Yes, most of these programs are ancient. But Gopher, WAIS and VRML - while not widely used anymore - are still completely valid protocols that some people use (or might be interested in, for historical reasons). And as long as some people use them and the applications remain available, there will be a place on the Orchard for these tools. (Hint: give TurboGopher a spin to find some neat archives of older software and information that is basically impossible to find on the Web. You'll be surprised . . . even in the 21st century!)
Carina is an application written in C++ for viewing various 3D graphic file formats. While focusing on the xVRML file format, Carina also supports the X3D and VRML97 formats. Since Carina is still in development, a list of the currently supported parts of the formats is available at the web site.
Mostly for viewing files, it also contains some debug support to help people creating xVRML content. Carina can save any file it can open as xVRML. Carina is available as a binary download for Windows and OS X, and as source code for Linux. Carina is free and open-source software released under the GPL.
(xVRML is an XML-based virtual reality language. Classroom testing has shown that new users who are already familiar with HTML code can become proficient in xVRML with just a few weeks of study and practice. Documentation and example files for xVRML can be found at http://www.xvrml.net/.)
Version 20060520 adds/changes the following:
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GopherSurfer is a Gopher server from the University of Minnesota - the same team that brought us not only TurboGopher, but the Gopher protocol as well.
MacGopher is a somewhat dated Gopher client that uses a two-paned interface. It is neither as fast nor as feature-filled as TurboGopher, but it's worth a try if, for some strange reason, you don't like TurboGopher.
Version 0.96a is now available. This version is linked with a modified version of Apple's latest OpenGL GLUT 3.7 implementation. GLUT 3.7 should give more stable OpenGL support than the older version, but there are still a couple of minor bugs that the author needs to iron out before he can say that it is OK (the main problem/quirk is with focus when a user opens a VRML file from the Finder, as MacLookat 0.9.6a doesn't come to the front and needs to be clicked on for it to 'wake up' after the user has double-clicked on a VRML file).
As interest in WAIS seems to be a thing of the past, there's no point in recommending any tool other than this one. It's good at what it does, but most WAIS services today are being handled on the Web.
TurboGopher is one of the fastest, most powerful Gopher clients available on any platform, from the very people who created Gophering. It's multithreaded, and comes with a copy of Thread Manager 2.1 just in case you need it. There are other gopher programs out there, but they all stopped being developed a long time ago. TurboGopher is really the only viable choice--and that's not a bad thing!
"TurboGopher is a delightful and fast application for exploring gopherspace (much faster than webbing!) The interface is self-explanatory, and I find the bookmark workbook particularly useful."
—G. Vinton Palazzolo
TurboGopher VR was a grand experiment to provide a virtual reality interface for gophering. Probably frozen forever in this 2.1a4 alpha release, this program is nonetheless worth a look for the sheer novelty. It works on all Macs, but a PowerMac or a Mac with an FPU is highly recommended.
Can't find what you're looking for? Try a search:
Also, if you have an older Mac, be sure to check out the "Classic" applications page for more options.
Finally, take a look at ALEMIA if you think you know that name of an application, but aren't quite sure.
The MacWeb3D web site is an invaluable resource for all things relating to 3D/VRML worlds on the Macintosh. Member Stephen Guynup was instrumental in obtaining much of the VRML-related information on the Orchard.
In March 2007, Cameron Kaiser from TidBITS posted a great article on the state of gopher in our modern world. Check it out!