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Gemini is both a simple, new protocol to serve HyperText, and a simple, new markup language. It has it’s own site, Project Gemini. That’s where you can find the specification, as well as clients and servers.

It was born out of various needs:

  • the need for a simpler web, something that doesn’t need the behemoth of a browser as a client
  • the need for an update to gopher: UTF-8, doing away with the menu/file dichotomy, and so on
  • the wish to specify it in such a way that it could not easily be extended

The last item, for example, led to the decision to not use the typical “headers” for requests and responses of the Gemini protocol. You know the ones, from both mails and HTTP. It does have status codes (but fewer than the web), but it doesn’t have methods such as GET, PUT or POST. It has MIME-types, but it doesn’t have content negotiation.

The Gemini format is particular in that it is line-oriented.

A line of text is a paragraph, to be wrapped by the client. It is is independent from the lines coming before or after it.

A list item starts with an asterisk and a space. Again, the rest of the line is the line item, to be wrapped by the client.

A link is never an inline link like it is for HTML: it’s simply a line starting with an equal-sign and a greater-than sign: “⇒”, a space, an URL, and some text.

It’s weird, it’s small, and it’s different.

See also:

CategoryWebTechnology CategoryInterfaceDesign CategoryTextMarkup


In spring 2017, yet another Twitter alternative was making the rounds, Mastodon.

If you want to jump ahead, take a look at the Mastodon User's Guide. If you want to compare Twitter and Mastodon, check out this essay by Kevin Marks, Mastodon, Twitter and publics 2017-04-24.

On this site we have started discussing FreeSoftwareNextGen.

See also:

Learn more...


There are many ways to structure content globally. All of GlobalContentStructuringMethods can be relevant in wikis.

There are only few ways to structure content locally, in a WikiPage.

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EditNearLinks: CategoryInterfaceDesign WikiPage CategoryWebTechnology CategoryTextMarkup HyperText


The same page elsewhere: