"Release the hounds fravia ol'chap we're going hunting for gophers"

  Author: Fugazi (slightly edited by fravia+)
Published at www.searchlores.org in February 2005

Well, well, well... this is not for the younger ones, or is it?
The Web has superseded Gopher, alas! Only some older ones seem to remember Gopher, Veronica (very easy rodent-oriented netwide index 'f computerized archives) (and Jughead, which had even an index even smaller than Veronica... however it could build a searchable menu of a particular Gopher hierarchy of menus).
Old lore... could it still be useful? There's even a Bring Back Gopher Campaign, let's give them our seekers' crumb!

Hunting for gophers 
by Fugazi

I Will start with a little information on the gopher protocol just to bring those not in the know, up to some speed...

"Gopher is a protocol system, which in advance of the World Wide Web, allowed server based text files to be hierarchically organised and easily viewed by end users who accessed the server using Gopher applications on remote computers. Initially Gopher browsers could only display text-based files before developments such as HyperGopher, which were able to handle simple graphic formats though they were never used on a widespread basis as by this time the World Wide Web and its Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) were gaining in popularity, and had similar and more extensive functions."

Now you may not think its anything to get excited about, but to anyone of such fickle notion i would have to point out the fact that the " Gophers" are truely of ancient standing next to now towering templedom of " HTTP " forget the back alleys of the web, our gophers dwell with the catacombs of the current web ;-) poses a unique oppertunity to seek lore of old, archive, make avalible to a wider public, no?

But how can one hope to dig deep enough to find these ancients dwellings when our mighty spade of googledom cant get passed the gravel and dust!  ( Sadly google dont feel the need to index gopher://  sites :-( ... ) 

"Dont be glum ol'chap the hounds are onto something"

Alas a clever hound by the name of veronica is well versed in fiding gophers for our use ;-)

Luckyly for us there is indeed a gopher-space indexer/search engine, by the name of veronica. A number of still existing gopher servers allow access to this resource... a quote from a veronica FAQ provides a good description

veronica is a resource-discovery system providing access to information resources held on most (99% +) of the world's gopher servers. In addition to native gopher data, veronica includes references to many resources provided by other types of information servers, such as WWW servers, usenet archives, and telnet-accessible information services."

So we can presume this is a data rich resource of surviving ancient lore, or at least we can hope it is. We can access Veronica via
allough other gopher servers for the most part have access to veronica, this seems to be a pretty stable long life server! lets make use of it while we can!
Do experiment with it, until your hearts' content, sadly it doesnt use boolean logic, hyphens, wildcards and all those features we have come to get used with through modern search engines: the content of all pages is not indexed! It works via document descriptors and file title... as far as i can tell ;-)
Your best bet is not to use punctuation at all, just merely words or even better "parts of words".

Of course for those that dont have time to strole the winter woodlands with the hounds, you can access a listing off all gopher servers known to 'Veronica' via this link:
That was it. A very short essay (if it can be called essay) but hopefully you will be able to sniff out some forgotten lore & maybe even archive it, useful for the less informedb readers.

Some Gopher software you may care to use allough most browsers should still support gopher:// links

WS-Gopher, by Dave Brooks: Your best bet for a true 'gopher' experience' 16bit win_3.1 but will execute under 9x/NT...
Fetch it here
More gopher-ware can be found in the same dir, sniff around.

Regards, Fugazi

Even more windoze clients here, or search for "Hampson's Gopher"...

Note that your Opera may be not configured for gopher searches. Here some uni's veronicas:




Petit image

(c) 3rd Millennium: [fravia+], all rights reserved, reversed, revealed and reviled