04.25.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

World Wide Web Long in the Tooth

Posted in Site News at 3:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The World Wide Web is becoming unmaintainable or hard to maintain; moreover, it’s vulnerable to more and more threats, which is why many sites have outsourced to CDNs such as ClownFlare (centralisation), and there is only one Web browser left (or, to put it another way, over 90% of browsers in active use nowadays have more or less the same codebase; some include DRM)

THE GEMINI capsule of Techrights has served over 85,000 requests so far this month. One page, one request. There are no CSS files, images, JavaScript programs etc. This is exciting for many reasons; for starters, owing to the simplicity of the Gemini protocol it’s possible to do all sorts of things very quickly, like writing to a file from a program without worrying about all sorts of things like <head> <body> etc.

“The FSF recently became more vocal about this.”I’ve been doing World Wide Web stuff for a very long time (started at age 16; not surfing but creating a site or Web pages (Geocities)), so the bloat of the Web is worrying to me. It’s not easy to maintain sites anymore; certificates, CDNs, JavaScript, very advanced CSS functionality and so on have made it harder to understand sites and they contribute to monopolies. How many people can develop their own Web browser from scratch anymore? Actual Web browsers that can access ‘real world’ Web sites are very few and almost all of them are using the same rendering engine, i.e. the same code. The FSF recently became more vocal about this.

So we’re attempting to ‘offload’, where possible, readers onto gemini://gemini.techrights.org and though it may seem like an uphill battle any single step in that direction is a step in the right direction.

Our WWW presence has been under DDOS attacks for well over a decade. It caused angst and anxiety. It’s hard to do the same over gemini:// because it is static and light. We’ve developed Gemini DDOS protection tools (shown here in practice) and the video above shows that from afar along with an explanation of how we monitor attacks over WWW. For IPFS (direct access or gateway) we already have an index in Gemini (gemini://gemini.techrights.org/ipfs/) and the process is largely automated (just double-checked every morning by a human operator). Over time we develop more tools and more software/scripts to make the task of running this site easier. Gemini protocol is simpler and better in a lot of ways.

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