Gopher Discussion

I probably heard of gopher in middle school but also dismissed it since ‘oh something not immediately accessable from web brower’ as we used internet explorer (yet i was also big into muds at the time gofigure.) My real introduction was roughly when I had gotten my cr48 chromebook.

At the time I was on a metered connection, and I wanted to see what this little browser in a box could do that streached past the usual. This lead me to floodgap and project overbite, and while I only occasionally poke at the gophersphere and would like to see both clients with a more friendly festure set (if nothing else being able to bookmark would be nice, but I am wholly unhappy with android clients lack of user adjustability in rendering,) I see gopher as a promising low bandwidth option that could comfortably live beside the more commercial web, as it takes comparitively next to nothing resource-wise, and while exceedingly limited? It is also dead simple.

I imagine many of my complaints could be addressed by clients that can do things like render image links as images, allow for parsing of markdown or at least a subset of, And othr formatting bits and bobs alongside actual festures like bookmarking and intelligant handing offof whatneeds to render the thing if it doesnt inherently knowhow the file works.

If nothing else, the fact is it’s text centric and my eyesight is only getting worse over time is appealing.

Fine, it’s limited and cannot natively do forums, but those limits surely can be worked around. I like the idea of it getting a bigger foothold in the retro community if nowhere else due to the relatively lightweight nature of it.


I see people advertising their phlogs on mastodon - gopher is still a thing!

Also, I found this:

“The revolution began in 1991, in the very birthplace of the supercomputer: Minneapolis-St Paul. It was named after the University of Minnesota’s (UMN) mascot, the gopher.”

That’s where Gopher comes in. While the campus mainframe administrators had plans to selectively connect their systems to the Internet through specialized software, the Microcomputer Center had different ideas. Years before the public had heard of the World Wide Web, the Gopher team sought to fill the same niche, by connecting disparate systems to the Internet and making them available to those with little-to-no technical expertise—with or without the cooperation of the systems they were connecting.

Gopher used text-based menus to navigate “Gopherspace” (all the world’s public Gopher servers). The Microcomputer Center team created Gopher clients that ran on Macs, DOS, and in Unix-based terminals. The original Gopher servers were a motley assortment of used Macintosh IIci systems running A/UX, Apple’s flavor of Unix. The team also had access to several NeXT workstations.

(via @stiefkind on mastodon - seen via, appropriately enough)


Found a nice web gateway to the world of gopher:
Includes a link to the phlogosphere.


Oh! Knew I forgot to link to those guys.

The biggest thing for me with gopher is trying to parse something simple:
If I make a gophermap file? Does everything have to have the first character of the line indicating if it’s text/link/etc?

Do I have to manually wrap text liens around or will clients generally auto-wrap?

The protocol outright tags telnet links. I guess the idea was you could have your information on gopher and discussion on BBS or IRC? If so why isn’t there an identifier for IRC links?

Prodding at things.

Web proxy and at the same time they offer gopher hosting with, as of right now, 100MB data for free.

Bit unconventional methods, and the hosting system is probably a bit beyond the forums scope. However if you know node.js they will let yu host s gopher hol.

1 Like