GopherMail is a gopher client that uses electronic mail to
with the user. Messages containing menus and gopher link information
are mailed to users in response to their requests. Users reply
these messages and indicate which menu items they want. It
people use Gopher without requiring them to have an account
on the Internet, because it communicates through email messages
instead of direct "live" network connections.
Until now, Gopher could only be used by people with Mac's,
and Suns, etc. which are "live" on the Internet,
or through login
accounts on Internet machines. Gopher client programs would
direct network connection to the Gopher server on the host
desired information, anywhere on the Internet, anywhere in
Thanks to the GopherMail program, most of the resources of
now available to everyone with email-only access to the Internet.
estimate says that there are more than 10 million people who
the Internet, but can reach it with email. Wow.
You can get started by sending mail to gopher@Czechia.EU.net
with any or no
subject and any or no message body. GopherMail will reply
by sending you
it's main gopher menu. You then use your email program to
reply to that
message, including it in the text of your reply. Mark which
you want to follow-up by putting an "X" (or "x")
anywhere near the
beginning of the line, before the menu numbers for those options.
>From there you can just keep repeating the process, sending
replies back to
gopher with the desired items marked with an X. To make it
you could edit your replies so they contain just the gopher
mation for the items that you want. You'll find all the link
after the menu, at the bottom of the menu messages that GopherMail
you. Some items on gopher menus are database searches and
books. To search for a particular name or keyword(s), you
simply send them
on the "Subject:" line of the message in which you've
Xed the phonebook or
WAIS database menu option.
GopherMail's options include:
- Message splitting after a certain file size
- Menu splitting after a certain number of menu items
- Re-using links saved in a "Bookmarks" file
- Requesting the Gopher menu for a specific hostname
- Requesting this help file
- Selecting menu items using fewer keystrokes
- Requesting items from the Info-Mac Archive
- Requesting gopher items with their raw link information
Since many email gateways have size limits on email messages,
to split GopherMail output into several messages when it exceeds
size. This can be done by specifying a maximum number of menu
items to send
in one message, or by specifying a maximum size in bytes for
binary and sound files. There are a couple of ways to do this.
way is to put "Menu=50" and/or "Split=30000"
(for example) in the
"Subject:" of your message when requesting gopher
menus and/or files. This
would limit the output to 50 menu items per message, and would
in messages of approximately 30,000 bytes each, maximum.
The other way is to include these same instructions in the
body of the
message, on separate lines. For example:
Split=25K You may have text after the "25K". The
"K" or "k" becomes "000".
Menu=75 Yes, I know 1K = 1024, but it was easier to write
Lines like these already appear in menu messages, you can
find them after
the menu items and before the link information. They contain
values. You should edit these lines to contain the values
that you want.
All subsequent menus will contain your preferred "Menu="
values. Setting these values to 0 (zero) has the effect of
messages at all. The default is to split menus after 100 items,
after 27,000 bytes. If "Split=" or "Menu="
appear in the Subject: of
the message, these will override the values set in the message
You can specify a different host when requesting a top level
menu by placing a fully qualified domain name as the "Subject:"
message (such as gopher.micro.umn.edu). You can also specify
other than the default of 70 by placing it after a fully qualified
domain name in the subject (e.g. darth.sdsc.edu 800).
The most efficient way to use GopherMail is to mail just
information for one or several gopher items. You can build
a type of
"bookmarks" file by saving the links that you want
to use again. If
you mail just the link information for a gopher connection,
will follow the link and mail you the output. Here's what
Name=About GopherMail <- This is optional, it returns
in the Subject:
Type=0 <- This is required, see below for a list of types.
Port=70 <- Port 70 is assumed, required only if different.
Path=0/gophermail <- This is usually required, depends
on the link.
Host=gopher.vscht.cz <- Required. This MUST be the last
line of the link.
Supported Types are:
0 -- Text File
1 -- Directory
2 -- CSO name server
4 -- Mac HQX file.
7 -- Full Text Index (these are often WAIS database searches)
9 -- Binary File
s -- Sound
Binary and Sound Files are sent as uuencoded files.
If you send the word "help" as the subject (no
will send you this help file.
To save a few keystrokes, instead of putting X's in front
of the menu
lines, you could also just insert lines at the top of the
contain an "X" followed by the menu number that
you want, such as:
Macintosh Programs and other files uploaded to the Info-Mac
on Sumex at Stanford can be easily requested through GopherMail.
send mail to gopher with the complete "Archived as"
line for each
file, such as: [Archived as /info-mac/dir/file-name.hqx; 400K]
GopherMail will recognize these as Info-Mac requests, and
them from the gopher server on sumex-aim.stanford.edu. Since
programs like Eudora can automatically de-binhex only complete
files, the default for Info-Mac files is not to split them
This can easily be overridden by supplying a "Split="
value on the
GopherMail also recognizes gopher link information in "raw"
which means tab-delimited on one line. A typical link might
The "#" marks represent tab characters. This may
not seem very
useful, but it allows you to copy a link from a program like
and paste it into a message to gopher for processing by GopherMail.
GopherMail was written in Perl by Fred Bremmer in September
Nick Hengeveld helped with the TCP portion, and Matt Ranney
the book on Perl and helped with some regular expressions.
friends helped to find bugs and suggest improvements.
For help, to report bugs, or for more information, send email