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Gopher is a Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol designed for searching and distributing documents via the Internet. Before the rise of the World Wide Web, Gopher was king, but it eventually lost out to the http model of the Internet and graphical interfaces that are now in wide use. Nonetheless, its development was an important moment in the early history of the Internet. This entry looks at the development of Gopher, how it operates, and the reasons why it is no longer commonly used.

Gopher was invented by a team led by Mark McCahill at the University of Minnesota in 1991, and was designed to be a simple campus-wide system that would allow users to publish information from desktop systems. It was released in April 1991. The ...

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