Not e-paper related per se, but possibly e-paper friendly:
Not sure how this would help. What we need for e-Ink is not a new (or in this case, old) protocol, we need a new web browser. HTTP has nothing to do with the browser UI, or even with how websites are presented. For a practical example, look how well the reading mode works in your browser. It looks nothing like the HTML/CSS says it should look like, but it’s very readable and, for the most part, e-paper friendly.
I remember gopher back in the day and loved it. I’ve had a look at gemini, but not sure about some of the choices made by the developers. Totally support the “small web” ethos though. One plus for gopher or gemini is that pretty much all of the content there is just static text and links. That’s a plus for e-ink. The big downside of course is…far less content available.
But agree that the protocol isn’t key here. It’s what’s served over the protocol. If we went back to http serving html 1 or 2, that would generally be very e-ink friendly.