Wednesday, 20 April 2011

epershand: An ampersand (epershand)
ETA: SUCCESS. Thanks, folks, he's fixed it.

If you are a user of Instapaper for reading fanfic, you are probably familiar with the annoying habit of the iPhone client and a few Android clients to smoosh all paragraphs on LiveJournal and Dreamwidth together into one paragraph of doom.

As it turns out, it's possible to fix this problem for individual subdomains with the Text-parser configuration page, and a few weeks ago I submitted the appropriate changes for DW news and LJ news. (I also told it to strip out icons and username heads, because often those do not load anyway)

However, only an administrator at Instapaper can modify a set of rules to apply to an entire domain, and obviously adding a custom rule for every single LJ and DW account out there is not scalable. It looks like the only way to get this changed is to email the developer, Marco Arment, directly. He's a busy guy and a request from a single user is probably pretty low on his radar. But there are a *lot* of us who are using Instapaper for fic (honestly, I don't know any dedicated users who aren't fic readers, although I know that I have a strong sample bias) and together I'm pretty sure we can get his attention.

Will you please join me in writing to to get the LJ and DW configuration optimized?

Here's a sample letter, based on the one I sent him. Feel free to modify as you see fit.

Subject line: Instapaper Optimization for and

Hi Marco,

I've recently become incredibly addicted to using Instapaper--it's an awesome product.

I use it a lot with pages from and, both of which sites have some parsing problems with their paragraph separations. There are optimizations for a subdomain of each site listed on the Text-parser configuration page, but since both sites use a distinct subdomain per user, the optimizations need to be expanded to * and * to apply.

I know you're busy, but can you or another Instapaper admin please update and to apply to their respective full domains?

epershand: The eleventh doctor looks into space. (Eleven and the Universe)
My favorite piece of Passover liturgy comes from near the end of the main service part of the service, shortly before the meal. It comes after the story of the Jews' Exodus from Egypt, and it's a song about being thankful for what Adonai has given us. Much of it is a very literal retelling of the story of the Exodus, but the way it's framed means a lot to me.

It seems almost like a call for complacency, to accept what one has and not push for more, and yet it isn't--it's an appreciation of every stage of the path from slavery to freedom, a statement that it means something even without the spiritual gift. And at the same time, the way it links together every two steps makes the eventual resolution seem inevitable as a natural process from the first line. I love its stepwise gratitude, the idea that if Adonai had stopped helping the Israelites at any stage in the process, it still would have been an amazing gift. And it would have been sufficient. It makes the full gift all the more meaningful.

I've found "Dayenu" a particularly helpful frame through which to view the US's path towards LGBT civil rights over the last few years. Because while we aren't there yet, every step forward is a huge thing. We will get there (see, for instance, today's FiveThirtyEight post on support for equal marriage rights). We are not there yet, and it's necessary to keep pushing, but every stage is enough to be worthy of celebration and gratitude.

Dayenu )

(Buahahahaha all the non-Jews who read this are probably like "oh, that is so nice and thoughtful." And all the Jews are sitting there thinking "CURSES MOLLY WHY HAVE YOU EARWORMED ME?")


epershand: An ampersand (Default)

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