10.11.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Bug Tracking, Issue/Request Trackers, and Development/Collaboration (e.g. Git) Over Gemini Protocol

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Site News at 8:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum f5fa92a17e57f56dc310a916bdf59fc7

Summary: Gemini protocol (gemini://) is very suitable for collaborative work; here in Techrights we already make extensive use of Gemini, even for internal work, as the video above explains

THE growth of Git has been phenomenal. In just a few years it overtook svn (Apache Subversion), which I still used about a decade ago after CVS had been left way behind (almost nobody used it anymore, so my knowledge of that became obsolete; last release was 13 years ago). But in the age of Mantis and Bugzilla a lot of developers turn to the Web (as in World Wide Web and Web browsers) for bug tracking, putting aside atrocious traps (Microsoft vendor lock-in) such as GitHub “issues”, among other bits of proprietary lock-in. The main issue is GitHub Issues, among other capitalised stuff that seeks to replace Git (new terminology and trademarks, even “PRs”… or “MRs” as GitLab calls them). Don’t allow them to do it… their vision is truly malicious as we noted yesterday. All those bloated frameworks, which tend to include proprietary JavaScript and unnecessary complexity (e.g. GitLab and JIRA) aren’t truly needed for most projects. At the same time, the command line is typically insufficient, as browsing interconnected pages can help navigation and orientation. Gemini/GemText would be versatile enough for almost anything; no need for Web browsers that use up 100-200MB of RAM for just one open tab. We should note that although GitLab advertises itself as an “open” (or “free” or “libre”) alternative to GitHub, the FSF has curtailed plans to rebuild Savannah based on it. Richard Stallman is increasingly unhappy about the direction GitLab has taken, both for technical reasons and for licensing reasons (it’s dual licensed, i.e. partly proprietary, but they give some projects a ‘free’ ride for promotional purposes, never mind that growing requirement/strict necessity for JavaScript sent from the server to the client). For a lot of people, Git has become a bloated mess of frameworks — consistent with what has been happening to GNU/Linux and Web browsers. It’s difficult to study what’s going on where there are so many moving parts, including ones that you cannot control/access, e.g. CDNs such as ClownFlare instead of local caching with Varnish.

“Richard Stallman is increasingly unhappy about the direction GitLab has taken, both for technical reasons and for licensing reasons (it’s dual licensed, i.e. partly proprietary, but they give some projects a ‘free’ ride for promotional purposes, never mind that growing requirement/strict necessity for JavaScript sent from the server to the client).”In the summer we started a transition to our custom-made Gemini interface/s for Git. It’s all publicly available right now under the terms of the AGPLv3. As it turns out, based on this message from today, there’s also work on bug tracking over Gemini. Remember that it’s possible to submit user input into Gemini capsules (it’s not sophisticated but it generally works), so prototypes for online chat over Gemini have already been implemented athough without UNIX/POSIX streams it is more suitable for non-interactive mode (not real-time, either). “I find using GitLab horrificly [sic] expedient,” Jonathan McHugh wrote this morning, and “it would be nice to not be dependent on it. I am currently working on creating a GemText based issue tracker, leveraging git repos and a simplified directory structure.”

We spent some time earlier this year studying Gitea, GitLab and other Web interfaces; they’re all very bloated with far too many dependencies (even databases!), which render them a potential maintenance nightmare for relatively small projects.

“If you are a software developer and you pursue self-hosting (akin to self-determination), Gemini is a useful skill to have. It scales well and it’s easy to configure/setup and then maintain.”As noted in the video above, more geeks and coders now realise that project documentation and other aspects of development are better off managed over Gemini. It’s just a matter of studying the protocols and reusing available code. gemini:// is very simple for transport and GemText is so simple that you can teach young children how to use it, as mentioned in the video.

GemText reduces the potential of security breaches (Apache has made headlines again for security concerns) and it’s easier to diagnose, knowing there’s no CSS or JavaScript embedded anywhere. It’s just the Web (re)done correctly, with a modernised and enhanced set of features previously found in Gopher (a bit of a prototype in this context).

If you are a software developer and you pursue self-hosting (akin to self-determination), Gemini is a useful skill to have. It scales well and it’s easy to configure/setup and then maintain. This year alone the number of Gemini capsules rose sharply; it will have quadrupled by some estimates. That’s exponential growth.

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