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The Gopher protocol (play /ˈɡfər/) is a TCP/IP application layer protocol designed for distributing, searching, and retrieving documents over the Internet. Strongly oriented towards a menu-document design, the Gopher protocol presented an attractive alternative to the World Wide Web in its early stages, but ultimately failed to achieve popularity.

Commodore's Commentary

In brief, Gopher is what the Web might have been had there been no demand for anything but text.

Believe it or not, when the Internet was first born, there was precious little in terms of graphics.  Graphical computers didn't really hit the market until the early 1980s, and it wasn't until the mid-1990s that they became ubiquitous.

Gopher works very much the same as the Web, except it's all text-based.  I have an iFrame showing a Web interface to Gopher, but that's not really Gopher.

If you really want to experience the Internet in a text way (including Gopher), sign up with SDF.org.  This has been my own personal playground for a good decade, now, for an appallingly tiny amount of money.

Subpages (1): My SDF Gopherspace