FLOSS Weekly Episode 689 Transcript
FLOSS Weekly Episode 689 Transcript
Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word. Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show.
Doc Searls (00:00:00):
This is FLOSS Weekly I'm Doc Searls this week, Aaron Newcomb, and I revisit recording discord sessions with Craig. We had a developer on last time named ya weasel. He was really interesting. And this guy, these guys, two of them have taken over for ya weasel. And they're really, really good. They're really smart. They're young and wise way beyond their years. And we go into all kinds of stuff on this one. It's a really interesting show that is coming up. Next podcasts you love from people you trust.
Speaker 2 (00:00:38):
This is TWiT.
Doc Searls (00:00:41):
This is FLOSS Weekly Episode 689 recorded Wednesday, July 13th, 2022. Record discord with Craig. This episode of FLOSS Weekly is brought to you by it pro TV. Finally, you can enjoy getting an it education with it, pro TV, visit it itpro.tv/twit promo code TWIT30 for an additional 30% of all consumer subscriptions for the lifetime of your active subscription. When you use the code TWI 30 at checkout, and by compiler an original podcast from red hat, discussing tech topics, big, small, and strange listen to compiler on apple podcasts or anywhere you listen to podcasts. Hello. Again, everybody everywhere you are at whatever time you're listening or watching in the world. I am doc circles, and this isFLOSS Weekly joined this week by Aaron Newcomb, who I think is in a normal place, which is the past <laugh>.
Aaron Newcomb (00:01:49):
That's exactly right.
Doc Searls (00:01:52):
He lives in the past.
Aaron Newcomb (00:01:53):
I live in the past
Doc Searls (00:01:54):
Is an Nintendo 64 shirt there back when mm-hmm <affirmative>. Does that still matter? No, Nintendo sticky 64. I'm not a, I'm not a gamer, so I don't even know
Aaron Newcomb (00:02:03):
People still make games for it. So it was a great platform actually.
Doc Searls (00:02:06):
Yeah. Yeah. How much, how much time do you put into games? I know how much time? Not,
Aaron Newcomb (00:02:12):
Not as much as I like. Yeah, that's the thing is that that takes up so much time on my channel fixing stuff up that I don't have time to just sit down and, and play. So it's kind of kind of sad, but a lot of times after I finish up a video, if I, especially, if I get a system working after I press stop right on the recorder, then I'll just sit down and just chill for a while and play something. So
Doc Searls (00:02:36):
<Laugh>, I, I don't man, I used to play all the time, like decades ago, you know, I'm, I'm still, yep. I'm still stuck in the, you know, my, when my kids' routines, it was then, you know Commodore stuff and, and especially Atari, you know? Yeah. So on the TV space, invaders, KA boom, that stuff that's yeah, I was okay at that. That was the end of it. Then I just go outside and, and shoot hoops in reality. Cause that I was, I was better at that anyway. So, so so our topic today is Craig, are you familiar with this?
Aaron Newcomb (00:03:18):
I am not. This is the first I've heard of it. But it sounds really cool. So I'm, I'm anxious to, to talk about it and learn more about it.
Doc Searls (00:03:25):
Yeah, I, I am too and I, we're already a few minutes into the show, so I wanna get, get jumping on it. Our, our guests today are the two current developers of Craig, which is the voice channel recording bot for discord and it does multitrack recording. So it's a cool thing. We had a prior developer on this named ya weasel. And and like ya weasel these two guys are avatars <laugh>. So, so even though we have a, a visual show here, they are, they, they are, for those of you who are, won't make any difference for those who are listening. And those of you who are watching will not see their actual bodies, but their virtual ones, there they are. So it's it's, it's NAZA and cool guy. And cool guy is also known as Ralph, which I think is his, what we used to call his real name, you know, like we all have real names <laugh> as well. Hi guys. So it's tell first, tell I'll just take, take you one at a time. So you know, you could tell us as much as you willing to about yourselves. So as, as you go first, I would at least tell us where you are and a little bit about yourself or whatever you're willing to reveal.
Ya Weasel (00:04:41):
Okay. So I've, I'm 19, I'm mainly just full stack development. I do like websites, but ever since like 2016, I've started making discord bots and developing that. I also live in Texas, so I'm getting a lot of, a lot of heat recently.
Doc Searls (00:05:03):
Ya Weasel (00:05:03):
But that's mainly about <laugh>, that's mainly about it. I've been toying around with discord bots for a good amount of time. So taking on the project was pretty good for me.
Doc Searls (00:05:17):
And I think on your avatar there, it says, hello, I am SNA a SNA, Z, Z a H. And then there there's a, a couple of angle brackets with a hash to it, which I that's
Ya Weasel (00:05:29):
Doc Searls (00:05:30):
Ya Weasel (00:05:30):
Doc Searls (00:05:32):
Ya Weasel (00:05:32):
Yeah. That's the the badge for verified bot developer, which dis discord gave out for, oh, about a month into a verified program. They did.
Doc Searls (00:05:46):
Okay. So you actually already
Ya Weasel (00:05:48):
Doc Searls (00:05:48):
You already have a battle ribbon on your uniform <laugh>
Ya Weasel (00:05:52):
Doc Searls (00:05:53):
Those are cool. I mean, I, I I've always thought there should be civilian battle ribbons, like married twice, but still living in a trailer, that kind of thing. <Laugh> whatever it might be, you know, sober now snow badges for, yeah. I mean, real real world badges, you know, stop three times for speeding, whatever it might be, real life achievements. So, so cool guy, you mentioned you were up somewhere and geographically. Where, where are you and what, what are you about?
So I'm I'm located up at Northeast Ohio and like I mentioned, in fact, we've had some beautiful days recently for anybody that's around that area. And I'm 25. I've I've got a bachelor in computer information systems and I'm I, Craig is one of my side projects that I, that I do. I'm a full-time systems administrator in the manufacturing industry. And on top of that, I also run my own company. So I've got a lot of stakes in the fire as most, as some people say <laugh>
Doc Searls (00:06:59):
Well, the speed of Northeast Ohio. So I first I'm in Bloomington, Indiana, which is not too far away, one state, maybe two and a half hours. But my youngest son, who's also 25, went to Kenyan college in Knox county and kind of toward Northeast Ohio. So there's a, a connection there, I suppose. So and, and I was looking at your, so prime, it says in your, on your title slide here, your prime servers, Inc. That's your company or your employer or both, or what's the deal there?
Prime server Inc is my company.
Doc Searls (00:07:34):
Yeah. Prime server Inc. Is, is my company. We started back in 2016 as just doing some, you know, small website hosting, you know, the goal, the goal was to, you know, be a hosting provider that, that focused more on the customer than anything else. Our end goal is to own a data center. So <laugh>, you know, we have, we, we have the goal on site. It's just getting there. <Laugh>
Doc Searls (00:08:04):
That's excellent. So, so tell us either one of you give us the, the sort of general premise about, about Craig and and also what the handoff was from yah weasel for, because we go back 15 years with this show and that show is up. If anybody's interested in, in that he was an avatar as well.
So Craig as, as you had already mentioned, you know, it's a, multitrack recording bot for discord, which there's only a very, very small handful of recording bots that exist, that I'm aware of. One of them, we actually more or less endorse, it's a single track bot. But, but multi-track recording is interesting because I think we are the only, only one that has an open source code base on top of it, all that that offers this functionality. And it's the ability to separately export each of the speakers in a channel to its own file. And you can mix them, adjust the levels, remove any interference, you know, all the perks of, of that type of professional recording, but on a platform like this board where you, you can't really do that, even if you're recording yourself, the only other way to get that would be, if everybody was running something like OBS and recording their sound stream separately, and then everybody sending it to an editor the handoff was, you know, ya weasel had mentioned back in, I wanna say it was around November, that he was, he was just done with the project.
You know, he didn't really use discord anymore. I didn't agree with a lot of the directions discord was going and he made a post about it. I I've been a long time user of Craig. One of the other projects I'm involved in, we used it more than once a week and I was always impressed. I was a contributor on Patreon and I was happy to see, you know, the project continue to be active. And when he made that post, I wanted to do whatever I could to help. I had worked with SNA a, in another project called taco back, you know, for the last couple years. And I was reading through this document that yawe posted about what he wanted to do what problems he wanted specifically addressed and, and what problems he was having that really pushed him away from doing the project anymore.
And I took a look at it, I messaged SZA and I said, Hey, do you wanna add another side project to this to what we do? And he, he was like, eh, well, what is it? I sent him the document. I invited him to the server. He kind of took a look around and we're like yeah, we could probably do this. And that's, that's how the process started. At least, you know, it was us and there were two others that were interested. But the direction that they wanted to take the bot wasn't necessarily aligned with what ya always wanted to see the bot become, you know, he didn't wanna see the project die, but at the same time, you know, what, what Craig does is a very specific subset skill that in his words, even we weren't completely qualified to take over a lot of that being, you know, the audio expertise, you know, the, the actual raw data audio tweaking for lack of better term, cuz you're messing with raw ag Orbis like data.
Speaker 6 (00:11:47):
Speaker 7 (00:11:48):
Aaron Newcomb (00:11:51):
Go ahead. SZA. Do you wanna add there?
Ya Weasel (00:11:55):
No, not much. It's just that we, like he said, the audio expertise is what he's looking for. Zel wanted to find someone that was experienced with using Linux knows how discord API works and was good in audio production. So you can know the format of voice packets and know what goes wrong with it. I am not really good at the ladder, but I can learn from looking at standards and the other team also didn't really have that. It's kind of hard to find someone that's like all three and interested in taking on the project. So you would've taken
The other key piece of it. There was also being a developer being be at least especially the, the bits of C code that exist in the project. That was a huge thing because all of the, all of the parsing of that data isn't done in node JS which is what the rest of the bot runs in, it's done on at a C level.
Aaron Newcomb (00:13:10):
Yep. And were you guys, so are either of you proficient in C or is that something you had to learn? It,
I am. I, I never taught myself as a developer personally. I, I can read the code pretty well. I can make, you know, decent edits, but generally, I mean, that was one of the reasons why I got SNAs a involved. He is, he is definitely, if I would, if I would peg any titles, I would consider myself the project lead. He is the, the, the head developer of the project.
Aaron Newcomb (00:13:40):
Mm-Hmm <affirmative> nice. And when was this again? I may have missed it in your when you were telling kind of how you guys came to the project. When did, when did you guys take over?
So he announced it in November. We kind of started that process around the end of November, right after Thanksgiving. And throughout December was kind of the, for lack of better term, a vetting process between us and this other team. He made his decision before Christmas and the goal was by the end of January to hand it off to us. And we had already started making code based changes to support some of the new the new directions that discord was going. One of them was removing message intents. So bots were going towards this new kind of proprietary command system that discord was forcing. They still haven't completely enforced by the way, they've pushed the deadline out multiple times, but it called slash commands. So we implemented those and problems started cropping up and him still being the project lead and hadn't completely handing everything off to us yet. We were kind of in a weird limbo working with him and he, he, again, didn't wanna put much time into it at that point. He was ready to just be done with it. So yeah, before January was over, he had already handed the project off to us and we hit the ground running debugging, helping users, trying to mitigate the issues. And shortly after probably about mid-February SZA started working on the complete rewrite, which is version two, which is now live.
Aaron Newcomb (00:15:22):
Wow. That's excellent. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>, that's excellent. I wanna ask you in a little bit, what's new in the new version, but I'm still kind of interested in you know, the transition that you guys had and you know, this court has become so much more popular over the past few years. And the functionality seems to increase every day. I mean, do you guys have any idea how big or how many people are using crime?
Ya Weasel (00:15:49):
I've brought up the analytics a bit. It goes to, I've seen the amount of concurrent recordings go up to 200. I don't have a specific count on how many users, but I know we're in almost 90,000 servers across thisor.
Wow. I do know some of those servers can easily peak around 50 to a hundred thousand users. One of the, one of the people who, I don't know if they still do, they were having issues I had reached out, but that the contact process here is a bit hard. One of the, one of the users is actually a pretty popular streamer too. So although not all of his users are using it, they, he helps. He uses this when he does collaborations with his friends on discord to help mix in for the recorded odds Vos.
Aaron Newcomb (00:16:44):
Hmm. Wow. I, I wanna know I mean, I'm just curious about the, I'm just reading through the document documentation. There's the, the main page here. One of the things I noticed is that you say there's no limit on the number of speakers or voice channel bit rate, and you were just talking about how big some of these servers are. And I know that, you know, when you have these group chats, I mean, there can be a lot of people, right. In these group chats. I don't know what the upper limit is for discord. So how the heck are you not having a limit on the, how are you recording this many channels at the same time? That just seems it kind of blows my mind.
Ya Weasel (00:17:21):
So first of all, there's for Craig, there's three instances of Craig out right now, one of 'em is for people that go for the patron, but for each end discord for each bot, they can only join one voice channel and with the amount of users in a voice channel it's not a continuous stream for all of them. It's only the voice data that, you know, when they're actually talking. So it's not too much data and there's a hard cap on how much data will be in one recording either way. See that's the real, the real limit in that
Hmm. Large piece that basically on discords end.
Aaron Newcomb (00:18:06):
Right. Right. Yeah. That makes sense though, because not everybody's talking at the same time, like you said, so that makes total sense. Now I guessing the main or one of the main use use cases for this would be if someone wanted to do a podcast, for example, is that this would make it a lot easier to use discord for podcasts. Are there any other use cases that you guys see for people recording their voice chats?
Ironically enough, we recently did kind of a poll and, and got some feedback from our users on what you know, what they use Craig for and a large portion, a large portion were podcasts. We actually, the other significant portion of people who use it are for D and D sessions.
Aaron Newcomb (00:18:53):
Hmm. Makes sense.
They, they use, they use it a lot actually. And I'm trying to think here, we had just general events that people wanted to record, you know, ceremonies, that kind of thing. Mm-Hmm, <affirmative>, I'm I'm actually trying to pull up the,
Ya Weasel (00:19:14):
There are also AMAs recording videos and I think gaming sessions was under the blanket of DND sessions. So amongst all that, that was definitely the second highest we've gotten from that survey. But those are generally the main three things we've seen Craig be used for
Doc Searls (00:19:45):
I'm I'm wondering boy, there's a <laugh>, there's a bunch of questions that are queuing up, including some on the back channel. But before I get to those, I have to bring up the right tab on my laptop and let everybody know that Flo weekly is brought to you by it pro TV. You want an it education platform that is going to deliver you into a higher level of it, or get you in the door to a new it career, get the best possible it training and certifications with it pro TV on your own schedule with their virtual labs and practice tests. You'll always be supported and prepared for your exams. You can binge episodes in 20 to 30 minute increments. They have over 5,800 hours of it training. That's always up to date with the most current content, which is important in a fast-paced world.
Doc Searls (00:20:39):
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Doc Searls (00:22:15):
Okay. So we, we have a question in our back channel here, which is you know, how is your proficiency, your audio proficiency improved now over the last six months? And I think, I mean, we're all young, even me in our own, in my own way. <Laugh>, you know, so, you know, being a geek is a learning process in a more or less constant way, but kind of wondering, and I think the channel here is wondering how your own shops are improving around dealing with audio in the course of working on this.
Ya Weasel (00:22:47):
It's been a process just going through actually yawe will have given me a couple of links to help me start off understanding the standard of the web packet and what discord sends to us and then how it's parsed. And so I've been looking through that and then just going through the data and then just, you know, going over it and setting over it. So over the last six months issues, that's, that's pretty much where I started from it, but it's
Been the beautiful thing is that yeah. Yeah. Beautiful thing is, yah. Weel did help kind of set us up for success. A lot of the code to do the audio manipulation which, which really includes, you know, as SNA I mentioned, it's not a continuous session or it's not a continuous stream and that's part of what the code base compensates for, you know, fills in that gap basically in the data. And we, he had just rewritten a large piece of that and tested it. And we re-implemented a lot of it when we, when we did the handoff, that was part of the training session with him. So for the most part, that code is really solid. So unless there was a change in the protocol, we're, we're kind of set the big piece for this is diagnosing weirdness. That discord sends our way that has been the biggest inconsistency piece C piece is discord deciding, you know, we're gonna do something different. Absolutely. No documentation, no notice, nothing. That was actually the biggest complaint that yawe will had was discord does things without telling anybody, you just have to, oh, Hey, they they're doing this differently now, now we have to compensate.
So it's a lot of analyzing those audio packets.
Aaron Newcomb (00:24:46):
Yeah, for sure. I've noticed that you know, the, the, they discord seems to just make these decisions and, you know, you don't think about the impact that it could have, not just on how you use it as a user, but also all of the plugins and different things that people have developed for it. That that could be a crazy experience. I I'm kind of curious you know, how the relationship is with discord. I mean, do you guys have any conversations with discord directly? Do you have some sort of back channel to any developers that you can reach out to? I mean, obviously you, you probably files bugs and things like that, but any, any other formal conversations?
No, not really AC ironically enough, like even with our even with the process of just getting the, the, the applications themselves transferred took what's today, it's, it's now month seven out of the year. It just happened less than a month ago and this like the ticket and, and the submission was set back in February 1st. So we don't have any direct contact. I was pulling out a lot of stops through some friends to try and just get some attention to something like that. And it's pulling teeth, generally our users, especially with as many as we have were able to get these reports of these inconsistencies almost down to the day of if there is a change. So we're able to start getting that data to look at analyze, figure out what changed and then, and then compensate for it as close to on the fly as possible.
Ya Weasel (00:26:30):
This court has been a bit better on talking to their developers. They've recently opened up not recently. This was about more than eight months ago, probably almost a year where they've created a discord developer server where all developers of API and bots can actually join and get announcements. And sometimes they do stages talking about the recent changes they're doing. So in terms of communication they've been a bit better on communicating their changes more recently than the last few years. So that's like one thing I'll definitely commend them for, and it gives a better channel to access resources and probably contact support sometimes. But it does give us <laugh>. Yeah, it does give us more information on what might come in the future.
Aaron Newcomb (00:27:34):
Yeah. I mean, I, I gotta imagine, even if, you know, if there's something that's gonna break for even a small amount of users, even if you guys have a heads up about that, then you can communicate that out. Right. I mean, it's, at least it's better than just waking up one morning and oh, this isn't working anymore. <Laugh>
Yeah. Well, I'll say this much when they have they have pushed through a few breaking changes that they didn't expect to be as breaking, and we did get the the update notification and then all of a sudden it's been edited. Okay. Yeah. We've rolled this back. So they they've definitely started listening to their code base or to their user base, especially their developer base a little bit more, especially with that server. You know, it's a good place to keep an ear to the ground and overall that's that is, has rather, that has been our primary source of, Hey, this is coming through. We need to make sure we're prepared for this by this date. You know, whether they roll it back or not, at least we have the code in place to compensate.
Aaron Newcomb (00:28:38):
Yeah. Yeah. Now there's another piece of technology here that's related. I guess I'm look, I'm looking down at the bottom of the website. It says the technology behind Craig is also available without discord as what's. I don't know how to pronounce it Muncaster or E
Aaron Newcomb (00:28:55):
Ya Weasel (00:28:56):
On, we like
Aaron Newcomb (00:28:57):
On we caster, I gotta separate those on we caster. So what's the relationship there? I mean, I know it looks like on we, caster is a, a, you know, you pay a small fee basically, and you can do multi-track recording like this
On SoCast <affirmative> Omnicast is, oh, go ahead. SNA, sorry.
Ya Weasel (00:29:15):
Omni caster. Most of the, some of the code, mainly the code that takes audio tracks and makes sure the, the a is good and can play on most devices. That code is used to be from Craig by Zel. He's taken that over to AME caster when he made that after he made Craig and we still use that code, but it's, it's the similar process that on V caster does, and he's built that built that up very much so, so it was always a footnote on the original Craig website that, that was available if need be. And we've just kept it there since this also can be used as a good service for if you don't wanna use discord or don't need to use discord
As a note on we, caster is yah, Weisel's still current project. He does maintain that one still. So, and, and that's mostly like likes said, we do keep it there as as just especially more of a token respect for everything he's done for the project. Especially being that he still maintains it it's he has, he, he actively uses on we caster.
Aaron Newcomb (00:30:43):
Cool. Cool. Now you guys mentioned before version, I think 2.0 recently came out. Yep. What are the new features that are available now?
Ya Weasel (00:30:52):
There's been some changes with the interface and what the user can show for instance in V one, anyone with the role named Craig can use Craig, but for V two, you can actually assign roles and have as many roles as you want and whatever name you want for those roles, to be able to create recordings. There's a new recording panel that shows a quick activity of how long the recording's going people that join the recording and any problems amidst the recording process within that with there's also a stop recording button and a add note button with just as just easy access from there.
The other big thing was, I mean, all of the web interfaces, the website, everything got a huge facelift and complete redesign for things like on weasel, which is the, that is the kinda web mixer. If for anybody that uses audacity or, or what is it Adobe premiere I think is their, is their a or is there audio mixing software? So that is that that's kind of like the web version that we offer. And if you're downloading your recording, you have a couple different buttons basically that you could download in different formats. A majority of them offer to download from our server and, and, and they're not mixed, you know, every user's track, whether it's in slack. I think we offer ag direct and there are a few others and some of them are based on like, it detects your user agent.
So whether you're on Mac, it'll offer you the Mac file formats. If you're on windows, different formats are shown. So that got a huge facelift. And if, if you click on any of the ones that basically want you to mix it to a single track, we don't process that on our end. It actually kicks it off to a CloudFlare pages hosted site, which is the new redesign that SNAs wrote. And that will mix it in your browser. So it's completely client side. It loads the tracks from the server, but it mixes it on using the browser's resources down to a single track wave, which is the most common that we see or anything but an MP3 <laugh>
Ya Weasel (00:33:32):
The the web app also is a big, a big feature that I've created is just so re before in Craig V one, there is a small subset of on V caster, an old version of a subset of on V caster that allows you to join the recording through the browser as a separate track. So you have your discord users talking in a VC or a voice channel, and you want to join with probably better mic quality or a different mic, whatever you can go to the web app and connect the browser, and your voice data will be put into the, a different track in the same recording. And so all will all that will get exported afterwards.
We commonly see that as kind of a backup method. Discord is still very unreliable. And using the web app, you are recording directly to Craig you're recording directly to our server, not to, <laugh> not to discord through discords voice servers, through all the, all the BS that they might do to, to change whatever the stream is coming back to Craig. And we do still have issues with that where, you know, we have different different issues with audio quality because somebody who's over in, I don't know, like the UK or Germany is connecting to the voice server, that's us west over because it's the first person who joined the voice channel was in California. This word automatically chooses that server, cuz it's the closest. Now that voice channel's locked to that voice server, which for the guy across the pond is now,
Ya Weasel (00:35:21):
Aaron Newcomb (00:35:22):
<Laugh> talk about audio issues. Maybe we <laugh> should have been using Craig to record <laugh>
Yeah. Let's see. We're also here. See, yeah. It's, you're normally not an issue when you're in discord, but with Craig, they were, they came into our server and they were like, yeah, I can clearly hear there are issues. We looked at it. We're like it's cuz you're connecting across the the world, you know, audio's forgiving through discord, but when you're you're editing it as, as I'm sure like an could probably very much appreciate you hear the differences.
Ya Weasel (00:36:00):
Yeah. Sometimes the scores, voice servers are not always that good in quality sometimes. And with people having a real ear for that, it's just, eh,
Well, and then there's the voice channel bit, right? Not everybody changes those either.
Ya Weasel (00:36:20):
Doc Searls (00:36:24):
So I have a question about ag ag VBI, you, you record in ag and then you, and then you can export in a number of other formats. Is that, is that, is that how it works? Yes. Everything but MP3, if, cuz you're avoiding that
The data is streamed in, in a directly from discord.
Doc Searls (00:36:43):
Okay. What is discord using? I mean, it may be a dumb question, but I don't know. Are they using ag or are they using you just look for the wave form and record it nog or what, what, how does that work
From the client side? You see Opus, but like I just, the, the actual audio stream directly is, is coming in using the, a standard rather that, that should be what I stay is the, a standard for audio data.
Doc Searls (00:37:12):
Okay. So, so I'm curious to know there's a little bit of a pivot to what adjacent areas are you guys involved or interested or, I mean, so I guess, I guess the odd standard is kind of a finished thing and has been for a long time, but I'm not really sure. But I'm wondering, you know, are, do you guys wanna get involved in that other stuff at all or is, or is Craig by itself like work enough?
Ya Weasel (00:37:43):
I haven't looked really into it that much. I've just been learning enough to make sure I know what's wrong when the issues prop up, I haven't really looked into doing more than that.
I'm I'm about the same way for the most part I'm I'm still playing catch up <laugh>
Aaron Newcomb (00:38:09):
Yeah, no, I, I bet there was a question from the the chat room that I wanted to get to. And this is from Phoenix warp one. This is, I've been doing some work with web RTC for my job, does discord and Craig only exclusively working with web RTC. And what are some of the challenges in web RTC and how it works across browsers versus the discord application who wants to take that one? I don't know. Is that a SNA a question
Ya Weasel (00:38:37):
I'll I'll I'll take it. It's I guess we just exclusively working with web RTC, cuz this is really just the one we're using for discord to work over Craig and the web app also uses web RTC. I've known that Zel talked about how web RTC is bad and that he's using a, a different kind of protocol called RT. And we, I didn't, I've never looked into that, but I haven't looked into going just not just web RTC and some other types of protocols and within challenges. It's just we haven't gotten reports of any, of any problems with web apps lately.
Aaron Newcomb (00:39:27):
Cool. I'm curious too about the back end here, like what, what does the back end look like? Are you guys, cause you guys have to be putting these recordings somewhere, right? I mean, how you have to pay for, for storage in the cloud somewhere. I mean, how, how does this, how does this all work together on the back end?
So everything is hosted on a on, we have two servers right now that doesn't include our beta that we, we rent a one from O VH direct and the other one through. So you start and that's actually what hosts our, one of the backup bots that net one's actually over in Europe, so people can kind of choose which one is geographically closer for them, if they're debugging and they're just running, they're running Debian with, with the the tools installed for, for the audio processing we use FFM peg for a piece of it. And that's actually how we do a lot of the converting to the different formats.
But a lot of this, especially when we picked it up from, from yah weel was as down to the OS to handle it as, as possible. And we still do that for the most part. The biggest difference has been, you know, how we handle file storage, how long it, they they're retained, you know, by default, if you record with Craig, you're only recording for a week or rather you can only store it for a week and then it's deleted. So the way we've handled all that is, has been kind of, it's been adapting to make it a little easier to track down and log and make sure we figure out what's going on, what's being missed. That was actually a huge thing that we, we implemented with V2 was a lot of stuff on the back end for figuring out what's going on, give us better visibility into the processes logging, reporting to reporting errors, that kind of thing.
Doc Searls (00:41:38):
So we have a couple of questions backed up here. <Laugh> looking at our back channels and our front channels. We have, we chat in a number of places on this side here, but first I have to let everybody know that this episode of floss weekly is brought to you by compiler an original podcast from red hat, discussing tech topics, big, small, and strange compiler comes to you from the makers of command line heroes. And other of our sponsors and is hosted by Angela Andrews and Brent semio technology could be big, bold, bizarre, and complicated compiler unravels, industry topics, trends, and the things you've always wanted to know about tech through interviews, where the people who know at best on their show, you will hear a chorus of perspectives from the diverse communities behind the code. Compiler brings together a curious team of red hatters to tackle big questions in tech lake.
Doc Searls (00:42:28):
What is technical debt? What are tech hiring managers actually looking for? And do you have to know how to code to get started with open source episode two covers? What can video games teach us about edge computing, the internet as a patchwork of international agreements and varying infrastructure, but there's something coming to change. The ways we connect in this episode of compiler hosts, explore what edge computing could mean for people who enjoy video games and what this form of entertainment could teach us about the technology episode nine is how are tech hubs changing? Traditionally, if someone wanted a career in tech, they had to make them move to a tech hub, a city packed with startups and talent, but things are starting to change the hosts of compiler. Speak to a few of the change makers who are thinking outside the physical and social dimensions.
Doc Searls (00:43:20):
We've come to associate with innovation. And by the way, that one especially is close to home for me, because I came to Silicon valley from where red hat is now in North Carolina. Because that was the only hub. There was nothing else <laugh> and there was no internet and there was Justy and you know, physical distance mattered a lot. You needed to be around other people and that's no longer the case. I mean, even on this show and everything we do at twit, it's all virtual and that's the world we all live in. Now we're digital as well as physical beings, that's really close to home in that particular episode. So learn more about compiler at red.ht/twit. New episodes are out now, go and download them at any time and be sure to check back for new shows, listen to COPI compiler, an apple podcast, or anywhere you listen to podcasts will also include a link on this episode's show page, my thanks to COPI compiler for their support.
Doc Searls (00:44:17):
So guys, I mean, you're clearly doing an interesting and good job here as was yah weasel before you what happens in, in life is that when you're working with, you know, inside, you know, inside the the castle of, of a large successful enterprise, like disc discord is they, they either come up with something competitive or they SNAR you up, they just hire you or take the code and do whatever they want with it. I don't know what the licensing limitations on that might be or what other impediments there might be there, but it that's, that's a question that comes up and I'm wondering how you deal with that.
Well, they very much could the, the code is completely open source in, in how it, in everything that yawe wrote and everything that we, we write will continue to stay open source. If, if this score decides they wanna implement something like this, obviously there's nothing we can do to stop them. But I mean, if they did at least one of the, I guess the only perk to that would definitely be that it's coming all from their hi their system who knows better how they're sending the data than the people who are sending it. But aside from that, I mean, we've been around. Craig has been around since some of the early days in discord. I think, I think he's been around since at least 2017 and nobody has really entered the, the arena to compete yet, not even discord. The only other people that we've had, like I said, are some single track recording bots, which four users that are looking just for that we do recommend they go to that bot specifically. They're in our server as a reference, as a reference point. And we even work with their developer when we're trying to debug discord. <Laugh>,
Doc Searls (00:46:19):
It's, it's an interesting question because I'm most familiar with what's happened with Linux cuz I was an editor for Linux journal for a long time. But they, you know, the, the primary Colonel developers for Linux got hired up by companies who really didn't interfere with what they were doing, but what you've done is actual an actual bolt on something that is an existing commercial service. I dunno if they'd be as interested in doing that, but it seems to me it would be a smart thing for them to do, or maybe they're just happy enough with you guys working for free on the outside. It's sort of, and I'm wondering if I'm trying to think maybe Aaron can think of some of what, what are analogous projects on other, on other platforms? I know for example, I mean zoom allows you to record inside it's its system, which is big enclosed.
Doc Searls (00:47:11):
You know, and I think but I actually Skype didn't Skype had, you know, there was call recorder and some other things that were on the outside, they weren't an open source or at least call recorder wasn't. And I think that's been fully deprecated at this point. I don't really, haven't paid attention to Skype for some time, but I'm, I'm wondering if you guys look at analogous developments in the world and say this, we wanna go there. I mean, we, we don't, we wanna follow a path. We see there, we don't wanna follow that particular path, but at least get, get some wisdom or experience out of looking at those.
So, I mean, I know where you're coming from and I have, I've definitely seen it before in countless countless projects between a lot of the big tech companies like Google. Well, you don't usually see this kind of stuff with apple because it's usually closed source to begin with, but <affirmative> Google, Amazon, other big companies could it happen with, with discord? Yeah. If it does, you know, and then they approached us, you know, S NAZA's I mean, S NAZA's young and he is still very much in the start of his career. And if, if he were to be approached for that, I mean, I would, I would be very much forward because then, well, you know, then I have a man on the inside <laugh>
Doc Searls (00:48:37):
Inside guy, outside guy, and thought of it that way. I don't, I don't think of either of you guys as that young because you know, all of us started there and some of us have just been young longer than others. That's all <laugh>.
Well, like I mentioned, you know, this is definitely, this is, this is a side project for me. You know, when you, when I look at what I'm doing day to day and, and in general, compared to the stuff that S NAZA's doing, you know, he's a college kid, you know, he's, he's just getting started. I was there, you know, back in 2016, you know, when I was, when I was just getting, getting started and I had a couple other side projects, but those side projects were compared to schoolwork. Most of the stuff that I was doing. So, you know, it's the time commitment for me has definitely changed over the years and just in general with where, where my priorities stand. But I see myself more as a, as a career CIS admin, that, that's what I'm personally interested in. That's why I love doing my day to day job. I love, I never dread coming into work. I know that's not necessarily something, a company like this word would really be looking for, and I'm okay with that personally. I, I like what I do and I'm, I have room to grow here where I'm at.
Aaron Newcomb (00:50:06):
Yeah. You guys have kind of, this is a question that I had on my list to ask. I was gonna save it to the end. And I guess we're almost there anyway, but you know, you, you are both relatively young or early in your careers and there's no, no problem with that, but we talk, or at least I talk whenever I'm on this show, a lot about how to get started. Cuz I get that question from younger people a lot who are just going into, you know maybe software engineering program at university or something and they ask about, you know, how can I get started? You know, how can I get an internship? How can I get something on my resume? Like I don't have any experience, but you need experience to get these jobs and so forth. So I, I kind of wanna ask both of you that question you know, what advice would you give because I look at both of you and I see, you know, you guys have been very successful so far in your careers. What, what kind of advice would you give people maybe your age or younger that yourself younger than yourself for even us old folks you know, who maybe wanna change careers and get into this? What advice would you give them on how to start out and what to do?
I will, I will start this as, as a recent college grad, well, recent at 2020, I graduated be involved wherever you can. I, ironically enough. And I love this. I love telling this piece of, of story about my life so far is my hiring where I'm at right now, which I started two days after my commencement is a Monday. It was my, I walked across the stage Saturday and I started Monday and that's and starting in a position that paid more than most of the people that graduated with me. And a large piece of why I got hired was because of, of my experience. And my experience was just doing things that I enjoyed if you are if you're a developer and you want to, and you're going to school and you want, you know, you wanna be a programmer for whatever you, you may not even know what yet.
And you like doing that kind of stuff on the side, then get some projects, spun up, get involved in, in something open source that you see that you wanna do and, or make it yourself, find a problem you wanna solve and make it yourself, which, you know, that's, that's a large piece of how me and SNA a got together and, and, and met each other was because of something he did that he made himself that I got involved in and just continue to, to do it and, and learn and grow. And before, you know, it, you know, if you're just starting in college four or five years down the line, you're going to apply for a job and you have this thing on your resume that you never really probably thought about, but in reality, your employer's looking at this and going, wow, this kid right outta college has, you know, five plus years of, of exactly what we are looking for.
And with me in the systems administration field, that was exactly it I've run my own gaming community since 2013. I've been messing around with Lenox servers since that time in, in Lenox, in general, before that I mess around with software because I like doing it. And it turns out every piece of what I was doing on my personal lab that I had translated a bit to my own business was being used here at the company that I worked for. And they saw like a match made in heaven and the degree matters, you know, but that was the, the key piece that, that identified me from the rest of any other applicant was not only was I familiar with the software and the systems that they use, but I'd been doing it on my own for, you know, seven plus, you know, seven years.
Aaron Newcomb (00:54:05):
Yep. No, that's, that's great advice. SZA, what about you, you're a season bot developer on discord. Now you said you've been doing it for what like four or five years or something.
Ya Weasel (00:54:16):
Yeah. I guess the way I kind of started off is I've been really, I just like using GitHub a lot. And so I just look over GitHub repositories whenever I like using a project and it's open source. I always just like to peek around and take a look at the source code and see what I could pick out and know how it operates. And that's generally how I've kind of started off becoming a programmer and knowing more about APIs and such. And then once I've gotten on the discord, that was like the first thing I jumped onto once discord bots were a thing before it wasn't a thing like officially, it was just right over user accounts, but I was still interested in seeing how that system functioned and how to make these features and make them accessible for other users. And so that's just how I mainly started off just going for what I was interested in and looking a lot around GitHub and open source in general. Mm-Hmm
Aaron Newcomb (00:55:31):
<Affirmative> awesome. Awesome. I think that's great. And it, and it does match up with a lot of what what I hear and I know doc, you're, you're passionate about this as well, right?
Doc Searls (00:55:45):
Yeah. And actually I was, I was wondering Sez what a cool thing about Ralph is he's he, he's already in his career. Do, do you have like a career path in mind or just, you wanna continue just doing what you're doing? I mean, he was being very specific about loving being Aman, which is an interesting thing to me because some people wanna get out that he likes being in it. Is that something you wanna do or is it you just wanna be like a great programmer and go open source wherever it takes you just kind of curious about that.
Ya Weasel (00:56:19):
I'm, I'm not interested in CIS admin myself. I know how to do his asthma work as much as it will, I will do to host my projects of course. But for me I've mainly just been going for being a full site developer, just making websites sometimes designing them and making applications as well, as far as a career paths going I've looked, I've looked into I've been definitely trying to make this other career, but there's not much specifics yet. I'm just just using what I've been doing and maintaining open source projects like I have been doing to hopefully build up that reputation.
Doc Searls (00:57:07):
That's great. And I, I, I hope to see more battle ribbons on your avatar there. <Laugh>,
I'll tell you what though he can, I mean, he can, he can design a website that's for sure. And it literally started off with me saying, Hey, we need to redo this again. One of those you want to help. Cause when it comes to designing anything, I'm the most anesthetic person that you could ever meet <laugh> he's like, okay. Yeah, sure. And two days later he comes to me with a, with a Figma layout of, of a relative site template. I'm like, I love this. This is great. And he's actually the one who redesigned all of the, all of the Craig sites and, and any of the sites that we've worked on for the projects at this point of SZA has redesigned them and does a bang up job.
Doc Searls (00:57:55):
That's fantastic. That's great. And so you could go there, go to, go to Craig and see it, see that at work, you don't have to listen to it. It's right there. We're actually out of time now or close to out of time. So <laugh>, I'm getting jokes in the back channel. So we actually closed the three, the first one you just answered really quickly. Is there anything you'd like us to have asked that we haven't asked yet? You can answer in a really quickly
Nothing. I don't really have anything
Ya Weasel (00:58:26):
Much, I guess. The, the, one of the questions probably asked is like, you know, why aren't you using our, our webcams here? I mean, I mainly just I, I'm not, it's not that I'm trying to hide at all. It's just that I'm not really interested in putting my face and stuff. Sometimes it's been a thing for a couple years and it's just, eh,
As he gets involved in more stuff, that'll change. I'm sure of it. I actually didn't mind having my webcam on if I'm being honest, but I figure we'll go in as a pair. I have, I have an avatar here. I, I, my girlfriend actually designed that, but you know, it's nice. We'll I figure we'll, we'll go in as a pair like this. I have no problem doing that. <Laugh>
Doc Searls (00:59:18):
Okay. I like the avatars actually. It's a, it's a good, like, they're good.
Aaron Newcomb (00:59:23):
Yeah. It's not as visually stimulating from a production point of view probably, but it, it does break things up nicely, right. For a change. So I don't mind it at all.
Doc Searls (00:59:32):
For those who wanna visited the past, the, the yah weel episode is what, in which he was animated. So, I mean, his, he had, he was a live weasel on, on that thing. It was kind of, it was weird and interesting and not bad, but this is, this is consistent with it, but individual enough, that's really great. If we ever do meet you, we probably will recognize you though, unless you're, you know, wearing your avatars, but that's cool. Two final questions for both of you what are your favorite text editor and scripting language?
Ya Weasel (01:00:07):
Yeah. I always get crap for, for the text editor that I always throw out there and, and I use notepad plus plus some people tell me, Hey, go use sublime. I, I don't mind, but that that's always what I've used. And it does enough for what I'm, what I'm using. Now, if I'm on the command line, I always get stuff about this nano.
Aaron Newcomb (01:01:10):
Yeah. I use nano all the time. So, I mean, that's been my go to, I switched from BI to nano just because I use Debian systems. So there's nothing, nothing to be ashamed of using. It's like, you know, it's just a quick little thing. You can pull it up and do your thing and no problems there from, from my perspective. Yeah. You, you don't need INAX to edit a configuration file
Doc Searls (01:02:19):
Well, that's great guys. And, and I, it went up on screen there briefly and put it up there, but the chat room totally supports you. There. It is again, you know, <laugh>, I like that. You're, you're in the TWI protection program. <Laugh> but you know, they like Nopa plus <laugh> they like nano. So there
Ya Weasel (01:02:38):
You go. I've used no BI plus plus before and nano. Yeah,
Doc Searls (01:02:42):
Ya Weasel (01:02:42):
Yeah. Cool guy got me into nano getting off of VIM because VIM is like the only one I knew after that. And then the first time I pulled it up, he's just like, oh, no, use nano look. And it's like so much simpler. I'm like, oh wow. Okay. And I started using it and I also used sublime text for editing some small stuff sometimes.
Doc Searls (01:03:02):
Well, this has been great. Great guys. We're actually running overtime at this point. So thanks for coming on, given the speed at which this stuff is going since we had yawe salon just last November. We might wanna have you guys back soon enough be watching closely. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> how that goes there. <Laugh> put up a little yawe there. That's that's what you look like. You can without the subtitles. <Laugh> all right. So thanks guys. See you soon. I hope. Yeah, it was nice being here. Thanks for having us.
Aaron Newcomb (01:03:36):
You bet. Likewise.
Doc Searls (01:03:39):
So Aaron, that was a quick hour.
Aaron Newcomb (01:03:41):
Yeah, it did go by
Doc Searls (01:03:42):
Actually more than an hour. Yeah.
Aaron Newcomb (01:03:44):
Yeah. I'm, I'm always, you know, this is, I'm glad we're back to, we've been, you know, at least the shows I've been on recently, we've been kind of dancing around some different issues, but it's always be nice to get back to a project that you wanna go implement right away. I, I almost pulled up discord and started a, a room and started using it, but I didn't wanna get too distracted because the conversation was pretty good. So but yeah, this is something that I can definitely see myself using for, because I've been thinking about actually starting a discord server for my YouTube channel so that I can interact more easily with my viewers and things and have maybe some special sessions to talk about, you know, Hey, it's apple night, right? Let's talk about everything, apple to mm-hmm <affirmative> or Macintosh or something.
Aaron Newcomb (01:04:31):
And it would be fun to be able to record those. Right. And, and turn those into videos too, that people might wanna watch. But the problem you always have is a, like, people could hijack your, your session, maybe depending on if you threw it open to the public, someone could come in and start, you know, messing it up. And, but if you were using this tool, then you can always go out, go back and just mute that channel. Right. And all their audio is gone. Or if you, people are talking over each other all the time. Right. So you need something to be able to easily go back and separate those, those tracks and
Doc Searls (01:05:04):
Yeah. That's where the multi channel
Aaron Newcomb (01:05:05):
Really helps easy for that. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So I am gonna, I'm gonna write this down on my in my bookmarks as something to come back to, if I ever get to the point where my channel's big enough that I want to do a disc discord server, cuz this would be really helpful.
Doc Searls (01:05:21):
Yeah. It's interesting to me too. I've actually stayed away from most discord things, but it's, it's encroaching on me and I, and I'm an audio guy. I came outta radio, you know, so and I like the multichannel idea. I kind wish it was there for for zoom cuz we were so many times on zoom. By the way yesterday I talked, I talked to somebody, I was on a, it was a medical call and they said, we're gonna zoom tomorrow on web chat. <Laugh> so I just thought I'd volunteer that as just one of those weird ironies of life. Anyway, this has been great. There's been another, oh you go plug, get your plug in there. Aaron.
Aaron Newcomb (01:06:00):
Oh yeah, sure. Yeah. I mentioned my YouTube channel, so yeah, that's an easy plug, right? Go check that out. I've got some really cool stuff coming up on the channel. I think the last thing I did was I found an apple two, which blew up on the channel. I had a reefa cap explosion <laugh> so that was my last video. Geez, that, that was a really fun one. And it, well, if you've ever had, if you've ever smelled a reefa cap smoke when those capacitors blow, they smell really bad. Oh
Doc Searls (01:06:25):
Aaron Newcomb (01:06:27):
You saw it there for a second, right?
Doc Searls (01:06:29):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh that's terrible. Yeah. That's wow. My God.
Aaron Newcomb (01:06:33):
Yeah. Wow. Well that was live while I was, while I was working on something. So that's, it's a lot of fun. So go check that out. It's retro hack shack on YouTube and real quick. I do also just have to thank my employer, assisting who, you know, let's me do this. This is I'm in the middle of my Workday right now. There's people slacking me like, Hey, can you come take care of this stuff? But they actually allow me to come on and talk about open source because we're a company that produces open source software, we believe in open source. So you know, I need to give a shout out to them from time to time for letting me do that. Cuz not all companies are, are that nice. So I appreciate their, their willingness to support open source and false weekly as well.
Doc Searls (01:07:11):
So I also would've I wanna thank you by the way, for, for coming in. I did not do a very good job of lining up a cohost and you came in everybody else <laugh> I wouldn't say they like they actually have lives. Yeah. So it really, it really, you stepped up and I really appreciate that. I also wanna say that next week we have, yeah, we have Ste O CTO. He was on before talking about risk five, but he's gonna talk about other stuff too. So it's another one. When I say we like to have people back on the show we're for real about that. We do want people back and we need guests too. So I'm gonna put it a plug for that. We're looking for guests open source, free Libra, whatever it is we need you so we can never have enough. I've been doing this for 15 years and we'll never run out of <laugh> of shows. So thanks a lot. I'm doc soles. We will see you next week on floss, weekly
Speaker 8 (01:08:03):
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