Will the brain slugs take over Gemini capsules?

Gemini is a protocol that sits between gopher and http, being closer to the former than the latter. A “capsule” is just another name for “site”.

A poster argued:

Y’know, Geminispace probably won’t be free of ads forever. Assuming we don’t abolish capitalism within the next few years, eventually someone is gonna pay someone else to shill their stuff on their gemlog. It’s just gonna happen.


I am more optimistic. I don’t think we have to worry about capitalists. It hasn’t been a problem for gopher, so I doubt that it will be a problem for gemini. I imagine the first thing we’ll see is some kind of gemini equivalent of a virus, shitposting, and trolling.

Political content on gemini seems fairly contained at the moment. There is a lot of talk about the downsides of capitalism on the www. The criticisms I’ve seen are fair. Geminispace exists for those seeking a quieter, more sane, place on the internet. Not the sugar-hyped autism that passes for most web pages these days.

Spend a few hours on gopher/gemini, then go back to your web browser. You immediately notice that for the vast majority of sites, “yeah, this shit is bad.” Bear in mind that I’m using adblocking and other minor filters, too.

Talking of which: Firefox. This morning I saw a notification on Firefox saying that I needed to restart Firefox because it had been upgraded. This came as a genuine surprise to me, as I use Debian Stable. My philosophy to updates is this: I am the system admin of my computer. I set policy, and absolutely no-one else. You don’t ever download anything unless I say so.

It’s easy for sites to follow the herd. There’s one financial site I visit. I don’t want to mention their name, because I don’t want to embarrass them. I genuinely respect the site, and wish them all the best in their commercial endeavours. My only slight peeve is that they revamped the site, made it more “web 2.0”. And, sure enough, it ran slower, with some of the features that I liked removed.

So, to reiterate to the team that may have sussed out who I am talking about: I think your site is great and provides a valuable and worthwhile service. I am grateful for its existence and the team that is behind it. I just preferred the old version.

Gopher vs Gemini

The first rule of Gemini Club is that everybody talks about Gemini Club. The second rule of Gemini Club is that everybody only talks about Gemini Club.

I like Lagrange as a browser. I tried out Bombadillo, which is for terminals. Bombadillo is written in Go. Works pretty well, actually. I had tried to install a Rust client a few weeks back. It failed to compile. The more I try to use Rust, the less I like it. The whole crate thing takes ages to update, and there seem to be frequent compilation failures. This is odd, especially considering that reproducible build systems, this kind of stuff should never happen. I am becoming increasingly sceptical of programming language package managers. I don’t think they necessarily deliver the benefits they claim.

I tried out Bombadillo on a few gopher and gemini sites. I must say, old gopher was surprisingly good. I don’t know much about authoring gopherholes (i.e. sites), but it seems a bit fiddly. There seems to be a distinction between pure text files, and map files. Map files are, ultimately, text documents, but seem to require fiddly markup. So writing them is a chore.

Gemini is way easier to write. I think there can be a little bit of pros vs cons when it comes to how pages should be rendered.

Perhaps interactive terminal clients could use colour for headings. Gemini does, after all, support that concept. Maybe have a switch to turn off colouring if for some reason you don’t want it.

I think that the way Lagrange shows its links is a stylistically problematical. They render them to look like headings, rather than as references. The document’s structure is confused. Contrast this with how terminal clients render links. The display bracketed numbers down the left-hand site. This makes them look much more like references.

Perhaps gemini authors should adopt the convention that links are always considered references, never headings. They sure do render to look like headings, though.

Another thing that I would like to see is authors dating their pages consistently. Historical context is useful.

That’s all that comes to mind. Be seeing you.

About mcturra2000

Computer programmer living in Scotland.
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