A protocol for searching file names and resources on the Internet that presents hierarchical menus to the user. As users select options, they are moved to different Gopher servers. Where links have been established, Usenet news and other information can be read directly from Gopher.
Thousand of Servers in its Heyday
Originally introduced in 1991 at the University of Minnesota, there were more than 7,000 Gopher servers on the Internet at one time. Gopher popularity declined as content on the Web increased throughout the 1990s, and by 2007, there were barely 100 servers remaining. Gopher client support was added to Web browsers for a while, but was not always complete and later abandoned in most cases. See Veronica
and World Wide Web
When Gopher Reigned
When it was introduced in 1993, the Mosaic Web browser came equipped with a list of Gopher and FTP servers (see Mosaic
). (Image courtesy of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.)