Re: Gopher, trapped in amber

Kragen Sitaker (
Wed, 13 Jan 1999 08:56:40 -0500 (EST)

On Tue, 12 Jan 1999, Robert S. Thau wrote:
> Kragen Sitaker writes:
> > I think it's the other way around. The protocol and software were
> > originally called WAIS; Z39.50 was the official (ANSI?) standard; then
> > the sponsors of WAIS started asserting their trademark, so people
> > started calling WAIS Z39.50.
> Sorry --- Z39.50 came first. I'm very well positioned to know;


> The CM-2 demo was more than ten years ago. Suddenly, I feel old.

You are -- which is probably one significant reason why Apache is so
good. :)

> What ever happened to Archie, anyway? Is it still running?

Yes. It's a bit slower than it was in 1993, though -- though not
nearly as much as you thought.

> > > WAIS is the only one of these which ever saw in really widespread use,
> > > though both the other two had a lot of political push behind them.
> >
> > So did OSI. :)
> Ummm... Z39.50 *is* part of the OSI protocol suite, with BER and
> everything, even if almost nobody is running it these days over OSI
> transports.

Really? That's interesting.

The point is that the OSI protocol suite succumbed to competition from
simpler, more effective ways of doing things, as the simpler ways
adopted its best features; so did WAIS. Both died despite lots of
political push.

<>       Kragen Sitaker     <>
Computers are the tools of the devil. It is as simple as that. There is no
monotheism strong enough that it cannot be shaken by Unix or any Microsoft
product. The devil is real. He lives inside C programs. --