Gemini is an internet protocol designed by solderpunk in 2019. It is a lightweight protocol with a small number of response codes. It uses TLS to secure connections. One of the motivations in designing Gemini was to make it simple enough that someone could sit down and “write a server for it over the course of a weekend”. It is served on port 1965, a reference to the year of the first manned Gemini mission.
Gemini has its own markup format: gemtext. It has its own nomenclature - blogs are gemlogs, sites are capsules, and so on.
Personally, I love working with and browsing gemini. My capsule can be found at gemini://spool-five.com
As gemini attracted more users, common debates would center around ways that gemini should or should not act as a “replacement” for the web. These debates usually arose when someone would request a new feature, and others would reply along the lines of “if you want to do x, you can do that on the web”. At this stage, the adage “gemini is not a replacement for the web” has become a key part of its identity. Well, then, what is the point?
I’ve scratched my head over this one a few times. When I first started using Gemini, I was enthralled with the possibility that it could somehow replace the web. In retrospect, this was a utopian fantasy. What I really loved about Gemini was that it was an alternative to the web, which is something totally different. The web has become a kind of prison, and if you want to escape it, you have to think laterally. I think Gemini does this well.