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Redone port of Readability API in Python

Project description

breadability - another readability Python port

I’ve tried to work with the various forks of some ancient codebase that ported readability to Python. The lack of tests, unused regex’s, and commented out sections of code in other Python ports just drove me nuts.

I put forth an effort to bring in several of the better forks into one codebase, but they’ve diverged so much that I just can’t work with it.

So what’s any sane person to do? Re-port it with my own repo, add some tests, infrastructure, and try to make this port better. OSS FTW (and yea, NIH FML, but oh well I did try)

This is a pretty straight port of the JS here:


This does depend on lxml so you’ll need some C headers in order to install things from pip so that it can compile.

sudo apt-get install libxml2-dev libxslt-dev
pip install breadability


cmd line

$ breadability
  • b will write out the parsed content to a temp file and open it in a browser for viewing.

  • d will write out debug scoring statements to help track why a node was chosen as the document and why some nodes were removed from the final product.

  • f will override the default behaviour of getting an html fragment (<div>) and give you back a full <html> document.

  • v will output in verbose debug mode and help let you know why it parsed how it did.

Using from Python

from breadability.readable import Article
doc = Article(html_text, url=url_came_from)
print doc.readable

Work to be done

Yep, I’ve got some catching up to do. I don’t do pagination, I’ve got a lot of custom tweaks I need to get going, there are some articles that fail to parse. I also have more tests to write on a lot of the cleaning helpers, but hopefully things are setup in a way that those can/will be added.

Fortunately, I need this library for my tools:

so I really need this to be an active and improving project.

Off the top of my heads todo list:

  • Support metadata from parsed article [url, confidence scores, all candidates we thought about?]

  • More tests, more thorough tests

  • More sample articles we need to test against in the test_articles

  • Tests that run through and check for regressions of the test_articles

  • Tidy’ing the HTML that comes out, might help with regression tests ^^

  • Multiple page articles

  • Performance tuning, we do a lot of looping and re-drop some nodes that should be skipped. We should have a set of regression tests for this so that if we implement a change that blows up performance we know it right away.

  • More docs for things, but sphinx docs and in code comments to help understand wtf we’re doing and why. That’s the biggest hurdle to some of this stuff.

Helping out

If you want to help, shoot me a pull request, an issue report with broken urls, etc.

You can ping me on irc, I’m always in the #bookie channel in freenode.



  • Release date: Aug 27nd 2012*

  • Add code/tests for an empty document.

  • Fixes #9 to handle xml parsing issues.


  • Release date: July 21nd 2012*

  • Change the encode ‘replace’ kwarg into a normal arg for older python version.


  • Release date: June 17th 2012*

  • Fix the link removal, add tests and a place to process other bad links.


  • Release date: June 16th 2012*

  • Start to look at removing bad links from content in the conditional cleaning state. This was really used for the site’s garbage.


  • Release date: June 16th 2012*

  • Add a test generation helper breadability_newtest script.

  • Add tests and fixes for the scripting news parse failure.


  • Release date: June 15th 2012*

  • Add actual testing of full articles for regression tests.

  • Update parser to properly clean after winner doc node is chosen.


  • Release date: May 28th 2012*

  • Bugfix: #4 issue with logic of the 100char bonus points in scoring

  • Garden with PyLint/PEP8

  • Add a bunch of tests to readable/scoring code.


  • Release date: May 11th 2012*

  • Fix bugs in scoring to help in getting right content

  • Add concept of -d which shows scoring/decisions on nodes

  • Update command line client to be able to pipe output to other tools

0.1.0 —

Release date: May 6th 2012

  • Initial release and upload to PyPi

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