Gopher anyone? - Printable Version
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RE: Gopher anyone? - pyratebeard - 11-09-2020

(10-09-2020, 09:16 PM)z3bra Wrote: I declare the very first nixers community gopher server ALIVE ! Browse it at gopher://

Awesome, thanks z3bra and venam. Hopefully this becomes an interesting hub of content.

RE: Gopher anyone? - jkl - 11-09-2020

Ah, Unicode. One thing that I never get right on Gopher.

(Background: A WordPress blog which I have the displeasure of hosting ;-) is mirrored to Gopher automatically and I fail to set the correct encoding. With UTF-8, half of the clients seem to break the German umlauts, but gopher-mode in GNU Emacs works just fine. If anyone of you has an idea...? It is a Gophernicus though. I like simple solutions.)

RE: Gopher anyone? - z3bra - 11-09-2020

The problem comes from the floodgap gateway. They don't specify any encoding in the HTML output. Neither in HTTP headers, nor in the HTML. Thus I suppose that the web browser expect ASCII only, rather than UTF-8.

$ curl -sSI | grep -i content-type
Content-type: text/html

The gopher spec (rfc1436) specifies that all gopher transaction and text MUST be US-ASCII. However, the emoji-army took over the world, and now we can expect UTF-8 everywhere. That's what GNU Emacs does probably, and so it displays your text correctly.

Some gopher proxies enforce UTF-8 on the output, thus providing a better experience IMO:

$ curl -sSI
content-type: text/html; charset=utf-8

Short answer, it works, nothing to do on your side. Is that solution "simple" enough for you ? :P

RE: Gopher anyone? - jkl - 12-09-2020

Ha, very good. I’ll bookmark that! :-)

RE: Gopher anyone? - vain - 15-09-2020

I just found a bunch of older screenshots from Gopher on OS/2:

(Obviously ran in a VM, because it already shows my Gopher hole. I don't have a real installation of OS/2 anymore.)

I suspect that most of us here are relatively young and have not seen the real Gopher in action back in the day. I only barely remember it myself. If I remember correctly, there also was some program on OS/2 that actually displayed Gopher resources in a tree-like way, like a distributed file system -- not like "web pages" as is common today. Either way, Gopher in 2020 is mostly used by uber-nerds in black terminal emulators, but it used to be accessed by "normal" pre-installed GUI programs, which suddenly makes it feel much less "alien". (Not sure if I get my point across.)

Have any of you actually used Gopher back in the day? And were you old enough to have "proper" memories of it? :)

Just for fun, I dug up Mosaic today. Still works for Gopher:

But you're out of luck when it comes to HTTP, because there basically is no HTTP anymore in 2020. Pretty much everything is HTTPS.

RE: Gopher anyone? - z3bra - 15-09-2020

Definitely not old enough to remember it. The oldest thing I can remember regarding the web, is using Lycos rather than google to search stuff. HTTP had already supplanted gopher in my case (it was around 1998 I think).

Thanks for sharing those cool shots ! It's awesome that you can still software from the early web so easily !

RE: Gopher anyone? - ckester - 15-09-2020

I'm old enough. But although I remember being aware of gopher's existence back in the early 90's, I never actually used it. I found the USENET newsgroups more interesting, especially comp.lang.c. By the time the newsgroups finally succumbed to Eternal September, I had migrated to web browsers like Mosaic or Cello.

(FWIW, when I got hired at Microsoft in 1993 I was the only one in my group who knew anything about the Internet or the Web. I had my time with Unix to thank for that. IE wasn't released until August of 1995, and it was only while "eating our own dogfood" during the leadup to that release that most Microsoftees got the WWW religion. Many still didn't "get it" until much much later.)