I make heavy use, endorse or support many non-mainstream computer technologies and protocols. Some of them are ancient protocols that have been replaced by sophisticated but messy alternatives Other are security focused products that were designed in an age in which end users don’t care much for privacy. Then, there are cases in which the technology is both current and immensely popular, holding the Internet together, yet its existence is ignored by the masses, and its nature is poorly understood by professionals.
This very website makes use of some of these alternative technologies.
The Internet as we know it depends on the DNS protocol in order to ensure that people can reach their intended destination while they surf the web. When you ask your web browser for a website, the browser uses DNS to know who has that website. Failure to find the owner of a website implies failure to retrieve a website, and hence a failure to display it to the user who wanted to browse it.
Websites and other services have official names. Names that end in .com, .org and such. These names are provided by a conglomerate of official organizations that are tasked with providing them to service operators, and running the DNS services that users require in order to use the Internet.
Opennic offers an unofficial, alternative namespace, that does not depend on the corporations and political institutions that run the regular one.
This website will be offered through the alternative domain name www.corrin.geek. Access to Opennic DNS servers is required in order to use it.
Gopher predates the well known HTTP protocol. It is a very simple content transfer protocols that, despite its multiple limitations, offers certain advantages. It is very easy to implement, and administrating a gopherhole is less troublesome than administrating most HTTP servers. Gopher sites also require less bandwidth to function, and are usually not ridden with advertisers, cookies and anti-privacy features.