The Return of Gopher: Pre-web hypertext service is still around

Gopher is a point-and-click internet protocol that predates Tim Berners-Lee’s WorldWideWeb. Although the web has almost totally replaced it, Gopherspace still exists. The snag is that, just as modern web browsers are removing FTP support, they long ago got rid of Gopher support.

But all is not lost. Firefox users can re-enable it with a choice of extensions, including Overbite and Underbite. Chrome users could try Burrow. Rather than full gopher browsers, these direct Gopher links through public Gopher-to-Web proxies.

Saying that, though, there is even a modern dedicated Gopher browser. It’s called Gophie, and as it’s a Java app, it runs on all the main platforms. Also worth a look is Castor, a modern Rust-based client for Gopher, Gemini and Finger.

I forgot how fast pages could load when there are no adverts, scripts, banners, trackers, etc. I just look at a retro style ASCII BBS social site like (running on https, but they also serve Gopher at gopher:// ).

I did not have luck though with the Chrome extension for Gopher, but running the Castor client did work fine.


#technology #retro #gopher #BBS

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