|Screenshot of Gophie|
Screenshot of Gophie
|Original author(s)||Jan Kammerath|
|Operating system||Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows|
|License||Open Source under GPLv3|
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Gophie is a free and and open source Gopher browser with a graphical user interface. It is written in Java and supports any operating system with a graphical desktop environment and Java support. Gophie supports the Gopher protocol as defined in RFC 1436 and URL schemes as defined in RFC 4266.
As many web browsers dropped the support for the Gopher protocol, there was a very limited choice of Gopher browsers in late 2019. Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer could only support the Gopher protocol through either browser extensions or proxy servers. Very few browsers such as Lynx would still support the Gopher protocol natively and most of these were text browsers built for experienced computer users. Even web browsers from the late 1990s, such as Internet Explorer 5 or Netscape Navigator 4.8 would only provide very simple display of Gopher content.
The first source code for Gophie was published on November, 18th 2019. by Jan Kammerath. A first stable release with the version number 1.0 was available on April 18th, 2020, six months after the development began. The next version 1.1 was released on May 17th, 2020 and included various bugfixes and feature requests from the early users.
While the Gopher protocol is based on serving plain text content and gopher menus in plain text, Gophie provides a more graphical approach to displaying Gopher content. It makes use of icons to display item types of Gopher items from Gopher menus. Further Gophie uses various configurable color schemes as the Gopher protocol itself does not support any color definitions itself.
Gopher protocol support
Gophie supports all Gopher item types as described in RFC 1436. It can display text content and images directly while binary files are handled with the internal download manager. Telnet, CCSO and World wide web references are handled by the default software defined in the operating system. Since version 1.1, Gophie solves the challenge of missing headers in the Gopher protocol by using Gopher item type prefixes as defined in RFC 4266 and checking the magic number of content during the retrieval
Customizable user interface
The Gopher protocol itself, especially the Gopher Menu content, does not provide any graphical markup with colors or fonts like HTML does. To enable the use of colors and fonts with Gopher content, Gophie allows the user to configure all colors and fonts of the content and the application itself. This is the exact opposite approach of a web browser where the author of the content decides on the graphical representation and not the user.
A download manager integrated into Gophie allows users to download files through the Gopher protocol. Any file that is not plain text, a Gopher menu or an image is handled by the download manager. As the Gopher protocol itself does not have headers like the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, the download manager of Gophie can not show the final size of the file and therefore any progress of the file transfer. The download manager only shows the file size transferred and the rate it was transferred at.
Gophie was written in the Java programming language with no external dependencies or specific development environments required to compile it. The software can be compiled by anyone without requiring additional software or programming knowledge through the included Makefile-like Bash script. Any operating system with a standard Java Runtime Environment is supported by Gophie. This includes systems like BSD, Solaris and also Windows XP as Gophie is compiled with support for the older Java version 8.
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