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[gopher] Re: Item Type Suggestions

[gopher] Re: Item Type Suggestions

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To: gopher@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [gopher] Re: Item Type Suggestions
From: Jay Nemrow <jnemrow@xxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2008 15:19:02 -0600
Reply-to: gopher@xxxxxxxxxxxx

JumpJet Mailbox wrote

>Today, there is almost NO excuse why a single person could not build a near 
>flawless piece of Gopher Software in about a week or two.  The real issue here 
>in NOT "can it be programmed quickly and relatively bug-free", but rather 
>"what FEATURES are to be incorporated".
Absolutely.  My thought is that, since we are not in a position of 
trying to one-up any other internet protocol, we can make sure that 
Gopher remains relatively easy to make clients for.  I have even seen a 
few occassions where building a gopher client was considered an 
introductory programming activity to learn about sockets that was useful 
in the wild.  That is what Gopher is and can continue to be:  a budding 
computer person's first programming project!

>We are not in a market competition that requires rapid software release to 
>stay ahead of the competitors, nor are profits hinging on the rapid realease 
>of software.  We are instead striving to get more uses interested in the 
>Gopher Protocol.  The critera for that goal is software with "Features People 
>Want", and "Relatively bug-free performance".  These goals dictate doing the 
>job "Right The First Time" (NOT quick and dirty programming).
Is that what everyone is after, getting more people interested in the 
protocol?  Personally, I think the protocol as it stands is attractive 
(at least to me) for it simplicity (relative to www), its 
programmibility by smaller groups and individuals on their spare time, 
and just the "cool" factor of not following the herd.  Updating or 
changing the protocol may hurt these things, which would drive me away 
and who knows who else.  If people want to do this, I suggest a new 
protocol that could be said to be derived from Gopher.  I will keep 
running a "vanilla" Gopher server.  I think the UMN people who wrote the 
protocol did it quite "right the first time" (although I think what we 
have as the protocol was soemthing that they had been working on a while 
and went through several revisions before being made a standard.) and I 
personally see no pressing need to add anything more, even if they are 
"Features People Want".  Let those things be included in some new 
protocol or simply use www, which is definately skewed to trying to be 
all things to all people.

>We are only likely to have a potential new Gopher Protocol user examine the 
>protocol and software ONCE.  If he doesn't see what he needs (or he sees 
>slapped-together-software), it is unlikely that he will ever examine the 
>protocol again.
If they don't already like Gopher for what it is (lone hacker's 
paradise), I think they should feel free to move on and find something 
more to their liking.  The last thing I want to see is someone hijacking 
Gopher and changing its nature.  This still feels like an attempt to 
convert people from www to some reinvented Gopher, which doesn't seem 
very sensible to me.  Gopher already has its merits and I stand behind 
them.  It may never have a far bigger audience than it has now, but if I 
was really after that, I would spend time on my web sites - That is a 
huge potential audience!

Jay Nemrow
Quasi-Indefatigable Xenolith
gopher://  telnet://  (yeah, there's a as well)
Dial-in QuIX gopher: 1(575)461-0077
email: jnemrow@xxxxxxx

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