An Overall Impression of Gemini

2021-04-11 4 min read technology Otaku Panic

Laptop Screen With IDE

Earlier this year I heard about something kind of interesting that I wanted to explore. And, since then, I feel like a lot of people in the open source community and the linux space have covered this topic. But, I think I’m going to go ahead and cover it anyway, because it’s pretty cool. So, let’s talk about gemini.

Gemini1 is a web protocol that deems itself heavier that gopher2, lighter than the web, and doesn’t strive to replace either. I think the last portion is really important and I’ll explore that in a moment. Gemini targets a specific type of user, someone likely to fall into one of these categories:

  • Opposed to the web’s ubiquitous tracking of users
  • Tired of nagging pop-ups, obnoxious adverts, autoplaying videos and other misfeatures of the modern web
  • Interested in low-power computing and/or low-speed networks, either by choice or necessity

From the Gemini FAQ3

Project Gemini has been around since June 2019 and “geminispace,” as it’s referred to by the community, is still relatively small. And, honestly, it’s likely to remain that way. Undoubtedly it’s going to grow, but it’ll never be the “web” that most of us know, which is to the benefit of the geminispace residents. After all, gemini isn’t supposed to be a web replacement.

Gemini is inherently secure in a way that gopher wasn’t. It’s small internet and recognizes itself as such. And it’s largely unreachable by a vast majority of web users who don’t know, or care, about any protocols outside of what allows them to do their online banking and watch Netflix - neither of which can be accomplished through gemini.

What we’re left with is a place for enthusiasts to be enthusiastic! A place where businesses can’t survive because gemini can’t really be monetized. A place that’s largely unknown and free from trolls. Somewhere to be expressive for the sake of expressing oneself. And, to me, that’s the best part of what I’ve always wanted the internet to be. I like the idea of going to a text file to read about something that someone thinks is interesting and might, in turn, be interesting to me. People who share passions for the benefit of the community and not as a honeypot to link to an affiliate or attract you to their product page.

I actually created a gemini capsule (gemini’s website equivalent) just today! It’s refreshingly, almost shockingly easy! And while I’m still figuring out what kind of content I want to create, I’m really pleased that the technical component is so straight-forward. It’s light, it’s easy, it’s everything that the internet should be.

You do need to use a gemini client to browse gemini. Firefox, Chrome (honestly, please no), or the various derivatives thereof, are not going to serve you well in geminispace. Some people do mirror their gemini capsule, but let’s just be fair, it’s not as good as just viewing it as it was designed.

Some good client options to look into are:

  • Amfora4
  • Lagrange5
  • Kristall6

And, of course, there are others7.

I’m going to continue exploring geminispace and see what I find. I expect myself to be spending more and more time here as I find enthusiasts that are sharing common passions. I’ll go ahead and share my experience creating a capsule as another blog post and keep this one as an “overall impressions” piece. In the meantime, I encourage you to take a look at gemini for yourself! It’s definitely worth a visit and I, personally, look forward to engaging with it more.

So, go forth and browse! I’m wishing you the best and I hope you make some amazing discoveries!

Attribution: Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

  1. Some information on Gemini. Project Gemini [return]
  2. Some information on Gopher. Gopher [return]
  3. Gemini FAQ Page. Project Gemini FAQ [return]
  4. Highly Recommend! 5 of 5! Amfora Client [return]
  5. Lagrange Flatpak. Lagrange on Flathub [return]
  6. Kristall is a nice GUI - there’s an .appimage too! Kristall Client [return]
  7. Look under the “clients” header. Gemini Software [return]