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    Gemini’s obscurity and lack of utility means that there are no analytics, no metrics, no ways to go viral, to monetize people’s attention, build a career or even a minimally-functional web platform.

    It’s just not worth it. If I want “no analytics, no metrics”, etc, then I’d install adblock, avoid Twitter and Facebook, and disregard SEO-optimized blogspam, which I do. I don’t want to be forced to use an extraordinarily dumbed-down markup language for that. [0] I still don’t understand why the author thinks that leaving out tables, text styling, images, and forms was necessary in order to avoid Gemini becoming another corporate-monetized cesspool.

    [0]: And yes, I could use Markdown with Gemini… but then that kind of misses the point of using Gemini in the first place.

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      Yeah, I guess I don’t understand how resistance-in-place is referenced in the article. If I limited myself to Gemini, I would be able to consume only a small subset of content. That’s fine. But why is a whole new protocol (and the corresponding new software) required?

      Why not only consume parts of the web that aren’t gross? In fact, someone could create a standard subset of HTML and an index that only lists pages that follow it. The most serious adherents could even use simpler web browsers to access it (but it would still work fine for everyone else).

      Resistance-in-place is about keeping oneself from being appropriated. We don’t need a protocol that itself cannot be appropriated, or one that forcibly prevents use that would be appropriative. We just need individuals who wish not to be appropriated (as best they can). But the web is flexible (in fact, that might be its biggest problem), it can already be used in ways that defy appropriation.

      Edit: clarity

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        But why is a whole new protocol (and the corresponding new software) required?

        It’s not! There’s all sorts of opportunities for ‘resistance-in-place’ on the web (most of which I don’t do) – opting out of social media, opting out of Google, creating a plain-HTML website with no analytics, etc. Gemini is just a more radical opting out than that, but I think that people who keep RSS and HTML blogging alive online or self-host git or still use mailing lists, etc to be doing the same sort of thing.

        Section 2.5 of the FAQ covers the “subset of HTML” idea https://gemini.circumlunar.space/docs/faq.gmi

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          Why not only consume parts of the web that aren’t gross?

          I’d love to hear everyday thoughts from ordinary people around the world (that I have no connection to). That’s a great way to understand different cultures a bit more. How do I do that on the web?

          On the web, one issue is that everything is optimized for engagement and whatnot. It’s very difficult to find unpopular content. Another issue is that the content on the web is basically eternal, so most people are smart enough not to share their thoughts.

          Gemini is no silver bullet, but its uselessness seems to have its uses at the moment.

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          I still don’t understand why the author thinks that leaving out tables, text styling, images, and forms was necessary in order to avoid Gemini becoming another corporate-monetized cesspool.

          (author here) Everyone wants something added to Gemini but disagrees what that something is. Personally, I think it should be in-line images and footnotes, but if Gemini became more complex, it would lose many of the traits that make it interesting. Gemini is a technology that invites us not to try and improve or optimize it, but to accept it as it is and work around its limitations – it is intentionally austere, and this is a feature, not a bug.

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          Hey, I’m quoted!

          I think it’s a tiny bit out of context though; the part that’s missing is that the article I commented on advocated for Gemini as a feasible replacement of the web, which is very different from @alexwennerberg’s outlook of “Gemini as a tech experiment” (at least, I think that’s how they see it). In the thread my quote was taken from the author of that article simply responded to “You cannot replace the web without inline links, formatting, or inline images, full stop.” with just “As a matter of fact, you can. Full stop.” to Hmmkay…

          I could perhaps have worded that better. It’s “useless” for the purposes of “replacing the web”, but if people find it useful then it’s clearly not useless in its entirety.

          As I pointed out in my other comment earlier today, hacking around with Gemini is cool. I hacked around a bit with Gemini as well. Just don’t fool yourself in to thinking it will somehow replace anything because for that it’s useless

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            Hey, I’m quoted!

            Hey! I wrote this a while ago and it’s been more popular than I expected, didn’t mean it as a public criticism :) – in fact, my point is that I essentially agree with your point, which I thought was well-expressed (hence the title), but that if it was not “useless” in this sense (awkward, deliberately austere, backwards-looking, lacking material utility, etc), it wouldn’t be what it is.

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              didn’t mean it as a public criticism

              No worries; that’s not how I took it at all; was mostly just amused by it. “Hey, that post looks familiar”, “oh, it’s from Lobsters so I probably saw it there”, “ah wait, I wrote that” 🙃 Reminds me of the few times when I found an old Stack Overflow answer through an internet search, wanted to upvote it, and got an “you can’t upvote you own answers” error.

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            I doubt Gemini will ever annoy users, because only users who want the exact subset of Gemini currently in popular use will ever bother to use it. Popularity is an anti-goal so it can’t fix the web but can let some users hide from it for some oftheir moments, I suppose. While I have often said Gemini can do more than it’s cult claims, I am fully aware that it will likely not even reach its own potential due to the users self-selecting into a world of largely-handcrafted gemtext.

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              As far as the “useless tree” or “resistence-in-place” concept goes, doesn’t gopher achieve that goal much better? it’s been around for longer and will survive longer still. Plus, with gopher, you have the history on your side— you’re not just putting on a hair shirt that was made yesterday, it’s an almost 30 year old hair shirt!

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                Gopher is what I always think of when I see this Gemini spam on here.

                For a technology that wants to be some weird niche project that barely anyone used, they sure do try to convince everyone else to use it.

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                  Gemini came about partly as a response to adding TLS to gopher [1] (at the protocol layer), partly as a response to the ‘i’ selector type [2] (in the gopher directory pages), and partly to the rise of UTF-8 (gopher, as documented in RFC-1436, only specifies ISO-8859-1 and is otherwise silent on character encoding issues). Personally, I view Gemini as a modern take on gopher, while most (NOTE: not all) of the Gemini community appear to view it as a watered-down, neutered web (my own view on the community). It’s amazing how many people want [3] to shoehorn in features found on the web into Gemini.

                  [1] Which isn’t that straightforward, and it’s interesting to note I extensively quote Solderpunk, the creator of Gemini on that page.

                  [2] A non-resource selector type meant only to display text on a gopher index page. Some people in gopher reject that, as it’s not documented in RFC-1436 and thus, against gopher itself.

                  [3] Edit: changed ‘try’ to ‘want’

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                    There are thousands of Gemini users. AFAICT less than a dozen are actively trying to advertise it on the web.

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                  I really like Gemini, but not because I have something against the Web. What I like most about it is that it is simple to implement, and thus allow people to quickly create both clients and servers for it in a way that we cannot do in the current Web. Good luck building a Web browser from scratch without either piggybacking on Chromium or forking Firefox (or WebKit, you get the idea).

                  What I really dislike in Gemini is mandatory TLS, because it puts it out of the reach of retro computing devices that could really benefit from a cool modern easy to use protocol, one that has people writing cool content with.

                  There is a lot of content in Gemini pods already. I feel that those who enjoy working with older machines such as classic macs, and ataris, would love to be able to join the fun, but doing TLS 1.2 on those devices is kinda impossible or really hard.

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                      I’m aware of Crypto Ancienne. It helps for things like classic Macs, but I don’t know if you can use it for older machines like Amigas, c64, etc. I really like it, but haven’t tried compiling it.

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                    there are no analytics, no metrics, no ways to go viral, to monetize people’s attention

                    Yes! That’s the entire point!

                    Take the surveillance-as-industry, the viral-bullshit and the monetization and chuck it all into the shitter.

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                      I really enojoyed reading the passage quoted from Jenny Odell in this article; I think it hits the nail on the head when it comes to Gemini and is an interesting viewpoint from which to see other things in life.

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                        (Author here) – “How to Do Nothing” is a fantastic read. She has a lot of interesting things to say about technology, especially alternative social networks like Scuttlebutt, Mastodon, etc. I would be very interested in her thoughts on Gemini.

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                          Heh, I just wanted to bring up Scuttlebutt as a much more useful alternative to all the corporate web bullshit that people hate. Reliable replication of posts to client devices – seamless support for going offline, connecting directly p2p maybe – seems like a powerful idea, rethinking the whole client-server web model in favor of the client, i.e. in favor of the devices people have (phones/PCs) rather than the devices corporations have (big datacenters). While an overly simplified web just doesn’t seem like a powerful idea to me.

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                        this definitely made me more interested in Gemini

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                          I checked out some gemini sites after reading this, and two things struck me:

                          1. The particular subculture evident in the capsules created is not one I, personally, would enjoy very much
                          2. Most of the capsules are personal homepages, where people share all aspects of their persona and interests. It’s been so long since I’ve seen that on the HTTP internet. Not that I’m any different— my official homepage is only about my professional persona, and has absolutely nothing on my hobbies, interests, or opinions. If anything could draw me to Gemini, it would be that.
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                            People may be interested in a further comparison of Gemini and a subset of HTTP: http://len.falken.ink/web/perceived-relations-between-gopher-gemini-and-http.txt

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                              Half way down the screen and I still don’t know what it is you are actually talking about. Now having read the whole thing, I get what you are trying to say about it, but still have no idea what it is.

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                                Hi, I wrote this post with this assumed knowledge (its hosted on Gemini and I didn’t submit it here, when I wrote it I assumed only people familiar with gemini would see it) https://gemini.circumlunar.space/

                                I’ll add this link to the post!