TurboGopher: a new, turbocharged Gopher client

The Gopher Team gopher at boombox.micro.umn.edu
Tue Oct 6 16:37:16 EST 1992


Announcing a new, improved Macintosh Gopher client: TurboGopher.

The Gopher development team at the University of Minnesota is pleased to
announce TurboGopher. The TurboGopher application was carefully tuned for 
maximum speed, and runs as much as three times faster than other Mac
gopher applications we benchmarked against. It is even faster (sorry
guys!) than the UNIX client when run on a comparable machine on Ethernet.
TurboGopher's speed is most noticeable when  performing common gopher
operations such as fetching a list of items or viewing a document. Beyond
optimizing TurboGopher for raw speed while fetching documents and
directories, we turbocharged the user interface by displaying information
as soon as possible... you can read the first part of a document or
directory while the rest is being fetched. And you can cancel if you
aren't interested in what you see being fetched.  This feature is crucial
when running a Gopher client  over a slow network connection or a SLIP
link. 

In spite of the design goal to run fast as possible, TurboGopher is a good
Mac citizen: it shares time with other applications. You can put TurboGopher
in the background (and fetch very long items in the background) while
you work in another application in the foreground. You can also have
several fetches running concurrently in TurboGopher. Both these features
are important over low-speed network connections.

To further enhance perceived speed, TurboGopher uses a directory caching
scheme so that it only fetches item lists when necessary. This again is
very helpful over low-speed networks since it minimizes network traffic.

Speed is of little use if you cannot get connected to your home gopher
server, so TurboGopher's configuration supports specifying two
(redundant) home gopher servers. For large sites this is an important
feature because running redundant home gopher servers minimizes the
chances of your top-level gopher server being down and spreads the load
between the servers.

For the folks who are Gopher experts, TurboGopher is a full featured
Gopher client. Gopher+ features have been disabled in this release. These
will be turned on in the next release. MacIP support has not been added,
but should be by the next release.  Current features include:

     + Both warp speed AND considerate backgrounding
     + Multiple concurrent fetches (multiple streams)
     + Intelligent caching to improve perceived speed over SLIP links
     + Choice of multiple windows or window recycle
     + Displays as it fetches (cancel if you like!)
     + Interruptible network transactions (Command-Period)
     + Directory length limited only by memory
     + Unlimited document length (displays 32K, saves all)
     + Pseudo-hypertext searches (Option-double-click on word)
     + ISO Latin-1 character-set support
     + Find text within documents
     + Cache everything, nothing, or exactly what you want!
     + Set & Delete Bookmarks for any Gopher object
     + Import & Export of Bookmarks
     + Total recall of entire session (Recent menu)
     + NCSA Telnet & TN3270 support (via AppleEvents under system 7.0)
     + System 7 Balloon Help
     + Comprehensive built-in Help document (can be customized)
     + Preconfigured (can be reconfigured)
     + Automatically un-binhexes Mac documents

Besides cruising Gopherspace you can get to your favorite Mac software
archive sites either directly (if they run a Gopher server like the
info-mac archives at sumex-aim), or indirectly via Gopher's various FTP
gateways (if all they run is old FTP).

TurboGopher is available for anonymous ftp from boombox.micro.umn.edu in
the  /pub/gopher/Macintosh-TurboGopher directory. Even better, you can
fetch TurboGopher with gopher by looking in the Information About Gopher
folder on the University of Minnesota Gopher server.

We hope you enjoy TurboGopher. As always, comments and bug reports can be 
e-mailed to the University of Minnesota Gopher development team at:
     gopher at boombox.micro.umn.edu


NOTES: 
------
A good place to benchmark directory fetches is to connect to one of the
top level gopher servers at the University of Minnesota
(gopher.tc.umn.edu or  gopher2.tc.umn.edu), open the "Computer
Information" item, and then open the "Claris" directory. You can benchmark
speed of document fetches by opening nearly any large document.

 - The Internet Gopher Team at the University of Minnesota
   October 5, 1992




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