read-eval-print loop

<language, LISP, programming> (REPL) A programming structure within LISP which repeatedly reads a form from the user, evaluates it, and displays the result.

A read-eval-print loop forms the basis of the Top-Level shell that programmers of the LISP family of languages interact with.

In many dialects of LISP a very simple REPL could be implemented as:

	(loop (print (eval (read)))).

Last updated: 2003-06-23

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README file

<convention> An introduction traditionally included in the top-level directory of a Unix source distribution, containing a pointer to more detailed documentation, credits, miscellaneous revision history, notes, etc. The file may be named README, or READ.ME, or rarely ReadMe or readme.txt or some other variant.

In the Macintosh and IBM PC worlds, software is not usually distributed in source form, and the README is more likely to contain user-oriented material like last-minute documentation changes, error workarounds, and restrictions.

The README convention probably follows the famous scene in Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland" in which Alice confronts magic munchies labelled "Eat Me" and "Drink Me".

[Jargon File]

Last updated: 1995-02-28

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Read-Only Memory

<storage> (ROM) A type of data storage device which is manufactured with fixed contents. In its most general sense, the term might be used for any storage system whose contents cannot be altered, such as a gramophone record or a printed book; however, the term is most often applied to semiconductor integrated circuit memories, of which there are several types, and CD-ROM.

ROM is inherently non-volatile storage - it retains its contents even when the power is switched off, in contrast to RAM.

ROM is often used to hold programs for embedded systems since these usually have a fixed purpose. ROM is also used for storage of the lowest level bootstrap software (firmware) in a computer.

See also Programmable Read-Only Memory.

Last updated: 1995-05-09

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read-only user

<jargon> Describes a luser who uses computers almost exclusively for reading Usenet, bulletin boards, and/or electronic mail, rather than writing code or purveying useful information.

See twink, terminal junkie, lurker.

[Jargon File]

Last updated: 1995-02-28

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