Letters From Somnolescent

September 01 2019

AutoSite XL 0.9 release, and a retrospective



Tonight I released the first "stable" version of AutoSite XL, 0.9. I started this project just before school started about two weeks ago. Something I had always wanted to do since I started working on AutoSite alllll the way back in August 2018 (ok, it was July 30th) was to make a desktop version of it. (AutoSite 98 almost counts. Almost.)

AutoSite XL isn't up on my site yet, which is something I'll get to soon. However, I do have all the code and the actual release on Github, and a pretty extensive (1800 something words) readme.md, which might as well contain a blog post of its own, so it'd be cool if you read it.

I originally considered writing a GUI AutoSite in a new language, maybe to practice Java, the literal bane of my existence (someone's oughta be the programmer for the robotics team now that the only one graduated), or perhaps taking on WPF and heck, C#.

AutoSite GUI concept that lasted maybe 5 minutes

Ultimately though, I decided to stick to what I knew best.

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June 27 2019

Gopher is not the Web


Every now and then, I see new Gopher clients and sites popping up. And that's great—we're keeping this protocol alive for the next generation. However, I can't help but think some of the methods of doing so is restrictive, only getting the "Gopher is a list of links" part.

Back when NCSA Mosaic came out, it supported the Gopher protocol by generating an HTML equivalent to each menu. The idea of that makes sense; I mean, you already have a web browser that technically is capable of displaying the same content. This behavior has been replicated many times by the major web browsers and fellow gophermeisters over time when implementing Gopher support to client software.

The problem with that, however, is that you miss out on the potential that Gopher menus have to be not just a list of links. It's important to understand that Gopher is as much a file transfer protocol as, say, anonymous FTP is, and it would make an amount of sense to implement it similarly. There are two main features that I would like to see more often in modern Gopher clients that stem from this and I will talk about them now. Get the popcorn.

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April 25 2019

snake crashes in



The snake is here and ready to rumble, going to screech about Gopher, CCSO, Xfire, and AvantGo or something soon but until then see ya next time, gonna play some Billiards on Wii Play for now