Gopher is a communications protocol designed for distributing, searching, and retrieving documents over LAN or over the internet. It is designed to be a menu-driven alternative to the early web but has been less popular that using the web browser to view HTTP content. Every gopher page is designed to be like a directory on a hard drive or the results page of a search engine, it has a bunch of links and explanations as what each link is so you can get closer to finding the page that has the information that you want.
Technipages Explains Gopher
Gopher is a communications protocol aimed at competing with HTTP for its place as the main protocol of the internet. Released in 1991 Gopher was initially quite popular but never quite caught on to the extent that HTTP did partly thanks to the University of Minnesota, which owned the rights, deciding to charge a license fee for using their gopher server implementation.
Gopher has four central goals:
A file-like hierarchical arrangement that would be familiar to users.
A simple syntax.
A system that can be created quickly and inexpensively.
Extending the file system metaphor, such as searches.
Gopher is intended to appear as if it were an attached read-only hard drive, where you just browse through directories until you get to the resource you wanted.
Gopher functionality was available in some browsers thanks primarily to enthusiasts who developed browser extensions but these extensions have not been supported in the most popular modern browsers in years now.
Common Uses of Gopher
- The Internet Gopher protocol is designed for distributed document search and retrieval.
- Gopher has a more rigid structure than the free-form HTML of the Web.
- A Gopher system consists of a series of hierarchical hyperlinkable menus.
Common Misuses of Gopher
- The file is available via browsing gopher.