FYI - John Franks: "This is a golden oportunity for the WWW people."
Mon, 15 Mar 93 12:19:40 -0500

Apparently, he is not a fan of gopher+


From: (John Franks)
Newsgroups: comp.infosystems.gopher
Subject: Re: Gopher License - Actual Data... I'm very disappointed.
Keywords: gopher commercial server license departmental budget
Message-ID: <>
Date: 11 Mar 93 16:52:07 GMT
References: <>
Sender: (Usenet on news.acns)
Organization: Dept of Math, Northwestern Univ
Lines: 49

In article <>, (Rob Raisch) writes:
> Mark, Paul Yen, Fahad, et. al., congratulations. You may have succeeded
> in accomplishing something which it takes a large corporation years of
> practice and many hundreds of thousands of dollars to do:
> You've killed the product before it ever leaves your door.
> --Paul Lindner writes:
> -- I know that the UofMN will take a moderate stance on these matters.
> -- You're not going to see another IPX etal here.
> --
> -- Greed would kill gopher, believe me..

There is a good chance that greed has killed gopher. Certainly, IMHO,
this puts an end to gopher+. Most likely there will be other servers
created which are public domain or with GNU-like licenses, but they
won't be gopher+ compatible. If such a server were available now, I
guess I would switch to it.

Also Univ of Minn will cease (or maybe already has) to be the central
authority of gopherdom. I'm afraid we will have incompatible versions
of servers. It really is extremely important now to get an rfc, to
try to nail down the minimal protocol.

I really do have a great sense of sadness about this. There are a number
of examples of extremely successful "pro bono publico" software. One
thinks of perl, gcc, gnu emacs and the NCSA offerings. I had hoped that
gopher would be another and it is disappointing to see greed wipe out
that hope.

I had hoped that gopher would become the main vehicle for electronic
scholarly journals. It would be a great boon to academia if all
scholarly journals could be accessed with the same protocols so a
student or researcher would only need to learn to use one type of
client to access the "electronic library" of the future. Today it
seems rather unlikely that this library will use a gopher protocol.
Scholarly journals certainly can't afford to pay 7.5% of their gross
receipts to the Minnesota gopher team, not to mention the $5K
annually. Most likely we will end up with several incompatible
proprietary schemes for accessing electronic journals. Or maybe WWW
will start to take off. Electronic publishers are very interested in
SGML anyway. This is a golden oportunity for the WWW people.


John Franks Dept of Math. Northwestern University