This article is also available over Gopher with selector 2019-07-07 for the text document.
The Gopher URL is the following: gopher://verisimilitudes.net/02019-07-07
Comments are preferable to points and part of why I submit my work here.
I like the idea of Gopher to be a suckless alternative to the more and more complex web. However, I wonder why they didn’t implement a new, simple protocol from scratch. Gopher suffers from a lot of legacy and had virtually no usage apart from sporadic support in some terminal web browsers.
The tradeoff is critical in my opinion and if Gopher takes off a lost chance to simplify the protocol drastically.
There is a new protocol being developed called Gemini that is about as simple as gopher, but 1) includes status codes (not found, redirect, okay, temporary error, permanent error) 2) uses MIME types when delivering content and 3) is exclusively served up via TLS. It’s not finalized yet, but there are at least three gemini servers running that I know of.
Yeah, HTTP is pretty simple. HTML 3.2 was pretty straight-forward. Even Dillo runs it. I figure a subset of HTML mixed with a non-Turing Complete subset of CSS1-3 could be fine. If scripting, make it optional, sandboxed, and native like Juice Oberon.
Yeah. I see nothing wrong with HTTP. In fact, it was actually pretty fun to develop an HTTP-server (see quark). Gopher is fighting an uphill battle of course. For the whole benefit of the web, I think it makes more sense to encourage simplicity. Switching over to a completely new technology does not sound realistic, especially when you can’t serve ads with it.
Not being able to serve ads is the point of Gopher. At least that’s the impression I get from proponents of the protocol here on Lobste.rs and elsewhere.
I like the kinda free-form that some gopher holes can have, some use plain text others gophermaps… The creativity through constraints is fun and I’m not sure to really understand your complaints as most gopher holes work with most clients.
I’m on the fence with a lot of these.
I came to gopher recently so a lot of “abuses” were commonplace. And coming from the WWW it’s still refreshingly clean and simple.
But, obviously, gopher is leaving something to be desired and people are getting creative. Creativity within constraints is fun and amazing, but “wanting more” brought us to the current web.
I haven’t opined about it yet, but I definitely prefer to leave gopher alone and create a newer protocol like Gemini. Whether Gopher should be stricly adheared to or “massaged” within it’s boundaries to find what it’s capable of, I am undecided.
I think creating the new gopher type “i” is preferable to abusing the gopher type “3”.
I am in complete agreement with all points