OpenAsar Tweaks Discord’s Frontend, Improves Performance And Privacy

Screenshot of the OpenAsar config window, showing a few of the configuration options

Not all hacking happens on hardware — every now and then, we ought to hack our software-based tools, too. [Ducko] tells us about a partially open-source rewrite of Discord’s Electron-based frontend. Web apps can be hard to tinker with, which is why such projects are to be appreciated. Now, this isn’t a reverse-engineering of Discord’s API or an alternative client per se, but it does offer a hopeful perspective on what the Discord client ought to do for us.

First of all, the client loads noticeably faster, not unlike the famous GTA Online speedup (which was also a user-driven improvement), with channel and server switching made less laggy —  and the Linux updater was de-cruft-ified as well. [Ducko] tells us how she got rid of the numerous NPM dependencies of the original code – it turned out that most of the dependencies could be easily replaced with Node.JS native APIs or Linux binaries like unzip.  Apart from much-appreciated performance improvements, there are also options like telemetry bypass, and customization mechanisms for your own theming. You won’t get Discord on your Apple ][ just yet, but the native client will be a bit friendlier towards you.

While Discord is ultimately a proprietary platform, we do it see used in cool hacks every now and then, like this tea mug temperature-tracking coaster. Would you like to code your own Discord bot? We wrote a walk-through for that. Last but not least, if you like what we wrote and you happen to also use Discord, you should check out the Hackaday Discord server!

16 thoughts on “OpenAsar Tweaks Discord’s Frontend, Improves Performance And Privacy

      1. That and it uses a web browser engine for chat client duty.
        Which makes Discord as a whole feel like a early development closed-beta prototype of the caliber meant to entice further financial third-party investment, that’s somehow become one of the most used web-chat platforms.
        Ripcord makes it bearable somewhat, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still Discord just with a not awful client program.

    1. Discord’s entire product seems to be based on taking instant messaging, a mature technology that has been around since the dawn of the computer, and make it as terrible and user-hostile as possible.

      I cannot fathom why people use it at all.

        1. >>> It is more akin to forums, but faster moving

          I don’t normally pile on the hate, but this just makes it a “poor imitation of a forum” in addition to a “poor imitation of IRC.”

          A forum made with the (free, open) phpBB platform from decades ago is a better way to share information than discord, facebook groups, or any other recent re-implementation of the idea.

      1. Discord had a really easy way to get you on the application, you didn’t even need an account initially. And it has a really nice learning curve which requires no instruction until you get to advanced client features. This is coming from someone who doesn’t use it anymore cause they insist on twofactor now. (Which seems silly for what i used it for.)

        1. Yea exactly what you guys said. Certainly messaging has always been around.. and its usually been largely reserved to either the nerds that could handle the setup (IRC, newgroups) and/or required adoption of a whole other platform in order to use the messaging piece (AOL, gchat, ICQ, FB messenger). …with teens taking up whatever was cool at the time and dropping it in a few years.

          That simplicity is a major selling point. People don’t even need to make a separate account, or download anything to work with it. They CAN, but don’t have to which is the best of both worlds. You can text chat, post links and images, or voice chat, all in one spot, and have private or public channels available.

          Its come to be one stop shopping for a quick way to setup group messaging without having to mess around with whos on what platform or any website or forums overhead from trying it do/host it yourself.

          …so yea, there are a LOT of reasons people use it. Something new may come along and do it better, but for now they are the best thing going.

    2. Your letting your trips around the sun show. Discord is nothing like IRC and has a lot of capabilities that keep it more useful than the other platforms out there. Along with its ease of use and simple process for adding new users, its about the best thing going right now.

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