English

1. (Obsolete) The source code for a program, which may be in any language, as opposed to the linkable or executable binary produced from it by a compiler. The idea behind the term is that to a real hacker, a program written in his favourite programming language is at least as readable as English. Usage: mostly by old-time hackers, though recognisable in context.

2. The official name of the database language used by the Pick operating system, actually a sort of crufty, brain-damaged SQL with delusions of grandeur. The name permits marketroids to say "Yes, and you can program our computers in English!" to ignorant suits without quite running afoul of the truth-in-advertising laws.

["Exploring the Pick Operating System", J.E. Sisk et al, Hayden 1986].

[Jargon File]

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Copyright Denis Howe 1985

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