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[gopher] A free (as in gratis) offer to the gopher community

Short version:

I am a long-time participant in the OpenNIC project (an open, free, and
democratic alternative to ICANN), as well as a long-time member of the
gopher community.  I have set up a .gopher top-level domain (TLD) in
the OpenNIC root for the purpose of providing gopher sites with
unique domains accessible to anyone who can resolve OpenNIC domains.
This is a free (as in gratis) offer; I expect nothing in return.
OpenNIC is one of several F/OSS projects I work on in my spare time; I
am simply offering this service to the gopher community as a token of
my gratitude to those who keep the gopher protocol alive and well.  

You can register one or more .gopher domains at
http://register.gopher.  This is accessible to anyone who can resolve
OpenNIC domains.  For instructions on setting up your DNS settings to
resolve OpenNIC domains (ICANN domains remain accessible as well), or
for a listing of OpenNIC nameservers, please visit

Long version:

OpenNIC is an open, free, and democratic alternative to ICANN that was
founded by Robin Bandy nearly 10 years ago[1].  I've been involved with
OpenNIC for about that long, and was instrumental in its revival a few
years ago.  I help maintain the OpenNIC infrastructure and various
informational websites, as well as serve as moderator on the #opennic
(Freenode) IRC channel. 

One of our goals is to establish OpenNIC as a non-profit organization
so that we can have a legal standing when it comes to dealing with DNS
policy and issues.  We have several nameservers, all run by
volunteers, that span the globe[2].  In addition to OpenNIC domains,
we also peer all ICANN domains as well as a few TLDs from alternative
roots that are still in existence. 

I've also been a member of the gopher community since the days of
WAIS, Archie and Veronica.  While not as active as in other pursuits,
I do maintain an active gopher server and proxy (the first wiki-based
proxy of which I'm aware)[3].  

As a nod of appreciation towards the gopher community for keeping
gopher alive, I proposed to the OpenNIC membership the establishment
of the .gopher TLD, focused on showcasing sites that deliver content
via the gopher protocol.  The .gopher charter was ratified by the
OpenNIC membership in 2008[4].

I have finally gotten around to putting online an automated process to
register .gopher domains[5].  This is totally a volunteer effort on my
part, and I expect no remuneration, now or in the future.  I am simply
providing this service to the gopher community in the same spirit as
so many of us provide the world with access to gopher sites.  There
are no strings.  If you agree with the charter, you can register as
many .gopher TLDs and/or domains as you wish.  I provide the interface
for maintaining your DNS records. Work on this interface is ongoing,
but it's functional. Any DNS records that can't be handled by the
inteface I will be glad to process manually.

The URL to access the .gopher registration site is
http://register.gopher (the software that runs the site is GPL, and
all content is covered by the CC-BY-SA license).  Yes, it's only
accessible via an OpenNIC nameserver.  Presumably, if you are
interested in a .gopher domain, you are going to need to be able to
resolve the .gopher TLD.  So consider setting up your DNS settings[6]
to access OpenNIC as part of the registration process :)

My goal is simple:  I'd like to expose the gopher community to a wider
audience via the OpenNIC community.  You all who are involved in F/OSS
projects will understand that there doesn't need to be an ulterior
motive for the things we do.  We do this kind of thing because we
enjoy it.

Feel free to e-mail me offline if you have questions or issues.  I
also hang out on the #gopherproject and #opennic channels on Freenode
in the (U.S.) evenings, nick is brianko.


[1] http://wiki.opennic.glue/files/OpenNIC/K5%20An%20Immodest%20DNS%20Proposal.html
[2] http://wiki.opennicproject.org/Tier2
[3] http://www.pongonova.org/gopherwiki/HomePage
[4] http://wiki.opennicproject.org/GopherCharter
[5] http://register.gopher
[6] http://www.opennicproject.org/index.php/start-here/51-migrate-to-opennic

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