"Let's use pdf instead of HTML because the web is bloated"

dude, gemini is *right there*

gemini is awesome because it's minimal and tiny and solves most issues that people have with web

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To clarify some things within this subject: gemini isn't a replacement for the web, but it can be an alternative for it.

Gemini is more accesible than the web, it's just regular text (except for ASCII art, but still way better than whatever the web has).

Yes, Gemini offers a different experience than the web, just as bicycles do with cars, with less damage for the environment. This means that maybe we ought seek different experiences instead of wanting to replicate "what the web taught us"

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A solution for the web? There are none, *at the moment*.

But it will most likely not be a new niche protocol or a instantaneous solution, and will have to progressively be built upon what we are doing now, developed within the community.

Gemini seems to have that kind of effort/energy going on, but still doesn't seems like it'll nailed.

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@eletrotupi Who the hell even suggested using pdf, it doesn't even sound practical or less bloated than pure HTML

@eletrotupi I'm skimming through this and yep.. it still feels more bloated than pure HTML, and as you said gemini is *right here* anyway.
Also thinking about the fact a pdf doesn't mesh well with a cli, contrary to gemini

@Little__Ham @eletrotupi It's a fun concept hack though that the file is simultaneously valid PDF and valid gemtext.

@Little__Ham @eletrotupi it's really funny how many people see the problem of "wow a lot of people sure make bad web pages" and come up with "so let's replace the web" instead of "so let's make web pages that aren't bad" huh

@technomancy @eletrotupi Right, that's why I mirrored my capsule to the web too. But to me it's refreshing to be off the web because when I'm browsing gemini or gopher I *know* everything I visit won't be bloated

@technomancy @Little__Ham @eletrotupi PDF isn't what I personally advocate for, but at least they see the issues & are doing something about it!

(Personally I like advocating an HTML subset not disimilar to the PDF subset discussed there)

@eletrotupi @technomancy @Little__Ham

Nah, make full use of (X)HTML tags! Just:

1) Don't rely on JavaScript (I don't support it)
2) Balance your tags (I have leniencies, but they're not the same as other browsers)
3) Be prepared for me to rip your forms out into their own pages you can't style or script

@technomancy @Little__Ham @eletrotupi the problem is that the least effort ways to meet client requirements using html/js tend to produce bloated web pages. We are trying to change this. Gemini or PDF tries to solve this but for a narrow audience. We need something mainstream, in the spirit of Gemini to liberate us from adtech

The Gemini folks have clearly stated they don't want to replace the Web, only offer a alternative for interested people. People who are happy with plain text and images without all the scripting and advertising surveillance. :)
@Little__Ham @eletrotupi

@rochelimit @technomancy @Little__Ham @eletrotupi I would be totally and completely onboard with Gemini if the recipe included the possibility for audio and video content. Love the text+images sensibilities, but I'm a musician and a filmmaker, and Gemini doesn't really work for me unless I'm able to make audio and video content available.

@fortifieduniverse @rochelimit @Little__Ham @eletrotupi looks like the technology that is designed specifically to be exclusive turns out to exclude people. can't say I'm surprised.

You can host arbitrary files with Gemini. Links to audio/video files will open with the system applications. I've listened to audio via Gemini.
@technomancy @Little__Ham @eletrotupi

@fortifieduniverse @rochelimit @technomancy @Little__Ham Yeah, also gemini is designed in a way that allows clients to do the decorations they want. You can have inline images for instance, or inline audio whenever you link to a file. @oppen Ariane mobile client does that and it's pretty cool


Quoting myself (original:

No internet protocol today has images native in it’s format (discounting base64-encoded stuff shoved into the page), not HTML, not discord, not ActivityPub. They all have a link to an image elsewhere, and can then interpret that image how they want, usually displaying it inline. However, there is no reason that the image has to be displayed inline. Ever used tuir/rtv or rainbowstream? Those don’t display images inline, and yet I’ve never heard anyone say that those TUI clients “don’t support images.” It’s a deliberately misleading argument, because there’s nothing about HTML that inherently supports “inline images” any more than gemtext does (no, <img> tags do not have to be inlined any more than they have to be in Gemini, it just that they recommend <img>s to be inlined).

The main reason Gemini doesn’t have images inlined is because the first clients were written for the terminal because it’s easier to write software for and because terminal-based stuff actually preferable for a lot of the early adopters. However, there’s no reason that you can’t inline images, see Lagrange:

Now, maybe when people say that there’s no images they really mean “no displayed-by-default images.” Well, that’s in there for both privacy (no tracking pixels) and for slow/metered internet connections that don’t want to download your 50 megabyte image. Not being able to force images to be displayed is part of the “presentation is controlled by the reader, not the author” ethos of Gemini. If the reader decides they want to view the image inline, they can. If they want to view it in their preferred image viewer they can too, you the author can’t force them to do anything.

@rochelimit @technomancy @Little__Ham @eletrotupi



Many people are confused as to why it's worth creating a new protocol to address perceived problems with optional, non-essential features of the web. Just because websites can track users and run CPU-hogging Javsacript and pull in useless multi-megabyte header images or even larger autoplaying videos, doesn't mean they have to. Why not just build non-evil websites using the existing technology?

Of course, this is possible. "The Gemini experience" is roughly equivalent to HTTP where the only request header is "Host" and the only response header is "Content-type" and HTML where the only tags are <p>, <pre>, <a>, <h1> through <h3>, <ul> and <li> and <blockquote> - and the website offers pretty much this experience. We know it can be done.

The problem is that deciding upon a strictly limited subset of HTTP and HTML, slapping a label on it and calling it a day would do almost nothing to create a clearly demarcated space where people can go to consume only that kind of content in only that kind of way. It's impossible to know in advance whether what's on the other side of a https:// URL will be within the subset or outside it. It's very tedious to verify that a website claiming to use only the subset actually does, as many of the features we want to avoid are invisible (but not harmless!) to the user. It's difficult or even impossible to deactivate support for all the unwanted features in mainstream browsers, so if somebody breaks the rules you'll pay the consequences. Writing a dumbed down web browser which gracefully ignores all the unwanted features is much harder than writing a Gemini client from scratch. Even if you did it, you'd have a very difficult time discovering the minuscule fraction of websites it could render.

Alternative, simple-by-design protocols like Gopher and Gemini create alternative, simple-by-design spaces with obvious boundaries and hard restrictions. You know for sure when you enter Geminispace, and you can know for sure and in advance when following a certain link will cause you leave it. While you're there, you know for sure and in advance that everybody else there is playing by the same rules. You can relax and get on with your browsing, and follow links to sites you've never heard of before, which just popped up yesterday, and be confident that they won't try to track you or serve you garbage because they can't. You can do all this with a client you wrote yourself, so you know you can trust it. It's a very different, much more liberating and much more empowering experience than trying to carve out a tiny, invisible sub-sub-sub-sub-space of the web.

From § 2.5 of the Gemini FAQ:

@Little__Ham @eletrotupi

@eletrotupi I think a huge advantage of gemini over HTML is that it isn't controlled by an organization (W3C) that is infested by members that have large commercial interests and slowly corrupt the standard with every new revision.

@eletrotupi Which is funny, because PDF readers tend to be more susceptible to unconfined malicious code execution than browsers, at least on the system, not sure about XSS.

It's like that guy you know who complains about the government then runs off to chase some right-wing "populist" who's only making things worse

@eletrotupi Can’t we have both?

Is the attention it has brought to the issue without value? Can it reach people with use cases that Gemini can’t/won’t? I feel the worst thing we can do is to tell folks who genuinely care about the problem and are exploring alternatives that they need to toe a line. We were on the receiving end of that when we first started and let me tell you it wasn’t fun. It’s fine to hypothesise. It’s fine to experiment. It’s fine to throw ideas out there and to play :)

@aral Yeah, we can. I'm calling the attention to the fact that there are open source, collaborative efforts to solve some of these problems right now, and in my humble opinion, Gemini does solve a lot of these while being really simple, both to implement and use.

Gemini does not solve most of the problems, including the ability to cache content, and even introduces new ones.

@federico3 Neither does pdf on web. You can also cache content locally?

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