Should Gemini clients alert users upon redirect?

Stephane Bortzmeyer stephane at
Wed Feb 17 12:17:09 GMT 2021

On Wed, Feb 17, 2021 at 11:37:52AM +0000,
 Luke Emmet <luke at> wrote 
 a message of 40 lines which said:

> A lot of URLs expose the innards of the site (cgi-bin, *.php)
> implementation

This is widely recognized as a very bad practice since, should you
change implementation (moving from PHP to Node…), the URL would
change, which is bad <>

> Having a link end *.pdf gives readers a very good hint as to the
> content at the end of the URL and it helps me make a choice

Sure, but this is a very different case. The extension is about the
content, not about how it was generated/served.

> As a visitor, we cannot expect URLs to implement any sort of tree
> structure, but in practice they usually do and we can traverse up
> and down the URL architecture as well as by following the authored
> links. For me this is the pragmatics of URLs.

I agree that, for the visitor, it is better. I certainly prefer sites
where you visit <gemini://guide.example/france/paris> and can edit the
URL in the address bar to go to <gemini://guide.example/france/>,
expecting something more general about France.

As you know (but it may be worth repeating), RFC 3986 does not mandate
that this works. Paths are mostly opaque. You cannot rely on it, but I
find it cool, and a Good Practice.

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