Original published by SDF at gopher://sdf.org:70/1/sdf/faq/GOPHER
GOPHER is a network protocol that enables multiple servers to create a single, uniform filesystem that transcends system architecure and operating systems (GOPHERSPACE). With GOPHER, information holds the most value. Since presentation is uniform across GOPHERSPACE, the user does not encounter any challenges in ‘learning’ a new site. Because of its simplicity and its emphasis on the importance of informational texts, GOPHER is ideal for those who are visually impared.
A GOPHER client can be called from SDF by typing ‘gopher’. A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) can be given as an argument. The client itself is a document examiner. You can use it to search text documents or download files. Clients under X11, Macintosh and other systems can view pictures, and stream audio / video.
Many people think the http protocol has deprecated gopher, but that just isn’t true. Where do you think GOPHERs live? underground.
When you build your GOPHERSPACE on SDF, you are contributing to an underground network of systems that still believe in the gopher protocol. There is no commercialism, no banner ads, no spam, no pop-up ads. GOPHER gives you what you want: information and files (in any form) without the silliness of HTML and clumsiness of websites. No HTML development is needed to contribute to GOPHERSPACE.. since sites are uniform, all you need to do is upload or create your files.