02. FOLDOC, free online
dictionary of computing
FOLDOC is a searchable
dictionary of acronyms, jargon, programming languages, tools, architecture, operating
systems, networking, theory, conventions, standards, mathematics, telecomm,
electronics, institutions, companies, projects, products, history, in fact
anything to do with computing. This dictionary is Copyright Denis Howe 1993 -
Permission is granted to
make and distribute verbatim copies of this dictionary or works derived from
it, provided that every such copy or derived work carries the above copyright
notice and is distributed under terms identical to these. Individual
definitions from this dictionary may be used without restriction provided no
more than twenty are used in any one work.
FOLDOC is maintained by
me, Denis Howe, in my "copious spare time" as a free
service to the Internet community. It is served from a SPARCstation ELC in the
Department of Computing at Imperial College, London, UK. There are mirrors of
the dictionary at various sites around the world and even a Spanish
The dictionary has been growing
since 1985 and now contains over 12000 definitions totaling more than four
megabytes. Entries are cross-referenced to each other and to related resources
elsewhere on the net.
Contents by subject area
The number of entries for each
subject is shown in parentheses. Some entries have not been categorized yet.
abuse (43) algorithm (101) application (58) architecture (96) artificial intelligence (32) benchmark (22) body (126) business (16) character (128) chat (81) communications (241) company (253) compiler (18) complexity (17) compression (22) computability (4) computer (105) convention (18) cryptography (33) data (34) data processing (3) database (149) education (26) electronics (64) event (7) exclamation (5) file format (71) file system (31) filename extension (23) functional programming (5) games (64) grammar (12) graphics (133) hardware (373) history (12) human language (8) humour (90) hypertext (19) image (2) information science (18) integrated circuit (5) jargon (370) job (20) language (768) legal (22) library (28) logic (42) mathematics (204) medical (4) memory management (13) messaging (130) multimedia (18) music (26) networking (738) none () operating system (387) parallel (39) person (85) philosophy (15) printer (25) probability (4) process (5) processor (134) product (49) programming (552) project (38) protocol (139) publication (54) recreation (3) reduction (6) robotics (20) security (48) simulation (8) software (45) specification (20) spelling (51) standard (242) statistics (7) storage (216) systems analysis (7) testing (28) text (86) theory (73) tool (306) unit (65) video (2) virtual reality (10) world-wide web (5) World-Wide Web (96)
Example of one of its 12,000
drag and drop:
A common method for
manipulating files (and sometimes text) under a graphical user interface or
WIMP environment. The user moves the pointer over an icon representing a file
and presses a mouse button. He holds the button down while moving the pointer
(dragging the file) to another place, usually a directory viewer or an icon for
some application program, and then releases the button (dropping the file). The
meaning of this action can often be modified by holding certain keys on the
keyboard at the same time.
Some systems also use this technique for
objects other than files, e.g. portions of text in a word processor.
The biggest problem with drag and drop is does it
mean "copy" or "move"? The answer to this question is not
intuitively evident, and there is no consensus for which is the right answer.
The same vendor even makes it move in some cases and copy in others. Not being
sure whether an operation is copy or move will cause you to check very often,
perhaps every time if you need to be certain. Mistakes can be costly. People
make mistakes all the time with drag and drop. Human computer interaction
studies show a higher failure rate for such operations, but also a higher
"forgiveness rate" (users think "silly me") than failures
with commands (users think "stupid machine"). Overall, drag and drop
took some 40 times longer to do than single-key commands.
[Erik Naggum <email@example.com >]
You may obtain a full copy of the
dictionary in zip format (1.8MB) from: http://wombat.doc.ic.ac.uk/foldoc/Dictionary.gz