Re: Gopher VR

Mark Sanderson <> Sun, 09 April 1995 13:55 UTC

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Date: Sun, 9 Apr 1995 14:41:06 +0100
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From: Mark Sanderson <>
Subject: Re: Gopher VR
Reply-To: Mark Sanderson <>
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>Ahem... that paper was written last spring (a year ago).

My mistake.

>When you seperate the structure of the information space (the heirarhcy in
>gopher) from the content (the documents) you can represent the structure in
>many different ways (like menus and 3D scene for instance). WWW embeds the
>interrelationships between documents inside the documents which makes it
>harder to map WWW pages into a different user interface metaphor...

I don't think it should be HTML's job to make the distinction between
document and hierarchy.  I would imagine that in the future, most Web
sights will be held in a database of some sort (this is what the new
Netscape site admin packages are doing) and HTML pages will be
automatically generated from that database.  Therefore, the distinction
between document and heirarchy will be made in the database, exactly where
such distinctions should be made in my opinion.

I still think in having something like GopherVR and in presumably
encouraging it's use, if Gopher managers start organising their information
using the new 3D options, they are increasingly likely forget about those
people viewing the information on a 'differenly metaphored' interface.  The
chances of building Gopher holes that are only really usable on the VR
version will increase.

Anyway, I doubt that I'm going to change Mark McCahill's mind in the same
way that I doubt Mark will change mine, so I'm going to drop out of this

Mark Sanderson,                            Fax  : +44 (0)141 330 4913
Department of Computing Science,           Tel  : +44 (0)141 339 8855 x6292
The University,                            Email:
Glasgow G12 8QQ,                           URL  :
Scotland, UK                                      /~sanderso/
Good judgement comes from experience, but experience comes from bad