Common Questions and Answers about veronica, a title search and retrieval system for use with the Internet Gopher.
Last-modified: 1995/01/13. Mail comments and questions about the FAQ to: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright (C) Steven Foster 1993,1994,1995. This FAQ may be freely copied and redistributed provided it is copied entire and unmodified and this copyright statement remains intact. The current version of this FAQ can be retrieved through gopher at gopher://veronica.scs.unr.edu/00/veronica/veronica-faq
Questions in the veronica FAQ:
veronica: very easy rodent-oriented net-wide index of computerized archives.
veronica is a resource-discovery system providing access to information resources held on most (99% +) of the world's gopher servers. In addition to native gopher data, veronica includes references to many resources provided by other types of information servers, such as WWW servers, usenet archives, and telnet-accessible information services.
veronica queries are keyword-in-title searches. A simple query can be quite powerful because a large number of information servers are included in the index.
veronica is accessed through gopher client software (see Q6). A veronica user submits a query (via a gopher client) which may contain boolean keyword expressions as well as special veronica directives. The result of a veronica search is a gopher menu comprising information items whose titles contain the specified keywords. The results menu may be browsed like any other gopher menu.
In January 1995, 5057 gopher servers were indexed. The index also includes items from approximately 5000 other servers, in cases where those servers are referenced on gopher menus. These other servers include 3905 WWW servers and about 1000 telnet-type services.
The gophers are exhaustively indexed; almost every item offered by the gopher servers is included in the index (see Q4 for exceptions). The contents of WWW servers are not exhaustively indexed: veronica includes HTML items only when they are referenced on the menus of some gopher server.
Approximately 15 million items are indexed. (November 1994).
All resources directly served by gopher servers are included in the index. The following types were indexed in December 1994:
0 -- Text File 1 -- Directory 2 -- CSO name server 4 -- Mac HQX file. 5 -- PC binary 7 -- Full Text Index (Gopher menu) 8 -- Telnet Session 9 -- Binary File s -- Sound e -- Event (not in 2.06) I -- Image (other than GIF) M -- MIME multipart/mixed message T -- TN3270 Session g -- GIF image h -- HTML, HyperText Markup Language : ; !
Certain types of data NOT served directly by gopher servers are also included in the index if the resources are referenced on menus of indexed gopher servers. These types are: telnet sessions, CSO sessions, html files served by WWW servers, and type-7 searches. These items are included in the index even though they reside on non-gopher servers.
Resources provided by gateways to other types of servers are given special handling, as follows:
A gopher may not be in the index for several reasons:
veronica is accessed through any gopher client. The client may be one of the gopher-specific clients (TurboGopher, Unix curses gopher, WSGopher, etc.) or a multiprotocol browser such as Mosaic, NetScape, Chameleon, etc.
Use the client to find a veronica-access menu on a gopher server menu. Most gopher servers will have a menu named something like "Search GopherSpace using veronica".
The client may have a "starting points" list including veronica. If your local gopher server does not have a veronica access menu, point your gopher client to the veronica HOME MENU at:
An alternative veronica access menu is at the Mother Gopher:
gopher://gopher.tc.umn.edu:70/11/Other Gopher and Information Servers/Veronica
The veronica home menu contains several types of items. There is this FAQ, and a short document "How to Compose veronica Queries". There is a submenu containing advice for gopher server administrators, statistics about gopherspace, access to veronica software, and HTML versions of several documents.
More importantly, a number of veronica servers will be listed. This home menu is automatically reconfigured every ten minutes, so only the currently-active veronica servers will be displayed. You may choose to submit a search to any of these publicly-accessible servers, or you can submit your query to the "simplified veronica search" option which also appears on the menu. The "simplified" search is a gateway which contacts all the veronica servers for you, saving you the chore of trying servers until you find one which accepts your search. Sometimes all the servers are busy; in that case, resubmit your search in a minute or so.
Most gopher clients offer a "get information" command or an "item descriptor" menu choice. For instance, TurboGopher uses "command i"; the unix curses client uses an equal sign "="; WSGopher has the "File/info on item" option, and Mosaic has the "Options/Show Current URL" option.
Various degrees of information may be available. For items served by gopher-0 servers, you will be able to determine the domain name and hostname of the server, which may be of some use. Gopher+ servers may offer Institution Name attributes, contact person names, or abstracts with further meta-data about the resource.
Advanced clients may automatically retrieve the Gopher+ item descriptor meta-information, and display it for each item as the pointer is moved across the veronica results menu.
The veronica harvester software will find your gopher server IF it is registered with the Mother Gopher at Minnesota, OR IF it is referenced on the menu of another gopher server which is registered at Minnesota. Of course, the veronica harvester will not be able to access your server if you have restricted access to your local site.
veronica does not currently have the ability to add new gophers to the index immediately when they come online. New servers will be included only at the next general update.
If your server has been omitted, send mail to email@example.com
There are two ways:
Use the veronica-control-file protocol. THIS IS THE RECOMMENDED WAY TO CONTROL VERONICA'S BEHAVIOR WITH RESPECT TO YOUR GOPHER SERVER. The control files will work with gopher-level-0 servers, and can be used with any kind of gopher server on any operating system platform. In brief, the control file lets you specify a number of options for the veronica harvester. You can completely exclude the server from the index, or specify that only certain menus are to be indexed. For more information, see the home veronica menu (Q6) and look in the "More veronica" submenu (gopher://veronica.scs.unr.edu/11/veronica/About)
Jughead can supply a prepared index file to the veronica harvester. This involves setting up jughead with certain options, and configuring a veronica control file (see Q10) to tell the veronica harvester how to obtain the data file from Jughead. For more information, see the Jughead distribution documents and the veronica control file documents.
Approximately once per month.
The veronica server software can be obtained by anonymous ftp from futique.scs.unr.edu or veronica.scs.unr.edu The veronica server code is in the directory "veronica-code". The current version (Dec 94) of the veronica server is 0.6.5f It runs on most flavors of unix boxes, requires a perl interpreter and ndbm, and about 2 GB for the dataset. (data of Jan 18, 1995)
You can anonymous-ftp the full veronica dataset from futique.scs.unr.edu, in the "veronica-data" subdirectory. This data has been processed to eliminate redundant references, to avoid loops in the gopher network, and to remove most data that is known to be highly transient.
very easy rodent-oriented net-wide index to computerized archives.
There are currently (January 13, 1995) ten publicly-accessible veronica servers. All of them can be accessed via the veronica Gopher menu at veronica.scs.unr.edu. If that menu is unavailable, consult the Mother Gopher for a veronica access menu. See Q6.
The ten public veronica servers are provided by:
Send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The simplest veronica search is just a single word, followed by a RETURN. The following (better) answer is from the document "How to Compose veronica Queries".