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Re: [xml-dev] [Fwd: W3C ridiculous new policy on patents]

Jonathan Borden wrote:

> We might recall the early days of the WWW when the web was in competition
> with something called "gopher", anyone remember gopher?

I do.

> If not there is a
> reason: When the WWW was just starting, gopher was significantly more
> popular and then the University of Michigan asserted its intellectual
> property rights on gopher indicating that it was to retain the future right
> to license its use (or something to that effect). Blink. Gopher died [...]

I hardly think that was the only reason.  Gopher was a
tad retarded: it only handled plain text, menus of hyperlinks, search
pages, and downloadable files.  It had nothing like HTML 2.0 that
permitted fancy text with embedded links (and later images).

I poked around at gopher://gopher.tc.umn.edu a while back.  It
still presents "All the Gophers in the World", though few if any
of them are answering any more.

ObIrrelevant:  I specced out, but didn't get to implement, an
advanced gopherspace browser called Wanderer that kept a persistent
store of navigation arcs.  If you navigated from menu A to submenu B,
a link was planted on (your view of) menu B that pointed back
to A.  You could further annotate any menu with a random link
by the simple process of jumping from the menu to the new
location.  The four types of links -- original unvisited,
original visited, parent, jump -- were marked by different
icons in the menu view.  In this way, the gopher menus and
the history graph were fully integrated rather than being
completely separate animals (and the history reduced to
a mere stack) as in all Web browsers even today.

Furthermore, the persistent store was also accessible to a
gopher server that would return "your view of gopherspace"
to any other gopher client.  It essentially functioned as a
Decorating Proxy, forwarding all non-local requests to the
appropriate real-gopherspace servers unchanged, and adding
any additional arcs and link-type tags on the way out.

Not to perambulate             || John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
    the corridors               || http://www.reutershealth.com
during the hours of repose     || http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
    in the boots of ascension.  \\ Sign in Austrian ski-resort hotel