Questions About the Dictionary of Computing

How do I look something up?

To look up a term in the dictionary, enter it in the text input box at the top of any page and click on the Search button. On most browsers you can just type your term and press the Enter key.

What syntax does search understand?

None! There is no special syntax for entering your search string - don't try to use quotaion marks, Boolean operators, + or -, they won't work.

Just enter the term as you would normally expect to see it written. Case (capitalisation) and punctuation (spaces, hyphens, etc.) is generally not significant. A few entries differ from each other only in case or punctuation so if you just enter lower case and no punctuation you may get one or two more hits, never less, than if you enter the term exactly as it appears in the entry.

If you feel there is a kind of advanced search it would be really useful to be able to do, please let me know.

A search first looks for the entry whose complete heading matches your search string exactly. If there is no such entry it then tries again ignoring case. If there is still no match it looks for entries whose headings start with your search string, ignoring case. If all these fail, it tries to convert your search string to singular and searches for that.

There tend to be more nouns than verbs so, for example, if you can't find "archiving", try "archive".

How can I suggest a change to a definition?

Fill in the comment form below the definition.

How can I send in a new definition?

Fill in the comment form at the bottom of this page.

What do the buttons at the top of the page do?

Clicking on the FOLDOC logo will return you to the dictionary's home page.
This takes you to the contents page which contains links to information about the dictionary, other ways to browse it and various subsets of terms - by subject area and first letter.
The help button brings you to this page.
Takes you to a different randomly selected definition each time.
Looks up the text you have entered in the box to the left of the button.

How do I get a copy of the dictionary?

You can download the dictionary or the whole website. See here.

Can I get it on paper?

Not sensibly. The dictionary currently contains 764,861 words, which would be nearly 2000 sides of A4.

How should I refer/link to it in my own publication?

See here.

How does it work?

See here.

What does ... mean? There's no definition of ... How do I fix ...? Where can I find ...?

See here.

A cross-reference to ... goes nowhere

See here.

A cross-reference or search for ... goes somewhere odd

Please give details in the comment form on the relevant page or below.

How can I contact you?

Please use the comment form on any page. Remember to give your e-mail address if you want a reply!