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NymphCast: Casual attempt at open alternative to Chromecast (mayaposch.blogspot.com)
487 points by ingve 27 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 184 comments

Looking through the code you can tell the author is putting a lot of work into this project. It's not the cleanest code, but it's the kind of "home cooked" project I really enjoy seeing. Built from the ground up using a self-rolled RPC library and everything. It's really neat. Give it some more "bake time" and this could be a really great way to use a Pi.

As the article points out, ChromeCast is an extremely locked down protocol. It's designed to bind your device and all its clients permanently into the Google ecosystem.

The real shame is that it had to exist in the first place and that DLNA was never adequate for this.

I had success a couple of years ago patching the Chrome binary to put my own CA Chromecast roots in there and then broadcasting my software device over mdns [0]. At that time the newer protocol wasn't implemented in Chrome yet so the furthest I got was appearing in the device list. But now it is implemented [1], so maybe I should revisit.

Of course this isn't a general solution since it requires patching the binary instead of having some other way to use custom keys (they compile them into Chrome today, and of course other devices are even more closed).

0 - https://github.com/thibauts/node-castv2/issues/2#issuecommen... 1 - https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=809249

Upnp and chromecast have quite some stuff in common. I think its all politics and messed up standardization. Add some recoding services like bubbleupnp server, browser support and dlna can still serve as a nice alternative with tons of hw. But people like their locked ecosystems and are not willing to invest in interop.

Upnp was build for home automation so i guess it was too ambitious considering the company political minefield. Its successor dpws lives in an equally strange niche now: printer autoconfiguration. The open source community never cared much to provide robust free implementations. (I wrote upnp and dpws gateways for smartdevices more than 10 years ago and the situation hasnt changed since)

> But people like their locked ecosystems and are not willing to invest in interop.

I think that's a mischaracterization. Given two identical experiences, one that locked you in and one that didn't, I'd imagine most people (though sadly not all) would choose the more open one.

The locked in experience here is simply substantially more seamless and out-of-the-box ready than the open alternative. Given that the point of a handover system is to make using multiple devices seamless, it's obvious that being "more seamless" is an advantage.

I setup a Chromecast for my mother who doesn't have cable or anything at home, and it took several explanations spread out over a year before she finally started using it on her own, but now she's using it daily. Any harder to use and it wouldn't have been helpful at all.

She's not exactly a luddite either, this is actually the first thing I've tried to teach her that she's struggled so hard with. Hopefully it's not a sign of aging...

Not at all, the casting model is fundamentally different from a device like a Roku. It's like the difference between subject-verb-object languages and subject-object-verb languages.

You want some video to appear on the TV, so instead of driving some thing that's attached to the TV, you cause that thing to pull the video, using your phone or other device. It has never "clicked" for me.

Don't think of it like "causing that thing to pull the video using your phone or other device".

Think of it like pushing the video you're watching to the other device. You're taking the thing you have and throwing it onto the TV.

This exactly. The fact that internally the TV is pulling the software and content itself is mostly an implementation detail (I say mostly because once you've 'thrown' the video to your TV you can do other things with your phone).

It's less confusing if you don't think too hard about it.

Except that is exactly wrong. The use of "cast" in the name, and explainations like this, are exactly why it's so confusing, because they are wrong.

You should be saying that the phone is a remote control.

That is both what's actually going on, and a paradigm everyone understands. And it's a stupid short and simple phrase to say. They've ingested it before they even got a chance to subconsciously go into "I don't want to try to figure this out." mode.

I would also say while giving that explaination something like "It's not you. Google intentionally makes this confusing because they want you to think you are casting or projecting something for who knows what marketing reasons." Takes the bad feelings of not understanding something off their shoulders and lets you both comiserate over a 3rd party, Google, and any stress is is laid on them instead of you or themselves. "You find this confusing and difficult, and guess what, so does your sysadmin son! Google is annoying but you & me will get it anyway."

> You should be saying that the phone is a remote control.

> That is both what's actually going on, and a paradigm everyone understands. And it's a stupid short and simple phrase to say. They've ingested it before they even got a chance to subconsciously go into "I don't want to try to figure this out." mode.

I just finished saying that this strategy did not work for me for nearly a year, but please, tell me more.

Explaining it as a remote control is way more confusing because it doesn't behave like any remote control you've ever seen. Every other remote control (short of niche techie phone apps or expensive Logitech remotes that these users have never seen before) is a system where they press buttons to navigate menus or change things directly on the TV. This system requires them to select something on their phone instead, which is very confusing with the remote analogy.

> I would also say while giving that explaination something like "It's not you. Google intentionally makes this confusing because they want you to think you are casting or projecting something for who knows what marketing reasons."

I don't think it's marketing reasons. I think that unless you're super technical, it's just flat out an easier metaphor for people to understand.

Hell, even with an understanding of what's actually going on, I still don't think it's inaccurate. The lie is just that you're taking the source URL and credentials and casting them to the TV, rather than casting the content itself. But you are definitely moving state from one device to the other, and that's the metaphor the device is built around.

Weird, my mom doesn't understands it either.

Although there concept is simple: your phone is the remote, you need to connect to the TV. The app you would normally play it on, shares it to the TV.

I don't know how to explain it more simple

More simply? Forget about the word "remote" because it doesn't work like any remote in the history of the universe and it confuses the hell out of people to say it's one.

Here's simpler:

Start watching something on your phone. Now hit this button, this is the button to send what you're watching to the TV. Now choose the TV. See, it's stopped playing on your phone and picked up on the TV from right where you were.

What do you think she had specific trouble with? Really curious from an 'inmate in the asylum' perspective.

Other than the need for the two devices to each be connected to the same Wi-Fi network and the non-obviousness of being able to use your phone for other things once you start casting, I find it generally seamless, bit again I'm an 'inmate in the asylum' :)

Don't worry I've got the next cell over from you.

I think it's sort of like what the other reply was talking about. Thinking about getting something onto the TV by opening something on her phone and then hitting some buttons was confusing.

I started presenting it as a process where you take something on your phone and push it to the TV, and I think that helped.

Isn't it functionally just like a traditional remote control, but you can preview the "channel" on the remote. Selecting the channel (which is a URL, but they don't need to know that), tell the TV to tune to that channel?

No. Remote controls let you change channels up or down, or navigate through menus on the TV. If you explain it like a remote control it will confuse people who don't really understand the underlying technology.

Instead just tell them to watch something on their phone. Then press this button and it sends it over to the TV instead. End of instructions. This was what finally made it click for my mother.

What does she watch with it? YouTube?

That, Prime Video, some knitting thing, probably more than that tbh. We don't share a TV so I don't have a clue what she watches.

I looked at UPnP programming a while back, it's such a complicated, over-engineered mess. All this XML.

> people like their locked ecosystems and are not willing to invest in interop

I don't think this is true or fair.

Competition in capitalism is the reason companies create ecosystems like this in the first place (and also different adapters ;P).

If we (the society) would reward interoperability and punish lock-downs e.g. because they are bad for customers and harm the environment the market would have no choice but react to this.

But because it is not like that we will suffer adapter-hell and missing interop until we dedicate enough effort, tears and blood to hack together systems that kind-of-work for some time (I've been there and done that, learned a lot and lost a lot of time and nerves in the process).

I only invest in ecosystems because it saves time and I can do what I intended to do instead of hacking and slaying my way to it. I hate the lock-down and if we would have more open alternatives I would jump on it in a minute but so far the open source world just can't offer some of the services/protocols/features that I just want to use.

When possible I still hack and I admire many very skilled people in this area so please don't get me wrong. E.g. I just jailbroke my iPad to get UTM (QEMU for iOS) running to break out of the "shiny apple ecosystem" but it is again more hacking and playing than doing some serious work or "just using stuff as it was intended to be used".

It is not the fault of the consumer alone while I am sure a rational consumer would put more knowledge and effort into politics and consumption to get companies more aligned with what is good for the planet and the people.

As long as most people only buy and never complain or do something about it this will probably not change.

Agreed. Currently it seems though the EU is doing more for limiting vendor lock in than anybody else, let alone consumers.

Im baffles that afaict we have no standard wireless protocol to send a still image from a pc (Open architecture) or a mobile phone to a big screen such as slides - never mind a video or reusing wifi

Miracast for the first two, not sure what you mean by reusing Wi-Fi but the various forms of what that can mean are pretty well covered as well (Wi-Fi Direct, adhoc, hotspot). The WiGig alliance (later with the Wi-Fi alliance) also have tons of standard protocols for sharing just about anything over 60 GHz Wi-Fi.

I recently got a Miracast dongle and it was a pretty bad experience.

My PC would show corrupted video streams, my iPhone worked via an included app but lacked any sort of context awareness (just blindly mirrors the screen) and doesn’t work well with DRM

I finally caved in after all these years and got an Apple TV and it’s so much nicer of an experience, even looking strictly at mirroring.

Apps are context aware to the fact they’re mirroring, much lower latency from my PC (despite using a 3rd party app), no weird dependency on WiFi for initial pairing (Window's native mirroring won’t work with my Miracast device because my PC doesn’t have a WiFi card installed)

I don’t know if it’s an ecosystem problem for Miracast (I’m pretty sure the only “high quality” implementation of it is the Microsoft adapter, but there’s an ocean of dongles that “support it”) or a technological limitation, but it wasn’t good

Not sure what they used, but they had it on all 4 seasons of The Expanse. We should ask them.


We’ve got a couple hundred years to nail down the details

X11 does this pretty easily for images, I’ve left raspis with X11 open to my personal network for this. Video won’t work well obviously.

Lots of people dislike X11 and even more dislike the naked protocol.

What about Miracast?

Sadly while my Nexus 4 could cast to almost any TV 7 years ago, Google had to decide to remove support from stock Android in 2015 and try to shove Chromecast down our throats instead.

It seems to work well from Windows 10 though.

Its irritating how far we've gone away from standards. At least in the past there were efforts to push open solutions, but those seem to be steadily fading away.

The wooden spike through the heart of screen mirroring is DRM. Publishers were aghast that devices were "sharing" video feeds without having to pay per-viewer licensing fees back to them. Even when using supposedly compatible devices, like a Samsung flagship phone casting to a Samsung smart TV, you have no guarantee that the app won't block the streaming to protect their subscription model.

They noticed apple mostly got praises and money for it, while going standards means competition and losing control.

Both bring angry geeks for different reasons, but as long as most people reward them for being locked up in a closed ecosystem, I don't see why they would change.

Samsung still has Smart View; not sure what protocol(s) it uses, but it seems fairly general.

One of the things that kills these common standards is that every company has to tack on its own obscuring trade name. DLNA, HDMI-CEC, probably others I can't remember have all had this.

It's kind of a wonder that SMTP managed to be known as just "email", but even that is largely eroded into branded experiences.

Apple never adopted it, which meant that you had Windows + Android able to use Miracast, but iOS not; AirPlay couldn't be used by the other side of the fence.

DLNA could, in theory, be all things to all people, but like similar "all things" it's such a pain in the arse to get renderers and servers all talking to each other it never really "just works".

Of course, all of that wouldn't necessarily be a problem except that Apple and Google are deeply invested in non-compatibility.

Apple already had it's own standard in place before Miracast was created.

The audio only version of AirPlay (AirTunes) goes back a decade before Miracast, and the version that also supports video predates Miracast by two years.

It would be nice to be able to add an iOS plugin to add system wide support for Miracast instead of just having some apps choose to support it.

There are quite a few TV manufacturers building in Airplay now.

Miracast appears to be being deliberately killed - Intel took it out of some drivers, and sibling comment claims Google have removed it from Android.

Miracast never worked very well, in my experience.

I don’t know where the failing was, but it really only worked reliably when the compute device and TV were from the same manufacturer. Cross-vendor compatibility was hit or miss.

(It also didn’t help that different vendors used their own proprietary name for their Miracast feature - most users have no clue what Miracast is.)

It is indeed quite frustrating. I can print from my phone without installing any app and it's awesome, but I wish I could do the same with sharing photos/videos on TVs.

Google cloud print is not the only way to print from Android. Since 8.0 Oreo, Android supports printing via IPP, which a growing number of printers support. So at least in the printing domain, open standards are winning.

Arguably we have too many. Everything from Bluetooth to Airdrop to Miracast to DLNA. What we don't have is authentication, and that's what Google have delivered in the Chromecast; binding it to a Google Home account to do all the single-sign-on stuff.

(At one point open bluetooth was a thing, immediately exploited to drop dick pics to random strangers on public transport)


Given a box being able to reach Chromecast via standard IP routing and Chromecast being able to reach the box via a standard IP routing and a box being able to spinup a HTTP(s) sever one can cast to Chromecast. No need to be on a same network.

Catt does it.

Literally anyone on my wifi can cast to my Chromecast, not sure what you're on about.

The only thing being authenticated does is allows me to set the timezone, change the background art, and re-name it, which are all secondary features I don't need.

Being authenticated also allows Google to track your media consumption.

Plan 9 could pull this off seamlessly. Each program window is a folder tree, so moving the window to the external screen would be as simple as remounting it on the remote server. Plan 9 is designed for that and does it trivially. The file tree paradigm also means that standard UNIX permissions apply.

>as simple as remounting it on the remote server

Don't think the common enduser would agree with that.

Obviously that would get wrapped up in a user-friendly UI. My point is that the backend would be straightforward.

Except Plan9 is a design pipedream that got shredded on the first encounter with reality which is why it has less of a penetration even in a geek community than BeOS.

The largest use case for something from Plan9 is 9P transport used by QEMU to share host folders with guests.

The two platforms are targeting different audiences and solving different problems so I don't think it really pays to compare them.

For example Plan 9 was released in a market where UNIX was already successful and "good enough". So it was always going to be a tough sell. Whereas BeOS was released in an era when desktop OSs totally sucked (NT wasn't yet ready for home users, Windows 9x was an unstable mess, Mac OS 8 and 9 were even worse than Win 9x, Linux wasn't even remotely ready for the casual user and Atari / Amiga dead and becoming increasingly irrelevant in all but a few niche scenes). Even at that time it felt like desktop operating systems sucked and then along came BeOS and proved just how much better things could be. It felt light years ahead of the competition and yet still failed (I'm not bitter at all!)

It's also worth noting that Plan 9 did go on to influence UNIX and Linux quite a lot since. So while 9P transport might superficially feel like the only Plan 9 tool to survive (it's not because people do use other stuff like ACME), there's a lot of Plan 9's influence in modern *nix too (eg FUSE).

You forgot procfs and unicode.

if by 'unicode' you mean 'utf-8'.

> As the article points out, ChromeCast is an extremely locked down protocol. It's designed to bind your device and all its clients permanently into the Google ecosystem.

This does not pass the smell test. I can cast onto any of my Chromecasts using VLC and Catt[0] and while the former is limited to media, Catt lets me render websites just fine.

I believe Catt's author is on HN.

[0] https://github.com/skorokithakis/catt

Now try building your own Chromecast receiver. Transmitting is easy, receiving is impossible afaik.

That's only the case if one wants to integrate with Google ecosystem. Every single mobile app with a more than rudimentary casting capabilities has a custom receiver built by the developer of the application. When we built ours the only real issue were Google's funky interpretation of CORS rules and sucky documentation.

However I'm still unclear... if the goal is to render output on Chromecast, a combination of ability to render web pages, video and audio streams and images seem to cover pretty much everything needed to interact with the device.

Yes, that's what I meant: you can cast to the chromecast, but you can't substitute for it nearly so easily. The client is open but the server is closed.

I believe the applications have to be registered with Google? (Who presumably can ban them?)

I am pretty sure you're correct and we had to register our app.

My point is why not push media/web pages using something like catt bypassing all the mess? I certainly see the appeal of using anything with HDMI port to push the media out but RPI and likes aren't anywhere close to Chromecast dongles in polish and what one needs for adoption is ease of use.

You don't have control over the services that "pushes". So yes, we can figure out our own streaming push feature as you describe. But getting an existing item (e.g. chrome) to push to your custom server is impossible.

If content providers ( remote sites ) don't support the device for a push via whatever streaming protocol the device uses then the device has to have a pull proxy to interpret the content in addition to rendering it over HDMI.

The point is we already have a cheap HDMI renderer that can be connected to a network, has a fantastic form factor, most of the needed features, is so incredibly brain-dead simple to use that my wife's mother who can't make a programmable coffee machine work took less than 10 minutes to connect it to watch Netflix and is available in Walmart/Target/BestBuy/OfficeDepot/Staples etc.

The biggest enabler of non-restricted casting would not be a renderer interface. It would be an easy to integrate library in non-geek languages (i.e. not C/C++/Rust/Go but Python, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, Perl, etc ) with interfaces like PlayMediaFile(chromecastid, url) and RenderWebPage(chromecastid, state, url) to drive a Chromecast from a local box/smartphone without having any support from a content provider.

I have been playing with Jellyfin/Plex/etc recently and they are atrocious in the UX for anyone who is not invested in making them work well because they all try to solve all of the annoying problem of handling and organizing media libraries, pulling media sources together and interfacing with casting devices. They do everything OK, but do nothing well. Give their authors a solid way to cast to Chromecast that just works and we will have an explosion of content to TV solutions.

While I am not proud of this, Chromecast is a fairly core part of mine and my family's routine each week. It's one of probably only two consumer technologies that I've found transformative in the last ten years, the other being Apple Pay. It'd certainly be interesting if there were an viable open alternative, but it seems unlikely that NymphCast is going to make a debut in the Netflix app anytime soon. I'd probably settle for a good Firefox implementation of the Chromecast protocol, but that's obviously missing the point here.

Also as an aside, AngelScript's is another of these programming language sites where sample code seems to be more than three clicks away from the homepage. I will admit I gave up before finding any.

Chromecast is the killer product that drives our home's media use.

It just works. It's accessible to anyone with their phone. The UI are the phone apps. It plus a few subscription services makes every other media box obsolete for us.

I got a Roku tv last month. For jokes I turned on WiFi and tried out the built in streaming. Just terrible. Great for people without phones, but who else would want that kind of experience?

Really? I find other media players so much easier to use. I hate having to use my phone to control the player; I can't look at my phone for things and control the media at the same time. Switching back to whatever app I was using often find I have lost the connection, and it takes a good number of seconds to re-connect and gain control.

I also find it really hard to fast forward and rewind... I never get the responsiveness that I get on my XBOX, and I can't rewind and fast forward with nearly the precision, either.

>I never get the responsiveness that I get on my XBOX, and I can't rewind and fast forward with nearly the precision, either.

Comparing a $30 dongle and a multi hundred dollar computer seems a tad unfair. I'm not buying an xBox for my mom to watch Netflix.

Sure, but the person I was responding to didn't talk about the price factor at all; they simply stated it was the best media player.

Get her a Raspberry Pi with Kodi instead.

Chromecast has gotten a lot better about not losing connection in the last few years, or maybe it's because I have Pixel phones.

If you have Google Home, the voice control is awesome. I feel like I'm in the future every time I tell it to pause.

I leave it in the guest room, so it rarely gets much use, but for a short while I was using an Android TV and it was the best of both worlds. You'd have the Chromecast support in every app, but you could still use the Android TV remote to pause and track back/forward depending on which app it was streaming. Really a good experience!

Maybe I need to give it another shot, I switched to the built in Roku functionality because I couldn't stand the phone player disconnecting from the chromecast. It would always take me at least 30 seconds to pause anything; with the Roku I have a dedicated remote that works every time instantly, and it handles both the on/off and the media.

Be mindful of the telemetry being sent back from your Roku device (can be blocked with pi-hole).

For me the play/pause buttons on my TV remote work even if the app is disconnected.

> It just works.

I oddly did not have this experience at all. I could never get audio working properly, and then the Chromecast would make every other input to my TV randomly flash black if the Chromecast was plugged in. Returned to Best Buy after a couple days of wasted time and effort.

I’m the opposite. I used Chromecast for years and it always put me in a foul mood to fiddle with broken and slow apps on my phone.

Ended up getting a Roku and couldn’t be happier. Only issue I ever have is misplacing the remote.

There are apps you can download that let your phone function as a Roku remote. I misplaced my remote a while ago, so I've opted to use romote.

I love Chromecast for myself but it's tough to let my 5 year old control what show to watch - at least without handing him a laptop or iPad which isn't ideal!

I was happy with my chromecasts, until one of them stopped working on one screen. It boots up, google logo does its thing and then its black. Device can be communicated to, and resets do not work. I have read that this is HDCP related and that using a chinese hdmi splitter works... The device works fine on my Dell monitor, and I am not using any extension cable...

I will not disagree with you on AngelScript's documentation being rather lacking. While implementing the runtime support is doable for an experienced developer like myself, I would not want to inflict it on a junior dev. Ditto for learning to use AngelScript from just the official documentation.

I'm currently working on a dedicated website for NymphCast (to be launched over the coming weeks/months), that will contain development guides for NymphCast apps and kin, as well as some AngelScript tutorials and references.

Since it's a hobby project at this point, any timescale I can give is relative of course :)

(I'm the NymphCast author)

why "not proud"?

Life is too short to struggle with basic stuff like watching Netflix when you want to relax.

Eh, parenting is a somewhat competitive sport, I guess. You go through phases of boasting how your little ones aren't interested in cartoons and just want to do maths puzzles, followed by periods where you just want to dump them in front of the TV for ten minutes while you try and remember who your wife is.

I'm in a similar situation. I come home from work. My girlfriend and I watch some stuff on YouTube via Chromecast to unwind. Firstly, it's a brain drain and time suck in most of the ways that TV was for everyone in the same routine 20 years ago. Just because it's a smart device doesn't mean that it's any less of an idiot box as the television. Secondly, watching gives power to YouTube/Google when they are despicable companies

> it's a brain drain and time suck in most of the ways that TV was for everyone in the same routine 20 years ago

I mean, I won't claim I never lose time on YT same as I used to on TV, occasionally, but as far as "brain drain" and "time suck" are concerned, it kinda depends on what you're into. I spend countless hours watching tech talks, math/sci news and teachings, podcasts with my heroes (on AI, CS, philosophy..) Some of it (most I'd say) helps in my work (not by chance, ofc).

Nowadays is by far the best audiovisual average quality of content I've ever had in my life (37 here), because I have the choice of what and when (even where & how with a phone). And it's not like I could ever watch all that's worthy so I can select with excruciatingly high standards (my motto with most media: consume only the very best, ditch everything else: you still won't have enough time to run of content, ever).

I think ultimately it's more about control, decisions we make for ourselves, provided the options are there (e.g. couldn't help but eat TV shit on some hours; can't blame myself for having rest time at the 'wrong' hour of TV, hence why I played so much video games back then maybe, which are much 'easier' and deeper time vortexes than any other video form content, IME).

I say, 'when in doubt, read a book'. Can't go wrong with doing that even if the book is mediocre.

I don't doubt there's a lot of great content on YT but it sucks for exploring and finding it.

Do you want to recommend anything on your list of good content channels?

Fair point; sure, there you go. (in no particular order, I'm probably forgetting many greats)

### Tech:

- Lex Fridman — AI podcast: hall of fame of AI speaks there, and I really like Lex. https://www.youtube.com/user/lexfridman

- EngineerMan is one of the best teachers out there for the "get it done" simple PoC stuff — lots of cool tricks, crystal clear explaining. Mostly devops / system. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrUL8K81R4VBzm-KOYwrcxQ

- lots of conferences (all talks) get posted, so I tend to watch enough of those (not the 'big' marketing stuff like Google, more specific tech or domain driven like some language, paradigm, product...). It's my way to keep in touch with many of these spaces without spending more than a few hours per year: from the mouth of the lion (main keynote is usually 'enough' for the 20% effort). E.g. I heard Rob Pike maybe 6 months ago, so I know where Go is at on its ~10-year journey so far. It's also a great way to discover in-depth features when you're digging into a topic (again ideally, 1 as-fast-as-possible talk from developer themselves). You generally have to seek the relevant channel, e.g. for Pycon 2019 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxs2IIVXaEHHA4BtTiWZ2mQ/vid...

- Coding Tech posts a lot of talks from all around the programming scene, and the curation is surprisingly good (some talks are really awesome, maybe half is quite decent). https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtxCXg-UvSnTKPOzLH4wJaQ

- Level1Techs (and Level1Linux): Wendell is a nerd like us, but he's smarter and funnier at it than most. I love this guy. Real, real good perspectives. https://www.youtube.com/user/teksyndicate

- ServeTheHomeVideo: from the same website, a reference for all things DIY server (and frankly IT in most SMBs). https://www.youtube.com/user/ServeTheHomeVideo

- Gary Explains: he's just the best for all things mobile, ARM, etc. (very high-level, but he knows programming and sysadmin so he's not shallow like most popular YouTubers with those topics) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRjSO-juFtngAeJGJRMdIZw

### Science, math:

- Isaac Arthur, possibly the best "aggregator" of hard sci-fi concepts, I've binged so much on his channel. Love the spirit. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZFipeZtQM5CKUjx6grh54g

- Anton Petrov is the best astrophysics and related science news I've ever had (10 minutes a day is enough for me). Almost real-time with papers, and plenty of skill to explain the stuff simply. A really "wonderful person"! https://www.youtube.com/user/whatdamath

- Dr. Becky, same as Anton Petrov, cool astrophysics. She studies galaxies! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYNbYGl89UUowy8oXkipC-Q

- the whole "-phile" suite — Computerphile, Numberphile, etc. Selectively, when I like the topic. https://www.youtube.com/user/Computerphile

- PBS Space Time, probably the best layman content to understand theories in astrophysics, and Matt is awesome. He studies black holes! (also consider PBS Infinite series which is inactive now). https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7_gcs09iThXybpVgjHZ_7g

- 3Blue1Brown, obviously, selectively for topics I need/like. (but I tend to binge his stuff because it's so good)

- Channels like MIT OpenCourseWare for lectures. https://www.youtube.com/user/MIT

- TED is not what it used to be, but worth watching a few sometimes (TEDx has disappointed me too many times with clickbait (waste of my time), so I really avoid it now unless someone human recommends a video).

- Talks at Google has some interesting stuff sometimes. https://www.youtube.com/user/AtGoogleTalks

- People like Socratica (math, Python), Andrew Dotson (physics), Zach Star (math), Kai Hendry (Linux, AWS..), "Machine Learning with Phil". It fluctuates in time as I discover new people or as their content becomes boring to me.

- Special mention for Robert Miles, AI safety researcher at Cambridge iirc. It's mostly abstract math / philo stuff (that funny boundary between the two), and really mind-blowing at times (I mean literally, not the smoking gun, just your mind melting down from thinking through the problem). I'm in awe at the talent of this young dude, so fluent with such topics. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLB7AzTwc6VFZrBsO2ucBMg

### More general stuff:

- Stefan Mischook has the best freelancer (and beginner developer) advice you can find, imho. He's a legit down-to-earth guy with a knack for telling it like it is in simple words. https://www.youtube.com/user/killerphp

- Joe Rogan, because why not! Selectively (mostly philo/sci guests and maybe 1% of his MMA-related stuff). https://www.youtube.com/user/PowerfulJRE

- these days I'd get informed on the coronavirus from doctors directly, e.g MedCram https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quDYb_x54DM

### Some music I like, examples of channels concepts:

- COLORS (really artful uncut live video recordings from up and going artists) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2Qw1dzXDBAZPwS7zm37g8g

- InYourChill (background) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCncxHd8o_VhhHAJ7QqB5azg

I also watch a few musicians who do impressive stuff, but that's more fleeting, no real sticker here for me. Just impressed at all the tatent out there!

### For fun:

- The Daily Show with Trevor Noah https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwWhs_6x42TyRM4Wstoq8HA

- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver https://www.youtube.com/user/LastWeekTonight


My MO is simple: I only look at my "subscription" page (ignore the 'home' page with suggestions most of the time). Occasionally, I'll look at the right pane suggestions and try things, but I'm quick to close the tab if it doesn't feel genuine.

Also, lots of backtracking. When I discover a channel that's great, I'll just spend months going through the catalog...

I agree with this. I feel my personal viewing is much more directed these days. If I want to zombie out for a whole day it's just as likely to be a chess tournament on Twitch as anything else, and when there's nothing on I'm much quicker to give up and do something else rather than channel hop as in the old days.

Seconding your AngelScript complaint. It took me 10+ clicks to find actual code, and then it was only snippets.

Somehow developers seem bad at putting themselves in the "customer's" shoes. So many GitHub Readme files filled with release notes, dependencies, donation requests, and installation instructions before telling what the repo actually does!

So many repo sites are like this. GitHub/GitLab are honestly some of the only ones that really put the code front and center, making it easy to explore. SourceForce, Launchpad, etc, they all have such horrible UX.

I want to chime in that AirPlay had been doing this on iOS for almost three years (Nov 2010 vs July 2013) before Chromecast came around and is largely seen as a superior experience.

The 35$ small and minimal dongle was really the game changer I think. I remember when it first came out it even came with 3 months (30$) worth of netflix subscription too, making it basically free. Back then I played with a bunch of different HTPC solutions and I don't think anything below 100$ existed.

AirPlay mirrors your device, which means you can no longer use it during playback and will drain its battery fairly quickly. You're also subject to network lag.

Chromecast simply sends commands to the TV/speaker, which does the streaming directly from source. You can use your device for something else.

Airplay can also be used to stream video.

No they didn't. AirPlay streamed the screen from your idevice, huge difference.

To be fair, that's one of the things Chromecast supports (screen/desktop/tab casting of mobile, desktop, or browser content); of course, direct-to-player streaming of online content controlled by web/mobile app is the preferred mode for most things and it's what is meaningful for most media consumption.

Doesn't AirPlay do rerouting to?

It does now, but not when Chromecast arrived

How do you use AirPlay to cast to your TV? You need to buy an Apple TV?

Many 2018+ TVs have firmware updates for Apple TV app and some of them got AirPlay 2 functionality too :)

The required open protocol already exists along with support in Netflix and some other apps, DIAL. What is needed is a convenient packaging of a DIAL server along with an open platform for developing applications for use on the TV.

Doesn't DIAL simply cover "Discovery And Launch"?

As I understand it, even the Netflix TV client has custom extensions to perform more than the most basic functionality.

You also need to get that app approved onto the TV, which, chances are, require an update. Sadly that means that you're likely never getting support for the majority of the devices already in the field.

DIAL's time has come and gone. Adoption during the SmartTV hey day 5+ years ago may have made it a contender.

DIAL provides discovery, launch and provides a mechanism to establish connectivity between the client app and the app running on the media device. This functionality and a open development platform for apps on the media device are the key functionality required.

There is no need to get anything approved onto a TV. The apps would run on a media device, such as a Raspberry Pi with the appropriate software, connected via HDMI to the TV just as the Chromecast does.

A lot of TVs already support DIAL, unfortunately about the only streaming services that support it are Netflix and YouTube.

I'm not quite sure what the innovation was for Apple pay - just that they put it on a phone?

Not having an iPhone, I only use Apple Pay on web, and there, it's very nice. It uses its own UI/UX during checkout for your personal/shipping/payment info, which is standardized, and almost always nicer than random retailers' websites, and doesn't give your credit card number to the retailer.

Yes! Just not having to type my address is a bonus.

In the UK it means I can do contactless payments in excess of £30. I now no longer carry a wallet or have to remember a PIN, and at the same time I have zero anxiety about security. I could live without it, but it's something I use every day and think is more or less perfectly formed.

Hi there,

I'm from Chrome, someone on my team pointed me at this thread. My team supports casting features in Chrome. This is a fantastic project and it's great to see energy around this.

I get the frustration around the inability to make devices work together for casting. In the standards community, we have been working with other companies and researchers on a protocol [1] that provides the groundwork for interoperability in media streaming and media control on the Web between browsers/apps and devices. We are developing an open source implementation and plan to see it in future products.

There's a lot of other work going on in the Web standards community as well, that in the near future will allow Web apps to create their own media codec pipelines and streaming protocols customized to their needs [2] [3].

[1] https://w3c.github.io/openscreenprotocol/ [2] https://github.com/WICG/web-codecs [3] https://github.com/WICG/web-transport (client/server), https://w3c.github.io/webrtc-quic/ (P2P)

If you have suggested use cases or questions engaging on GitHub through the standards repos is a great way to get involved or you can email public-secondscreen@w3.org.

Cheers, Mark Foltz GitHub: https://github.com/mfoltzgoogle

This is super neat, having an alternative to Chromecast is really welcome.

Chromecast and AirPlay are both locked down because they're fundamentally tied to DRM and no content provider is going to spend any time on a platform that doesn't have strong L1 DRM.

As vlc proved before, you can be open and play drm protected content.

Some countries make it illegal, but France doesn't so I'd be happy to have such device.

The VLC docs say "VLC, like all open source media players, cannot play [DRM] protected files", so I always assumed it wasn't possible without stripping the DRM yourself. Does it work now?

[1] https://wiki.videolan.org/Digital_Restrictions_Management/

It does strip the DRM on DVDs out of the box, and there are ways to add support for AACS decryption (Blu-Ray).

And content providers do not directly support vlc. As log as you reverse engineer stuff, you can support DRM on anything (at least in most countries), but do not expect it to be a successful platform.

We really need reasonable copyright laws.

And it works the other way too: as a consumer I don't care about whether something is open or not, if it doesn't stream the things I want to stream.

Consider caring.

I do care. I just care less about openness than convenience notice the "IF it doesn't stream...". Given two systems that work equally well, I'd pick the open one. That's rarely the case though. So I pick the polished one. I think this goes for most consumers.

On the other hand the non-streaming downloaded movies/music/games etc. will stop working when the company loses interest in providing the DRM servers. See Microsoft's PlaysForSure, ultraviolet, ....

Or they "work" but only in low resolution because your HDCP version is not good enough. If the pirated version is objectively better, then something is wrong with your product.

Consumers in general have no idea whether their offline media is dependent on DRM services so it’s an inconvenience they’ll only know when it’s too late. I agree it’s bad but I also think it’s a problem that disappeared when people stopped handling offline media.

My convenience choice (and most I assume these days) is to completely skip offline/non-streamed media apart from what I create myself.

In contrast with online media you can be certain that it depends on DRM services. So it is less that it disappeared and more that it is now extremely widespread.

Sure, it is convenient until your software/hardware is no longer supported (same HDCP problems, codecs, DRM schemes), 4k is only available on... , the monthly rent increases, it is now bundled with Amazon Prime Plus Ultra, the company pulls an Adobe in Venezuela, the company gets bought by Comcast, the company goes bankrupt, ... .

For movies you unfortunately don't have much choice, but for games, ebooks and music you can find DRM free stores.

It's the same storey with all products. Of course I'd prefer just buying DRM free games, avoiding single player games that require connecting to services that can be down (looking at you Origin) etc. But the price and the product itself (the game, move, tv-series or whatever) is the deciding factor. There is never going to be enough people choosing services based on technical reaosns and not only content+price.

> There is never going to be enough people choosing services based on technical reaosns and not only content+price.

That sounds needlessly pessimistic. You could have said the same thing about music downloads several years ago, yet here we are (though music streaming admittedly goes in the other direction). People tend to choose based on convenience and music that I can easily take from my pc to put on my phone or wherever is more convenient than DRM stuff.

Convenience is surely why Spotify won over even the free mp3 downloads? Anything that involves user-managed files in any sense will never be convenient to the masses. It’s a concept more dead than vhs. You won’t find many that find moving and organizing files “convenient”.

You start caring when 'your' devices are suborned into a proxy fight against their actual owner's competitors.

No. I care about both convenience and openness. At some point perhaps the proxy fight makes the producs inconvenient? Perhaps even less convenient than the open alternative? At that point consumers might reconsider. Not until then.

It affects consumers, though. Closed platforms work against consumers' interest way too often.

Honest question, can it not be both? Can it not have an open side and a closed side for DRM content? Similar to browsers for example.

L1 DRM requires a secured channel all the way from the app layer to the hardware. No DRM vendor is going to offer their solution on something like Linux. You can't even watch Netflix in 4K in a browser - it's only available on secured dedicated video playback devices or directly in TVs.

You can watch 4K Netflix in Edge, which I would call browser. But the point still stands, only works with supported hardware and proprietary software.


I did not know that! I thought it was only in the app. I stand corrected.

I love to see some progress in this space! I was curious about using e.g. Raspberry Pis or old Android devices as replacements for the now defunct Google Chromecast Audio, that is a set of linked devices connected to speakers throughout the house and all streaming from a single source that I can control from my phone or PC.

Doing this seemed to be unreasonably difficult. The closest thing to a solution I identified was using Mopidy along with Icecast, where Mopidy is the control plane and Icecast is the audio sink, and all client devices simply permanently connected to the shoutcast stream.

This "worked" but it is very frustrating for a simple use case. Mopidy used to be a MPD server implementation, but it has deprecated that in favor of its own API, and the client options were very limited. And nevermind video, this was just audio...

Anyway, I feel like NymphCast is a very welcome development, and I really hope that Maya will continue to work on it.

Thank you for the feedback :)

I have no plans to stop working on this project any time soon. Having it work as a ChromeCast Audio replacement was one of my initial thoughts back in 2019, and while the scope has slightly increased, that initial goal hasn't been altered.

After some feedback, I am prioritising the implementing of multi-target streaming (multiple speakers/TVs) so that this will exist (in some form) in the first release.

Another of the goals is for the whole system to be dead-simple to setup and use. Heavens know I have wasted enough of my life trying to make half-broken projects somewhat do what they were supposed to do. I'd rather my own projects are not among those :)

(I'm the NymphCast author)

FYI Mopidy-MPD is not actually deprecated. It just doesn't have a maintainer that's interested in it. Some parts of the MPD protocol are a bad fit for streaming services where the 'media library' is essentially infinite so it's much harder to use performantly. That makes it really frustrating to develop with considering the Mopidy core API is available and far better suited.

That's good to know, I am still using the MPD support in Mopidy since I found more clients for it.

Certainly as an end user the MPD ecosystem looks to be "stagnant" to put it generously, many of the clients I tried demonstrated curious behavior, and at least for audio there don't seem to be any obvious alternative standards emerging to replace it yet.

Built something similar but with less features and moving parts, abandoned due to the lack of interest: https://github.com/kachurovskiy/ArinaCast

W3C has SecondScreen WG looking at similar open solution [1]

[1] https://www.w3.org/2014/secondscreen/

Looks cool! I have myself been super frustrated by the lack of free streaming protocols or implementations.

DLNA (UPnP) is in theory perfect for this use case and it wouldn't be that hard to use it together with VLC and a Python script and I have indeed attempted this, but at the end just gave up due to the complexity of the protocol (and my laziness).

I am currently still in the market for a good casting solution like this. I'll probably try this, but at a first glance it seems like it may do a little more than I need.

Does anyone know any other similar projects?

I think the real issue here is that streaming to these things requires buy-in to support the client inside of eg the video player app or the audio player app.

I have an iPhone, and it can only send system-level audio to AirPlay. The Spotify app itself also supports streaming to Amazon devices. The YouTube app will also stream to a Chromecast.

It’s all so balkanized. I’m not sure making a new format/protocol will solve that problem, although if it is solvable that’s certainly the first step.

One idea I have to perhaps get around this issue is to fudge in an external/new audio/video output that can be targeted instead of the standard outputs. This of course gets into some heavily platform-specific nonsense, which is why I haven't pursued it further yet. Maybe after the first release of NymphCast it's something to look at in more depth :)

(I'm the NymphCast author)

My wife uses Bluetooth to avoid that issue. For some reason the receiver we got (new last year) only supports one device paired at a time though >_<

Playback of whatever media on a SBC (rpi etc) is not the problem. Of course, it's great to have more software doing this and I applaud the effort (personally I'd have leveraged gstreamer and saved a load of time since I've used it before).

The real problem, quickly dismissed in this article, is support integrated into 1st party apps. Chromecast lets you use a streaming platform app 100% normally and then 2 clicks later it's playing on your big screen/speakers. You could implement some sort of bridge app (that you'd "share" the content to) but then you are switching between the streaming app for content discovery, and the bridge app for control. That's not the chromecast experience. The only way we can get that experience is with 1st class support built into the streaming app. Spotify/Google/soundcloud/Amazon have no reason at all to work on adding support for something new until it becomes popular, but that's obviously a chicken and egg situation. Chromecast support is already built in everywhere, but of course that's a non-starter since Google have locked everything down sufficiently to prevent implementation of a receiver. I don't know the answer to this.

I do not feel that I dismissed support for 1st party apps in the article. In fact, I have considered doing so for Netflix and Spotify, among others. Some have a control API for the 1st party app, such as what is used on Android, for example.

It's however a lot of work, with spotty documentation and questionable support. That's why for the first release I haven't really bothered with it too much and instead focused on the core functionality of streaming audio and video, and controlling the NymphCast server from the client.

(I'm the NymphCast author)

> In fact, I have considered doing so for Netflix and Spotify, among others

I must not understand because my argument is that the support absolutely must be built into the netflix and Spotify apps themselves, that seemless integration is what makes chromecast so usable. The media discovery and control needs to be in their app, not split between two different apps. So what can you do, other than provide a library for Spotify and Netflix to then ignore?

My apologies, I thought you were talking about the server-side.

On the client side having it integrated into the 1st-party client apps would be great, yes. Right now in the SoundCloud app I implemented a basic track/album/author search function that uses the server-side app to search through the SoundCloud database.

Though barebones right now, it provides essentially the same functionality as using the SoundCloud website directly. I can imagine this approach working in a generic fashion, assuming some network-accessible API is available that provides this information.

The problem is that you end up trying to reimplement the functionality of multipe 1st-party apps. Each of these different providers has their own API with its own issues. You'll never do as good as job as the 1st party client, and that's assuming they even give you API access (tidal don't provide a public API, Spotify's API is a subset of the functionality, others impose rate limiting etc). The only scalable solution I can see is to have service providers integrate your tech. But how to get them interested?

Don't get me wrong, I think this would be a great thing to have and I'd love to get involved. For audio playback there is Mopidy (I'm a maintainer) which provides something similar but it would be so much better if there was a open chromecast-like protocol we could hook into and integrate into 1st-party apps rather than requiring the use of our clients.

Maybe you misunderstood me. I have made available a client SDK that will allow anyone to create a NymphCast client with accompanying app on the server.

I have intentionally made this the same as things work with ChromeCast.

Apologies, maybe.

I understood it that I can't use the actual soundcloud app with all its functionality that I'm used to. The same app I use when I'm playing music on my phone. I have to use your client app as that's the one which includes support for nymphcast. That's your client app where you've re-implemented some subset of the functionality I want. Soundcloud could integrate the nymphcast client sdk into their app and then I'd have the same experience I get now with chromecast, but why would they do that?

The plan is to get NymphCast into a 'good enough' state, before sending an inquiry off to various services to see whether they're interested in getting their service on NymphCast.

As they say, you already got the 'no', so why not try to get the 'yes' or 'maybe'? :)

I admire your positivity and it's inspired me to take another look at where I left my (audio only) attempts. I sincerely hope you prove me wrong with getting streaming providers onboard.

For what my failed experience is worth, try getting some internal contacts at these companies. The public, and even "developer", contact channels for Spotify, Soundcloud, Tidal and TuneIn are a dead-end. At least, that has been my frustrating experience. Presumably if you throw them money they take you more seriously.

Yeah, there does have to be something in for them, even if it's just positive PR which they can cash in for more subscriptions or such.

If you're an Android user there are alternatives to Chromecast.

I use Roku devices + Samsung's 'SmartView' which I'm pretty sure is just rebranded MiraCast and it works like a champ.

The biggest joke is Google removed Miracast support from Pixel phones

It happened way earlier than Pixels. The Nexus 5 is the last device that supports Miracast.

Instead of talking vendors into supporting your particular protocol, wouldn't it be possible to use a protocol like picture-in-picture to extract the video stream?


I guess it doesn't handle the audio though.

I tried to get some streaming going on a spare monitor a few years ago.

Miracast and Chromecast were a garbage fire. In the end I only got AirPlay to work and even that wasn't without problems.

How does one deal with mp4 being proprietary?

This is fantastic

This seems like a very unfortunate name..

Miracast is much more straightforward and predictable and with 801.11ad you can even go lossless. Also you can get an HDMI receiver for like $15, because it’s just streaming instead of a full stack.

Chromecast will go of the way Google’s many Dodos. And good riddance!

It depends on the use case, I guess. Miracast is good for quick sharing of content stored locally on your phone/laptop, whereas Chromecast is better suited to stream content that is hosted elsewhere, so it doesn't drain your battery.

That’s a single use case and you can just reverse it and have a ‘remote control’ mode on the portable device.

In practice people are now buying Telescreens (not like there’s option tbh) and they have Android or at least Netflix already built in.

Good project, but unfortunate bad choice of technologies (C++, AngelScript).

Good and bad are relative and subjective. Can you elaborate why those are bad and what better offerings there are and why ?

Elaborate? Why are they bad? Potential attack surface?

OK Field Marshal vzaliva, care to explain to us why that is?

I have two of them and I hate it. I hate having to use a chrome browser to stream online streams. Vivaldis last version just crashes on fullscreen tab cast. Installed Chromium, it wouldn't find any of the Chromecasts. VLC finally supports it but sometimes it's not working or you can't hit pause and resume. It'll just stop and you have to start from zero. Also it's doing things online I have no control over.

I'd be so happy to have an easy open source solution. I'm ready to spend some money on it too.

amoshi 27 days ago [flagged]

So many letter combinations in the world and they went for "Nymph"Cast? Like Nympho (Nymphomaniac)?

No, 'nymph' as in 'dragonfly nymph', as in the part of an insect's life cycle, which is also the reason why I called it 'NymphRPC'. The idea being that these are frameworks that allow the grown-up application to emerge after development.

(I'm the author of NymphCast/NymphRPC, etc.)

"Please don't post shallow dismissals, especially of other people's work. A good critical comment teaches us something."

"Please respond to the strongest plausible interpretation of what someone says, not a weaker one that's easier to criticize. Assume good faith."


Good point, it's just that every now and then I come across some cool opensource projects with horrible names, which hinder their adoption and searchability, and overall seem to do them a great disservice. /e/ [0] comes to mind (took me a few minutes to find it! DDG didn't have it and Google had it way lower).

[0] - https://e.foundation/

> Like Nympho (Nymphomaniac)?

No, “nymph” like “nymph”, I would assume: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nymph

I mean, even nymph means the nubile mythological nature spirit, often some sort of temptress, like Calypso.

I asked my girlfriend what "nymphcast" sounded like to her and she agreed it seemed porn related.

Of course, it's only HN sport to bikeshed the name. I can't resist.

I blame the education system for not teaching kids more about insects and their life cycles :)

We had a locust in a tank at the back of the science lab and had to draw diagrams of the nymphs. But that was a long time ago.

Well, it's less about there being other definitions and more about there being a most commonly used definition.

But I've certainly belabored this thread to its miserable end. :P

I think it's sweet naming a project after a supernatural being rather than a toxic heavy metal. Perhaps the sound of that name has less of a macho crunch and feels a bit unusual but couldn't that be a good thing?

A nymph is a supernatural female diety in Greek mythology associated with air, water and wood.

It also just means "a young wife", or "a marriageable maiden" in ancient Greek.

Hehehe, you said "wood".

A stereotypical nymphomaniac would be very casual and open (about sex), the name seems like a good fit for a "casual attempt at [an] open alternative to [a network device/protocol]".

Unless you are rejecting it on puritan reasons, in which case I'll agree with the other commenters that there's a nonsexual interpretation too.


You should have assumed that your vocabulary is limited and as many other words this is a composed words, before making a fool of yourself IMO you should google/DDG the words.

Like "Nymphs", the nature spirits?

The author blurb:

A girl who is trying to find her way through the confusion of giftedness, human societies and her intersexuality. Her life is somewhat of a dramatic survival show. She is currently working on her autobiography.

To me, it mostly signals "A girl is working on this project and wants the name of it to signal that." If it were written by a guy and used a word that could be interpreted to mean "Studly," we probably wouldn't bat an eyelash. Many people likely wouldn't notice at all.



> If it were written by a guy and used a word that could be interpreted to mean "Studly," we probably wouldn't bat an eyelash

10 years ago in a forum like this, maybe; today, a third of the comments would be about the gender-exclusionary naming, and another third would be criticisms of first third, most of which would use the term “SJW”.

FYI to anyone wanting to dive down into the rabbit hole, the author has over a decade of blog posts. An interesting person to say the least. Note that she is intersex, the main focus of much of the at least earlier blog posts that I've looked through.

My feeling is that most women would like to normalize "I identify with girly things because I'm a girl and I'm sick to death of being required to neutralize my language -- which often means make it male coded -- to be seen as serious and professional."

I'm 54 years old. I'm not as pretty as I used to be. I spent years believing I was sexually harassed because I was beautiful and feeling trapped because society also signals that being beautiful is required for a woman to be allowed to set foot outside.

I keep waiting to be old and ugly enough for men to take me seriously and stop acting like my gender and whether or not they would hit that is the entire question in their mind for how to relate to me. I've concluded that just being female is all it takes for far too many men to act like I'm nothing but a sex object. That beauty thing was straight up a lie I was being told.

She likely wants her more personal blog posts to remain available as support for others like her and an education opportunity for others. But it potentially goes bad places to focus on that element on an overwhelmingly male forum that normally talks about tech. Women are routinely enraged when their coding work or other work is essentially ignored so people can focus on her gender, how pretty she is, etc.

I spoke up initially to try to suggest "She's probably just a girl sick to death of being told she needs to actively hide her gender and went with a name she identifies with and it would be nice if the world didn't make a big fucking deal out of that."

That's perhaps putting out the fire with gasoline and just directing more attention to the detail of her gender. Unfortunately, I don't know enough code to talk about that and try to give that more focus.

On the upside, at least this conversation is happening at the bottom of the page and isn't at the top.

I didn't mean any offense by my comment. I literally just meant that there is a lot of material there to look through. I think it's commendable of people to put that much of themselves out there for others to see.

I'm sure you didn't. I didn't either and I don't know if me commenting here at all was in any way constructive.

It's a nuisance problem with no clear solutions.

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