New Gopher Indexing Service (Alan Emtage)
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From: (Alan Emtage)
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 1994 12:18:11 -0500
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Subject: New Gopher Indexing Service
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[ This mail is being cross-posted to several groups... please excuse
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As you might know, the archie Internet service indexes the contents of
anonymous FTP sites that wish to have their information advertised to the
Internet community. Each archie server is owned and operated by individual
volunteer sites around the Internet, using server software originally
developed at McGill University in Montreal. There are already well over 30
archie servers installed around the world and continued support for the
service is now provided through Bunyip Information Systems, a company
formed to ensure the availability of quality operational and software
support for Internet services. 

Over the past year we have made a number of improvements to the archie
system. In particular we've added support for a range of additional
information collections. With these new capabilities, it will be possible
in the coming months for archie server operators to offer a range of
additional useful information.

Perhaps the single most important addition we have planned for the near
future is a fully supported index of Gopher menu items. The code for this
new collection has been written and tested and will soon be made available
as a free upgrade to all existing archie servers. This upgrade will be
accompanied by a new direct Gopher frontend onto both the original archie
anonymous FTP database and the new Gopher menu item collection (and the
other collections we are planning as they become available). It is our
hope that a number of archie operators will choose to offer this new
Gopher index collection, bringing a new level of availability and
operational support to such services.

We are attempting to reach as many Gopher site operators as possible,
because we would like permission to include an index of their gopher tree
in the new collection. It has been our policy with the anonymous FTP
database to not include a site unless we have positive acknowlegement
from the site operator, and we intend to continue the policy with this
new collection. 

We have already contacted several hundred operators and have had very
positive feedback from them (2 refusals in 400 responses so far).

At the same time, we intend to follow existing practice in gopher
indexing where possible. Thus, we will try to work with site
administrators and tool builders to use existing indexing files where
possible, rather than place any additional load on the server by scanning
the entire tree. We will be working in concert with the community to
develop and open standard for such indices.

If you are a Gopher site operator, and if you give us your permission, we
will access your gopher site on a periodic basis to create an index of
the menu items accessible from your site. The index will be built by one
of the cooperating archie sites, that will in turn make it available to
all the other archie sites. Note that the archie system permits this
sharing of collected information in a predigested format, lowering the
load we place on the network and also minimizing the interactions needed
at your site.

We hope that this new index will be of use both to gopher site
administrators (in advertising the existence and contents of your site)
and other members of the Internet community (in providing a localized,
reliable directory of gopherspace which enjoys full operational support).
Your comments and feedback on the service as we bring it up are most


If you would like to have your site indexed, please send the particulars
of your gopher site to:

We're looking for the following information:

     <gopher name>
     Host: <fully qualified internet address>
     Admin: <name, e-mail address>


If you have any particular concerns with this concept and/or would like
to let us know why you don't want your gopher site indexed, please feel
free to send comments to

Thanks in advance!

The Gang at Bunyip Information Systems