[gopher] Hello Gopher Project
Kevin Veroneau <kevin@...
2014-12-12 08:52:07 GMT
My name is Kevin Veroneau, and I have been using Gopher and running
my own Gopherhole for about a year now. I am now just starting to take
a more active role in the Gopher community by contributing and/or
updating code relating to new or existing Gopher projects. You can
learn more about me on my Gopherhole: gopher://gopher.veroneau.net
You can learn additional information about me through my Telnet
<at> iamkevin.ca:5199, there is a telnet link on my Gopherhole as well.
Anyways, I'll brief the community here on what I have been up to
Gopher-wise during the past week:
Earlier this week, I updated the Overbite Android application and
updated the user interface, and enabled better compatibility with newer
devices. I personally have a Samsung S5, and there is no more "Menu"
key, rather I need to hold down the "Recent apps" key to bring up the
menu for older Android apps. This was what I was needing to do on the
old Overbite for Android app and it was driving me a little nuts...
So, my first update was to make it both compatible with Android 2.3+,
and also look 10x better on Android 4.0.3+. You can download the
updated APK and also view many screenshots on my Gopher here:
Oh, and I also added a traditional address bar to the user interface.
My next project of this week was a brand new project, an XBMC(Soon to
be called Kodi) app. XBMC, if you don't know, is a rather popular open
source media center application that is cross-platform. Can you guess
what this XBMC app might be? If you guessed a native Gopher client,
then you would be right! Yes, now you can finally browse Gopherholes
from the comfort of your couch using an IR remote control. When using
search servers, it will gladly bring up a nice remote friendly
on-screen keyboard to request your query. The app currently supports
displaying directories, text files, and images. So, it will appear as
a "Picture" add-on in XBMC. This makes it nice to just sit back one
night and read a text-based novel on your 90" UHDTV. :D
You can download both the ZIP package for XBMC add-on and view
screenshots of it in action in the Gopher URL above.
If that's not enough, I even did yet more interesting Gopher stuff
this week... Hopefully I'm not like the only guy on this mailing list
that's actually using Gopher...
I built a pretty useable Gopher client in the Django Python web
framework. I built it so that I could allow people to browse my
Gopherhole without a Gopher client or using a 3rd party proxy service.
The full source will be released on my Python Diary blog tomorrow
morning, if your curious about this one. You can check it using this
link if you wanted to see how it works and functions:
Now before I dive into something more technical, I'll bring up
something I did a few months back. Do you recall that gopherlib.py
module that shipped with Python 2.5 last? Well, I brought it back from
the dead and updated it! You can grab the latest copy of it on my...
Gopher of course!
My Django Gopher client actually uses this new updated Python module.
Okay, so now for some interesting news that may make some cringe. I
was told by some sources that this is the place to go if I want to
discuss additions to the "Gopher Protocol" standard. Well, this
evening, I built a proof of concept new Gopher type. I am really
hoping that we can all work together to make this the newest Gopher
type in years! This new Gopher type fits Gopher so well that it would
be stupid to not include it in the Gopher standard for for clients to
actually support it. Have you ever heard of this little markup
language called "Markdown"? It's a very simple, but powerful markup,
and it's used on lots of programming and documentation websites. If
you use GIT, then you most likely store your README file in Markdown
format. Wouldn't this format fit in with Gopher's overall goal?
Markdown is very lightweight, and looks good with or without being
processed. I see some Gopherholes trying to use HTML, and I'm like...
REALLY!!! Markdown would suit these types of documents better,
especially when it comes to text-based or low end device clients.
Markdown has the advantage of looking great, but still takes little
bandwidth and looks nice in plain text too.
The best part about this, is that you can literally try out Markdown
documents today before a standard is formalized to see how well it
scales. Text clients like "Lynx" and "Gopher" can just display such
item types as "plain text" without processing them as Markdown. So,
there is very minimal work required to massively deploy this new Gopher
type. Currently, I have updated the Overbite for Android client to
support it, you can download the updated APK and view screenshots at
the following Gopher:
I have also updated my Django Gopher client to render Markdown to
show that updating Gopher proxies shouldn't be too much trouble either:
I believe how to render Markdown documents should be left to the
client maintainer. The client should at least be capable of displaying
just the plain text document without the Markdown processing. So,
display the new Gopher type as type "0", in most languages it's very
easy to make 2 Gopher types do the same thing.
If anybody here has access to SDF, I have also posted something there
in the BBOARD about my ideas on how I would like to improve Gopher.
You can also read the following Blog post on my Gopher here for
With all that said, I'd highly recommend borrowing around my hole to
see what interesting Gopher stuff I've gotten my nose into. I have
some pretty interesting moles lying around there, and other articles
As you can very well see, I am very determined to see the Gopher
protocol innovate into something great! I did most of this in less
than a week... Do I even have a life?
Kevin Veroneau Consulting Services