List of BioGophers

John Nash nash at biologysx.lan.nrc.ca
Tue Oct 27 09:33:03 EST 1992

In article <1992Oct27.072456.13689 at nic.funet.fi> harper at convex.csc.FI (Rob Harper) writes:
>From: harper at convex.csc.FI (Rob Harper)
>Subject: Re: List of BioGophers
>Date: Tue, 27 Oct 92 07:24:56 GMT

>In Finland there is a gopher craze at the moment so many different

[good stuff deleted]

>I would like to bring up a couple of points.

>1)I am the first to admit that my own gopher is heavily built up
>  on the resources that other people have constructed. The feeling is
>  that if someone has already done the job then it is easy to just
>  establish a link and use it. There is nothing new under the sun.
>  So I would like to ask how people feel about mirroring of resources.
>  Is it enough that everyone in Europe pounds Don's GenBank resource.
>  Is it enough that everyone in USA pounds Reinhard EMBL resource...
>  and everyone in the world jumps on Dan's PIR resource, and when
>  these centres run into service glitches then nobody has anywhere to
>  go. Do we need duplication??? What should we duplicate??? The BIG
>  databases or the smaller ones like ace and aat??? Who is going to
>  have the disk space to provide the service???

Yes, I feel that we need a small level of duplication.... it's frustrating 
to finally track down a source, follow the path of gopher holes and end up 
with a dead slow link halfway across the world, or (worse) a server that's 
down.  [Now... I am not criticising sites for being down... it's an 
accepted, unfortunate fact of life... but it's still frutrating to find a 
site down].  Now, if all the major services were mirrored by region, it 
would probably reduce intercontinental traffic, except if one's favourite 
site were down.  How this affects copyrights and contracts, may be a problem.

>2)Lost in gopher-space... How many people have had this experiance.
>  You read about a resource. You track it down. You negotiate all
>  the menus, and finally you reach your destination. You fail to make
>  a bookmark, and the next time you try to navigate to the same place
>  you can never find it. What can we do to make moving about in
      ^^^ that's when I try to switch to WAIS for the particular search.

>  gopher-space a "memorable" experiance. Do we need a standard bio-gopher
>  interface (/databases, /software, /hints) that looks the same on
>  every machine, or do we need weird flashing neon lights and steam
>  whistles (Desperately Seeking Suzan) to provide hooks that jolt
>  our memories into remembering "hey I've been in this place before".
>  I have gone in the latter direction, renaming "Name=" to something
>  more graphic and descriptive that I have found in the original link.

>Any comments by gopher maintainers or users more than welcome.

I'm just a Gopher & WAIS user (and a night-time explorer).  A standard style 
of Biogopher interface would be nice, if the gopher managers could do 
this... however, this shouldn't be held to an absolute structure because 
that would be far too restricting.  Also... I really like Don's idea of file 
sizes of his docs... 

cheers, John

John Nash                           | Email: Nash at biologysx.lan.nrc.ca.
Institute for Biological Sciences,  | National Research Council of Canada,
Cell Physiology Group.              | Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
             *** Disclaimer:  All opinions are mine, not NRC's! ***

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