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Published: November 15, 2021
This past month, I've spent a lot of time learning about gopher. It's truly a fascinating alternative to the world wide web, not just in the content found there but also in terms of the protocol itself.
As of this writing, I've decided to deprecate text.alexkarle.com in favor of serving that content (and more!) over gopher instead, exclusively.
This shouldn't have much impact on this blog. After all, text.alexkarle.com was an experiment to begin with! I'll still keep publishing semi-regularly here, I just don't plan on maintaining a text dump via HTTP.
I will, however, start publishing gopher-only content. There's two main reasons for this:
Admittedly, number 2 is my own doing. I
moved this blog to
mdoc(7) willingly to
learn the language. I've found that it slows my raw output,
which, while fine for longer form pieces, is a pain for
shorter-form thoughts. No regrets (I learned a ton!), but
shorter-form thoughts do much better in plaintext!
The first reason is a theme for this blog: be the change you want to see. I would love to see more content on gopher, so I'm taking the plunge.
So, why gopher? Probably the biggest reason to explore gopher is the content. It's a parallel network totally untouched by commercial interests. You won't see a single ad.
So, gopher separates the interaction (menus) from the content (can be anything, but is usually plaintext). I think this is a cool design choice because it emphasizes what the gopher protocol is really about: fetching documents.
Ultimately, it's hard to describe and much better experienced.
For a quick dip, try out a proxy like https://gopherproxy.net.
For client recommendations, I'd check out
Bombadillo has gemini support too, gemini being another
alternative internet protocol worth checking out. I'll likely put
my stuff up there too, if time allows.
Not sure where to start in your client? Go to gopher://alexkarle.com of course! :)
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