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Old 01 September 2021, 14:11   #1
stevelord
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Gemini for Amigans

Gemini is a (fairly) new Internet Protocol that sits somewhere between Gopher and the Web. It isn't trying to replace either, but instead provides a light-weight web alternative that's fairly easy to implement.

Karl Jeacle recently released AmiGemini, an Amiga Gemini client on Aminet.

Browsing Gemini on the Amiga is quicker than browsing the modern web with IBrowse. I think Gemini presents a great opportunity for classic Amiga users towards the 020/030 end. Gemtext markup takes about 10 minutes to learn, there's a lot of free hosting already out there and setting up your own Gemini server if you already have a HTTP server isn't that hard.



AmiGemini itself even looks good in 640x256 in 4 colours, so this could be a good platform for OCS/ECS Amigas with 3.x.

When you first open AmiGemini you'll see two links, one to Amigagemini's capsule, one to the main project. Follow the project link and it'll take you to some aggregators so you can explore Gemini.

Aggregators like Capcom and Spacewalk are good entry points. There are also Gemini aggregators for popular news and web sites. But the best of Gemini is what you make it. I wrote about Gopher and Gemini in depth a while back in my newsletter. The bits in there about Gopher also apply to IBrowse, updated last month.


I'm not saying that people should switch exclusively to Gemini. If you want your content to be highly accessible to mid-range and lower-end Amigas, Gemini is worth considering.
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Last edited by stevelord; 02 September 2021 at 17:04.
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Old 01 September 2021, 17:40   #2
Warty
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Ooh, that could be very interesting. As a Minnesotan, I love that it's Gopher-inspired. Gopher was an amazing discovery when I was at college and first came across it. Before Mosaic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemini_(protocol)

I'm completely ignorant of TLS, but with that as a requirement, does that make any kind of barrier to 68K adoption?
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Old 01 September 2021, 18:31   #3
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Historically yes. But with AmiGemini, no as it works with current AmiSSL.

Also, Gopher is still 1st class in IBrowse and is still in use by people. If you'd like a look, check out Floodgap: https://gopher.floodgap.com/overbite/
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Old 02 September 2021, 00:31   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warty View Post
Ooh, that could be very interesting. As a Minnesotan, I love that it's Gopher-inspired. Gopher was an amazing discovery when I was at college and first came across it. Before Mosaic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemini_(protocol)
Note that the link is broken. I fixed it in the quote

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warty View Post
I'm completely ignorant of TLS
Well then watch this awesome youtube video explaining it in what I consider the simplest way I have seen yet:

[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 02 September 2021, 05:17   #5
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Thumbs up

now this is cool even just to connect to aminet with a stock Amiga
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Old 02 September 2021, 16:56   #6
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Ok, I finally have to get off my behind and get an ethernet thingie for my A3000. I believe it is powerful enough (hehe) to run AmiSSL. Just did some poking around with Amfora (ssh kiosk@gemini.circumlunar.space)... Went to a few places on the Gemini equivalent of webrings (remember those?). Gemini could be a good thing for Amigas. If the client really is light, do think devs could incorporate one into their software, to do self-updating? Anyway, that's what I'm pondering. Plus maybe a retro computing challenge gemini blog-for-a-month. (GLogging?)
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Old 02 September 2021, 17:06   #7
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Originally Posted by klx300r View Post
now this is cool even just to connect to aminet with a stock Amiga

It is, but the Gemini protocol has a few limits that make larger file transfers unfeasible. It'd be great to browse stuff like EAB or Amibay (which on IBrowse is doable but can be very slow on classic Amigas).
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Old 02 September 2021, 17:13   #8
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I've just noticed that AmiTCP 3.0 will work on Workbench 2.0... I wonder if it can be recompiled for below 020. I'll have a fiddle in WinUAE later but that could open up cheap SLIP access for a lot of 500s and 600s.

Thing is, Gemini should be lightweight enough for even 19200 on an A500+ to be functional.
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Old 13 September 2021, 16:29   #9
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I found an X-Surf (v1), bought Roadshow, and wow... it just kind of worked out of the box. Classic networking is generally such a pain, but that was painless.

Anyway, AmiGemini works great! The need for SSL does make navigation/page changing a bit slow, because it has to do SSL stuff each time. But I think it looks great, and there's some fun stuff to explore.

I also got ALynx (command line browser) going, and have been using that as a gopher client (I couldn't get the dedicated gopher clients to work with Roadshow, they all seem to be AmiTCP-specific). Now THAT is fast. I only wish there were more Amiga-related gopher sites out there.
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Old 13 September 2021, 18:52   #10
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I use IBrowse for gopher, works fine. Also I find setting an assign for AmiTCP: helps with AmiTCP dependent apps.
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Old 13 September 2021, 18:57   #11
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I salute the author of this awesome program. And ofcourse the authors of AmiSSL.

I use it on my stock A1200 with some fastmem and PCMCIA networking. Yes the SSL negotiation is a bit slow but not painfully slow.
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Old 13 September 2021, 22:31   #12
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Originally Posted by stevelord View Post
I use IBrowse for gopher, works fine. Also I find setting an assign for AmiTCP: helps with AmiTCP dependent apps.
I don't have IBrowse, but AWeb also worked fine for gopher. But it's just a lot of app to load up to look at gopher space.

The AmiTCP: assign... what kind of folder are you pointing it at? I don't actually AmiTCP installed on this computer. Surely those apps must be looking for something in that AmiTCP: folder? happy to fake them out if possible...
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Old 17 October 2021, 18:33   #13
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If only AmiGemini supported user text input and client certificates (Gemini identities), we could have Gemini based Amiga forum :-).
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Old 17 October 2021, 20:56   #14
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The latest beta of IBrowse supports the Gemini protocol.
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Old 18 October 2021, 19:15   #15
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If only AmiGemini supported user text input and client certificates (Gemini identities), we could have Gemini based Amiga forum :-).
I'd say the idea behind Gemini is to get away from the "do everything in your browser" approach.

I have not checked if this is feasible (i.e. do mailto: links work in Gemini), but a forum using the Gemini protocol could be implemented e.g. by using Gemtext for displaying forus and threads while outsourcing all identification and message writing tasks to your mail client. I.e. to reply to a posting, create a new thread or send a private message, you click on a mailto: link and send a mail to the forum's server.
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Old 18 October 2021, 20:45   #16
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I think you misunderstood, Korodny. The Gemini protocol itself supports both the features Krashan mentioned. It's just that right now AmiGemini doesn't support that functionality.
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Old 18 October 2021, 21:04   #17
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I think you misunderstood, Korodny. The Gemini protocol itself supports both the features Krashan mentioned. It's just that right now AmiGemini doesn't support that functionality.
Gemini does not support FORMs at all, and neither does it support transferring user generated content to a server using something like GET or POST - i.e. no "user text input" the way it would be required to implement a WWW styled forum.
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Old 18 October 2021, 22:21   #18
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I never said that Gemini supports forms. I said that it supports user text input. It doesn't do it the way you would with HTTP, but it supports it via use of the 1x family of responses. Go read section 3.2.1 of the Gemini specification.
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Old 23 October 2021, 17:17   #19
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Originally Posted by Korodny View Post
Gemini does not support FORMs at all, and neither does it support transferring user generated content to a server using something like GET or POST - i.e. no "user text input" the way it would be required to implement a WWW styled forum.
Try the Station – gemini://station.martinrue.com. It has all the things needed for a forum and is 100% pure Gemini, without add-ons. Both user input and identities via self-signed client certificates, are parts of Gemini procotol, as coldacid pointed out.
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Old 23 October 2021, 19:43   #20
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New version of AmiGemini out that does fix some of these issues. Chatting to Karl I think self-signed client certs aren't going to happen immediately but he's aware of the interest.
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