Re-Reading Les Misérables

Thoughts and commentary on Victor Hugo’s masterpiece.

Now on Gemini

I’ve been experimenting with Gemini, an ultra-light internet system that’s somewhere between a souped-up Gopher (for those of you who remember Gopher) and a stripped-down web. No inline images, no scripts, no styling, no cookies, no forms, no tracking - just bare-bones text, links, lists and headings. Pretty well suited for blogs.

Eleventy doesn’t seem to be happy with generating multiple formats from the same source, so I ended up cobbling together some scripts combining the structure I already have here, pre-processing some of the “front matter” (like titles and dates) and piping it to md2gemini.

So now you can read this blog both as a website and as a Gemini capsule!

Project Gemini is a good introduction if you’ve never used it.

You do need a Gemini browser to read Gemini sites, or “capsules.” I’ve been using these (list updated Nov 2021)

  • Lagrange on Windows, Mac and Linux. iOS and Android versions are in beta.
  • Amfora on the Linux command-line (there are quite a few terminal-based readers!)
  • Seren Seren picks up where the discontinued Ariane (my favorite on Android) left off.
  • Deedum on Android (also available through F-Droid).
  • Elaho is one I’ve seen mentioned on iOS, though I don’t have any iOS devices myself to try it out with.

Keep in mind that it’s still pretty early in Gemini’s existence, so a lot of the software is still a bit rough around the edges.

And, to be honest, this site is a bit rough in Gemini too. I’ve got eight years’ worth of writing for the web on here, and while the actual text should be fine, an automated converter doesn’t know which images, links, etc. are important and which aren’t. So just as it took me a while to update all the WordPress-specific code when moving the site to Eleventy, it’s probably going to take me a while to adjust my conversion scripts (and in some cases the Markdown itself) to polish up the Gemlog version of the site.