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Thread: Gopher Protocol/Command Question

  1. #1

    Post Gopher Protocol/Command Question

    Can someone explain to me an in-depth look at what Gopher is. I have never studied that protocol but have seen it alot when looking at some tutorials. Is there a chance someone can explain to me what it does and what it is used for? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Ack. It's been a while since I've seen gopher in-use anywhere... I've even forgotten a bunch of it. But, I think it runs on port 70 (if memory serves) and its services overlap a lot of what the web is used for today. Very basically, the server end is setup much like a "filesystem" (for lack of a better way to explain it, if nothing else) and the goal is simply to return a set of documents to a querying user. It was a great means for document retrieval for the few months or years it seemed to be taking over, but web applications have since seemed to have nearly put this out of business (similiar to the way that anonymous FTP servers are starting to disappear - though that's also motivated by the obvious security issues).
    \"Windows has detected that a gnat has farted in the general vicinity. You must reboot for changes to take affect. Reboot now?\"

  3. #3
    Thank you. Hmm.. I have never studied Gopher but it sound's okay. Thanks for the information though!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    you still see it in use at some colleges, orgs and gov sites


    its text only and supports hyperlinking
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  5. #5
    Jaded Network Admin nebulus200's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    As memory serves, it was a pre-www way to browse around over the net to find information. I primarily used it to look at the resources of libraries other than my universities and to see what they had available. I don't know if you have every played around with lynx (text based http browser), but the output of it looked very similar to what you would see through lynx (a bunch of text with some of it that was hyperlinked (you could hit enter on it and it would search and stuff).

    Compared to
    the standards of today it is quite outdated and I would be suprised to see it in very widespread use.

    Obtained from a quick google search that listed : http://http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/g/gopher.html

    A system that pre-dates the World Wide Web for organizing and displaying files on Internet servers. A Gopher server presents its contents as a hierarchically structured list of files. With the ascendance of the Web, most Gopher databases are being converted to Web sites which can be more easily accessed via Web search engines.

    Gopher was developed at the University of Minnesota and named after the school's mascot. Two systems, Veronica and Jughead, let you search global indices of resources stored in Gopher systems.

    Another helpful URL : http://wombat.doc.ic.ac.uk/foldoc/foldoc.cgi?gopher

    Just be patient with the google searches, gopher is so antiquated a great many of the results turned back were for things other than the protocol. The URL immediately preceding this paragraph also has a link to the RFC for the protocol.

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