If you're looking for a particular file or piece of information, like a copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz or the current weather in Key West, Gopher is the quickest way to find it. If yo goal is something obscure, WAIS is your best bet because -- unlike the other two -- WAIS doesn't depend on someone already having indexed the information. If you just want to browse in a general topic area, WWW is the quickest way to have a look around.
Times have sure changed. Of the Gopher URLS in the text (page 79 to 90), here's the current status for each of the gopher servers listed: 100% of them are no longer functional.
US public Gopher servers
International public Gopher servers
None of these gopher servers is still existing. The common return value is "no such host", with a very small number returning a connection actively refused or even started to read, but no data was sent.
And just for fun, here's the list of Gopher programs:
Unix Gopher program "gopher"
- Enter to select
- + - (or u) m = go to the next/previous/main menu pages
= go to the selected menu item
- / = search menu for a string
- n = search for next item
- q = quit
- = = describe current item
There are some bookmark commands: a=add item A=add menu v=view d=delete
And there are some file commands m=mail s=save p=print D=download
Also mentioned is hgopher for MS Windows, xgopher for X Windows.