2023-W29: Alexandra’s Cafe

This week’s Cool Capsule is Alexandra’s Cafe, available at gemini://alexandras.cafe.

Why it’s cool

Alexandra’s Cafe is a personal capsule that’s so well-crafted and textually-themed that the capsule itself feels like art. There isn’t a whole directory structure to explore; instead, everything is linked to from the home page, which reminds me of a text adventure set in a coffee shop.

It begins with a welcome and introduction from the barista (Alexandra). They then ask you for your order, and you are presented with a long list of different drinks which each link to a different article. Each page features properly-captioned ASCII art, and every article ends with a link back to the homepage which asks you whether you’d like to order another drink. After a while, you really start to get the impression of being in a cafe and listening to people’s stories (at least I did).

The homepage also has a list of links labelled after the appearance of the cafe, and each of those points to a relevant location somewhere else in Geminispace. For example, the “window to look outside” brings you to the weather in San Francisco, and the “tiny library” brings you to a list of capsules that Alexandra finds interesting.

The coolest part of the whole thing, I think, is that it’s all a static, flat set of pages that somehow manages to be interactive and immersive.

Collaborative Directory Of Geminispace (CDG) locations