After fifteen years of downtime, the MetaFilter gopher server is back

You (well, jessamyn) asked for it, and we (well, pb) delivered: after fifteen years of downtime, the MetaFilter gopher server is back.

A few Potentially Asked Questions:

What’s a Gopher server?
Twenty bucks same as in— It’s a text-based menu-driven document retrieval system dating to the late pre-Septembrian era of the Internet, a kind of alternative approach to distributed document sharing that ended up being the Betamax to WWW’s VHS. You can ask it for a text document it has and it’ll be like okay, here you go, here’s that document.

How do I use it?
Visit the address gopher:// with a gopher client. Of which there are at least a few, though it’s not exactly piping hot tech radness so it’s a little more effort to find a client than it is to find a web browser. That said, here’s a few options, and folks in the thread here may know of more:
OverbiteFF is a FireFox plugin that will allow native gophering in that browser.
iGopher is an inexpensive iPhone gopher app
Lynxlet is an OSX terminal app of the Lynx web browser, with gopher support built in

What’s on the gopher server?
Recent posts and comments from all the MetaFilter subsites, automatically updated every 15 minutes, plus the MeFi FAQ.

Is this what was on the original MeFi gopher server?
No. Or yes. Not really sure, actually. It was fifteen years ago and Matt doesn’t even work here any more, so.

Why would you do this
Because someone from the community asked us to and it wasn’t too much trouble once pb started looking into the implementation details, so we talked it out and—

no but really why would you—
Look, I don’t have to explain myself to you, I—

Fine. Will the type of content of the gopher server change over time?
Maybe! If folks have ideas for specific kinds of content from the site that they think would be a good fit, this’d be a great place to brainstorm about it. The current content just seemed like a good simple starting point for a proof-of-concept of the whole deal.

What does maintaining this cost?
Basically nothing, MeFi server has a lot more RAM these days.

Okay but be straight with me here, how many dumb gopher puns did you think about making here

posted by cortex to MetaFilter-Related at 11:26 AM (152 comments total)

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