[tech] dumb vs. dumber

Björn Wärmedal bjorn.warmedal at gmail.com
Mon Dec 21 13:36:50 GMT 2020


> Of course, Solderpunk could ban such heresies by pontifical decree. Alongside the evil authority's userinfo. And segments. And... whatever else doesn't toe the political line.
>
> Such edicts will most likely have the same net  effect as the Pope's unwelcome intrusion into other people's bedroom.

This is becoming ridiculous. The front and foremost reason that gemini
is unlikely to be extended over time is that *almost all features
proposed are actually already in HTTP*, and that protocol has been
around for a very long time and does these things way more efficiently
than can be adapted to gemini.

You can wish all you want that gemini should be extended, and believe
all you want that it will be over time, but the fact is that gemini
itself is basically one step up from gopher (which hasn't been
extended for decades, and only extended very slightly after its
inception). Yes, gemini *will* change. Things like TLS will evolve,
and internationalization may require changes over time too. But most
feature requests fall on the same technical arguments.

* Gemini will not get a PUT/POST feature, because there isn't a
reasonable way to fit it in. Instead you'll see lots of competing
"companion protocols" that do this, and I honestly don't believe that
any of them will gain great enough traction that more than one browser
will pick any up. HTTP does this better, after all, and you can always
build specialized tools for your particular platform too.
* Gemtext will not get feature X, because it's actually just a
somewhat souped-up text/plain. If you want more out of it there are
already formats that support that a lot better -- markdown, html, pdf,
odt to name a few. Solderpunk mentioned (a long time ago now?) that he
was pondering an even simpler format that would just be plain text
lines and link lines. That point is moot now, because gemtext is so
easily parsed and brings so much more readability at such a low cost
that I think people would just write gemtext anyway.
* Gemini will not inline things or transclude things, because gemini
transactions are expensive in that regard. We don't reuse connections,
and that's a *big* thing about the philosophy and simplicity of
implementations. I get that some people will want to add this, but why
fight that uphill battle when HTTP already has it and does it better?

A lot of other feature requests will rightly fall on the same logic --
why re-implement something that HTTP already does better?

There are features I, too, would *love* to see in gemini. But they
fall on the same criteria. Gemini isn't meant to be a reinvention of
the wheel, just a nicer pair of hiking boots.

Cheers,
ew0k


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