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commit 5bd04b91f58166b62d56756919f3df82267178af (patch)
parent 7c097dd1384dfc67f1ac2718970958fbc7bab3c5
Author: Alex Karle <>
Date:   Thu, 11 Nov 2021 00:22:40 -0500

gopher: Add text vs menu post on the "phormat"

Mgopher/phlog.txt | 53+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
1 file changed, 53 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)

diff --git a/gopher/phlog.txt b/gopher/phlog.txt @@ -13,6 +13,59 @@ just a collection of thoughts.. +Choosing a Phormat pt. 3 [2021-11-11] +------------------------------------------------------- + +Keeping the title the same to hopefully make it easier +to get threads going between posts... + +I wanted to callout an interesting observation I read +on the gemini FAQ [1] about text vs menu content +serving. The observation is that menus are appealing +because they allow hyperlinking (with restrictions, +like way outdated content types); however, using a +menu that is largely text (`i` info types) is a +_really_ inefficient way to serve up content, due +to the phony selectors and hostnames that come with +it! + +As a practical example, this phlog.txt, including +this post, is 7396 bytes, but if it was served as +a *.gph file, it becomes 11131 bytes! That's 1.5x +the size (~1/3 overhead)! + +This is also discussed a bit on the gemlog of [2], which describes the history of `i`. +`i` isn't part of the original RFC, and it _seems_ +that the original gopher team weren't thrilled to +add it. Of course, `i` won out over plain menus +because people like to see a little context... but +the "pure" gopher way would be to put said context +in a file named ABOUT and be done with it! + +I think this is all interesting because people are +making some really cool gopher apps out of the +menu format (like stagit-gopher, for instance). +But maybe this is the wrong way to go about things? +in the sense that it would benefit from a more +flexible format, like text/gemini... + +Anyways, to go full circle, this revelation about +phony selectors reaffirmed my decision to use +a plaintext file instead of a gopher menu for this +phlog. + +It's an interesting hypothetical though--is +Gopher as useful without `i`? Does the lack of +MIME types hinder its future adoption? + +It does still serve well as a plaintext delivery +system, IMHO. And this phlog is a lot of that :) + +[1]: +[2]: + + What's in a RFC? [2021-11-10] -------------------------------------------------------