Hacker Dictionary
 
Browse the Dictionary...
All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Navigation Random Term
  • microfloppies
    n. 3.5-inch floppies, as opposed to 5.25-inch {vanilla} or mini-floppies and the now-obsolete 8-inch variety. This term may be headed for obsolescence as 5.25-inchers... VIEW ENTIRE DEFINITION


  •  View Definition: foreground 

    foreground


    [UNIX] vt. To foreground a task is to bring it to the top of one's stack for immediate processing, and hackers often use it in this sense for non-computer tasks. "If your presentation is due next week, I guess I'd better foreground writing up the design document."

    Technically, on a time-sharing system, a task executing in foreground is one able to accept input from and return output to the user; oppose background. Nowadays this term is primarily associated with {UNIX}, but it appears first to have been used in this sense on OS/360. Normally, there is only one foreground task per terminal (or terminal window); having multiple processes simultaneously reading the keyboard is a good way to lose.