Youtube Lite Technology Demonstrator

Browser JS to enable old browsers display Youtube videos and more

When Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister, India faced opposition from the US for its space and missile development programme. India's Integrated Missile Development Program was started to develop everything from anti-tank missiles to nuclear-capable inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Rajiv Gandhi strongly supported the programme but was not willing to face US sanctions. So, the initial prototypes of the Agni missile were labelled as 'technology demonstrators'. India later went on to develop ICBM-level Agni versions and the US went on to sell billions of dollars worth of military hardware to India so the 'technology demonstrator' was a tactical strategic position to take at that time.

Bye bye older browsers

When Youtube switched to the slower heavier uglier version that it has now, old browsers could not display the pages. However, you could use a browser disguise (useragent spoofer add-on) and trick Youtube into loading the older light pages. This worked well for me because, I could use my custom browser scripts (user JS) to eliminate Youtube annoyances like autoplay, 'Top comments' (censored comments) and 'Recommended for you' videos, and add support for RSS, video/subtitle downloads and latest comments.

After Google and Microsoft adopted jquery, there was no stopping this junk Javascript framework. It was originally supposed to overcome the non-standard behaviour of Microsoft Internet Explorer but is now introducing its own problems. A lot of other 'special effects' libraries have been built on the obese jquery and fuddy-duddy news sites like The Hindu are belatedly discovering the 'benefits' of jquery. I look back longingly when The Hindu was designed using Microsoft Frontpage. (I had to fix The Hindu web pages with my own browser JS because jquery cannot handle it.)

The Hindu rendered useless by jquery

⛹ YoutubeLite ☔

Recently, Youtube abandoned support for older browsers. And, I had to write a newer version of my Youtube Annoyances Remover script because the Javascript junk the new Youtube loaded would make the browser tab to lock up for a few seconds.

My fix named YoutubeLite does not load comments or related videos. In fact, it does not load Youtube. It grabs the information from the ytplayer.config.args.player_response object and nukes the Youtube page. It then displays the video in the browser's built-in video player. It also adds links for RSS, subtitles, channel videos page and IMDB (I am a fan of bad-movie restorations of 80s movies from old VHS tapes).

A few days ago, this object disappeared and a new ytInitialPlayerResponse object was found in its place. It did not have links to the video file. I found several new obfuscated functions and objects. (I used reflection (window.Object.getOwnPropertyNames) and managed to find the obfuscated types.) Immediately afterwards, ytplayer.config.args.player_response object came back. Now, my code relies on the ytInitialPlayerResponse and the video player objects before nuking the page. If the ytplayer.config.args.player_response object exists, alternate download links and subtitle download links will be displayed.

For obvious reasons, I cannot reveal the source code. But, if you are stuck with an old browser, there is a fix... if you can code it.


Who is Carly Stevens?

This dame is an English teacher somewhere in America. She is an author and a member of the BookTube community. And, unlike other girls/females in this Youtube subset, she is not... you may want to sit down for this one. You should probably ask someone to accompany the children out of the room. You may also want to grab your heart medicine, anxiety blanket, rubber ducky or other dolly, emotional support animal... she is not a big fan of many of the Feminist literary icons that all the others rave about.

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