>In article <Coo4DE.n0q at usenet.ucs.indiana.edu>,
>Don Gilbert <gilbertd at sunflower.bio.indiana.edu> wrote:
I smell another religious war brewing here :-(.
I use Gopher almost entirely for searching WAIS indexed databases. For
this use it is vastly superior to WWW because it is simple and gets the job
done quickly and with little fuss. There is far to much verbiage and foliage
in WWW pages for my tastes. In particular, I don't appreciate having to
sit around while Mosaic loads some silly graphic before it lets me look at
a page (unless, of course, the graphic is what I'm looking for). I like
graphics as much as the next guy, but I really don't need to see a 200 x
200 full color gif of some institute's logo.
Conversely, Mosaic does provide a nice front end for some programs. These
same front ends can be, and often are, pretty hard to use in Lynx, and Lynx
is as good as it gets for screen based WWW. In other words, it isn't WWW
per se that is making these interfaces nice so much as it is the portable
graphic interface that Mosaic provides. What WWW does do, is provide a
simple way to hook the client and server together.
Don't you all find it fascinating that a lot of people are settling for the
limitations of Mosaic with WWW instead of utilizing the more general
solutions available in X11 and TCP/IP? This tends to comfirm what I've
suspected for quite a while - there is a market for "simple client" server
that X11 and TCP/IP doesn't fill. WWW provides an impressively simple way
to configure a server, or rather, a group of servers. As long as you don't
have to try to bill people for use, or to provide interactive connections,
it would be hard to do much better. Similarly, Mosaic is a simple way to
put up a client GUI. X11 and TCP/IP are just too much work for most people
to bother with.
In summary, I think the Mosaic/WWW combination has a lot of the same appeal
of Visual Basic or hypercard - it makes it really easy to "roll your own".
Gopher, on the other hand, is lean, and mean, and it gets the job done,
usually in less time than by going though WWW.
mathog at seqvax.bio.caltech.edu
Manager, sequence analysis facility, biology division, Caltech