11.18.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

A Look at Gemini Protocol and Specification (Latest Update 4 Days Ago)

Posted in Site News at 1:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum cbea0e64b45d23b48425ac06774ec5e2

Summary: Minor amendments to Gemini Protocol are being registered, e.g. “the specification now explicitly forbids the use of Unicode byte order marks (BOMs) in either Gemini requests or Gemini response headers.” It seems like Gemini Protocol is almost finalised by now and it stays as simple as intended all along.

ABOUT three weeks ago Solderpunk returned from a long hiatus, looking to update the Gemini specifications in their official home. 4 days ago he announced in the official mailing list:

Hi folks,

I have just pushed another set of small updates to the specification.

In addition to assorted spelling and grammar fixes, and clarifying that 
keywords MUST, SHOULD etc. should be interpreted against BCP14, there 
are two substantive changes.

The first is that the specification is now explicit about what to do in 
the event that a request including a query component receives a 3x 
redirect status code in response: the redirect URL should be used as is, 
and the client should not apply the original request's query to the 
redirect URL.  If you are the author of a client which *does* modify 
redirect URLs in this way, you need to change this behaviour in order to 
be spec compliant.

The second is that the specification now explicitly forbids the use of 
Unicode byte order marks (BOMs) in either Gemini requests or Gemini 
response headers.  If your client or server includes a BOM in these 
places, you should stop doing that.  There will be a future update 
dealing with the use of BOMs in Gemini response bodies as well, but the 
changes I just pushed affect only response headers.

Chances are very good nobody actually needs to make any changes to code 
as a result of these updates.

Cheers,
Solderpunk

It is probably apparent from the above that the changes are non-disruptive and mostly cosmetic at this point, looking to remove ambiguities without inflicting workload/burden on writers and developers. This is where simplicity truly pays off. Those who move fast and break everything typically leave behing them a trail of technical debt — an area where many feel the Web failed. It’s almost impossible to write a Web browser from scratch anymore; it’ll fail to properly render most of today’s Web site. NetSurf can deal with plenty of decent sites, but it cannot be used exclusively if there’s expectation of things like online banks becoming necessary.

The video at the top is just me going through the latest version of the specification, pointing out which parts are of relevance to people who compose pages. It can all be learned in a matter of minutes, not hours, and it lowers the entry barriers, leading towards self-publishing on the Internet.

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