Ending of AtDB's Gopher services

Don Gilbert gilbertd at bio.indiana.edu
Thu Aug 8 18:47:29 EST 1996


I would be interested to hear whether biologists using this service
via gopher are happy with such a change.  I'm not criticizing such
a change, but since I continue to maintain gopher services for Drosophila
and general biology archives, I'd love to hear from former arabidopsis gopher
users if they do or don't miss this service.  That would help me decide
if it is worth my time to maintain such.

As a former proponent of the gopher network protocol, and a continuing 
maintaner of it, even though many more options are available now using 
http/html, it seems to me that gopher still has a worthwhile niche in the 
Internet information service pantheon.

My own observations and comments I've heard are that a significant 
number (though declining) of biologists prefer to use Gopher for these 
reasons:

  - gopher remains is simple and quick. It bypasses much tedium by having
    a high information to glitz ratio; by lacking superfluous
    graphics; by working well over low speed network connections;
    by working well in network overload situations.  As Internet overloading
    continues to be a problem, the simple and quick has value.
     
  - the character mode gopher browser is significantly easier to use 
    than the character mode www browser (lynx), basically due to the nature 
    of the protocols rather than any failing of a browser.  many
    people by need or preference still use character mode network
    connections (Telnet logins, dialup services, etc).
    
    
- Don

--
-- d.gilbert--biocomputing--indiana u--bloomington--gilbertd at bio.indiana.edu



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