Author detection in Instapaper

Updated on .

To display the author’s name next to a saved article in the read-it-later service Instapaper, add a rel="author" property to the anchor that contains the author’s name.

Details

I noticed that my name wasn’t showing up as the author when notes were saved in Instapaper. Looking at HTML for articles that did work, I noticed that they used the <address> tag and <meta name="author" content="...">. I already had the meta tag, but not the address tag.

My name looks a bit awkward in the aside section (it makes it seem like the author might differ between pages), so I tried to add it to the footer, where I use a paragraph tag to set off new lines. Unfortunately, the address tag causes the paragraph tag to close because it is not phrasing content, which makes the address information move to its own line.

I had to replace the paragraph tag with a div, and then an address tag styled with display: inline would work.

This still didn’t cause the author to show up in Instapaper, though. There might need to be an address in the article tag itself.

Instapaper’s publisher documentation links to the Open Graph Protocol, which seems to require a <meta property="og:author" content="..."> tag in the header.

Instead of that, though, I looked at Marco Arment’s website and found a rel="author" property to the link to his name in the header. When I added that to my site’s footer link, Instapaper author detection worked.

The Newspaper library for Python uses a set of heuristic attributes and values to find an author.