Gemini is an application-layer WWW protocol created by Solderpunk in 2019. Gemini and its document format (Gemtext) are somewhat similar to ?Gopher but add some features from modern WWW, such as mandatory encryption, hyperlinks and URLs. Due to the simplicity of Gemini, there is already a large amount of fully compliant client software.

It is of course possible to use ?HTTP(S)/?HTML in a simple and restricted way along with limited web browsers to get similar technical characteristics. However, a separate protocol makes it possible to have a separate Smallnet space, Geminispace, where users are guaranteed to only encounter things that are compatible with their simple Gemini browsers.

Relationship to permacomputing:

  • Low bandwidth, low complexity, low system requirements. These are partially dictated by the design of the format (no support for inline media, etc.)
  • Coexistence with Gopher and HTTP/HTML with no intentions to replace either.
  • The lack of inline media makes it easier to have local copies of Gemtext documents.
  • Solderpunk has written about permacomputing, and at least one of the Gemini clients (Ariane) explicitly refers to permacomputing.
  • However, Gemini does not address what can be thought as one of the basic problems of WWW. Documents are primarily addressed by referring to their servers, so impermanence and broken links can be expected especially as the typical Gemini server is small and private.

See also: