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> “Snaplight serves an extremely niche need: mine.”

There is a subtle brilliance in this sentence. With this recognition comes the permission to not try adding a mountain of features and complicating matters. Build something you will use. Solve a problem you have. Enjoy the process and accept the vulnerability that comes with shipping something to the world. Chances are good things will come of it.




I recently had a similar experience: I watch a lot of YouTube videos and I like reading through the comments. Often, comments quote specific timestamps from the video and I would find it a pain to keep scrolling between the comment section at the bottom of the page and the video at the top and then find the specific time in the video that the comment was talking about.

So, I created a Chrome extension that surfaces YouTube comments that have timestamps right below the video, around the time that the comment contains. And, then disappears it after a few seconds.

It was fun to make and in the end, it solved a very specific problem that I was facing.

Link: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/youtube-timed-comm...


This is awesome, I have the exact same problem. One thing though, when I go to install the extension it asks to read and change data on youtube.com, which makes sense, but also wants permission to access my browsing history. Just wondering why this is?

http://shots.moss.io/a67bd6/Screenshot%202019-09-19%20at%201...


Chrome shows that warning if your extension requests access to the 'tabs' permission. https://developer.chrome.com/apps/permission_warnings#view_w...

In this case, it is needed to get the url and id of the tab. I'll have to go back and check if I can make do without depending on that because I agree it does not make sense for this extension to need 'access to my browsing history'. Also, I do intend to put the code up and link it in the extension description page soon, so you don't have to take my word for it!

Thanks for pointing this out.


I had a similar case... i want to be able to download interesting videos with youtube-dl in case they or me go offline but i found having to copy the url, open a command line, move the proper folder, etc, type youtube-dl and paste the url be a bit cumbersome, so i wrote a Firefox extension to do all that for me.

This is extremely specific (and i had to switch to Firefox Developer Edition to do that since the mainline one doesn't allow unsigned extensions) but it was helpful and i got to learn how to make extensions for personal use (though the whole process to call an external program was a convoluted PITA involving adding registry entries, writing Python scripts to parse JSON, etc... meh).


For a similar usecase I settled on writing a bash script along the lines of

  PARAM=`xclip -o -selection clipboard`
  notify-send downloading $PARAM
  youtube-dl $PARAM
And setting a keyboard shortcut to invoke it, so downloading is just

  CTRL+L (select URL)
  CTRL+C (copy selection)
  CTRL+ALT+D (trigger download script)


Damn Son! I have had the same issue and your solution is so face palm simple! Excellent.


This is actually not even that specific. I did the same thing a few years ago and I bet a lot of other people could use it. One lesson I learned was that writing browser extensions is quite cumbersome if you want to do something that's a little outside the normal use case.


I use tempermonkey for simple stuff like this, takes 2-5 minutes to write something without deploying full extension.


But when you click the timestamp in the comment doesn't it automatically jump the video to that point? It's worked that way for me for years...


Yes, and then you lose your place in the comments.


I think the back button might still get you back to your place in the comments, but it is a lot of page refreshes. It also messes with the progress bar you see in the thumbnail if you see the video somewhere else on the site again, you might think you didn't finish watching the video.


It does. But that also means that you have almost surely navigated away from watching the video.


Thanks for sharing.

You’re definitely not the only person who has this issue.

It’s definitely something YouTube could implement if they weren’t content with the minor tyre fix they’ve built.


You're welcome!

The only issue I have now is that I've moved on to using Firefox. So, I can't really use this extension anymore.

I guess that sounds like another 'niche problem' that needs solving.


Chrome extensions are quite trivial to port to Firefox these days. One of my colleagues built a chrome extension and had the firefox version working minutes later.


This Firefox user would love a port...


You wouldn’t be alone there either.



Oh, I wasn't aware of this. I'm going to try this out this weekend.

Thanks for sharing.


That sounds very cool. Have you heard of bilibili.com? It's a video streaming website, but where comments are timestamped and scroll overlaid on the video at that timestamp, hugely entertaining, somewhat like sitting with 1000 videojockies at the same time. Mainly Chinese language, as it's a Chinese site. Worth having a look though, similar gist.


Nice! This sounds similar to SoundCloud which allows for comments attached to timestamps (great for music, “what a chord”, “the drop here!”)


...and medium blog posts with highlights.


I wish we could combine all this stuff together regardless of media. I'd use it in a heartbeat to curate class notes and recorded lectures! Particularly with a community this would be awesome, harnessing everyone's highlighting to pull out a veritable "best of" the course, without losing any context!


If you do most of your research in-browser, you should look at u/burtonator's https://getpolarized.io/


This program is wonderful, I regularly use it for highlighting and annotating PDFs. Just imagine this with a SoundCloud-like "highlighter/annotator" for AV files thrown in the mix.


There was once a thing called Google Wave which would have got pretty close in it's proto form, and had it continued being developed probably would have allowed this and more.


Yes, just it would house all my thoughts on someone else's computer. That's a big deal-breaker for me.


Viki includes this as a regular feature. You can leave comments on timestamps, and those comments flash at the appropriate time (if you have them enabled).


Downloaded it, installed it. This is fun!


That's what Bhagvad Gita says as well. Please note these are not the exact words but this is how I remember them

कर्म करो फल की अपेक्षा मत करो जब तुम फल की अपेक्षा रखोगे तुम्हारा कर्म दूषित होगा

Translation:

Do your work, don't expect anything in return. Because when you do, your work gets corrupt.


> Do your work, don't expect anything in return. Because when you do, your work gets corrupt.

This translation doesn't seem to cover the familiar, deeper meaning of the passage. The term कर्म (karma) can refer both to work/action as well as to the principle of cause and effect (that the word 'karma' more commonly represents). My understanding is that it really talks about the purifying effect on the mind of doing your duty without expectations of being rewarded. A bit like Bushido.

This is not duty in the sense of solving your own problems and taking risks as an entrepreneur. It is more about doing the job that society (the very rigid caste-based society that is the context here) has laid out for you. The subject of the speech was Arjuna. Krishna, the speaker, was reminding Arjuna that being born a warrior it was his duty to fight in the war that he didn't want to fight in, even if it meant slaughtering his cousins who were on the opposing side.

Seen in its original context, it doesn't quite mean the same thing as what GP said.


I got the implication of "do your duty without expectation of reward", and implications of cause/effect from rohan1024's off-the-cuff translation already.

But maybe I didn't get the implication of "job that rigid-caste-based society set out for you". Which of course probably seems less sensible/ethical to many of us modern people.

One of the things that has made the religious texts that have been treasured for thousands of years succesful is how they have such expanding/multitudinous possibilities of interpretation and directions of symbolism. And they usually have been understood differently by different people at different times (as a historical fact, even if the fundamentalists want to argue otherwise).

I find that a very interesting and thought-provoking passage, that has resonances with things in other religious/spiritual traditions (unsurprisingly especially some kinds of Buddhism), but I have no interest in the "your duty is exactly what 'society' tells you it is" part. I think we have a duty to ourselves/our neighbors/humanity/god/the divine, and expecting something in return will corrupt it (and possibly ruin the outcome), but it might not be quite what 'society' is telling you it is.


To be fair, the passages in question (this verse and the next few) do talk about equanimity towards results (very Buddhist) as service towards God. However, what God seems to want in the verses happens to be what would be good for society as well.

In modern contexts, the text is jarring in many ways. Arjuna's initial argument for not wanting to kill his cousins, uncles and grandfather on the other side are that if he kills them, their women would be led astray, i.e. procreate outside the clan (not clear if willfully or made to do so without male protection) which would lead to out-of-caste progeny being born and thus the destruction of the pure family blood line. The emphasis is on the illegitimate children being the problem, not that the women would be harmed.


Not really Buddhist at all. The Buddhist (and Jain, Ajivaka etc.) view is that results don’t matter because the actions themselves don’t matter—they are delusions.

Whereas for “Hindus” (for want of a better word.), actions are of supreme importance. They are divinely ordained. What Krishna Bhagavan is saying is don’t let preoccupation with results paralyze you into inaction.

Some historians see the Gita as a rejoinder by the Vedic traditionalist to the quietism of the Shramanic movements.

As for Arjunas argument; the need for a pure family line is not that illegitimate children wouldn’t be e.g. heirs but that they would be uneligible to make the offerings (shraddha) to the deified ancestors (Pitrs. The term literally means “fathers” but it includes male and female ancestors.) Deprived of those offerings, the Pitrs would lose their place in Heaven and fall into Hell.

Incidentally this lunar fortnight is the season when Hindus perform shraddha. It is my great-grandmothers shraddha today.


> The Buddhist (and Jain, Ajivaka etc.) view is that results don’t matter because the actions themselves don’t matter—they are delusions.

That is not the Buddhist view at all. The Buddha himself spoke about skillful action vs non-skillful action. The whole eightfold path / middle way [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_Eightfold_Path] starts from 'Right View': that our actions have consequences, even after death.


Certainly it is better to be good than bad nevertheless even good karma has consequences which cause entanglement in samsara. The only way out is to renounce action altogether. The Aryan Eightfold Path is for the Arhat who is at an exalted but lower level than a truly enlightened Buddha.

For the Gita, action (as prescribed by dharma) is intrinsically good regardless of its content even if it ends up destroying an entire family in war. That’s the key difference.


IMO that is an incorrect understanding of Buddhism. It is not about renunciation of all action. That's the kind of early Western misunderstanding by people like Nietzsche which has painted Buddhism as rooted in nihilism and inaction.

Quoting from The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha translated by Bhikku Bodhi: These are the Buddha's words:

> "There is, brahmin, a way in which one could rightly say of me: ‘The ascetic Gotama is a proponent of non-doing.’ For I assert the non-doing of bodily, verbal, and mental misconduct; I assert the non-doing of the numerous kinds of bad unwhole- some deeds. It is in this way that one could rightly say of me: ‘The ascetic Gotama is a proponent of non-doing.’"

> "And in what way could one rightly say of me: ‘The ascetic Gotama is a proponent of deeds who teaches his Dhamma for the sake of deeds and thereby guides his disciples’? For I assert good bodily, verbal, and mental conduct; I assert the doing of the numerous kinds of wholesome deeds. It is in this way that one could rightly say of me: ‘The ascetic Gotama is a proponent of deeds who teaches his Dhamma for the sake of deeds and thereby guides his disciples.’"


And yet even in that quote Shakyamuni calls himself the ascetic Gotama. Becoming a Bhikshu or a renouncer is the entry-level to the Buddhist path. Although in other parts of Asia there were genuine Buddhist lay movements, in India Buddhism was the sangha and only the sangha. If one cannot renounce for some reason then yes it is better to do good than evil in the world but that is clearly the inferior alternative. “Right conduct” is that which brings one closer to non-doing.


> Although in other parts of Asia there were genuine Buddhist lay movements, in India Buddhism was the sangha and only the sangha.

I'm not sure this is right. The Buddha himself laid out his rules for householders (the gahatthavatta in the Anguttara Nikaya), which doesn't make sense if there was nothing but the Sangha in his time.

> If one cannot renounce for some reason then yes it is better to do good than evil in the world but that is clearly the inferior alternative. “Right conduct” is that which brings one closer to non-doing.

Do you have a source for this? Nothing I have read agrees. I have already given my source to the contrary from the Anguttara Nikaya itself.


When you say modern what you mean is W.E.I.R.D. Historically, even in the West, people thought of themselves as members of a group first. The resurgence of populism throughout the World shows that they still do.


Is it solely a W.E.I.R.D. view that women have the same agency as men and are not commodities to be protected? If it is, I'd like to think we're all W.E.I.R.D. now.


Well historically yes. Sometimes women have more agency sometimes less but it only relatively recently they’ve had the same as men. Anyway I don’t see where you are getting “commodities” here. Women are mentioned because they have babies and men don’t. Without children to carry on the family dharma, female ancestors would be just as harmed as male ones.

Elsewhere Krishna Bhagavan offers everyone explicitly including women direct access to the embodied divinity — namely, Himself.


Women are mentioned as needing protection from being misled not just because they produce babies but because they are deemed incapable of protecting themselves from out-of-caste males, morally or physically.

> Elsewhere Krishna Bhagavan offers everyone explicitly including women direct access to the embodied divinity — namely, Himself.

Oh you mean the passage (chapter 9, verse 32) in which he lists that even those of lower birth: women, vaisyas and sudras have access to him? To be clear, this leaves only brahmin and kshatriya men in the those-not-of-lower-birth or dvija or twice-born ranks.


No you are reading to much into it. Adharma is the cause. Varnasankara is the effect and Hell for the Pitrs is a further consequence of that. Arjuna (this is his view remember) thinks fratricide is adharmic and the resulting destruction of the family will lead to bad consequences for everyone not just the women.

As for 9:32 no the Gita is not egalitarian (that’s W.E.I.R.D again) but Krishna Bhagavans’ formulation while upholding the old hierarchy, creates a new hierarchy on a different axis with a different set of winners and losers.

Incidentally, you are aware I hope that according to the Ashokavadana, a Buddha can only be born in a Brahmans or Kshatriya family.


> Incidentally, you are aware I hope that according to the Ashokavadana, a Buddha can only be born in a Brahmans or Kshatriya family.

Thanks, I wasn't aware of that. Sounds exactly like the kind of thing Ashoka's minions would add to Ashoka's hagiography.

For the record, I don't take any of this stuff seriously.


"It is in action alone that you have a claim, never at any time to the fruits of such action. Never let the fruits of action be your motive; never let your attachment be to inaction." Bhagavad Gita 2:47

"Besides, considering your duty as a warrior, you should not waver. Indeed, for a warrior, there is nothing but a battle fought according to dharma." - 2.31

Further, the reason for action is held up later. This is also the quote that Oppenheimer used to describe setting off the Atomic Bomb.

"Time I am, the mighty destroyer of worlds, and I come to vanquish all living beings. Even without your participation, all the warriors on the opposite side of the battlefield will be killed.

Therefore, arise and achieve glory! Conquer your foes and enjoy a prosperous empire! O best amongst archers, all your enemies have already been killed by Me – you are but an instrument.

Drona. Bhisma, Jayadratha, Karna and other heroic soldiers have already been killed by Me. Fear not – fight! You will certainly conquer your enemy in this battle." - 11.32-11.35

Not to simplify the complexity of the Gita but what I take from it is: We can only take action and in the long run everyone is dead so why not take righteous action along the lines of what you are good at and thus fulfill your duty to society and God.

Furthermore, the rigidity of the caste system is a modern invention. It occurred during British Rule (https://press.princeton.edu/titles/7191.html).


Sheesh are people still quoting that post-modern gibberish? No “colonialism” didn’t cause the rigidity of the caste system except incidentally.

Social mobility in traditional India did occur but very slowly and at the group level for the most part. How it worked is an upcoming group would adopt elite behaviors e.g. vegetarianism, Sanskrit, their Gods would be equated with those of the high tradition and so on. Over time no one in the group or its neighbors would remember that they had ever behaved otherwise. Voila, upward mobility.

The printing press changed that. Now when you say I am Y, someone can point out “but it says here that a century ago you were X.” Same effect with archaeology, genetics etc.

Historically, the British brought in these technologies but in an alternative timeline where Clive lost at Plessy, the same process would eventually have occurred. It benefits both the far left and far right to find a scapegoat instead.


I think you are basically paraphrasing what the book says. :)

The technologies that the British brought through colonialism, including their own class structure, lead to what you described. It likely would have happened without the British but because of the power structures in place that came with colonial rule. This process accelerated so a lot of the rigidity that we can attribute now was the upper castes trying to hold onto their power which was magnified by the British giving them more power in colonial India.

It is also why it was the upper caste Hindus that eventually rebelled against British rule. They received the best economic and political benefit from British rule.


That doesn’t follow. Take Dr. Ambedkars neo-Buddhist movement for instance. By calling themselves Buddhist, upwardly mobile untouchables could identify with a socially prestigious “world religion” that was still identifiably Indian. Never mind that there was no connection to actual historical Indian Buddhism which had gone extinct centuries earlier. But it could be recovered (or reimagined) from books. Read his works and you will see that he appeals to and rebels against colonialist notions just like any other contemporary Indian thinker. To assume it was all about upper castes and the British is more trendy academic bullshit IMO.


Ambedkar was a response to Gandhi and his caste Hindu movement. The Independence movement is split into three groups: 1) Upper Caste Hindus 2) Untouchables (or Harijans as Gandhi called them) 3) Muslims. Most untouchables did not like Gandhi because he sought to keep the caste power structure, hence the response from Ambedkar to escape that hierarchy altogether by moving to Buddhism.

The initial organized independence movements which were largely confined to Bengal during the 1900-1918 timeframe were very much an upper-caste movement.


> We can only take action and in the long run everyone is dead so why not take righteous action along the lines of what you are good at and thus fulfill your duty to society and God.

If we're all dead in the long run, why bother with righteous action now?


I came up with translation. Duty is the better word instead of work.


Yes, it’s an old proverb.

“Necessity is the mother of invention”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necessity_is_the_mother_of_inv...


Whenever I hear that I'm always reminded of my father saying 'We put a man on the moon before we put wheels on a suitcase'


Perhaps wheels on a suitcase required modern plastics?


I think that the first wheeled suitcases used indoor roller skate wheels. So the parts were readily available for a long time before wheeled suitcases.

But early airports didn't have miles of corridors and a hundred gates, so maybe the need wasn't as great.


We had wheels on cars, baby strollers, and bikes before the moon landing.

The cold war re-prioritized life for many Americans (and Russians, too I'm sure)


... because wheels necessitate plastic.


>With this recognition comes the permission to not try adding a mountain of features and complicating matters.

Well, yeah. The only thing that’s surprising about this is that the opposite has gotten so engrained. We are so accustomed to an attitude that (without the niceties of professionalism) is basically “who the fuck are you, nerd, to have the audacity to think you understand user needs? You’re weird and nobody wants what you want from software.”


Isn't that the whole world of one-off github repos though?

Here's my world-famous Python tool for Monte Carlo sensitivity analysis of Excel sheets depending on expert estimates: https://github.com/asemic-horizon/stanton

And my extremely unrequested extension for expert estimates that may be correlated: https://github.com/asemic-horizon/multibeta


I wonder about this...

The Tesla model 3 has no dashboard in your line of sight, and Elon Musk says he builds something he likes and hope others will too.

But the car has sold well in spite of the fact that many owners I've talked to said this was a big compromise for them.


Something something eat your own dogfood.


drink your own champagne works..


No no - that's in startups coasting on VC money. In places trying to actually get something done - it's dog food :)


*Non-programmers need not apply


Chances are NOT good that things will come of it. There's a million useless projects for every one post like this. There's a lot more work than just building it.


On the other hand, you do have to be in it to win it.


I think that's GP's point: do not publish it expecting it to lead to good things, because the chances are so good - they're not. Publish it because it solves a problem for you, and because it's little effort, so might as well.

I do that a lot. Pretty much every one of them is used practically only by me. That's fine, because that was my expectation anyway.




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