all of the content together as tightly as possible, so it all gets consumed in one big gulp. That has implications for long-term credibility, but that's a long-term problem beyond the time horizon of the bills your financial people just got today, and then there's payroll...
(Tables first arrived in Mosaic 2.0 Alpha 8 in December 1994, according to http://www.barrypearson.co.uk/articles/layout_tables/history...)