Gopher (comp.infosystems.gopher) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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UofMN Gopher Team

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Dec 15, 1994, 3:07:41 PM12/15/94
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Archive-name: gopher-faq
Last-modified: 1994/12/15

Common Questions and Answers about the Internet Gopher, a
client/server protocol for making a world wide information service,
with many implementations. Posted to comp.infosystems.gopher,
comp.answers, and news.answers every two weeks.

The most recent version of this FAQ can be gotten through gopher:

<URL:gopher://mudhoney.micro.umn.edu:70/00/Gopher.FAQ>

or via anonymous ftp:

<URL:ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/gopher-faq>

Those without FTP access should send e-mail to mail-...@rtfm.mit.edu
with "send usenet/news.answers/finding-sources" in the body to find out
how to do FTP by e-mail.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
List of questions in the Gopher FAQ:

Q0: What is Gopher?
Q1: Where can I get Gopher software?
Q2: What do I need to access Gopher?
Q3: Where are there publicly available logins for Gopher?
Q4: How can I add to the information in gopher?
Q5: Who Develops Gopher Software?
Q6: How can I set up a "CSO" phone book server? Where is the software?
Q7: Why can't I access the University of Minnesota's UPI news?
Q9: What are the type characters for the different Gopher Objects?
Q10: When I do full-text searches I always get every document back, Why?
Q11: When I try to build the UNIX software I get an error from make:
"Must be a separator on rules line #. Stop" Why?
Q12: What is the relationship between Gopher and (WAIS, WWW, ftp)?
Q13: Are papers or articles describing Gopher available?
Q14: On a DECstation I get the error message "/etc/svc.conf no such file
or directory" when running the gopherd server, why?
Q15: The boolean searching terms don't work for my full-text index, why?
Q16: When linking the Unix gopher server with WAIS I get undefined symbols,
Q18: Why don't my WAIS indexes work? I never get anything back for searches.
or Why do I get "Dangling file" error messages in my logfile?
Q19: My gopher server doesn't work under inetd, why?
Q20: This is not a bug report, just a curiosity. I managed to install
Q21: Help! I have PC-NFS and want to use the PC-Gopher client. How?
Q22: How do I nuke a hung TCP connection? I can't restart my UNIX
gopher server unless I get rid of it, and I don't want to reboot!
Q23: Is there somewhere I can retrieve a list of announced gopher
links? I'd like to keep a local, up-to-date list of available gopher
holes without requiring our users to gopher to umn just to scan
GopherSpace.
Q24: Why doesn't my unix gopher client display ISO-Latin-1 characters
Q25: What is veronica?
Q26: What e-mail/usenet discussions lists are active for Gopher?
Q27: How do I get my Gopher (whois/cso/library catalog) listed in gopher menus?
Q28: Where is the registered list of gopher+ view types?

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Q0: What is Gopher?

A0: Internet Gopher is a distributed document search and retrieval system.
It combines the best features of browsing through collections of
information andfully indexed databases. The protocol and software
follows a client-server model, and permits users on a heterogeneous
mix of desktop systems to browse, search, and retrieve documents
residing on multiple distributed server machines.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Q1: Where can I get Gopher software?

A1: via anonymous ftp to boombox.micro.umn.edu. Look in the directory
/pub/gopher, or use the locator

<URL:ftp://boombox.micro.umn.edu/pub/gopher;type=d>

or via gopher itself:

<URL:gopher://boombox.micro.umn.edu/11/gopher/>

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Q2: What do I need to access Gopher?

A2: You will need a gopher "client" program that runs on your local PC
or Workstation

There are clients for the following systems. The directory
following the name is the location of the client on the anonymous
ftp site boombox.micro.umn.edu (134.84.132.2) in the directory
/pub/gopher.

DOS w/Clarkson Driver : /pub/pc/minuet/
Macintosh Application : /pub/gopher/Macintosh-TurboGopher/
MVS/XA : /pub/gopher/mvs/
NeXTstep : /pub/gopher/NeXT/
OS/2 2.x : /pub/gopher/os2/
Unix Curses : /pub/gopher/Unix/gopher2_1_1.tar.Z
VMS : /pub/gopher/VMS/
VM/CMS : /pub/gopher/Rice_CMS/
: /pub/gopher/VieGOPHER/
Windows : /pub/gopher/Windows
WindowsNT : /pub/gopher/WinNT
Xwindows (athena) : /pub/gopher/Unix/xgopher.1.3.tar.Z
Xwindows (Tk) : /pub/gopher/Unix/moog-0.2.tar.Z
Xwindows (Xview) : /pub/gopher/Unix/xvgopher

Many other clients and servers have been developed by others, the
following is an attempt at a comprehensive list.

A Microsoft Windows Winsock client "The Gopher Book"
<URL:ftp://sunsite.unc.edu:/pub/micro/pc-stuff/ms-windows/
winsock/apps/gophbook.zip;type=i>

A Macintosh Application, "MacGopher".
<URL:ftp//ftp.cc.utah.edu/pub/gopher/Macintosh/>

Another Macintosh application, "GopherApp".
<URL:ftp://ftp.bio.indiana.edu/util/gopher/gopherapp/>

A port of the UNIX curses client for DOS with PC/TCP
<URL:ftp://oac.hsc.uth.tmc.edu/public/dos/misc/dosgopher.exe>

A port of the UNIX curses client for PC-NFS
<URL:ftp://bcm.tmc.edu/nfs/gopher.exe>

A beta version of the PC Gopher client for Novell's LAN Workplace
for DOS

<URL:ftp://lennon.itn.med.umich.edu:/dos/gopher

A VMS DECwindows client for use with Wollongong or UCX
<URL:ftp://job.acs.ohio-state.edu:XGOPHER_CLIENT.SHARE>


* Note: these Macintosh clients require MacTCP.

Most of the above clients can also be fetched via a gopher client
itself. Put the following link information on a Gopher server:

Type=1
Host=boombox.micro.umn.edu
Port=70
Path=
Name=Gopher Software Distribution.


Or point your gopher client at boombox.micro.umn.edu, port 70 and
look in the gopher directory.

There are also a number of public telnet login sites available.
The University of Minnesota operates one on the machine
"consultant.micro.umn.edu" (134.84.132.4) See Q3 for more
information about this. It is recommended that you run the client
software instead of logging into the public telnet login sites. A
client is faster and uses the custom features of the local machine
(mouse, scroll bars, etc.)

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Q3: Where are there publicly available logins for Gopher?

A3: Here is a short list, use the site closest to you to minimize
network lag.

Public Logins:

Hostname IP# Area
------------------------- --------------- -------------
consultant.micro.umn.edu 134.84.132.4 North America
ux1.cso.uiuc.edu 128.174.5.59 North America
panda.uiowa.edu 128.255.40.201 North America
gopher.msu.edu 35.8.2.61 North America
gopher.ebone.net 192.36.125.2 Europe
gopher.sunet.se 192.36.125.10 Sweden
info.anu.edu.au 150.203.84.20 Australia
tolten.puc.cl 146.155.1.16 South America
ecnet.ec 157.100.45.2 South America
gan.ncc.go.jp 160.190.10.1 Japan

It is recommended that you run the client software instead of
logging into the public login sites. A client uses the
custom features of the local machine (mouse, scroll bars, etc.)
and gives faster response.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Q4: How can I add to the information in gopher?

A4: You can do this by running a gopher server. Servers are available
for a number of systems. Use anonymous ftp to
boombox.micro.umn.edu (134.84.132.2) and look in /pub/gopher. The
following servers are available in these directories:

DOS PC : /pub/gopher/PC_server/
Macintosh : /pub/gopher/Mac_server/
MVS : /pub/gopher/mvs/
OS/2 : /pub/gopher/os2
Unix : /pub/gopher/Unix/
VMS : /pub/gopher/VMS/
VM/CMS : /pub/gopher/Rice_CMS/ or /pub/gopher/Vienna_CMS/
Windows NT: /pub/gopher/WinNT


There are several sites that have VMS server binaries, including:

psualias.psu.edu, via gopher
niord.shsu.edu, via FTP, precompiled executables
trln.lib.unc.edu, via gopher

When you have your server ready you can publish it to the world by
sending e-mail to the maintainters of the "Other gophers" list.
See Q27 for details.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Q5: Who Develops Gopher Software?

A5: Gopher was originally developed in April 1991 by the University
of Minnesota Microcomputer, Workstation, Networks Center to help
our campus find answers to their computer questions.

It has since grown into a full-fledged World Wide Information
System used by a large number of sites in the world.

Many people have contributed to the project, too numerous to
count.

The people behind the much of the gopher software can be reached
via e-mail at gop...@boombox.micro.umn.edu, or via paper mail:

Internet Gopher Developers
100 Union St. SE #190
Minneapolis, MN 55455 USA

Or via FAX at:

+1 (612) 625-6817

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Q6: How can I set up a "CSO" phone book server? Where is the software?

A6: CSO phone book servers are also known as "qi" servers. The
software implementation can be gotten via anonymous ftp from
vixen.cso.uiuc.edu as /pub/qi.tar.gz. You may also
see this referred to as "ph", which is what most of the clients
are called. A collected set of clients for Macs, PCs, VMS, VM,
etc, are in the /pub/ph.tar.gz file.

There is also an archive of the mailing list for qi/ph software on
the same machine. It's in /pub/info-ph.archive. You may join the
list by sending email to info-ph...@uxc.cso.uiuc.edu.

This software is supported by Paul Pomes <p-p...@uiuc.edu>
Contact him for more information.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Q7: Why can't I access the University of Minnesota's UPI news?

A7: The University of Minnesota has a site license for UPI news, we
are not allowed to distribute it off of our campus. We get our
UPI news from Clarinet. For more information about getting UPI
news send mail to in...@clarinet.com. For information about
setting up your own gopher-UPI server search the gopher-news
archive for UPI.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Q9: What are the type characters for the different Gopher Objects?

A9: The following is a list of known/used Gopher types

0 Item is a file
1 Item is a directory
2 Item is a CSO (qi) phone-book server
3 Error
4 Item is a BinHexed Macintosh file.
5 Item is DOS binary archive of some sort.
6 Item is a UNIX uuencoded file.
7 Item is an Index-Search server.
8 Item points to a text-based telnet session.
9 Item is a binary file
T TN3270 connection.
s Sound type. Data stream is a mulaw sound.
g GIF type.
M MIME type. Item contains MIME data.
h html type.
I Image type.
i "inline" text type

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Q10: When I do full-text searches I always get every document back, Why?

A10: This is a problem occasionally encountered with Unix full-text
indexes. It is caused by setting up the link incorrectly to a
gindexd port.

The Path= field should be *blank* when pointing to a gindexd
index.

Otherwise the client will send the path to the gindexd daemon,
which interprets everything as a keyword. This path is
likely to contain a pathname that is common to all of the indexed
files. Thus a search generates hits on everything.

Note that gindexd isn't used much anymore, this question does not
apply if you are using the built in indexing in the Unix gopher
server.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Q11: When I try to build the UNIX software I get an error from make:
"Must be a separator on rules line #. Stop" Why?

A11: This is a problem with older makes that don't understand the "include"
keyword. One easy way to cope with this problem is compiling GNU
make, which does understand the include keyword.

If this is too difficult, remove the line:

include Makefile.config

from all the Makefiles and paste in a copy of Makefile.config at
the top of each Makefile.

Or, instead of pasting you can make the client/server by going
into the appropriate directory and typing:

make -f ../Makefile.config -f Makefile

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Q12: What is the relationship between Gopher and (WAIS, WWW, ftp)?

A12: Gopher is intimately intertwined with these other systems.
As shipped the Unix gopher server has the capability to:

- Search local WAIS indices.
- Query remote WAIS servers and funnel the results to gopher
clients.
- Query remote ftp sites and funnel the results to gopher
clients.
- Be queried by WWW (World Wide Web) clients either using
built in gopher querying or using native http querying.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Q13: Are papers or articles describing Gopher available?

A13: Gopher has a whole chapter devoted to it in :

_The_Whole_Internet_users_guide_and_catalog by Ed Krol
(publisher O'Reilley & Associates, Inc; ISBN: 1-56592-025-2).
(Editors note: ...Great book, go out and buy a bunch!)

_The_Internet_Passport: NorthWestNet's Guide to Our World Online"
By Jonathan Kochmer and NorthWestNet. Published by NorthWestNet,
Bellevue, WA. 1993. 516 pp. ISBN 0-9635281-0-6.
Contact info: pass...@nwnet.net, or (206) 562-3000

_A_Students_Guide_to_UNIX by Harley Hahn. (publisher McGraw Hill,
Inc.; 1993 ISBN 0-07-025511-3)

_Intelligent_Information_Retrieval:_The_Case_of_Astronomy_and_
_Related_Space_Sciences (A. Heck and F. Murtagh, editors). Published
by Kluwer Academic Publishers, P.O. box 17, 3300 AA Dordrecht, the
Netherlands. ISBN: 0-7923-2295-9

Most books about the internet include a chapter or two about
Gopher. Your local bookstore should have a wide selection.

Other references include:

_The_Internet_Gopher_, "ConneXions", July 1992, Interop.

_Exploring_Internet_GopherSpace_ "The Internet Society News", v1n2 1992,

(You can subscribe to the Internet Society News by sending e-mail to
is...@nri.reston.va.us)

_The_Internet_Gopher_Protocol_, Proceedings of the Twenty-Third
IETF, CNRI, Section 5.3

_Internet_Gopher_, Proceedings of Canadian Networking '92

_The_Internet_Gopher_, INTERNET: Getting Started, SRI
International, Section 10.5.5

_Tools_help_Internet_users_discover_on-line_treasures, Computerworld,
July 20, 1992

_TCP/IP_Network_Administration_, O'Reilly.

Balakrishan, B. (Oct 1992)
"SPIGopher: Making SPIRES databases accessible through the
Gopher protocol". SPIRES Fall '92 Workshop, Chapel Hill, North
Carolina.

Tomer, C. Information Technology Standards for Libraries,
_Journal of the American Society for Information Science_,
43(8):566-570, Sept 1992.


-------------------------------------------------------------------
Q14: On a DECstation I get the error message "/etc/svc.conf no such file
or directory" when running the gopherd server, why?

A14: This is caused by the chroot() call in gopherd. It can be easily
fixed by running gopherd with the -c option.

Alternatively you can copy /etc/svc.conf into a directory named
"etc" inside the gopher-data directory.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Q15: The boolean searching terms don't work for my full-text index, why?

A15: This is probably because the searching is being provided by WAIS.
WAIS opts to return all documents that contain a search phrase
within certain limits. WAIS searches do return the documents with
the highest "score" at the top, those documents will have the
closest relevance.

Alternatively you could get a booleanized version of wais from
ftp.bio.indiana.edu, or get a version of freeWAIS.

WAIS source code is mirrored on boombox.micro.umn.edu

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Q16: When linking the Unix gopher server with WAIS I get undefined
symbols,
such as:

log_file_name
logfile
PrintStatus
find_value
Sources
NumSources

A17: This happens if you make gopherd before linking in the WAIS ir/ui
directories. The fix is to "make clean" or remove
gopherd/{waisgopher.o,Waisindex.o} and then remake gopherd. Or
link the ir/ui directories first.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Q18: Why don't my WAIS indexes work? I never get anything back for searches.
or Why do I get "Dangling file" error messages in my logfile?

A18: The problem could be in the server. The server should be run
using the -c option if you want WAIS to work. Another solution is to
patch the WAIS code so that it doesn't check the files on the disk.
Search the gopher-news archive for "dangling". This will turn up a
single document with the patch.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Q19: My gopher server doesn't work under inetd, why?

A19: It could be that your inetd server only supports a limited amount
of arguments. For instance, the maximum number of arguments to an
inetd server is 5. You can get around this by combining arguments: i.e.

gopherd -I -c

becomes:

gopherd -Ic

You may also leave the port specifier off of the command line.
The gopher server automagically finds out the port it's running on.

Another way around this is to use a 'shell-script' wrapper. Make
a shell script that starts gopher with the options you want, then
put the name of the shell script in the inetd.conf file.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Q20: This is not a bug report, just a curiousity. I managed to install
gopher on my PC, more or less by myself, which is a pretty good
accomplishment, for someone who hasn't installed hardly anything on a
PC. I then proceeded to load my PC/TCP kernel, ETHDRV, and try to
start up gopher. It said it couldn't initialize that stack(?). I have
to load this whenever I use PC/TCP. Incredibly, when I did not load
ETHDRV, Gopher came up immediately and telneted to our local server.
How does it know what kernel to load?

A20 Dr. Science says,

The Internet Gopher program is not actually computer program at
all, but a collection of magical incantations handed down from Dark
Age conjurors. It works by sending magical "demons" through the air,
which scour the world for information, and then return to cast
illusions containing the answer.

When you use the Gopher, your computer isn't actually doing
anything at all. Instead, these demons have mesmerized you with an
evil magical spell, which was invoked by the pattern of
finger-movements peculiar to the typing of the letters G-O-P-H-E-R on
your keyboard. This spell transmits demonic information directly to
your brain.

Scientists aren't certain of the long-term effects of demonic
mesmirization, although former presidents have suffered only minor
medical side-effects from it. Indeed, since Magic and Science are
usually opposed to each other, most Scientists are usually
close-minded about such issues, and will usually respond with some
vacuous non-answer about "packet drivers", "stacks", and other such
jargon.

Unlike conventional scientists, Dr. Science is very open-minded and
is willing to deal with such issues in a frank and honest manner.
This is why people come to him with questions, and why they've learned
to rely on and live by his answers.

Dr. Science
"I'm not a real doctor; I have a Master's Degree.... in SCIENCE!"

:-) :-) :-) :-)
There's always room for a little humor in a FAQ..
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Q21: Help! I have PC-NFS and want to use the PC-Gopher client. How?

A21: Use a piece of software called PKTMUX, available at fine ftp
sites everywhere. This will let you use any packet driver
application.

Or, aquire a client that supports PC-NFS. See Q2.

Or, get the winsock libraries for your system and run a Windows
gopher client.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Q22: How do I nuke a hung TCP connection? I can't restart my UNIX
gopher server unless I get rid of it, and I don't want to reboot!

A22:

Here is an example of using dbx to change a socket from CLOSING to
CLOSED.

# netstat -A|grep CLOSING
c4bc5100 tcp 0 11 mymachine.gopher 129.89.8.4.70 CLOSING
# dbx -k /vmunix /dev/mem
...
(dbx) 0xc4bc5100+8/1X -- display contents of PCB+8
c4bc5108: 00000007
(dbx) assign 0xc4bc5108=0 -- zero it
0
(dbx) q

After a minute or two, the CLOSED socket should disappear.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Q23: Is there somewhere I can retrieve a list of announced gopher
links? I'd like to keep a local, up-to-date list of available gopher
holes without requiring our users to gopher to umn just to scan
GopherSpace.

A23: In the Unix client/server distribution is a perl script called
"gopherdist". Gopherdist can fetch the contents of any point in
GopherSpace.

To dump the contents of all the North American links from
gopher.tc.umn.edu do the following:

% gopherdist gopher.tc.umn.edu 70 "1/Other Gopher and Information
Servers/North America" > .Links

A .tar.Z file of the all the gopher servers in the world is
available as:

<URL:gopher://boombox.micro.umn.edu/99/gopher/misc/othergophers>

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Q24: Why doesn't my unix gopher client display ISO-Latin-1 characters
properly?

A24: It is the client's problem, the server is perfectly 8-bit transparent.
The BSD curses library uses bit 8 in order to remember, whether a
character has been displayed reverse. On a SunOS 4.x you can use
the System V compiler: /usr/5bin/cc and you will get the System V
curses version which is 8 bit clean.

On other operating systems you should contact the vendor for
assistance.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Q25: What is veronica?

A25: veronica: Very Easy Rodent-Oriented Net-wide Index to
Computerized Archives.

veronica offers a keyword search of most gopher-server menu titles
in the entire gopher web. As archie is to ftp archives, veronica
is to gopherspace. A veronica search produces a menu of gopher
items, each of which is a direct pointer to a gopher data source.
Because veronica is accessed through a gopher client, it is easy
to use, and gives access to all types of data supported by the
gopher protocol.

To try veronica, select it from the "Other Gophers" menu on
Minnesota's gopher server, or point your gopher at:

<URL:gopher://futique.scs.unr.edu/11/veronica>

------------------------------------------------------------------
Q26: What e-mail discussions lists are active for Gopher?

A26: There are a couple of places where Gopher software and
development is discussed.

The USENET newsgroup comp.infosystems.gopher is the biggest
discussion list.

Gopher discussion also takes place on the mailing list
gopher-news. To subscribe send a message to:

gopher-ne...@boombox.micro.umn.edu


Those who want just announcements of new software and servers may
want to subscribe to the 'gopher-announce' list by sending mail to

gopher-anno...@boombox.micro.umn.edu


A mailing list for VMS developers is also available, send e-mail
to list...@trln.lib.unc.edu with a message that contains

sub VMSgopher-L firstname lastname


A mailing list for MVS gopher developers and users is also
available. To subscribe to the list, send mail to
LISTS...@LISTS.ACS.OHIO-STATE.EDU containing:

SUBSCRIBE MVSGOPHER firstname lastname


------------------------------------------------------------------
Q27: How do I get my Gopher (whois/cso/library catalog) listed in gopher menus?

A27: If your gopher server is in Europe, send mail to:

gop...@ebone.net

Otherwise send mail to:

gop...@boombox.micro.umn.edu

with the following information:

The Server's Name (as it will appear on the menu)
The Hostname
The Port Number
An Administrative contact
A Selector String (optional)
An short Abstract describing the content of your server


The list of CSO nameservers is maintained at Notre Dame by Joel Cooper.
Any updates to the list should be sent to coo...@utopia.cc.nd.edu.

The list of WHOIS servers is maintained at MIT by Matt Power. Any
updates to the list should be sent to mhp...@athena.mit.edu.

The Gopher to X.500 gateway is maintained at U. Michigan by Tim Howes.
Any comments should be sent to t...@umich.edu.

The list of Internet Accessible Libraries is is currently a
collaborative effort between Marie-Christine Mahe at Yale
University, Lou Rosenfeld at the University of Michigan, and
Billy Barron at the University of Texas in Dallas. Barry Bouwsma
steadily contributes many obscure foreign library listings.

Error corrections and additions are always welcome, and should be
sent to:

GOP...@GOPHER.YALE.EDU.

------------------------------------------------------------------
Q28: Where is the registered list of Gopher+ view types?

A28: Gopher+ view types are the same as MIME email media types.

It's available via anonymous ftp from:

<URL:ftp://isi.edu/in-notes/media-types>


------------------------------------------------------------------
Q29: How do I use WAIS indices with my gopherd server without -c?

A29:

The problem with WAIS Indices is that they store the full
pathname inside of the inverted index. Thus if your documents
are in /usr/local/gopher-data/waisdocs/text, that whole path
will be kept in the index.

However, when using chroot(), a whole portion of the path is
chopped off and the directory /usr/local/gopher-data effectively
becomes '/'.

To circumvent this problem you can use a symbolic link to make
the removed directory structure inside of the gopher-data
directory. In this case you would do the following:

cd /usr/local/gopher-data
mkdir usr
cd usr
mkdir local
cd local
ln -s / gopher-data

Then when the pathname /usr/local/gopher-data/wais/text is
looked up the symbolic link will put you in the correct place..
--
| Paul Lindner | lin...@boombox.micro.umn.edu | Slipping into madness
| | Distributed Computing Services | is good for the sake
| Gophermaster | University of Minnesota | of comparison.
///// / / / /////// / / / / / / / / //// / / / / / / / /

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