What's With Port 70 ??? (Gopher)

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Ok so if you recognise the critter in this image then your half way to understanding what I’m talking about!  Port 70 is traditionally reserved for the Gopher protocol. What is Gopher? Well it’s a slim text only layout that pre dates the internet as we know it as (aka HTML)

Gopher started life back in 1991 and lost popularity in the mid 1990’s in favour to HTML (port 80)  Just recently I have rediscovered Gopher and so have a group of friends (identi.ca, StatusNet)

I’m hosting a Gopher service using Pygopherd. This has the advantage of serving both Gopher & HTML simultaneously. This means that you can point your browser at vk7hse.org:70 and view using HTML then if you have the Overbite plugin installed for your browser you can then switch to Gopher.

Take a look, follow the links and enjoy the world of Gopher!

© 2012, Scott Evans. Creative Commons License
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5 Replies to “What's With Port 70 ??? (Gopher)”

  1. Do you still have this running? I tried to connect to your domain and two others (gopher.well.com:70 & gopher.quux.org:70) and I’m getting a 404 on all three. Is it me or am I missing something?

    1. Do you have a Gopher add on for your browser? (as most have dropped native support) I just checked out the links and the only one not working is the one called macno (I’ll need to investigate/remove) if you have an android phone/tablet there’s an app called open bite (not on the play store iirc) you will need to get it from their website (just search for over bite)

      Edit: try here http://gopher.floodgap.com/overbite/

      Gopher is just plain text (ascii) so it’s nice and light weight than all the flash/java/whatever that’s embedded in most corporate sites!

      1. I did not have the plugin for my browser (firefox 12.0) but even after installing it I’m still getting 404’s on every one of those addresses. It’s not a big deal though, I’m more interested in the protocol itself, rather than being able to render it. I’ve written a program that allows multiple users running it to issue commands to one another, to assist in a particular set of tasks that benefit from cloud computing. Currently all clients listen with a http server expecting a set of request parameters in the requesting URL itself. (I also confirm clients request via the server response) It works fine but there is wasted overhead running a full server as opposed to simpler methods, like a plain text push notification type setup. Something like this gopher protocol would seem to lend itself to quite well. Definitely something I’ll be looking more into though. 🙂

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