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Re: good gopher article by Cory Doctorow

On Mon, Feb 24 2020, Dave Gauer wrote:

> I imagine the pre-Web-era clients would have at least let you supply
> the host (and maybe port). But would they also have let you specify a
> selector? And if so, would you then need to supply the correct type (0
> for file, 1 for menu...) as well?

UMN gopher is still maintained (somewhat).  From its manpage:

       -p path
              specify a specific selector string to  send  to  the  gopher  server  on

       -T type
              let the client know what type of object the -p option is pointing at.


       gopher gopher.tc.umn.edu
              Connect to the gopher server running on the computer gopher.tc.umn.edu

       gopher -p "1/Information About Gopher" gopher.tc.umn.edu 70
              Connect  to  the  gopher  server  running on port 70 of the computer go‐
              pher.tc.umn.edu and start at the menu retrieved with the selector string
              1/Information About Gopher

       gopher -p 7/indexes/Gopher-index/index -T 7 -i FAQ mudhoney.micro.umn.edu
              Connect  to  the  gopher  server  running  on  the computer mudhoney.mi‐
              cro.umn.edu and start at the menu of items matching the  string  FAQ  in
              the index specified by the selector string 7/indexes/Gopher-index/index

It defaults to interpreting a selector as a menu.

> I imagine many of the early systems would have been set up to
> automatically connect to the institution's own starting menu just like
> you describe.  But that's mere conjecture on my part.

Correct, or to the UMN's gopher site if there wasn't a local one.


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