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Pocket Gopher Grumpy old man

Found at: zaibatsu.circumlunar.space:70/~solderpunk/phlog/pocket-gopher-grumpy-old-man-phone-rant.txt

Pocket Gopher / Grumpy old man phone rant
-----------------------------------------

A recent phlog post by psztrnk[1] alerted me to the existence of Pocket Gopher,
an Android gopher client available on FDroid.  FDroid is the only place I get
software for my phone (which runs LineageOS), as I don't want to have anything
to do with Google.  The last time I checked for a gopher client in FDroid I
didn't find anything, so either Pocket Gopher is newish or I just missed it
somehow.

Like any sane person, I really prefer to do my gophering (and everything else)
on a real computer.  But when I really have to catch up on phlogs on my phone,
until now I have just been using Firefox, with the Overbite extension
installed.  The user experience is complete and utter crap (mostly due to the
continual need to zoom in and out due to the small font size), but then that
goes without saying, because we're talking about a smartphone.  Phone userx
 experience is *always* complete and utter crap, due roughly 50% to the
inherent crapiness of the physical interface and roughly 50% to the baffling
culture amongst phone app developers of designing bizarre and non-discoverable
interfaces.  They are miserable devices whose portability and ubiquitious
internet connection are their only virtues.

Compared to Overbite, Pocket Gopher is still complete and utter crap, but less
so.  The fonts are large and clear so I don't need to do any zooming (which
means I can operate it with one hand while drinking coffee, an essential
usability metric), but because of this the ASCII art that many of us have at
the top of our pages wraps across multiple lines and looks like gibberish.
Those of us who use newlines to wrap our lines at 80 chars (i.e. most of us)
will have their entries appear full of randomly shortened lines for the same
reason.  I guess there's not much to be done about the ASCII art, but I feel
like treating the text somewhat like in HTML (e.g. two consecutive newlines
count as a new paragraph but individual newlines are basically ignored and
text and nicely wrapped to fit the screen) would makes things a lot easier.
No doubt many would consider this contrary to the spirit of Gopher.  Having an
option to enable/disable this would be a fine compromise, IMHO.

The most important thing is that Pocket Gopher boots up into a page of nice big
clear bookmarks.  The SDF phlogosphere of course, was already installed by
default.  So was something called Khzae, which was interesting in that I'd
never heard of it and I like having my mental map of the modern gopher universe
expanded, but not so interesting in that it appears to aspire to be the 4chan
of gopher, which is not for me.  Anyway, the first thing I did was add Bongusta
to that list of bookmarks, so now it hits me right in the face every time I
open the app, which will stop me falling into the lazy habbit of just leaving
open a tab with SDF's phlog listing in it and treating that as a gateway to the
entire phlogosphere, which it very much is not.

As an aside, Tomasino recently phlogged about setting up custom stylesheets for
Firefox.  Possibly this could fix my complaints about using Overbite as a mobile
gopher client, but actually investigating this would probably involve having to
make a .CSS file on my computer and then copying it to my phone, and I just
can't be assed doing that kind of thing these days.  I would not have batted an
eye at it a few years ago when Android phones behaved remotely sanely, i.e. you
could plug them into a Linux machine with a USB cable and they would show up as
a USB mass storage device so you could just mount, cp and umount and be done
with it.  This whole concept seems to have gone out of fashion (along with
other obviously good ideas like microSD cards for expandable storage), and now
you are expected to mess around with some bullshit protocol called MTP, which
solves the very important problem of...umm...I dunno, having to change
everything every few years for the sake of it?  Last time I tried to do that
using some FUSE driver or another it was extremely slow and unreliable so I've
just given up on transferring files between my phone and my PC unless I
absolutely positively have to.  Too much needless faffing around for too little
gain.

[1] gopher://sdf.org:70/0/users/psztrnk/log/20180102.txt
[2] gopher://sdf.org:70/1/users/tomasino/phlog/20171228-custom-stylesheet-for-firefox-tor


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