Tomorrow, Mac OS X Lion will be released. And therefore, tomorrow, John Siracusa’s massive Lion review will likely be published on Ars Technica. Since it’s a long web article, a lot of people are going to save it for reading later with Instapaper.
It’s going to be split into a lot of pages. His previous Snow Leopard review was 23 pages.
Nearly all of Instapaper’s competitors, even including Safari’s built-in Reader feature, offer automatic multi-page fetching and stitching into one long page. To date, I’ve intentionally not offered this feature on Instapaper. I’ll seek out publicly available “single page” links and automatically fetch those instead, but I don’t create a single-page view that doesn’t otherwise exist publicly on a publisher’s site.
I’ve been torn about this for a while, since I’m losing business to competitors because of it. It’s a risky move for me to even talk about it like this. But I feel like multi-page stitching is a tricky line to cross, and for the time being, I don’t feel comfortable crossing it.
Ars Technica sells Premier memberships for $5 per month that include single-page views of articles (among other benefits).
I signed up for a Premier subscription and tested saving the single-page version of the Snow Leopard review with the Instapaper bookmarklet, and it worked great. And if anything unforeseen prevents the single-page Lion review from saving properly, I’ll do my best to tweak it and fix the problem as quickly as possible.
I respect Ars Technica’s choice to keep single-page versions of long articles as a subscriber-only feature. If you want to save John Siracusa’s huge Lion review to Instapaper as one long page tomorrow, please support their business and buy an Ars Premier subscription.