A lot of tooters on Mastodon have been chatting about Gopher, and how it could become a meaningful alternative to the evolution of the modern web, which is seen as bloated, and filled with “web apps”, JavaScript, advertising, tracking, and malware.

I’m mostly on board with this vision. I want to help where I can to make it a reality, so here is my 2018 roadmap for the work I hope to do in this space.

port70: A modern Gopher browser for iOS

Charles Childers is working on an excellent Gopher browser for iOS, but it’s going in a different direction than what I see in my mind. I want to get away from the ‘line-by-line’ representation of Gopher pages, in favor of a more iOS-native approach, such as a list of cells, similar to Quiver for macOS, where each cell can contain one of a block of text, a link, or a search field.

Bookmarks, history, and intelligent sharing are all a must. Plain text files should have multiple “readability” settings for fonts, colors, and spacing. Text is the core element of Gopher: beautiful typography should inform the entire experience.

Gopher.it: Painless Gopher hosting

On the flip side, I want to provide a place for people to publish their own Gopher website, similar to Neocities and GitHub Pages. Again, the user experience is very important for me. It should be simple to set up and easy to get new content into from iOS and the web. Upload plain text, Markdown, and small images, and a Gophermap will be automatically generated for you.

I’d love to have a browser extension which allows you to save bookmarks from all over Gopherspace and publish them in a “Shared Links” section of your Gopher site, to help encourage interlinking of things.

I’m sure a service like this, with such lightweight serving requirements, could be maintained for next to nothing.