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phlint

phlint is used to introduce air into closed phlogiston systems, thus “lighting” it and releasing energy into the world.

It is also a theme system for Hugo that uses custom outputs to generate a gopher site. More precisely, it is a single implementation of generating gopher-specific files, based on the preference of maiki; there are a lot of different ways to do it.

Reasons

I want to participate in gopher culture. While gopherspace expands and contracts, it stays between 150 - 200 sites. Search indexes show somewhere around 4 million links. That seems like a neat, sane space to explore, without compelling someone to try to monetize it, and doing all the toxic shit people do on the web.

Another reason is that I am not building popular websites, I am trying to share knowledge. Even if I am selling something, I want to be authentic and open, and replicating knowledge in this way is very useful.

Finally, there is a limitation to DRY writing copy for gopher and a web page. But there is a structure there, an arrangement of elements that fit a human device, that appeals to me. I feel learning to communicate with plain text and gophermaps will inform the direction I want to go with creating web documents. And the parts I love about the web, hypertext and progressive enhancements, those can fit on top of a document used to communicate in plain text. Or rather, I need that to work.

Considerations

Because I am on SDF, and I nominally have access to a gopher site in a matter of moments, phlint generates files that fit with gophernicus, specifically gophermaps. This is done by templating custom output formats for Hugo.

Here is a quick list of considerations:

  • Line-width - We’ll want to hard wrap content at 70 (or configurable, maybe), so folks like me don’t have to change their editors for phlogging. We’ve found a couple of leads for fixing line width.
  • Hyperlinks - We’ve also made progress on how to pull URLs out of the content. Testing will need to determine a format that is easiest for visitors.
  • URL mirroring - This is a happy feature to have, but basically I’d like a simple value pair of URLs to convert, in case the hyperlink is to a site known to mirror in gopherspace, this can convert URLs so we can avoid HTML links in gopher. I’ll write more about this.

Resources

There is a code repository (currently empty) and issue tracker. #phlint probably works as the hashtag.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://interi.org/notes/phlint/
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