Gemini Digest, Vol 18, Issue 58

Russtopia rmagee at gmail.com
Thu Jan 28 21:32:57 GMT 2021


Thank you all for the patient and informative discussions regarding the
'can of worms' I may have opened re: forms...

I think the responses below do address many, if not all, of the concerns
I initially had when proposing a form facility. I think it's great that
Gemini
strives to 'do more with less' and I can see some of these suggestions
are very clever. I'm going to try them out in an app of my own now :)
It just takes a bit of a different approach from HTML.

-Russ


On Thu, 28 Jan 2021 at 10:08, <gemini-request at lists.orbitalfox.eu> wrote:

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> Today's Topics:
>
>    1. Viability of *apps* on Gemini? (tayevnge)
>    2. Re: Viability of *apps* on Gemini? [TECH] (Johann Galle)
>    3. Re: Viability of *apps* on Gemini? (nothien at uber.space)
>    4. Re: Proposal: Simple structured form specification
>       (Katarina Eriksson)
>    5. Re: Viability of *apps* on Gemini? (Gary Johnson)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2021 13:53:01 +0100
> From: tayevnge <tayevnge at posteo.net>
> To: gemini at lists.orbitalfox.eu
> Subject: Viability of *apps* on Gemini?
> Message-ID: <4e78e5a2-5e55-9bb8-7a4b-19a0f39b5756 at posteo.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8
>
> Hello,
>
> Please help me understand viability of creating simple form-based apps
> like message boards, job offer boards, etc on Gemini.
>
> I am aware there are no multi-input forms but there seem to be an
> "input" feature.
>
> Does Gemini support or intends to support meaningful user input and
> interactivity?
>
> Is it realistic to build real world "text applications"?
>
> How about multi-line user input, file upload etc?
>
> Any example apps?
>
> TIA!
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2021 15:12:28 +0100
> From: Johann Galle <johann at qwertqwefsday.eu>
> To: tayevnge <tayevnge at posteo.net>
> Cc: Gemini application layer protocol <gemini at lists.orbitalfox.eu>
> Subject: Re: Viability of *apps* on Gemini? [TECH]
> Message-ID: <6bd3c32e-7fe5-dbfb-a631-3ea7cf726570 at qwertqwefsday.eu>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"; Format="flowed"
>
> On 2021-07-28T13:53+01:00, tayevnge wrote:
>  > Hello,
>
> Hello!
>
>  > Please help me understand viability of creating simple form-based apps
>  > like message boards, job offer boards, etc on Gemini.
>  >
>  > I am aware there are no multi-input forms but there seem to be an
>  > "input" feature.
>
> In theory you could do it, have a look at a recent thread on forms in the
> mailing list archives:
> <https://lists.orbitalfox.eu/archives/gemini/2021/004921.html>
>
>  > Does Gemini support or intends to support meaningful user input and
>  > interactivity?
>
> I don't think so, beyond what is already present with the input and secret
> input
> status codes, as well as just "being on a page".
>
>  > Is it realistic to build real world "text applications"?
>
> Probably not, why not use another protocol? (again, see the linked thread)
>
>  > How about multi-line user input, file upload etc?
>
> Multiline input is theoretically possible by percent encoding a linefeed.
>
> For file upload, maybe have a look at one of the adaptations mentioned in
> the
> linked thread (Dioscuri, Titan, and Inimeg)?
>
>  > Any example apps?
>
> Depends on what you would call an app. You can have a look at some pieces
> published on the mailing list:
> Tic Tac Toe (seems to be inoperable at the moment [1])
>  ?? ?<gemini://tictactoe.lanterne.chilliet.eu>
>  ?<https://lists.orbitalfox.eu/archives/gemini/2020/003712.html>
> Interactive Fiction
>  ?? ?<gemini://gemif.fedi.farm>
>  ?<https://lists.orbitalfox.eu/archives/gemini/2020/003725.html>
>
> Johann
>
> [1] It gives me a header of "30 ---------", which does not make sense.
> ---
> You can verify the digital signature on this email with the public key
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2021 16:59:30 +0100
> From: nothien at uber.space
> To: tayevnge <tayevnge at posteo.net>
> Cc: gemini at lists.orbitalfox.eu
> Subject: Re: Viability of *apps* on Gemini?
> Message-ID: <3KQVHF2U6KVHO.26X0EWRTACLYD at nothien.uber.space>
>
> tayevnge <tayevnge at posteo.net> wrote:
> > Hello,
> Hi!
>
> > Please help me understand viability of creating simple form-based apps
> > like message boards, job offer boards, etc on Gemini.
>
> I'm going to quickly cover what I think are the best solutions to these
> two applications.
>
> Message boards *can* be done on Gemini.  Short-form message boards,
> somewhat like Twitter, with short message sizes, can definitely be done.
> For example, you may have a 'post' page where the user provides
> plain-text input as the post to be made, and the server redirects them
> to the newly created post.  Gemini provides and strongly recommends TLS
> client certificates for authentication, so I suggest that the server
> distributes a cert to the user when they sign up.  But you can't do
> things like notifications.
>
> Long-form message boards which require different input formats, file and
> image uploads, notifications, etc. are much, much better to implement as
> mailing lists.  All you need on top of a standard mailing list server is
> a way to neatly present that information (i.e. to view topics/mails),
> and that can be on Gemini easily.
>
> A job offer board could be implemented as a Gemini server which lists
> jobs and an e-mail address to receive e-mails from potential employees.
> I don't think that giving users actual accounts and verifying that
> they're human and stuff is a good idea - leave that up to the hiring
> companies.  It would be pretty neat to have a free gemsite (?) listing
> job offers from FOSS companies.
>
> ~aravk | ~nothien
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 4
> Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2021 18:00:25 +0100
> From: Katarina Eriksson <gmym at coopdot.com>
> To: "A protocol that is slightly more complex than gopher, but
>         significantly simpler than HTTP" <gemini at lists.orbitalfox.eu>
> Subject: Re: Proposal: Simple structured form specification
> Message-ID:
>         <
> CAObwWNjSyJmOBVMtjHfuUzTRTGfmJg5q-xsbqjPqzQzKr1mx_Q at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>
> When this topic have come up in the past, we have concluded that Gemini can
> support forms with serial input fields, as opposed to the parallel input
> fields people are used to from web forms.
>
> One way to do this is to send status 10 until all the fields are satisfied,
> like a CLI. Another way is to have a page with links pointing to one field
> at a time.
>
> Johann Galle <johann at qwertqwefsday.eu> wrote:
>
> > The basic idea is the following: Each form field is presented on a
> > separate "page" and the server keeps track of where the client is in the
> > form. Ideally the URL (URI/IRI?) contains all the data necessary, thus
> > "saving" the data on the client so it might be continued at a later date.
> > If the amount of data expected is larger than would fit in the URL,
> server
> > side state with client certificates would be an alternative.
> >
>
> I haven't seen this approach yet, seems just as valid as the other ones.
>
> Now to the different types of input fields. I assume the form's base is
> > gemini://example.com/form/ which might display some information about
> the
> > form and the first input field.
> >
> > On 27.01.2021 18:37, me at edaha.org wrote among other things:
> >  > # binary
> >  > Binary options are best known as checkboxes on the web. They're simple
> > on/off toggles. How they are displayed is up to the client
> >
> > A check box can be simply implemented with two links for yes and no like
> > this for example:
> > ```
> > Does Gemini need forms?
> > => 0/ No, it does not.
> > => 1/ Yes, it does.
> > ```
> >
>
> Asking a question like this is not a good example for showing off
> checkboxes but another way is to send this:
> ```
> 10 Does Gemini need forms? [yes/no]
> ```
> ...and repeat until the user supply a valid answer.
>
> Multiple choice checkboxes can be combined into one input:
> ```
> 10 My server supports: [c: CGI, v: virtual host, s: sessions]
> ```
> ...and the user can answer "sv" or "cs" or "v" or whatever other valid
> combination.
>
> [...]
>
>  > # choice
>
>
> [...]
> This refers to a single choice among a list of things.
>
>  > <= choice Which of these protocols are we using?
>
>  > <= choice gemini
> >  > <= choice gopher
> >  > <= choice HTTP
> >
> > This could be implemented just like a checkbox, just with more options.
> > Coincidentally the syntax is very similar to the one proposed.
> > ```
> > Which of these protocols are we using?
> > => gemini/ gemini
> > => gopher/ gopher
> > => http/ HTTP
> > ```
> >
>
> This would be:
> ```
> 10 Which of these protocols are we using? [gemini/gopher/http]
> ```
> ...in that same example. Though, I do like the links better.
>
>  > # submit
> >  > Finally, submit. This one's easy:
> >
> > ... because it is not necessary. The server will just show you the result
> > or take the respective action after the last form field is filled. Maybe
> a
> > final checkbox of "Are you sure" would be nice to let the user know that
> > this will result in some action.
> >
>
> Or just "Confirm sending this information"
>
> --
> Katarina
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 5
> Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2021 13:07:49 -0500
> From: Gary Johnson <lambdatronic at disroot.org>
> To: tayevnge <tayevnge at posteo.net>
> Cc: gemini at lists.orbitalfox.eu
> Subject: Re: Viability of *apps* on Gemini?
> Message-ID: <87k0rx9bpm.fsf at disroot.org>
> Content-Type: text/plain
>
> tayevnge <tayevnge at posteo.net> writes:
> > Please help me understand viability of creating simple form-based apps
> > like message boards, job offer boards, etc on Gemini.
> >
> > I am aware there are no multi-input forms but there seem to be an
> > "input" feature.
> >
> > Does Gemini support or intends to support meaningful user input and
> > interactivity?
> >
> > Is it realistic to build real world "text applications"?
> >
> > How about multi-line user input, file upload etc?
> >
> > Any example apps?
>
> I described the current state of affairs around building dynamic
> applications with Gemini and Gemtext in a recent message thread called
> "The Tragedy of &". You can see it in the mailing list archives here:
>
>   https://lists.orbitalfox.eu/archives/gemini/2021/004947.html
>
> A great (and quite popular) Gemini app is Astrobotany, which you can
> find here:
>
>   gemini://astrobotany.mozz.us/
>
> Have fun exploring Geminispace. The culture here celebrates doing more
> with less. It's pretty uncommon to get new features added to the
> protocol or markup language, so this drives people to get creative in
> their thinking about how to mix-and-match protocols to build the things
> they want or to find new solutions to old problems using Gemini's modest
> toolkit.
>
> Happy hacking!
>   Gary
>
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> End of Gemini Digest, Vol 18, Issue 58
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