Haven’t linkblogged for months, and the little blogging I’ve done has mostly been about and on Gemini. Very busy summer. Here are a few recent links in no particular order, without much commentary.
How Many Books does Richland SC Library Recycle, and Where Do They Go? I love my library, and you have to get rid of some books somehow in order as new books come in. But it’s disheartening to hear that the old books that no one buys at the annual Friends of the Library book sale probably end up in the landfill.
Minor germinal update: link syntax So, the Gemini link syntax was finalized:
Link Syntax Finalized
The one place this affects Germinal is in the generation of directory indexes. Germinal’s directory indexing code has been updated accordingly.
I have also updated the links on my Gemini site.
Unless there are changes coming to the response header line format, this is probably the last Gemini change that actually affects Germinal. Pretty much everything else is client-side.
Composing polls I have specifically not written support for creating polls yet.
Is the gemini map format intended to be reflowed? One question that hasn’t been addressed in the Gemini speculative specification is whether the Gemini map file format text/gemini is intended to be reflowed. By reflowed, I mean mainly that the line-length of the file itself is not intended to be mapped exactly to the output device, which should instead lay out the text with appropriate line lengths. This is what HTML renderers do, and what MarkDown renderers do, usually by way of conversion to HTML.
Germinal is a server for the Gemini Protocol that I’ve been writing in Common Lisp during my lunches and some evenings.
It is named after the early 20th century Yiddish-language anarchist newspaper Germinal. I wanted to name it after an anarchist publication to convey the idea of people sharing information and ideas with each other, in contrast to the way the web is used to push advertising from corporations to people.
Good netizen solderpunk has been writing about the design of a protocol that is slightly more complex than gopher, but significantly simpler than http; while at the same time being significantly more powerful than gopher. I have thoughts about this, as I’ve posted about before, and I’m interested in contributing to this project and the conversation around it. These are the main documents where they discuss it. If you only have time for one, read just the FAQ, but they are all worthwhile and short, easy reads.
If you don’t have a gopher client handy, you can browse the gopherverse using the Floodgap Gopher-HTTP Gateway. It will proxy gopher pages to you over https, so you can read them in a browser that doesn’t support gopher. The OverbiteWX extension for Firefox uses it to handle gopher URLs.
This is a very useful service, but the design is not very appealing to me. Gopher is supposed to be simple plain text, it’s true.
Got quite a grab-bag of stuff this time. Been busy enough with life that what should be a simple evening habit one night a week has gone for…three weeks? I guess that’s not so bad. It’s long enough, though, that I can’t clearly remember all of the articles in my backlog. And there are too many topics to make a coherent theme. Let’s work through them, then.
Music for this linkblog: Twin Black Lodges, a generative soundscape from mynoise.
As part of the ongoing revitalization of gopher, there has been quite a bit of discussion about what, exactly, is good about gopher, and whether you can separate that from what’s bad about the world wide web. From another angle: are there good things about the web that we can import to alleviate gopher’s shortcomings?
The discourse A recent thread of that conversation has been an exchange between ~solderpunk and ~enkiv2.
Retro web, simple web, and alternatives to the web A simple gopher client for Gnome, written in Vala This is in early stages, but it works fine for most gopher sites. I would like to find time to help out with it.
Shizaru, an opinionated web server This is a web server written in golang that attempts to “serve no evil” by imposing strong opinions on pages that it serves.
I had way too many links to share this week, and I had to cut it down a lot to be able to handle all of it. That said, here’s what’s left.
Social Media We Built a Broken Internet. Now We Need To Burn It To The Ground The author argues that the state of social media, especially of Twitter, where harassment is baked into the platform, are a result of white cis men building a platform for themselves and not really thinking about other users.
I’m using details/summary for subject/Content Warning in brutaldon. It degrades okay.
A properly short linkblog today!
Designing for the modern web in a way that pleases users with great, fast designs needn’t be this maze of impenetrable complexity.
Got behind again, and have to drop a lot of things I was going to note here. Fewer is better.
Web topics The Web is Made of Edge Cases by Taylor Hunt on CodePen Designers and front-end developers tend to treat web rendering as a pixel-perfect graphics runtime; it’s not.
How to design website layouts for screen readers – freeCodeCamp.org Facebook pays teens to install VPN that spies on them | TechCrunch This is pretty extreme even by the standards of surveillance capitalism.
US Politics It’s Bernie, Bitch | Amber A’Lee Frost Amber from Chapo Trap House explains why Bernie is the only viable candidate for 2020, even if he dies on the campaign trail and his corpse has to be operated like a Muppet.
The Border Patrol Has Been a Cult of Brutality Since 1924 Even among law enforcement agencies, the Border Patrol has always been notably racist.
How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Allies Supplanted the Obama Generation | The New Yorker In brief: the Green New Deal completely changes the conversation.
Facebook Facebook rolls out AI to detect suicidal posts before they’re reported | TechCrunch This could actually increase deaths as armed police are dispatched to “check in” on reportedly suicidal people. And that’s not counting the opportunities for algorithmic cruelty, like notifying someone’s domestic abuser that they’re suicidal.
Goodbye Facebook This was the last straw for the fediverse’s jjg, who reports on the previous techcrunch post in his goodbye letter to Facebook.
Web The Web is still a DARPA weapon. – Giacomo Tesio – Medium
A good article on a few loosely connected points. How centralization of the web tends to promote US government/business interests, as against those of internet users and other countries. A lot of it is nothing you haven’t heard before, especially about DNS.
This is a quick update to my article on Firefox Focus for Android, which is to say that I’ve, at least temporarily, stopped using Firefox Focus. But the reason is good for Firefox!
Most people know by now that Firefox Quantum has landed in mobile, and brings the same speed improvements as on desktop. What’s even newer (I think) is that at least Firefox Beta for Android includes a Custom Tabs implementation, compatible with Chrome Custom Tabs.
This is a quick review/blurb about Firefox Focus for Android, which really does solve all of your web browsing problems on Android. Or at least mine, which may or may not be similar to yours.
What it is: Firefox Focus is a tiny, fast-loading browser comparable to Chrome Custom Tabs. Unlike Chrome Custom Tabs, it is privacy focused, and includes an ad-blocker.
My main problem with browsing on Android is that, while I love Firefox on Android, I have to admit that it uses a lot of RAM relative to what’s installed in my very old phone.