Way back in the 90s I discovered gopher. It was magical, like some difficult to navigate, decaying place hidden from a web going corporate even back then. The problem I had with it was I couldn’t find anything of use.

Now, looking at gemini, I get the same vibe. It has the same magical promise.

What do you use gemini for? For information or just browsing around? Do you want to create a blog or other content? Why in gemini and not on the web?

sseneca
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146M

Why in gemini and not on the web?

Because the web sucks. Web technologies are in general horrible to use, build with, etc. Drew DeVault has written a lot of posts about this that I like, i.e. The reckless, infinite scope of web browsers and Web browsers need to stop.

I myself plan on writing my own post on this too. But for now, like I said: because the web sucks. And because the way Gemini is designed, so much of the garbage that makes the web so suck-y is impossible.

poVoq
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46M

There is plenty to hate about modern web-browsers, but I think these articles miss a big part of the picture. While there have been some setbacks (FirefoxOS, WebOS, ChromeOS to some extend) web-browsers are a transitional technology to a web-based OS.

A modern browser is not anymore complex than a modern OS and in many, many ways running javascript webapps in a browser on Windows is superior to running running similar non-trustworthy software on Windows itself.

This is easy to forget for Linux diehards like myself, but the majority is using Windows and are not going to switch to Linux. And if they would switch, a lot of the dysfunctonalities of the Windows ecosystem would probably be replicated on Linux. Web-based OS on the other hand at least try a different approach to that problem.

@Lightbritelite
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15M

I dig it, like an automatic sandbox

@datendefekt
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36M

Thanks for the links. The whole blog itself is… enlightening.

Travis Skaalgard
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126M

I mostly follow blogs and just poke around and explore. I feel very free in an environment with no trackers or javascript - even though there are Web-like features I’d like to see.

I actually run a pseudo-capsule at gemini://tskaalgard.midnight.pub/

@Reaton
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46M

Thank you for the midnight pub display! I was looking for a place like this!

Dessalines
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106M

I can’t understand the hate for gemini. They’re marking a line in the sand, and their site is very clear about what its purpose is:

From their FAQ


Why not just use a subset of HTTP and HTML?

Many people are confused as to why it’s worth creating a new protocol to address perceived problems with optional, non-essential features of the web. Just because websites can track users and run CPU-hogging Javsacript and pull in useless multi-megabyte header images or even larger autoplaying videos, doesn’t mean they have to. Why not just build non-evil websites using the existing technology?

Of course, this is possible. “The Gemini experience” is roughly equivalent to HTTP where the only request header is “Host” and the only response header is “Content-type” and HTML where the only tags are <p>, <pre>, <a>, <h1> through <h3>, <ul> and <li> and <blockquote> - and the https://gemini.circumlunar.space website offers pretty much this experience. We know it can be done.

The problem is that deciding upon a strictly limited subset of HTTP and HTML, slapping a label on it and calling it a day would do almost nothing to create a clearly demarcated space where people can go to consume only that kind of content in only that kind of way. It’s impossible to know in advance whether what’s on the other side of a https:// URL will be within the subset or outside it. It’s very tedious to verify that a website claiming to use only the subset actually does, as many of the features we want to avoid are invisible (but not harmless!) to the user. It’s difficult or even impossible to deactivate support for all the unwanted features in mainstream browsers, so if somebody breaks the rules you’ll pay the consequences. Writing a dumbed down web browser which gracefully ignores all the unwanted features is much harder than writing a Gemini client from scratch. Even if you did it, you’d have a very difficult time discovering the minuscule fraction of websites it could render.

Alternative, simple-by-design protocols like Gopher and Gemini create alternative, simple-by-design spaces with obvious boundaries and hard restrictions. You know for sure when you enter Geminispace, and you can know for sure and in advance when following a certain link will cause you leave it. While you’re there, you know for sure and in advance that everybody else there is playing by the same rules. You can relax and get on with your browsing, and follow links to sites you’ve never heard of before, which just popped up yesterday, and be confident that they won’t try to track you or serve you garbage because they can’t. You can do all this with a client you wrote yourself, so you know you can trust it. It’s a very different, much more liberating and much more empowering experience than trying to carve out a tiny, invisible sub-sub-sub-sub-space of the web.

@AxiomShell
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96M

Two reasons mainly:

  • It’s lightweight. I can focus on the content with no distractions
  • The content is independent and grassroots. Most stuff is people writing about what they like or think. Not contaminated by click baiting, corporate “infotainment”, etc
@nromdotcom
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76M

I love the creativity engendered by the constraints of the protocol. I can do simple stuff for the web (and do sometimes) but building web services is part of what I do for my day job. So gemini helps me look at things from a different perspective.

Specifically, I’ve been doing some work building and refining GemIF, for interactive fiction, which has been a lot of fun.

Also enjoyed chatting with the community. There’s a lot of characters on the mailing list, but for the most part folks are nice and have interesting things to say.

@skyfaller
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When I use the Lagrange Gemini client, for every game on gemini://gemif.fedi.farm/ that I try to play, the first page loads, but when I click the first “Let’s Play!” link, it says “🚫 Permanent Failure Your request has failed and will fail in the future as well if repeated.”

It seems to load fine in ncgopher, Castor, and Ariane, so I’m not sure what’s going on, but you might want to look into that.

@nromdotcom
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26M

Oh weird. I could’ve sworn I’ve tried in lagrange before but maybe I’m misremembering or something stopped working after I last tried it. Thanks for the report.

@nromdotcom
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Ah okay. Looks like it works fine in 0.12 but not with 1.2. I’ll check into the server logs on what might be going on sometime soon

@Lightbritelite
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For those of us that don’t know, what the heck is Gemini?

@datendefekt
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It’s an ultra minimal protocol for transporting simple hypertext documents. You’ve got links, headers, preformatted text, lists and quotes. That’s it. No videos, no (inline) images, no input forms, not even formatting.

@Lightbritelite
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26M

I see, how do you find a Gemini server to browse about? Oddly difficult to find.

@datendefekt
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36M

The link in the sidebar is good starting point: https://gemini.circumlunar.space/

@Seirdy
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56M

I follow peoples’ gemlogs, browse geddit, and host my own Gemini capsule which has pretty much the same content as my Web site.

I love the information flow; one line has exactly one meaning (heading, link, bullet, blockquote, or preformatted-text toggle), and that meaning doesn’t change halfway through the line. Different clients can render pages with wildly different appearances; presentation is up to the user agent, not the author.

All it’s missing IMO is optional compression and some sort of hint to give screenreaders around preformatted blocks to let them know whether or not to skip them. The former could help in low-bandwidth settings and the latter would improve accessibility.

@specter
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56M

Gemini puts content first! It’s more hackable than Markdown—the parser for my gmi-to-html JS implementation gmi-web uses a one-line regex. This makes it super easy to publish content to either gemini:// or https://. The protocol is only interesting to me in-so-much as it’s a network based on text/gemini and so aggregates lots of good content to read.

Masura
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56M

What do you mean by anything of use ? for me it looks like there is much to learn and explore even is gemini is small rn !

I’ll use it for fun , learn some foss solutions, and techies advices , blogging , maybe add some gemcasts audio , review textes and movies stuff like this … developped interest in self hosting and I also like the idea of self-hosting my own content away from any potential for advertising, im not a sysadmin , so web is a very agressive place sometimes if you want to run small things. And it’s easy to set up even if you don’t know much + i like Markdown much more than html. Also liked that it’s about content not wasting energy into fancy things…

for me the simplest , smallest , fastest feels the better in many domains

i like the web but its garbage ( @sseneca i do agree with you ) and browsing it i feel like i have to protect my self against lot of evils , gemini just feels so safe to browse :)

but for sure it wont replace the web , for me its more like a (…safe place…) , and i’ll continue to read and post on both gemini and www . but the content i host my self will only be on gemini.

Metawish
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46M

Personally I’m going to host my own Gemini capsule for a couple reasons. I’ve recently started developing a strong interest in technology, I like the idea of self-hosting my own content away from any potential for advertising, and, most important for the push to do it, was that my ISP doesn’t block the gemini port (it blocks HTTP/S). I think it’s that last part especially that pushed me to ernestly check out Gemini and it’s really cool! Small for sure but that’s perfectly fine with me.

@someone
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36M

Gemini appeals to me because; -It’s follows the unix philosophy. Gemini only serves gemini capsules, stuff like images, videos, music / podcasts, downloads and social media is handled by other protocols and / or programs.

  • It’s lightweight. Great for minimal / low power computing

  • I can browse it comfortably without an adblocker and some userscripts or tons of extensions.

  • It’s fast.

  • It’s easy to implement. You have way more to choose from as far as gemini browsers and servers go because of that.

Now I’m not one of those people who hate web 2.0, infact I actually love it. The thing is web of today is an app delivery protocol not a document delivering protocol. And it delivers apps pretty well, however for a minimal browsing experience gopher and gemini are the way to go.

poVoq
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I think it is a nice toy project, similar to those fantasy consoles. Easy (for nerds) to play with and it has some nice stuff in it. But ultimately it is not a viable replacement for the web.

However, I could imagine it becoming a very cool component of city spanning grassroots LoRaWan mesh-networks in the near future.

@Ghast
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26M

I like that it’s quality, rather than a fix for web pages.

Like if you’re going vegan you can ‘fix’ your diet with vegan faux-bacon, or you can just learn to cook a proper stew.

https://gemini.circumlunar.space/

Gemini is a new internet protocol which:

Is heavier than gopher
Is lighter than the web
Will not replace either
Strives for maximum power to weight ratio
Takes user privacy very seriously
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