Should Gemini clients alert users upon redirect?

Luke Emmet luke at
Sun Feb 14 23:02:59 GMT 2021

On 13-Feb-2021 00:09, Sean Conner wrote:
>>    There's a semantic difference between a URL that ends with a '/' and one
>> that doesn't.  The one that ends with a '/' is semantically a directory, and
>> to have to add a file per directory to get all URLs to end with a '/' is, in
>> my opinion, silly.  I can see what you are trying to do---skip the silly
>> ".gmi" or ".gemini" extension as being part of the URL, but there should be
>> better ways of doing that that populating a filesystem with a bunch of
>> directories containing a single file (I may do a proof-of-concept with
>> extensionless files---no, wait!  I alreay have that---the individual tests
>> under the Gemini Client Torture Test!)

It may seem like there is a "natural" difference between these two URL 
forms, but as far as I understand it the semantics of any URL path 
segment is opaque and determined by the server. The path is an opaque 
string whose semantics is not intrinsically discernable.

There may be no files or directories involved whatsoever. It happens 
that there is a simple sort of implementation to serve a folder of files 
in this way, but that is by no means a universal URL path semantics that 
we can make inferences about.

gemini://server/foo may or may not serve the same content as 
gemini://server/foo/ or it can redirect there. Either way it is up to 
the server to determine the semantics of the resource.

Clean and simple URLs are nice for end users, and maybe authors too. But 
that's the main reason we all strive for a simple URL structure.


  - Luke

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