Science-fiction writer, journalist and longtime Slashdot reader, Cory Doctorow, a.k.a. mouthbeef, writes: The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) just published the latest installment in my case histories of “adversarial interoperability” — once the main force that kept tech competitive. Today, I tell the story of Gopher, the web’s immediate predecessor, which burrowed under the mainframe systems’ guardians and created a menu-driven interface to campus resources, then the whole internet. Gopher ruled until browser vendors swallowed Gopherspace whole, incorporating it by turning gopher:// into a way to access anything on any Gopher server. Gopher served as the booster rocket that helped the web attain a stable orbit. But the tools that Gopher used to crack open the silos, and the moves that the web pulled to crack open Gopher, are radioactively illegal today.
If you wanted do to Facebook what Gopher did to the mainframes, you would be pulverized by the relentless
Original URL: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/aLLSYW3YN9Y/gophers-rise-and-fall-shows-how-much-we-lost-when-monopolists-stole-the-net