The danger and irritations of the modern web have unleashed a movement
dedicated to creating a safer and simpler alternative. The old Gopher
network and the new Gemini protocol have emerged as building blocks
for this new "small Internet."
Anyone who has used the World Wide Web (WWW) lately knows that
something bad is happening to it. It does not resemble the WWW of the
early years, with enthusiastic amateurs freely sharing ideas and
information. These things still exist, and the web is still an
indispensable medium connecting the world. But the web experience is
now encumbered with advertising, invasions of privacy in the form of
danger of exploits, and door slams asking you to subscribe to a
newsletter before viewing a site.
This unpleasant environment has led to a backlash. There are now some
communities of developers and computer users who still desire a
connected information system, but who seek a refuge from the noise,
danger, and increasingly resource-hungry WWW. They feel that web
technology does too much, and that since it makes various forms of
abuse too easy, no lasting reform is possible.
The solution is to use or create a separate protocol that is simply
not capable of supporting the technologies that enable advertising
networks, user fingerprinting, or the myriad of other things that
exploit users rather than helping them. This small movement has
approached the problem from two directions that in practice are often
merged: the revival of the Gopher protocol and the creation of a new
protocol called Gemini.
Gemini would support its own lightweight hypertext format, and would
co-exist with Gopher and HTTP as an alternative client-server protocol
with built-in privacy-assuring features like mandatory Transport Layer
Security and a "Trust On First Use" public-key security model.
("Connections are closed at the end of a single transaction and cannot
be reused," notes the Project Gemini home page.) "You may think of
Gemini as 'the web, stripped right back to its essence,'" explains its
FAQ, "or as 'Gopher, souped up and modernised just a little',
depending upon your perspective..."
"Gemini is also intended to be very privacy conscious, to be difficult
to extend in the future (so that it will *stay* simple and privacy
conscious), and to be compatible with a 'do it yourself' computing
-- source: https://tech.slashdot.org/story/21/03/06/014255
Dept. of Computer Science
University of Waikato, NZ
+64 (7) 577-5304