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gopher A software utility that is used on a workstation connected to a network, and acts on behalf of the user in carrying out routine tasks of collecting information from services attached to the network. The term is used especially in connection with a set of utilities (Gopher) freely available to users of the Internet. Gopher presents the user with a hierarchy of nodes, each of which is either a menu (a directory of material accessible at this point), a search node (a set of documents that can be searched using keywords), or a leaf node (a document containing text or other forms of material that the workstation can display). Gopher does not provide embedded links to other documents as found in the World Wide Web, and is therefore rather less flexible. This in turn means that Gopher is simpler to implement. See also WAIS.

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