🛰️ What is Gemini?

If you are accessing this site from a regular web browser, you might be wondering about the references to Gemini, outer space, and other lofty terms. This page attempts to explain a bit about what Gemini and Geminispace are.

Gemini Itself

For a regular person, I think Gemini is best summarized as:

The creators of Gemini put it best:

We're not out to change the world or destroy other technologies. We are out to build a lightweight online space where documents are just documents, in the interests of every reader's privacy, attention and bandwidth.

Learn More (geminiprotocol.net)


Geminispace refers to the collective community of all so-called "capsules" (websites) that are accessible via Gemini. Many capsules are run by individuals like me, who host their capsules themselves. A capsule can have any kind of content on it.

The "cultural vibe" of Geminispace hearkens back to the earlier days of the internet, where there were many smaller, personal websites, that were constantly-evolving spaces.

There are many interesting places to discover in Geminispace. You can find some of them in my collection of links.

🪐 The Local Cluster

Technical Details

If you're interested in learning a little more about Gemini, read on.

The Gemini Protocol and Gemtext

Gemini, like HTTP, is a protocol. At a high level, they work the same way: your browser requests content, and the server returns that content. By design, though, Gemini is much simpler than HTTP, not to mention everything built on top of it in today's web browsers. There is no scripting in Gemini, nor any other fancy feature, for that matter. Gemini does have limited dynamic interaction: some capsules run search engines, social networks, etc.

Gemtext is the format of documents served over Gemini, like HTML is to the Web. Gemtext is essentially a very stripped-down version of Markdown, and allows only very basic formatting. Even things like bold and italics are (currently?) too fancy for Gemini.

How is this site accessible over HTTP and Gemini?

This site is hosted both on the regular Web (HTTP) and Gemini. As the entire site is simply a collection of static files, there are actually two copies of the site (one HTML, one Gemtext). Every time the site is updated, these files get recreated and deployed to the server hosting the site.

There are also servers that can transparently serve both Gemini and HTML, depending on how one connects to the server. On this capsule, the Gemini protocol is served by Agate, and the HTTP website by nginx.

Agate - Gemini static file server nginx - reverse proxy


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