Dear Melonland Forum,
I hope you're comfortably sat down and ready to take on a new learning adventure. Make sure to prepare a nice cup of coffee, tea or water. You won't be disappointed. Gemini is one of my favorite topics, and I want to tell you more about it. But first, what's Gemini?
And you'd be right to ask that! But before we dive into it, you should know that Gemini doesn't aim to replace the Web at all.
The current web is an incredible powerful beast. Browsers can show homepages, or run fully fledged applications like Figma. Even full games. As a result, web browsers became incredibly complicated softwares to create. Besides Mozilla and Google, almost no-one would have the engineering power to create a web browser from scratch. From a risk perspective, it's not safe when only two companies can drive a tool the whole planet use daily. Right now, it's hard to differentiate the Web from a Web Browser.
As a result, web sites start to be bloated. Scripts, analytics tags, consent screens, loading unsollicited advertisement, automatically playing a video on the background as you scrolled past it take space and bandwidth. It's frustrating when you just really wanted to find a recipe.
Gemini was born out of these frustrations.
Gemini is a very simple protocol. This allows many people to create a Gemini browser. Gemini doesn't have many features, and that's by design. On Gemini, pages are only content, so it keeps them small. They are so small that it makes it perfect for low-bandwidth environment. With its lack of feature, there's no way to track anyone, or play video on the background. The protocol simply doesn't know about it.
But there's a trade-off to all of that. Gemini pages are text only. While you can include images, not all Gemini browsers will display them. Instead of HTML, Gemini uses something that looks a little like Markdown. It's called "gmi".
Here's an example:
# This is my title
Here is my page.
See? No HTML. As a result, there's no CSS either. But that doesn't stop people from being creative. If anything, this new constraint adds a new way for people to express themselves. We'll see that a little later!
But for now, how about we dive onto Gemini? Let's grab a browser first!
Go ahead and download Lagrange
, a Gemini browser. You should be able to install it simply regardless of your OS.
Start it... Welcome to the Geminispace! If you look at the URL bar, you should see that instead of the usual "https://..." it says "gemini://...", that's because it's a whole new protocol, remember?
Alright, so let's start our journey over a place that's near and dear to me (mainly because I've created it!), the Midnight Pub! Before we dive into it, have a look at what it says:Welcome to the Midnight, kind stranger! This little establishment aims to become your hide-out amidst the sprawling metropolis of bits and data the internet has become. Our furnitures might be a little old-school, but they'll hopefully offer you a dose of coziness which will only get enhanced by the bartender's carefully-crafted cocktails. You are currently standing in the entrance. If you look around, you will find the bar with its stools and jukebox, the lounge with fire crackling in the fireplace and a terrace that's open during the summer with a few tables.
To go there, just type "gemini://midnight.pub" on Lagrange and you should arrive. Feel free to hop around and see what people are saying.
There are a few themed places in the geminispace. Another one is called Cosmic Voyage (gemini://cosmic.voyage/). It's a collective writing place where people write "traveling logs" from their fictional spaceships.
How about a little music break? Head over to gemini://konpeito.media/ and download the latest mixtape.
There's no Google on Gemini, and that's my favorite part. Finding content happens by accident. There's no product to buy or bots. It's just humans writing and building "gemini capsules" (sites), often self-hosting them from their homes. Browsing Gemini feels relaxing. It's a similar sensation than reading a book.
While I don't know what the future holds for Gemini, I somehow hope it never becomes mainstream. I like that it's small and I like that it doesn't have many feature. It's almost like witnessing an alternative timeline of what the web could have been. It promotes a healthier approach to technology. I hope you like it too.