gemini+submit:// (was Re: Uploading Gemini content)

solderpunk solderpunk at SDF.ORG
Sat Jun 13 21:56:35 BST 2020

A couple of thoughts on this new line of discussion:

1. I am very grateful that people have made a point of defining this as
separate "companion" protocol rather than asking for it as part of the
core Gemini protocol, to give me a bit of breathing room.  I *do* like
the idea of naming it titan://...

2. At this point I can only laugh at the completeness with which using
URIs as requests has backfired on me.  First the userinfo auto cookie
debacle and now, hah, the scheme has proven its ability to function as
a vehicle for different request methods.  Yes, the '+' character is
valid in a URI scheme.  So, why not gemini+HEAD://, gemini+POST://,
gemini+PUT://....  Moral of the story: everything is always extensible
if you try hard enough.  Corollary: Gopher has remained largely
unextended for so long for non-technical, presumably cultural reasons.
There may be great wisdom to be found in understanding why.

3. Dear God, when/where/how does it stop?!  This was supposed to be a
simple, humble, protocol of limited scope!  But...

4. ...I totally "get it", with the ability to edit Gemini resources from
within the client.  Compared to the current situation where publishing
in Geminispace requires using scp, (s)ftp, rsync, git or whatever, this
feature would make the protocol accessible to literally several orders
of magnitude more people.  The decision to let this happen or to crush
it in the name of simplicity and minimalism could have tremendous
consequences for the eventual destiny of Gemini.  It's exciting stuff,
and I don't want to exclude non-technical people from using what we've
built.  But...

5. ...I'm wary that facilitating "user friendly" Gemini hosts which
anybody can post to using a client carries a very real risk of fostering
a culture of dependency where people don't know how to do anything not
offered as a feature by their provider, who has the ability to change,
remove, or charge for those featurs, and also of pushing us toward a
more centralised Geminispace where large numbers of users congregate on
a small number of servers which make themselves especially appealing to
non-technical users.  These servers could easily become little
semi-closed gardens with internal-only comment notification facilities
and other such niceties which work much more smoothly than the various
decntralised solutions people have already been talking about.  They
might not, but the risk is there: we might just end up creating new
versions of LiveJournal, Wordpress, Blogspot, etc, etc.

6. Does anybody else feel like we are just instinctively re-implementing
the familiar history of the web without much caution or critical

7. It's of no practical use today, here and now, for "everyday users",
but I just want to get it on the record that in a hypothetical future
where IPv6 or something else has provided us all with abundant
publically reachable addresses, the obvious and elegant way for a
client to upload to a Gemini "server" is actually to just host the
resource itself, on a random, one-use-only URL, and then send that URL
as a query to a well-known uploading endpoint on the other end,
whereupon the "server" briefly becomes a client and fetches the resource
in the usual way.  Nothing extra needed in the protocol at all!


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