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the gemini protocol

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created  2023/06/01
category info

gemini is a protocol based on HTTPv1 and gopher with the following features;
minimal specification with focus on simplicity and low-power computing/low-speed networking
input via uri query
redirects (including cross-platform, though discouragesd)
designed with privacy in mind
mandatory tls (permitting self-signing)
simplified markdown variant (gemtext) for presenting information
no more features

project website (gemini)
project website (https)
agate server
🚀 zvava.org

zvava.org's articles are written in gemtext and also served through gemini with a static gemini server called agate

website rewrite (2022)

gemtext cheatsheet

the following is preformatted by placing it inside of a code block which is two pairs of ``` alone on one line.
headings are pretty self-explainatory

# large heading
## heading
### small heading

gemini comes with one form of list;

* unordered list
* another item

but zvava.org supports ordered lists too!

1. ordered list
2. item two

there is the blockquote to add notes or quotes

> quote

lastly a link (or embedded attachment on zvava.org if to media) is defined by a ⇒, link, and optionally its alt text

=> /relative/link.gmi also look at this

power use

although the minimalism of gemini may seem dissuading to the idea of the 'web app', you can make useful, secure, and intricate ones with gemini by being creative with the tools you are given

you can create and use client certificates in most gemini browsers for authentication or session persistence. since client certificates are not required to access most surface content, there are status codes to ask you to use one or tell you if you are on an incorrect certificate

you can send small amounts of data in input requests via uri query, and can even request input from the user directly, for example;

1. gemini://search-engine.com/search → response specifies input requirement (response status code 10/11)
2. user provides input → /search?big%20boobs (request status code 1)
3. server responds with result (response status code 20) or permanent error (code 50/59)

drawbacks

naturally there are a lot. no support for caching, compression, or resuming interupted downloads, and there is no header information so the client does not know what size the file it is receiving is supposed to be. this is why very large files are not suitable for gemini as they are susceptible to being corrupted