gopher access from modern systems was Re: Coherent 3.1.0...
mcguire at neurotica.com
Sun Jul 25 13:59:16 CDT 2010
On 7/22/10 3:29 PM, Cameron Kaiser wrote:
> 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.
Gopher is a good system. I think we should start a movement to "bring
it back". I used it constantly in the early 1990s; it was very useful.
Everyone I've ever spoken with about it remembers it with great fondness.
Things have changed a lot since that stuff was in mainstream use, both
in terms of networking and user expectations. What is the current
operational/portability/performance status of the gopher and veronica
server code? I don't recall their being more than a couple of
implementations. I'm an accomplished UNIX network/protocols programmer
and would be willing (time permitting) to take on the task of
modernizing the server-side code on a time-available basis.
Port Charlotte, FL
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