Mudshovel

Gosh, sorry about that, I had 48 straight hours of debauched homosex (don’t tell Caby) and got too hungover to write a blog entry. (Fittingly, this is post ID 1776. Do not apologize for freedom. Protest your dickhead governor today.) Now that that’s taken care of, we can talk about what I’ve been doing with Gopher lately.

Somnolescent's Gopher returns

So yes, the Somnolescent Gopher is technically live again! I haven’t unveiled it yet, and I’m not linking to it until it’s ready to go, but it’s at the old URL if you’re desperately curious. There’s already a few menus up for debugging purposes, but nothing officially linked.

Honestly, it’s the kinda thing where I didn’t really want to do it until I did it. I was kinda lazy about it for the first third of the month, and then I just randomly went “alright, let’s do it” a few days ago and now, I’m really hype about it. Took about an hour in total to get it going on the Filebase Pi (which I had my suspicions about it keeping up with the workload, but it’s Gopher, so we’re probably fine). Pleasingly, the DNS records from the old server still existed, meaning I didn’t even need to set that bit up, just port forward it.

I was really, really adamant about using Pituophis for this, partially to say we’re eating our own dog food but mostly just because dcb’s a good friend and I like making sure he knows his stuff’s appreciated. Much of the time was spent debugging Python being funny out of the box on Raspbian; shit dragged me down into the deepest clutches of etc/sudoers Hell. which nukes your $PYTHONPATH and in fact all environmental variables if you run a script as root (which is needed to get Pituophis to talk on port 70). Thus, it couldn’t import the Pituophis module that was installed in the exact same place every other module is.

But hey, it’s up! It works! I don’t need to restart it to edit menus! Everyone’s happy. As of right now, the only other bit left to configure is to get it running automatically at startup, probably through .bashrc, but I don’t care much at the moment seeing as the Pi has tremendous uptime anyway.

The new-and-improved Gopher Information Repository
I think it looks like the Gopher version of a legal pad, which is kind of a neat look.

My other focus has been on the long, long-neglected Gopher Information Repository, which is now 14 months without an update and was kinda half-assed to begin with. It deserved better. Not to mention, when I first started that section, I hadn’t really developed my opinion on what I think Gopher does well–at the time, I was still going with the “more structured Web” thing that sinks Gopher every time someone brings it up.

Now, I think I can do Floodgap one better. So over the past day or two, I’ve been trying to flesh it out, make it more of an actual repository of information with terms, history, and manifestos. I also got kinda sick of the lack of stylesheet for that page; the original appeal was something to the effect of “whoa, it looks the same in Netscape as it does in Vivaldi!”, but that appeal has long since worn off. By the same token, I still wanted it relatively minimalist. A light touch of styling, not a layout, you know?

In any case, I went with a Dreamweaver 2004 template and tweaked it. With the description lists, it accidentally came out looking exactly like Netscape’s rendering of a Gopher menu, so I just added the icons and tweaked the left margins and ran with it. I’m really happy with how this turned out. I’m hoping with more work throughout the month, this thing will be good enough to share out.

dcb and I hype over the Gopher Information Repository

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