9. Glossary

ASCII
Americal Standard Code for Information Exchange, the most widely-used alphanumeric code for data processing. ASCII represents a standard encoding of letters, numbers and punctuation.

Compiler
A tool for translating a high level description of a computer program into a lower-level description. The high level description is typically a piece of source code written in a language such as C or Pascal. The lower level description is almost always instructions the computer can understand directly: machine language.

EBCDIC
Extended Binary-Coded Decimal Interchange Code, another alphanumeric code which was popular on old IBM computers .

Escape
To escape a character in C is to precede it with a backslash, indicating to the compiler that it should be treated literally rather than as a syntactical element. In other words, an escaped character is always mentioned rather than used.

Format Specifier
A small code passed to the printf function to allow it to reformat the supplied format string. For example, when %s appears in the format string, it is replaced by a string supplied as another argument to printf.

Format String
Always the first argument to printf, the format string contains plain text, which is copied directly to the output stream, and format specifiers, which instruct printf to insert the value of an argument and insert it at the location of the specifier in the output stream.

Library
A external repository for functions used within a computer program. Libararies are written and compiled outside the scope of a given program, but the program is able to make use of the functions in a library by including the compiled library code into its own code at compile time.

Linked List
A simple structure frequently used in computer programming, consisting of a sequence of blocks of data, loosely connected through the computer's memory. Each link in a list is an independent unit. Linked lists are useful in cases where the amount of data to be manipulated is unknown in advance.

String
A basic data type in computer languages. A string is simply a block of printable characters, such as "Hello, World!". In C, strings are terminated with an end-of-string marker (zero).

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