gopher access from modern systems was Re: Coherent 3.1.0...
spectre at floodgap.com
Thu Jul 22 14:29:55 CDT 2010
> Please don't take this as flamebait, but is there much useful on gopher these
> days? The last time I remember using it was in the early 90's.
Besides quite a bit of file archives, which I think would be useful
particularly to this group (I maintain personally a big collection of
classic Mac software; Jacob has his Amiga and Coherent archives, and lots of
other stuff), I use my own gopher server for fast access to news and weather
articles that the server collects. No ads, simple text.
Gopher is not very good at hypertext, but it is a lot better at collecting
documents into coherent hierarchies. While FTP can do this too, it has more
overhead and (if improperly configured) security impact, and HTTP doesn't do
this natively (such things exist as machinations of the server) besides all
the excess with HTTP's overhead. Sure, you could simulate such simplicity
with a constrained HTTP implementation, but why bother when Gopher is
already a very simple protocol and works well?
Gopher is also very compelling on mobile devices, especially bandwidth and
screen constrained, which is why I wrote a client for Android. There is also
a J2ME client that runs on any phone that can run MIDlets.
Plus, damn near anything can parse a gopher menu. It's almost as trivial
a format as you get.
Gopher's main deficiency is discoverability -- it's hard to navigate back
from a terminal document into a menu without a lot of gyration. I'm trying to
solve this on the client side without disturbing what is a refreshingly
simple way to access a server.
------------------------------------ personal: http://www.cameronkaiser.com/ --
Cameron Kaiser * Floodgap Systems * www.floodgap.com * ckaiser at floodgap.com
-- Why, I'd horsewhip you if I had a horse! -- Groucho Marx -------------------
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