It’s been a while since my last article.
I know I said I would post an article everyday for the month of July, but hey – I had a headache for a few days and then went exploring through the internet. And guess what I found?! It’s been totally worth the wait.
Let’s start with Tildeverse.
dun dun dunnnnn… boom! boom! Fireworks everywhere!
Tildeverse is like the Fediverse but retro.
Tildeverse is what the Fediverse would’ve looked like if it had been invented in the late 90’s.
And I like it!
How would I define the Fediverse? Open source, decentralized, federated social networks hosting different services that are integrated together by one protocol – ActivityPub. Phew! Did I nail it or what?
Now the Tildeverse has some similarities with the Fediverse, and some differences.
First of all, there is no single unifying protocol; BUT, there is the Terminal! Oh yeah!
While exploring the Tildeverse, I discovered the use of SSH, SFTP, Gopher, Gemini, HTTP, IRC, Finger, SMTP, RSS, SIP, ActivityPub and even WebDAV! Is this cool or what?
I think it is!
Now, if I examine the Fediverse in a similar light, it also uses several different protocols, but the ActivityPub is the main unifying protocol.
So what is the tildeverse? It is a collection of communities just like the Fediverse. But they’re all centered around one thing – *nix. That is, Linux, Unix, and BSD.
Each community has a shared Linux system that users can log into via SSH and do various things like programming, creating web pages, play games, chat on IRC, read and send emails, browse and post on Bulletin Boards(Bulletin Butter & Jelly/BBJ), mailing lists, ttbp(tilde town blogging platform)/feels, ttrv(tilde town reddit viewer), use the finger protocol (for lack of better words), use git repositories and so on.
Each community offers a given number of services, so don’t expect a server to have all services.
Then there’s tilderadio, a really cool radio station.
I like it. Tildeverse is sort of like an underground network of communities free from corporate spying, marketing and advertising.
Okay. The Gopher protocol.
This is a protocol that preceded the www in the early 90’s when computer resources were still quite minimal. The approach is simple, minimalistic and very resource efficient.
Unfortunately due to corporate bureaucracy, the HTTP took off, and Gopher was slowly killed due to the lack of support by newer clients.
As a 90’s kid, I’d never heard of Gopher until I stumbled onto Tildeverse. Then I came across Tomasino’s YouTube video explaining the Gopher Protocol and a few minutes in, I had to go explore it myself and do my own research.
The Gopher protocol is mainly used for text based websites, though there are options for documents and images as well.
To my surprise, there are actually hundreds of Gopherspaces existing underground, with thousands of users scattered across the globe.
The Tildeverse refers to these sites as gopherholes while the rest of the Gopher community refer to them as gopherspaces. I like the sound of gopherspace. Gopherhole sounds like some garbage pit in the jungle.
If you want to search for gopher sites, there’s the Veronica search engine which has a HTTP proxy if you’re using a regular Browser. I checked it out and it works pretty well.
I spent two days setting up my own gopherspace.
And then I came across the Gemini protocol.
Now, the Gemini Protocol is a new protocol similar to the Gopher protocol that adds privacy and supports MIME and TLS.
Essentially, the Gemini Protocol brushes up the shortcomings of the Gopher Protocol.
Even though the protocol is new, there are already a few communities providing Gemini hosting. That’s nice.
If you want to search for gemini sites, there’s the Gus and Houston search engines, as well as aggregators that show recently updated sites.
I’ve yet to set up my own Geminispace, but I’m looking forward to it.
Okay. There’s a lot more that could be said that I can’t remember or have yet to discover.
But this article pretty much summarizes everything that I’ve learned so far.
Personally, this is my alternative to SSB. Ever since my terrible experience with Secure Scuttlebutt, I’ve constantly been on the lookout for a viable replacement.
This is it.
Gemini and Gopher are low-resource, minimalistic and quite private.
Anyway, as far as privacy is concerned, it’s quite a relative subject. How do you want your privacy to be implemented? Who do you want to access your information? Whom do you want to protect your information from?
Using Gopher, I don’t have to sync several Gigs of data in a span of a few weeks of casual usage. Neither do I have to worry about my slow CPU throttling and crapping itself because of one application.
I’ve downloaded and tested several gopher clients and all of them work flawlessly. Wish that could be said of the SSB clients.
The only drawback for Gopher and Gemini is that there are no mobile clients.
And I’m currently wondering if I could use a Terminal on Android to access gopher and gemini sites.
Well, that remains to be seen.
I’m not particularly worried about it though, as I’ve limited my use of phone to surf the web, browse 4chan, Reddit and HackerNews and set my alarm clock.