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07 July 2010, 09:29

Overbite brings Gopher protocol support to Android

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Overbite Californian developer and Gopher enthusiast Cameron Kaiser has announced the release of version 0.1 of Overbite for Android, bringing support for the Gopher protocol to Android 1.5 or later devices. Developed at the University of Minnesota, Gopher is an early network protocol (1991) and a predecessor to HTML and the World Wide Web. According to Kaiser, the Overbite Project – hosted by Floodgap Systems, his own personal online repository – is aimed at "bringing Gopherspace back to modern operating systems, browsers and mobile devices".

The project for reviving Gopherspace currently consists of Overbite for Android and OverbiteFF, an add-on extension for Mozilla's Firefox web browser. While all versions of Firefox up to the 3.6 branch support Gopher, the OverbiteFF extension enhances the browser's built-in support with an updated and customisable interface. However, the next major release of Firefox, version 4.0, will no longer support Gopher.

Other browsers, including Safari, Opera and Internet Explorer, do not support Gopher. As such, Kaiser has provided a free online Public Gopher Proxy that should work with most browsers.

The developer currently considers Overbite for Android to be at an alpha stage of development. As with all development releases, use in production environments and on mission critical systems is not advised.

Additional details, including screenshots of Overbite for Android, are available on the project's homepage. Version 0.1 of Overbite for Android is available to download for devices running Android 1.5 "Cupcake" or later, although Android 2.1 "Eclair" or higher is recommended. Source code and resources for Overbite for Android are available from Gopherspace and are licensed under the new BSD licence.


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