What is Internet Gopher.

Mike Cherry 726-5955 CHERRY at FRODO.MGH.HARVARD.EDU
Tue Mar 2 18:56:43 EST 1993

After posting a message lastweek about a couple of the Herbarium
databases that are available via the Internet Gopher software it was
suggested that I post more information about Gopher. Please forgive me
that this message is not directly related to plant biology.

The amount of information that is available via the Internet Gopher is
exploding. This includes information on plants. Notably five plant
genome databases are available via Gopher now: Arabidopsis, maize,
soybean, pine tree, and wheat.  Other types of information are also
available like the Herbarium and ecological databases, and more are

Below is a copy of the Internet Gopher Frequently Asked Questions

Mike Cherry
cherry at frodo.mgh.harvard.edu
AAtDB Project
Arabidopsis Gopher server is weeds.mgh.harvard.edu

Common Questions and Answers about the Internet Gopher, a
client/server protocol for making a world wide information service,
with many implementations.  Posted to comp.infosystems.gopher, 
comp.answers, and news.answers every two weeks.

The most recent version of this FAQ can be gotten through gopher, or
via anonymous ftp:


Those without FTP access should send e-mail to mail-server at rtfm.mit.edu
with "send usenet/news.answers/finding-sources" in the body to find out
how to do FTP by e-mail.

List of questions in the Gopher FAQ:

Q0:  What is Gopher?
Q1:  Where can I get Gopher software?
Q2:  What do I need to access Gopher?
Q3:  Where are there publicly available logins for Gopher?
Q4:  How can I add to the information in gopher?
Q5:  Who Develops Gopher Software?
Q6:  How can I set up a "CSO" phone book server?  Where is the software?
Q7:  Why can't I access the University of Minnesota's UPI news?
Q9:  What are the type characters for the different Gopher Objects?
Q10: When I do full-text searches I always get every document back, Why?
Q11: When I try to build the UNIX software I get an error from make:
     "Must be a separator on rules line #. Stop"  Why?
Q12: What is the relationship between Gopher and (WAIS, WWW, ftp)?
Q13: Are papers or articles describing Gopher available?
Q14: On a DECstation I get the error message "/etc/svc.conf no such file
     or directory" when running the gopherd server, why?
Q15: The boolean searching terms don't work for my full-text index, why?
Q16: When linking the Unix gopher server with WAIS I get undefined symbols,
Q18: Why don't my WAIS indexes work?  I never get anything back for searches.
     or Why do I get "Dangling file" error messages in my logfile?
Q19: My gopher server doesn't work under inetd, why?
Q20: This is not a bug report, just a curiousity. I managed to install
Q21: Help!  I have PC-NFS and want to use the PC-Gopher client.  How?
Q22: How do I nuke a hung TCP connection?  I can't restart my UNIX
     gopher server unless I get rid of it, and I don't want to reboot!
Q23: Is there somewhere I can retrieve a list of announced gopher
     links?  I'd like to keep a local, up-to-date list of available gopher
     holes without requiring our users to gopher to umn just to scan
Q24: Why doesn't my unix gopher client display ISO-Latin-1 characters
Q25: What is veronica?

Q0:  What is Gopher?

A0:  The Internet Gopher client/server provides a distributed
     information delivery system around which a world/campus-wide
     information system (CWIS) can readily be constructed.   While
     providing a delivery vehicle for local information,  Gopher
     facilitates access to other Gopher and information servers
     throughout the world. 

Q1:  Where can I get Gopher software?

A1:  via anonymous ftp to boombox.micro.umn.edu.  Look in the directory

Q2:  What do I need to access Gopher?

A2:  You will need a gopher "client" program that runs on your local PC
     or workstation

     There are clients for the following systems.  The directory
     following the name is the location of the client on the anonymous
     ftp site boombox.micro.umn.edu ( in the directory

      Unix Curses & Emacs   :  /pub/gopher/Unix/gopher1.12.tar.Z
      Xwindows (athena)     :  /pub/gopher/Unix/xgopher1.2.tar.Z
      Xwindows (Motif)      :  /pub/gopher/Unix/moog
      Macintosh Hypercard   :  /pub/gopher/Macintosh-TurboGopher/old-versions *
      Macintosh Application :  /pub/gopher/Macintosh-TurboGopher *
      DOS w/Clarkson Driver :  /pub/gopher/PC_client/
      NeXTstep              :  /pub/gopher/NeXT/
      VM/CMS                :  /pub/gopher/Rice_CMS/ or /pub/gopher/VieGOPHER/
      VMS                   :  /pub/gopher/VMS/
      OS/2 2.0	            :  /pub/gopher/os2/
      MVS/XA                :  /pub/gopher/mvs/

     Many other clients and servers have been developed by others, the
     following is an attempt at a comprehensive list.  

      A Macintosh Application, "MacGopher".
        ftp.cc.utah.edu:/pub/gopher/Macintosh *

      Another Macintosh application, "GopherApp".
        ftp.bio.indiana.edu:/util/gopher/gopherapp *

      A port of the UNIX curses client for DOS with PC/TCP

      A port of the UNIX curses client for PC-NFS

      A beta version of the PC Gopher client for Novell's LAN Workplace
      for DOS

      A VMS DECwindows client for use with Wollongong or UCX

     * Note: these Macintosh clients require MacTCP.

     Most of the above clients can also be fetched via a gopher client
     itself.  Put the following on a gopher server:

       Name=Gopher Software Distribution.

     Or point your gopher client at boombox.micro.umn.edu, port 70 and
     look in the gopher directory.

     There are also a number of public telnet login sites available.
     The University of Minnesota operates one on the machine
     "consultant.micro.umn.edu" ( See Q3 for more
     information about this.  It is recommended that you run the client
     software instead of logging into the public telnet login sites.  A
     client uses the custom features of the local machine (mouse,
     scroll bars, etc.)  A local client is also faster.

Q3:  Where are there publicly available logins for Gopher?

A3:  Here is a short list, use the site closest to you to minimize
     network lag.

     Non-tn3270 Public Logins:

     Hostname                  IP#              Login   Area
     ------------------------- ---------------  ------  -------------
     consultant.micro.umn.edu	gopher  North America
     gopher.uiuc.edu    gopher  North America
     panda.uiowa.edu 	panda   North America
     gopher.sunet.se      gopher  Europe
     info.anu.edu.au     info    Australia
     gopher.chalmers.se    gopher  Sweden
     tolten.puc.cl        gopher  South America
     ecnet.ec     gopher  Ecuador
     tn3270 Public Logins:

     Hostname                  IP#              Login   Area
     ------------------------- ---------------  ------  -------------
     pubinfo.ais.umn.edu    -none-  North America

     It is recommended that you run the client software instead of

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