[ih] Fwd: [Dewayne-Net] The Rise and Fall of the Gopher Protocol

Brian E Carpenter brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Sat Aug 20 15:35:38 PDT 2016

On 21/08/2016 09:10, Scott Brim wrote:
> Yes the history seems jumbled up but it's a fun read anyway.
> On Mon, Aug 15, 2016 at 4:35 PM, Brian E Carpenter
> <brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> the 23rd Internet Engineering Task
>>> Force (IETF), an elite convocation of academics and government officials
>>> from around the world
>> Um, no. If you look at the proceedings, academic and government officials were
>> far outnumbered by industry people. I won't comment on 'elite' ;-)
>>> In the race to rule the internet, one observer noted,
>>> “Gopher seems to have won out.”
>> Who, I wonder?

Actually, Google knows, although it wasn't said at IETF23:


"                      GopherCon '92: Trip report
                            Prentiss Riddle
                            riddle at rice.edu
Finally, the relative numeric success
of Gopher over WWW was discussed (there are orders of magnitude more
Gopher servers than WWW servers out there): Gopher seems to have won
out primarily because of the ease of entry (it's much harder to put up
a WWW server than a Gopher server), although another factor may be that
a hierarchical presentation is more appropriate than hypertext for the
broad-based audience of a CWIS."


>> I no longer have my copies of The Matrix from that era, but sitting
>> at CERN we kept an eye on the growth curves for WAIS, Gopher and WWW and I don't
>> recall Gopher being a clear leader. Certainly, WWW didn't take over until Mosaic
>> was released, but after that it was no contest. The more interesting sessions
>> with TimBL at the IETF were after Mosaic.
>> Regards
>>    Brian Carpenter

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