In the late spring of 1991, a group of University of Minnesota researchers published a document distribution protocol known as Gopher. The gopher system was highly hierarchical, highly structured and fully text-based. A perfect solution for researchers and users who need quick and easy access to remote documents with limited bandwidth and often only text-only devices. Gopher was quickly adopted by research laboratories and universities around the world and was the ideal solution for accessing documents in the early 1
Where did Gopher go? The rapid growth of the World Wide Web and the decision of the University of Minnesota to charge royalties for the popular implementation of the Gopher server software significantly reduced the number of Gopher global users. In the late 1990s, the network of Gopher servers stagnated, and the search for and delivery of HTTP-based documents was the de facto standard for global document exchange.
Although the race for the world's leading document delivery protocol was lost, there were no more than 260 Gopher servers online. A non-profit initiative, The Overbite Project, which focuses on preserving and expanding Gopher, hosts several browser extensions and advanced clients for accessing the Gopher system on modern platforms and mobile devices.
Why is it called "gopher" after all? Gopher derives its name from three fronts. The Gopher is the mascot of the University of Minnesota, the Gophers Tunnel and the construction to achieve the desired goals, much like the queries sent by the system, and "go-fer" is a slang term for a wizard who Gets things for you.