Gopher seeing a resurgence in the tech sphere

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May 18, 2022, 1:48:55 PMMay 18
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The following question from a current thread on Hacker News …

Is there a reason why gopher is seeing a resurgence in the tech
sphere?

… got already some nice answers, I think. For instance:

There's a resurgence in general against the "bloated web" […] In a
way, static site generators were a reaction to complex CMS
systems. […] A major catalyst is the Gemini protocol which emerged a
few short years ago and gained some popularity. In the wake of that,
people re-discovered the Gopher protocol as well.

I think it's largely a demonstrative reaction against the
appification/commercialization of the web, built upon gopher’s more
limited interface which is more heavily optimized to a read-only
hypertext use case, which fits a lot of people's nostalgic
idealization of the early web.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=31418693

Marco Moock

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May 18, 2022, 3:26:19 PMMay 18
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Am Mittwoch, 18. Mai 2022, um 17:48:54 Uhr schrieb Plain Text:

> Is there a reason why gopher is seeing a resurgence in the tech
> sphere?

Some technical interested people like it and operate servers. That
might be the reason.

Szczezuja.space

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May 18, 2022, 3:37:54 PMMay 18
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On 2022-05-18, Plain Text <te...@sdfeu.org> wrote:
> The following question from a current thread on Hacker News …
>
> Is there a reason why gopher is seeing a resurgence in the tech
> sphere?
[...]
> A major catalyst is the Gemini protocol which emerged a
> few short years ago and gained some popularity. In the wake of that,
> people re-discovered the Gopher protocol as well.

It's true, I've done such way, from Gemini to Gopher. Gemini takes much
of the attention, and has many active projects and developers. But it's
natural way to rediscover Gopher and other small-net protocols like for
eg. Finger.

--
.-=-. Szczezuja; on the small-net:
( S\ \ gemini://szczezuja.space/ - gemlog & tinylog
`--' / gopher://sdf.org:70/0/users/szczezuja/ - phlog

Marco Moock

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May 18, 2022, 3:53:20 PMMay 18
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Am Mittwoch, 18. Mai 2022, um 19:37:51 Uhr schrieb Szczezuja.space:

> But it's
> natural way to rediscover Gopher and other small-net protocols like
> for eg. Finger.

Some months ago I wrote an article on a German Ubuntu wiki and
explained how to operate a finger server and client.

rek2 hispagatos

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May 18, 2022, 4:37:48 PMMay 18
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Thanks for posting this, I agree I seen even here in usenet a lot of
people joining everyday, also my gemini blog visits are incrementing and
such, I still need to add a presence in gopher tho.

On 2022-05-18, Plain Text <te...@sdfeu.org> wrote:
--
gemini://hispagatos.org
gemini://rek2.hispagatos.org
https://hispagatos.org
https://hispagatos.space/@rek2

dunne

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May 19, 2022, 10:11:48 AMMay 19
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On 2022-05-18, Plain Text <te...@sdfeu.org> wrote:
>
> … got already some nice answers, I think. For instance:

> I think it's largely a demonstrative reaction against the
> appification/commercialization of the web, built upon gopher’s more
> limited interface which is more heavily optimized to a read-only
> hypertext use case, which fits a lot of people's nostalgic
> idealization of the early web.

I've described my own interest in the "small internet" as being influenced by
nostalgia (many times, in fact), but I do worry that that's a bit reductive.

For instance, the folks designing for the small web happily embrace CSS, and
I'm glad they are. I was THERE designing web pages in the 90s, and it really
was the nightmare of frames, table-based layouts, images for text, and spacer
gifs that people complain about.

If anything, it's a form of "retrofuturism", a sort of a nostalgia for what the
internet could have become. And unlike jetpacks and flying cars, we actually
can build these things ourselves, and I'm glad that people are doing it.

--
d

Computer Nerd Kev

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May 19, 2022, 7:01:56 PMMay 19
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dunne <degro...@protonmail.com> wrote:
> I've described my own interest in the "small internet" as being influenced by
> nostalgia (many times, in fact), but I do worry that that's a bit reductive.
>
> For instance, the folks designing for the small web happily embrace CSS, and
> I'm glad they are. I was THERE designing web pages in the 90s, and it really
> was the nightmare of frames, table-based layouts, images for text, and spacer
> gifs that people complain about.

Trouble is that I prefer that nightmare to the current one of CSS
that is only properly supported by the Firefox or Chrome rendering
engines. From my limited experience of sites that might be 'small
internet' inspired, it's very hit-and-miss as to whether they are
conveniently view/browsable without one of the _big_ web browsers.

No such problems with people switching to Gopher though.

--
__ __
#_ < |\| |< _#

meff

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May 19, 2022, 9:31:04 PMMay 19
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🤷 I've always prefered to work with worlds that are than worlds that
could have. The horrors of a world that could have been could be many
times worse than the horrors that are. I was young but also there in
those early web design days and what I see is a pining for a Lacanian
Other where I don't think there is one. I'm with Zizek and the
postmodernists on this one.

That said Gopher is fun. Hanging out on the net is fun. The web these
days is just where the "normies" from my school days hang out. I
didn't have much fun with them as a kid and I'm not having a lot of
fun with them now as an adult. Humans have always formed groups in any
space they socialize and I don't think the net is any different.

I do laugh when folks call non-port 80/443 stuff the "dark web" these
days.

Ben Collver

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May 22, 2022, 8:43:03 PMMay 22
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On 2022-05-18, Plain Text <te...@sdfeu.org> wrote:
> I think it's largely a demonstrative reaction against the
> appification/commercialization of the web,

My perspective:

Technically, gemini and gopher aren't that great.

Socially, it is exciting to see gemini space growing so fast.

Spiritually, it does my heart good to see still-warm embers of
creative, non-commercial, participatory Internet usage remaining
outside the walled gardens of the corporate masters.

John Goerzen

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Jun 14, 2022, 11:31:36 PMJun 14
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On 2022-05-20, meff <em...@example.com> wrote:
> That said Gopher is fun. Hanging out on the net is fun. The web these
> days is just where the "normies" from my school days hang out. I
> didn't have much fun with them as a kid and I'm not having a lot of
> fun with them now as an adult. Humans have always formed groups in any
> space they socialize and I don't think the net is any different.

One of the things I have to try to rid myself of, particularly since I have
worked at a number of tech companies, is the desire for whatever I am doing to
be "popular".

I maintain quux because I like it. I work on NNCP because I think it's cool. I
run a public NNCP node and offer Usenet feeds over it because it's a fun use of
something I enjoy. I browse gopherspace with elpher because I can, and
sometimes I do it using my vt510 because I like to. Occasionally I telnet to
BBSs also.

These are the niche of the niche. The entire global community of NNCP users is
probably dozens or low hundreds. The set of people that use a DEC vt510 serial
terminal for actual productive activites by CHOICE is probably even smaller.

I have no time to make videos about all this, in general. I don't care for
Youtube that much anyhow. I'm not going to be raking in the "engagement" or
whatever.

And that's part of the joy. It is freedom. Freedom to not worry about what
others think of what I'm doing. Freedom to just enjoy what I enjoy.

I love it.

John

ldpshddtti

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Aug 31, 2022, 8:34:10 AMAug 31
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This "resurgence" happens from time to time with Gopher and
Gemini. People get sick of the bloated web and find ways to cleanse
their palate of all the fat and corn syrup that the web gave them.
They'll create their own {gopherhole, capsule} in sdf, write a "Why
{Gopher, Gemini} is Great" and hang out with some of the small web
denizens.

After browsing for a few weeks, they'll realize that youtube and twitter
does not exist in the small web and they'll bargain with themselves that
maybe fat and corn syrup is a good thing after all. Then you'll never
see them again.

Though I still believe that slowly but surely the small web has been
steadily growing. I find that everytime there's a "resurgence" there are
more and more people who stay even when that "resurgence" ends.

I'm hopeful, but a bit jaded. After all, the small web will not be the
small web anymore if people started mass adopting it.

--

robobox

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Sep 8, 2022, 6:50:04 PMSep 8
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On Wednesday, August 31, 2022 at 12:34:10 PM UTC, ldpshddtti wrote:
> This "resurgence" happens from time to time with Gopher and
> Gemini. People get sick of the bloated web and find ways to cleanse
> their palate of all the fat and corn syrup that the web gave them.
> They'll create their own {gopherhole, capsule} in sdf, write a "Why
> {Gopher, Gemini} is Great" and hang out with some of the small web
> denizens.

I think that's part of it, but the web could be lightweight on its own, IMO. I think a large part of it is that Gopher competed with the web back in the early 90s, so people are curious as to what it was like, and that it works well on older platforms. (That's probably why Gemini hasn't made a splash; it doesn't offer much new over gopher and takes away one of its advantages)

> After browsing for a few weeks, they'll realize that youtube and twitter
> does not exist in the small web and they'll bargain with themselves that
> maybe fat and corn syrup is a good thing after all. Then you'll never
> see them again.

They didn't exist on the big web before 2005/2006 either.

> Though I still believe that slowly but surely the small web has been
> steadily growing. I find that everytime there's a "resurgence" there are
> more and more people who stay even when that "resurgence" ends.

I think the resurgence has a lot more to do with people wanting Web 1.0 back than anything to do with Gopher. It's just that social media has become so big any effort to bring the old experience back gets crushed in search results by it. Because Gopher is a different protocol, it doesn't have to compete with the social media giants.

- robobox

Visiblink

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Sep 8, 2022, 9:16:39 PMSep 8
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On Thu, 8 Sep 2022 15:50:03 -0700 (PDT)
robobox <robobox...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I think the resurgence has a lot more to do with people wanting Web
> 1.0 back than anything to do with Gopher.

I can't speak for others, but I just missed using pine and lynx.
Accessing the internet through a UNIX terminal felt different.

Gopher works great with lynx. I like surfing gopher sites and I can
scrape and echo the web sites I visit to a private gopher server. I
could do the same with a simplified subset of html, but why bother?
Gopher serves the purpose.

5GyYap52yQ1UGMWD

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Sep 9, 2022, 12:00:10 AMSep 9
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robobox <robobox...@gmail.com> writes:

> On Wednesday, August 31, 2022 at 12:34:10 PM UTC, ldpshddtti wrote:
>> This "resurgence" happens from time to time with Gopher and
>> Gemini. People get sick of the bloated web and find ways to cleanse
>> their palate of all the fat and corn syrup that the web gave them.
>> They'll create their own {gopherhole, capsule} in sdf, write a "Why
>> {Gopher, Gemini} is Great" and hang out with some of the small web
>> denizens.
>
> I think that's part of it, but the web could be lightweight on its
> own, IMO. I think a large part of it is that Gopher competed with the
> web back in the early 90s, so people are curious as to what it was
> like, and that it works well on older platforms. (That's probably why
> Gemini hasn't made a splash; it doesn't offer much new over gopher and
> takes away one of its advantages)
>

Maybe. Though I think one reason why some people flock to Gopher is
because it forces you to be lightweight. Yes, it's possible to create a
lightweight website in HTTP, but it's very easy to bloat your website
with fancy graphics and javascript. Even the most "basic" website today
in the web uses Google Analytics which is really sad.

So yeah, maybe people are going back to Gopher for the nostalgia and the
curiousity of a technology that time forgot. But I'm leaning heavily on
the side that it's just simpler, lighter and easier to publish for than
the modern web.

I think Gemini definitely made a splash on certain technology circles. I
mean, when I used to frequent "Hacker" "News" around 2019-2020 there is
atleast 1 to 2 articles about Gemini every week. Of course, being
"Hacker" "News" it's immediately dismissed as: "Well, the web can do
this so why bother?"

I think, in general terms, Gemini is a good grassroots project that
wants to do something different. It has a lot activity right now because
it's new but I hope solderpunk cements the reference for it soon. I'm
afraid that the fervor and excitement around it might turn it to a weird
"web-lite" protocol with all the cruft and extensions that the web has.

This might OT now, but I've already seen this with amfora including
favicon support which is something that I think is not included in the
reference for Gemini. It kind of sparked a debate as well, but it is
what it is.

>> Though I still believe that slowly but surely the small web has been
>> steadily growing. I find that everytime there's a "resurgence" there
>> are more and more people who stay even when that "resurgence" ends.
>
> I think the resurgence has a lot more to do with people wanting Web
> 1.0 back than anything to do with Gopher. It's just that social media
> has become so big any effort to bring the old experience back gets
> crushed in search results by it. Because Gopher is a different
> protocol, it doesn't have to compete with the social media giants.
>
> - robobox

I agree. Finding "Web 1.0" websites are hard as hell and if you don't
know where to look, you'll never find what you're looking for. I am
glad that I knew about wiby.me but I think Gopher does a decent job of
curating content that used to be on "Web 1.0" websites.

--
Pointless meanderings in a bleak and lonely world.

rek2 hispagatos

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Sep 9, 2022, 9:00:04 AMSep 9
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Yes I agree for most part with this, also is not just gopher but other
new like gemini, matrix, and older classic protocols like NNTP.

now if someone could re-write a finger alike protocol that is secure
e2e by protocol that will be awesome.

ReK2
{gemini,https}://{,rek2.}hispagatos.org
https://hispagatos.space/@rek2

5GyYap52yQ1UGMWD

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Sep 9, 2022, 10:00:06 AMSep 9
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It's not perfect, but I was able to run both Gopher and Finger over
Tor. Maybe that can be a potential solution since these are already
existing technologies and both Gopher and Finger are low-bandwidth
services that routing them through Tor should not be that slow.

Computer Nerd Kev

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Sep 9, 2022, 6:50:16 PMSep 9
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5GyYap52yQ1UGMWD <ehj46PkB...@vw28ltwn6wknpumv.invalid> wrote:
> robobox <robobox...@gmail.com> writes:
>>
>> I think the resurgence has a lot more to do with people wanting Web
>> 1.0 back than anything to do with Gopher. It's just that social media
>> has become so big any effort to bring the old experience back gets
>> crushed in search results by it. Because Gopher is a different
>> protocol, it doesn't have to compete with the social media giants.
>
> I agree. Finding "Web 1.0" websites are hard as hell and if you don't
> know where to look, you'll never find what you're looking for. I am
> glad that I knew about wiby.me but I think Gopher does a decent job of
> curating content that used to be on "Web 1.0" websites.

Yep, it's a nice way to get away from the frustrating routine of
having to copy URLs back and forth between Firefox as websites are
encountered that don't work in lightweight browsers. But it's only
ever going to be a very small sub-set of the content that used to
be on "Web 1.0" unfortunately. Even some websites for open-source
software projects are going Javascript-only now, and many use CSS
menus (etc.) that make browsing in text-mode browsers a complete
mess.

Andy Valencia

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Sep 10, 2022, 9:37:39 AMSep 10
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Visiblink <visi...@mail.invalid> writes:
> I can't speak for others, but I just missed using pine and lynx.
> Accessing the internet through a UNIX terminal felt different.

links (built without X11 and such) is quite pleasant. About 80% of URL's I
open are with it.

Andy Valencia
Home page: https://www.vsta.org/andy/
To contact me: https://www.vsta.org/contact/andy.html

Zecharia Sitchin

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Sep 11, 2022, 1:21:32 PMSep 11
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On Sat, 10 Sep 2022 06:36:44 -0700, Andy Valencia wrote:

> Visiblink <visi...@mail.invalid> writes:
>> I can't speak for others, but I just missed using pine and lynx.
>> Accessing the internet through a UNIX terminal felt different.
>
> links (built without X11 and such) is quite pleasant. About 80% of
> URL's I open are with it.

Links doesn't Gopher. Lynx does.

--
"dated to the ninth"

Zecharia

Ben Collver

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Sep 12, 2022, 11:55:42 AM (13 days ago) Sep 12
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On 2022-09-11, Zecharia Sitchin <zsit...@nibiru.planet> wrote:
> Links doesn't Gopher. Lynx does.

On a tangent:

One fun thing to try in Lynx is to press the "\" key while viewing a
gopher directory. It shows HTML source.
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