Reading some rather old computer books, I have seen the
gopher protocol mentioned frequently.
What is it used for? And, is it still used today?
Gopher was a text based protocol that was used on the internet on the early days. Unlike http and the web as we know it, sites were structured, and accessed through a hierarchical menu.It was, in essence the predecessor of HTTP, and the web
Currently gopher is a historical curiosity, but many major browsers had support for it at one point, but currently you'd either need a separate client or a plugin to access it. It hasn't really aged as gracefully as irc or usenet did, and there's very few gopher servers in use right now.
Wikipedia is going to be the best answer to this I think, but here's a quick summary.
Gopher is another information-dissemination protocol that came out in the early 90s, like HTTP. It's text-based, and designed to provide structured, hierarchical information quickly and easily. It's not used much today, it's believed there are less than 200 gopher servers running on the internet.