Bonum Certa Men Certa

Official Project Gemini news feed — Five years of Gemini!

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Jun 20, 2024


Today is the fifth anniversary of the public announcement of Project Gemini! In some sense, it's a bit of a strange one. On the one hand, from a personal perspective, and in terms of official project activity, it's been the busiest year in a while. There have been seventeen posts to this newsfeed since my "Four years of Gemini" post, whereas there were only five between it and "Three years of Gemini!". On the other hand, the number of people paying attention to official project activity feels smaller than ever. It's certainly not zero, I am certainly getting feedback and ideas and help on the stuff that's happening, and I'm certainly grateful for it. But I think it's clear that a great many of the people who were on the scene in the final days of the mailing list have not been patiently sitting around for the past few years for me to get my ducks in a row so they can return with just as much energy and vigour. That's not a complaint! To be honest, I mostly just feel a little silly for having made such a big deal about slowly building up momentum for working on the project again, trying to establish goals and schedules and systems, imagining a large, very heavily invested audience to be lurking. It all feels perhaps a bit overblown, relative to what might actually be needed, wanted, expected by the current community. Again, this is not a complaint. I think it's right and good and proper that for every person subscribed to this newsfeed, there are ten or more others who use a Gemini client on a regular basis but don't know or care that this newsfeed exists, because they're more interested in Geminispace than in the protocol itself; avid readers or writers, moreso than printing press or book binding geeks.

Traditionally I have included an assessment of the growth of Geminispace over the past year with these anniversary announcements. I'll do so again here, but I think I'll make it the last time. Not because the news is bad, it's not (it's interesting), but because constant growth is not and never was what Gemini was about. It made some sense in earlier years when we were growing unexpectedly quickly and there was a sense of excitement and potential and unpredictability in the air, but things are a bit more settled now. The current situation is less exciting, perhaps (I sure don't mind!), but it's also, I think, a lot more certain. Geminispace feels solidly established now. Whether it grows or contracts or remains the same size from any given year to any other, I think it is clearly here to stay for the long haul, just like Gopher is. This is a fantastic achievement.

Lupa knows of 505,000 (half a million!) working Gemini URLs at present, up from about 425,000 this time last year, an increase of almost 20%. They are spread across roughly 2,750 capsules, up from about 2,500 last year, a 10% increase. Those capsules live at 1,800 domains, up from 1,700 last year (about a 6% increase), and those domains resolve to about 1,200 IP addresses, which is actually just the same as last year.

The fact that URLs are appearing faster than capsules suggests that a lot of the space's new content in the last year has come from previously established Geminauts, i.e. there's an established and productive body of writers out there who are keeping on keeping on, which is great. The fact that capsules are appearing faster than domains or IP addresses suggests that most of the newcomers are making their homes at multi-user providers like pubnixes, Smol Pub, Station or Bubble instances like BBS, rather than setting up their own servers. This underscores that it isn't necessary to be able to, or to want to, run your own server to join the community, which is also great.

I know that I've kind of let my (overblown) scheduling slip a little of late. The second quarterly release is due real soon now and I haven't even made the post outlining my plans for it yet. I'm sorry about that, but I'm trying not to feel too bad about it, having realised that there's a lot more pressure and expectation for fast and steady progress in my head than there is from real people. Writing this post has been energising and motivating, and there's still half of this year left. Thank you, as always, to everybody in the community, new and old. Onward!

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