Intent to Implement: Reader Mode APIs

Bob Silverberg bsilverberg at
Fri Aug 11 13:31:38 UTC 2017

We plan to implement some WebExtension APIs to support reader mode in
Firefox.These APIs do not have equivalents in the Chrome browser. Some of
these already have bugs filed for them, which I will reference below. The
tracking bug for this can be found at [1].

Functionality for which bugs already exist includes:

Ability to detect if a page can be viewed in reader mode. Bug 1371801 [2]
supports this requirement.

Ability to tell if a tab is in reader mode. Bug 1381992 [3] has been marked
as WONTFIX, but if we're going to implement a number of other APIs around
reader mode it might make sense to revisit this. The suggestion in the bug
is that reader mode can be inferred from the URL, but it might be better to
not have to rely on the current implementation of the reader mode URL for

Ability to create a tab for a reader mode URL. Bug 1371793 [4] mentions
this, but actually covers more than just this, so I will likely open a new
bug to track just this requirement. The issue is that it is impossible to
create a tab for an about: URL currently, but this feature would like to be
able to create tabs for about:reader URLs.

Ability to run content scripts on reader mode pages. Bug 1371786 [5]
contains a discussion about this, and it is awaiting input from the
security team.

Additional functionality that is being considered includes:

Ability to put a tab into reader mode and take a tab out of reader mode.

Ability to read the original URL for a page that is in reader mode.

Please reply with any comments, feedback or questions you have about this


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