Blog indexRolling๐ŸฅŽblogPermalink

Jake has a Gemini Capsule

Jake Thoughts โ€” 09 Sep 2021 23:14:44 -0400

Yeah, that's right, I got gemi-pilled. Only after creating a mock-up Gemini capsule (as opposed to an http 'website') do I see the value in it. Gemtext (as opposed to html) is very easy to understand and to write. It is stupid easy to create a capsule . To host this capsule I am using Doppio as it is is licensed with AGPL and also supports CGI. Gemini is a really wonderful from my perspective. Some criticisms that I have seen, for example, boasting that 'it at least has Emoji support!' (a reference to the significant lack of features that Gemtext supports including italics, bold, underline) is valid, honestly. It strikes me as odd that one cannot indicate ๐’พ๐“‰๐’ถ๐“๐’พ๐’ธ๐“ˆ (italics) or ๐Ÿ…ฑ๐Ÿ…พ๐Ÿ…ป๐Ÿ…ณ (bold) but TLS is a requirement. Another complaint that I have is that you are unable to forcibly change the cursor on gemtext documents, and in this area, Gemini has totally failed... :^)

Anyway, one (you?) can access my capsule at gemini:// Gemini browsers probably doesn't need to specify `gemini://` protocol. At the moment, my capsule is missing some links like to the tests page since those rely on HTML forms. Additionally, I've decided not to have a comment section because if one wanted to really respond to me they could do it with `RE: <title>` or send me an email or go to http version of my website and leave a comment.

You might be wondering 'Jake, did you really recreate your entire website in gemtext?' Sort of? I wrote a script that spits out both html and gemtext from a single file so this way I don't have to maintain two slightly different but nearly identical mediums of content which I know from previous experience would drive me insane (editing two files just to say one thing? No thanks!). A regular might notice that the website looks... the same-ish! Actually I've using the modified layout for some time. What you are seeing is what resulted from my script. Maybe you would not notice anything if I did not say anything? With my script there is considerably much less SSI usage than previously. As for the gemtext version, what you see is what you get unless your browser prettifies it. (It only occurs to me after writing the script that I could've used a markdown converter or something else rather than creating 'gemtext+'. Oh well - at least I am better at Perl's regexp now.)

Honestly, one of my favorite aspects of Gemini is plainly just text. I have read hours of text and more often than not I learn something new. I've read the most compelling argument for reducing the intake of coffee; humans have adenosine receptors (sleepy time) and coffee/caffeine jams it up, that there is a new (2010) type of connection akin to TCP and UDP called Named Data Networking (NDN); rather than telephone-pole type connections it is more like a mesh net (I've heard rumors that 7G will prioritize mesh nets). These two concepts stand out to me in particular. One is personal as I am a current coffee addict and the other strongly interests the geek within despite wishing that computers were never invented. You can also read from the... phlogs? Flight Logs? of the creators of Gemini. My favorite topic that they discuss would be about TLS.

Actually, my favorite favorite part about Gemini is how HUMAN most the text feels. Not some bland corporate website that has five ginormous images and a single line of trite text on top of the image, NO! Not `Terms and Conditions` (that I actually read) or `Accept Cookies, Click Here` or a pop up that appears when you scroll the page! You are reading what is probably a long document that was intended to be read by humans. They are almost always interesting to me because I am always intrigued by someone's compiled thoughts on something they enjoy. If what they say overall contains an essence of their Weltanschauung, then I like their blog post even more. Seldom do I regret visiting a capsule. If I do regret visiting a capsule it is because the content on the capsule is something that I disagree with, rather than because the JavaScript on a page is trying to mine bitcoin or that the website straight up doesn't load because JavaScript was disabled! With Gemini, everyone is on the same playing field. (Despite these complaints, I have noticed a lot of 'empty' or dead capsules.)

As for privacy... The Gemini Specs demands TLS so no worries about insecure data transfer. The next step for anonymizing connections would be making the capsule available via darknet links. I've read some guides to setting up Gemini to use Tor but it doesn't feel clean to me because I would have to have Doppio running twice since Doppio does not support vhost or having multiple host names. Maybe I could write a patch for Doppio but that would involve learning Java... Well, until then I will launch two Doppio servers. The issue now becomes which server listens on port 1965? They BOTH can't listen to one port! One guide's recipe was to launch a server on port 1966 and have Tor redirect connections from 1965 to 1966 which seems like the easiest way to handle it.

I can access capsules with Torsocks or with Proxychain (sometimes; the exit polices of some nodes are clearly `ports 80 and 443 only`) but how many people actually browse Gemini using Tor? Dozens? This seems like a niche within a niche (easy tracking?) but maybe there is a greater overlap than I imagine; people can be interested in more than one thing.

idiomdrottning: caffeine basics
xj9: universal basic internet
mayvaneday: gemini-tor

Other thoughts

Due to abuse (the comments you see now are not abuse), commenting will be disabled for sometime. Send an email or something.