Gopher is a distributed document search and retrieval network protocol designed for the Internet. Distributed computing deals with Hardware and Software Systems containing more than one processing element or Storage element concurrent A document (noun is a bounded physical representation of body of Information designed with the capacity (and usually intent to Communicate. In computing, a protocol is a convention or standard that controls or enables the connection Communication, and Data transfer between two computing The Internet is a global system of interconnected Computer networks Its goal is to function as an improved form of Anonymous FTP, enhanced with hyperlinking features similar to that of the World Wide Web. In computing a hyperlink is a Reference or Navigation element in a Document to another Section of the same document or to another The World Wide Web (commonly shortened to the Web) is a system of interlinked Hypertext documents accessed via the Internet.
The Gopher protocol offers some features not natively supported by the Web and imposes a much stronger hierarchy on information stored on it. Its text menu interface is well-suited to computing environments that rely heavily on remote computer terminals, common in universities at the time of its creation in 1991 until 1993
With the vast popularity of the World Wide Web, Gopher is all but disused at present, with remaining sites being run by individual enthusiasts. A computer terminal is an electronic or electromechanical hardware device that is used for entering data into and displaying data from a Computer or a Computing Year 1993 ( MCMXCIII) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar)
The original Gopher system was released in late spring of 1991 by Mark McCahill, Farhad Anklesaria, Paul Lindner, Dan Torrey, and Bob Alberti of the University of Minnesota. Mark P McCahill (born February 7, 1956) has been involved in developing and popularizing a number of Internet technologies since the late 1980s The University of Minnesota Twin Cities ( U of M or The U) is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system. Its central goals are:
The source of the name "Gopher" is claimed to be threefold:
Gopher combines document hierarchies with collections of services, including WAIS, the Archie and Veronica search engines, and gateways to other information systems such as ftp and Usenet. A gopher is a small burrowing Rodent that comes in many varieties including Pocket gophers of the family Geomyidae, native to The Minnesota Golden Gophers are the college sports team for the University of Minnesota. Wide Area Information Servers or WAIS is a Client-server text searching System that uses the ANSI Standard Z39 Archie is a tool for indexing FTP archives allowing people to find specific files Steven Foster redirects here For the 19th century songwriter see Stephen Foster. Usenet, a Portmanteau of "user" and "network" is a world-wide distributed Internet discussion system
The general interest in Campus-Wide Information Systems (CWISs) in higher education at the time, and the ease with which a Gopher server could be set up to create an instant CWIS with links to other sites' online directories and resources were the factors contributing to Gopher's rapid adoption. By 1992, the standard method of locating someone's e-mail address was to find their organization's CCSO nameserver entry in Gopher, and query the nameserver. A CCSO name-server or Ph protocol was an early form of database search on the web 
The exponential scaling of utility in social networked systems (Reed's law) seen in Gopher, and then the Web, is a common feature of networked hypermedia systems with distributed authoring. Reed's law is the assertion of David P Reed that the Utility of large networks, particularly Social networks can scale exponentially In 1993–1994, Web pages commonly contained large numbers of links to Gopher-delivered resources, as the Web continued Gopher's embrace and extend tradition of providing gateways to other services.
The World Wide Web was in its infancy in 1991, and Gopher services quickly became established. The World Wide Web (commonly shortened to the Web) is a system of interlinked Hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. By the late 1990s, Gopher had ceased expanding. Several factors contributed to Gopher's stagnation:
As of 2007, there are fewer than 100 gopher servers indexed by Veronica-2.  Many of them are owned by universities in various parts of the world. Most of them are neglected and rarely updated except for the ones run by enthusiasts of the protocol. A handful of new servers are set up every year by hobbyists - 30 have been set up and added to Floodgap's list since 1999 and possibly some more that haven't been added.
Some have suggested that the bandwidth-sparing simple interface of Gopher would be a good match for mobile phones and Personal digital assistants (PDAs), but so far, the Web-fixated market prefers Wireless Markup Language (WML)/Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), DoCoMo i-mode, XHTML Basic or other adaptations of HTML and XML. Wireless Markup Language, based on XML, is a Markup language intended for devices that implement the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP specification WAP is an open international Standard for Application layer network communications in a Wireless communication environment NTT DoCoMo 's i-mode is a Wireless internet service popular in Japan. HTML, an initialism of HyperText Markup Language, is the predominant Markup language for Web pages It provides a means to describe the structure Don't change "Extensible" The PyGopherd server, however, provides a built-in WML front-end to Gopher sites served with it. See also Bucktooth - the other modern Gopher server
Gopher support was disabled in Internet Explorer versions 5. Windows Internet Explorer (formerly Microsoft Internet Explorer abbreviated MSIE) commonly abbreviated to IE, is a series of graphical * and 6 for Windows in June 2002 by a patch meant to fix a security vulnerability in the browser's Gopher protocol handler; however, it can be re-enabled by editing the Windows registry. The Windows registry is a directory which stores settings and options for the Operating system for Microsoft Windows 32-bit versions 64-bit versions and  In Internet Explorer 7, Gopher support was removed on the WinINET level. Windows Internet Explorer (formerly Microsoft Internet Explorer abbreviated MSIE) commonly abbreviated to IE, is a series of graphical  Internet Explorer for Mac (only on PowerPC architecture and in End-of-life) still supports Gopher. PowerPC is a RISC Instruction set architecture created by the 1991 Apple – IBM – Motorola alliance known as AIM End-of-life ( EOL) is a term used with respect to a Retailed product, indicating that the product is in the end of its product lifetime and a vendor will Internet Explorer is hard coded to work on Port 70. Hard coding (also hard-coding or hardcoding) refers to the software development practice of embedding input or configuration data directly into the Source
Other browsers, including AOL and Mozilla (deprecated), still support the protocol, but incompletely--the most obvious deficiency is that they cannot display the informational text found on many Gopher menus. Mozilla was the official public original name of Mozilla Application Suite by the Mozilla Foundation, currently known as SeaMonkey suite.
Mozilla Firefox has full Gopher support as of release 1. 5, and partial support in previous versions. The SeaMonkey Internet suite, successor of the Mozilla all-in-one suite, also supports Gopher fully, as does Camino, a browser based on Mozilla's engine. SeaMonkey is a free, Open source, and Cross-platform Internet suite. Camino (Spanish for way / path / road) is a free, Open source, GUI-based Web browser based on Mozilla Such Mozilla-based browsers are able to display embedded images from a gopher server on an HTTP-based HTML document and follow download links to a gopher server. However, it has been announced that support for the Gopher protocol will be removed by default in the Mozilla 2 platform that Mozilla Firefox 4. Mozilla was the official public original name of Mozilla Application Suite by the Mozilla Foundation, currently known as SeaMonkey suite. 0 will use.
The most extensive gopher support is offered in Lynx, a text-based browser, while the Safari and Opera web browsers do not support Gopher at all (though Opera 9. Lynx is a free Open-source, text-only Web browser and Gopher client for use on cursor-addressable character cell terminals. Safari is a Web browser developed by Apple Inc and included in Mac OS X. Opera is a Web browser and Internet suite developed by the Opera Software company 0 includes a proxy capability).
Gopher was at its height of popularity during a time when there were still many equally competing computer architectures and operating systems. As such, there are several Gopher Clients available for Acorn RISC OS, AmigaOS, Atari MiNT, CMS, DOS, MacOS 7x, MVS, NeXT, OS/2 Warp, most UNIX-like operating systems, VMS, Windows 3x, and Windows 9x. Acorn Computers was a British Computer company established in Cambridge, England, in 1978 AmigaOS is the default native Operating system of the Amiga personal computer MiNT ("MiNT is Now TOS" is a Free software alternative Operating system kernel for the Atari ST and its successors See also VM (operating system, CP/CMS, History of CP/CMS The Conversational Monitor System ( CMS; originally "Cambridge Monitor DOS, short for "Disk Operating System" is a shorthand term for several closely related Operating systems that dominated the IBM PC compatible market System 7 (codenamed "Big Bang" and sometimes called Mac OS 7) is a single-user Graphical user interface -based Operating system for Macintosh Multiple Virtual Storage, more commonly called MVS, was the most commonly used Operating system on the System/370 and System/390 IBM NeXT Computer Inc (later NeXT Software Inc) was an American Computer company headquartered in Redwood City, California that OS/2 is a computer Operating system, initially created by Microsoft and IBM, then later developed by IBM exclusively A Unix-like (sometimes shortened to *nix) Operating system is one that behaves in a manner similar to a Unix system while not necessarily conforming Open Virtual Memory System ( OpenVMS) initially known just as Virtual Memory System ( VMS) is the name of a High-end Computer server Windows 31x was a major release of Microsoft Windows. Several editions were released between 1992 and 1994 succeeding Windows 3 Windows 9x is the family of Microsoft Windows Operating systems that comprises the hybrid 16/32-bit Windows versions Windows 95, Windows 98 There are several Gopher Clients designed for 3D visualization, and even a Gopher Client MOO object. GopherVR is an enhanced version of the Unix and Macintosh Internet Gopher clients that includes a 3D visualization tool for viewing resource collections as 3D scenes MOO programming language The majority of these clients are hard coded to work on Port 70. Hard coding (also hard-coding or hardcoding) refers to the software development practice of embedding input or configuration data directly into the Source
Users of Web browsers that have incomplete or no support for Gopher can access content on Gopher servers via a server gateway that converts Gopher menus into HTML. HTML, an initialism of HyperText Markup Language, is the predominant Markup language for Web pages It provides a means to describe the structure One such server is at Floodgap.com. By default any Squid cache proxy server will act as a Gopher to HTTP gateway. Squid is a Proxy server and Web cache daemon. It has a wide variety of uses from speeding up a Web server by caching repeated requests
Some Gopher servers, such as GN and PyGopherd, also have built-in Gopher to HTTP interfaces. See also Bucktooth - the other modern Gopher server
Gopher functions and appears much like a mountable read-only global network file system (and software, such as gopherfs, is available that can actually mount a Gopher server as a FUSE resource). A network file system is any computer File system that supports sharing of files, printers and other resources as Persistent storage over Filesystem in Userspace ( FUSE) is a Loadable kernel module for Unix-like computer Operating systems that allows non-privileged users to create At a minimum, whatever a person can do with data files on a CD-ROM, they can do on Gopher. CD-ROM (an initialism of "Compact Disc Read-Only Memory " is a pre-pressed Compact Disc that contains data accessible to but not writable
A Gopher system consists of a series of hierarchical hyperlinkable menus. The choice of menu items and titles is controlled by the administrator of the server.
Similar to a file on a Web server, a file on a Gopher server can be linked to as a menu item from any other Gopher server. Many servers take advantage of this inter-server linking to provide a directory of other servers that the user can access.
The Gopher protocol was first described in INFORMATIONAL RFC 1436. IANA has assigned TCP port 70 to the Gopher protocol. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA is the entity that oversees global IP address allocation, DNS root zone management, media types The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP is one of the core protocols of the Internet Protocol Suite. The Transmission Control Protocol ( TCP) and the User Datagram Protocol ( UDP) are Transport Layer protocols of the Internet Protocol
After the client has established a TCP connection with the server, it sends a line that contains the item selector, a string that identifies the document to be retrieved. The line is ended with a carriage return followed by a line feed (a "CR + LF" sequence). In Computing, a newline (also known as a line break or end-of-line / EOL character is a special character or sequence of characters An empty line will select the default directory. The server then replies with the requested item and closes the connection.
A directory consists of a sequence of lines, each of which describes an item that can be retrieved. These lines are ended with "CR + LF". They consist of five fields, separated by TAB characters:
Historically, to create a link to a Web server, "GET /" was used as the file to simulate an HTTP client request. In Computing, plain text is a term used for an ordinary "unformatted" sequential file readable as textual material without much processing In Computing, a directory, catalog, folder or drawer is an entity in a File system, which contains a group of files and/or other directories A CCSO name-server or Ph protocol was an early form of database search on the web BinHex, short for "binary-to-hexadecimal" is a Binary-to-text encoding system that was used on the Mac OS for sending binary files through E-mail A file archiver is a Computer program that combines a number of files together into one Archive file, or a series of archive files for easier transportation Uuencoding is a form of Binary-to-text encoding that originated in the Unix program uuencode, for encoding binary data for transmission Telnet ( Tel ecommunication net work is a Network protocol used on the Internet or local area network (LAN connections HTML, an initialism of HyperText Markup Language, is the predominant Markup language for Web pages It provides a means to describe the structure A digital image is a representation of a two-dimensional Image using ones and zeros (binary An audio file format is a Container format for storing audio data on a Computer system John Goerzen created an addition  to the Gopher protocol, commonly referred to as "URL links", that allows links to any protocol that supports URLs. John Goerzen is a prominent member of the Internet Gopher community and a former president/chairman of Software in the Public Interest. Uniform Resource Locator is an URI which also specifies where the identified resource is available and the protocol for retrieving it For example, to create a link to http://gopher.quux.org, the item type is "h", the description is arbitrary, the item selector is "URL:http://gopher. quux. org", and the domain and port are that of the originating Gopher server. For clients that do not support URL links, the server creates an HTML redirection page.
The main Gopher search engine is Veronica. Steven Foster redirects here For the 19th century songwriter see Stephen Foster. Veronica offers a keyword search of most Gopher server menu titles in the gopher web. A Veronica search produces a menu of Gopher items, each of which is a direct pointer to a Gopher data source. Currently, there is only one Veronica-2 server.
GopherVR is a 3D variant of the original Gopher system. GopherVR is an enhanced version of the Unix and Macintosh Internet Gopher clients that includes a 3D visualization tool for viewing resource collections as 3D scenes