Within a week, dozens of students had their own web pages up, and by the end of the year, hundreds did. Encouraged by their initial success, this encouraged students to stand up their own web servers so they could run cgi scripts, etc.
As far as I knew, there was no equivalent taste-test for providers of Gopher content. You either stood up your own server or got special access to someone else's server, both of which were hard to do at the time.
looks like it..
they have gopher hosting still...
And yes. Gopher is ususally included. :)
By trying to control & license everything, they lost everything.
It aims to fix flaws in the Gopher protocol while still making it easy to implement clients.
If you haven't dug into Gopher, there's lots of cool stuff in it from ASCII art and old computer manuals to games and lots of blogs (called "phlogs"). I suggest grabbing a client and heading to the Gopher Lawn to get a taste:
(Lynx works as a client, but there are a ton more out there with fun UIs.)
If you want to connect now:
Web Portal: https://portal.mozz.us/gemini/gemini.circumlunar.space/
I'm in the process of writing a Tcl graphical client, to let folks hack their browser as if it were a running lisp process. For day-to-day browsing, I'm mostly using Elpher right now, which is an emacs Gemini and Gopher client written in Elisp, and is fantastic.
I'm at gemini://acidic.website/
(I also like acidic food sometimes. I'm not sure if I like acidic coffee; so far, the only coffee I have successfully consumed is espresso without milk, water or sugar and some is surely better than others. I was certainly surprised to discover that plain espresso is actually better than adding milk, water or sugar.)
Is there a way to actually reply within Gemini? I could set up my own server, I guess, but you would never know I had.
Because the domain was incredibly cheap, and I may eventually host some HTTP content there as well, but I'm not sure. The main reason was just the price heh.
> Is there a way to actually reply within Gemini? I could set up my own server, I guess, but you would never know I had.
Nope, no comments. You could email me, of course, but I'm thinking of setting up an ActivityPub server on the box so folks can message me if they're interested.
One of my favourite gemini sites is this  page where a guy is hosting music that he's made over the years.
The platform is really nascent but I think has a lot of potential. If I get some time I might hack together a client that's better suited to me than the extant ones (although bombadillo works great for the moment).
Gopher wasn't like that at all. I downloaded the Gopher server and ran it. Then I put a file in its folder, and it didn't show up. You had to (IIRC) write a special index file to tell it how to serve each file. If you didn't get it perfectly right, it wouldn't show up at all. And of course the error messages and documentation were somewhere between "terrible" and "missing".
I wanted Gopher to succeed, because I liked the simple, regular organization of information, rather than the crazy anything-goes world of the World Wide Web. I just couldn't figure out how to get it to work.
This is a cynical rewriting of history. More likely, Gopher lost to HTTP due to a combination of random chance, network effects, and simply not being as user friendly to e.g. set up a server. HTTP was also an "open academic tool" for "open academic purposes". Only later, due to HTTP's success, was it monetized and "weaponized".
Seconded. I was on the Internet before gopher, and I never really saw the point over regular ftp (and, a quick glance at the wikipedia page right now doesn't really tell me what the real extra value over ftp is).
Conversely, the web's value was immediately obvious.
That’s the point you should be focusing on: it’s not a competitive user experience. The commercialization angle isn’t “no way to extract money” but “no users”.
I remember the era of BBSes, Fidonet, and then getting access to the internet. FTP was obviously useful. The web was extremely useful. Gopher was … “what’s the point?”
You could even quit the browser and you'd be sitting in a Unix shell account.
There are some duplicates (different domains for the same content, IP addresses) but roughly 364 domains are constantly online.
The web had a much broader appeal to me and as soon as I could I set up a page on our schools web server. I then took a deep dive into CGI scripting and that got me to start coding.
A few years later (1997), part of my job was to migrate a bunch of university gopher holes to the web.
Given a HTML page using the default serif font that shows a picture of you and a cat and talks a little about your research, or a plain text file using the default fixed width font that talks a little about your research and says "in the menu below, clyde.jpg is a photo of my cat", then most people are going to prefer the first option.