MuMath

<mathematics, tool>

A symbolic mathematics package for the IBM PC, written in MuSimp.

Last updated: 1995-04-12

mumblage

/muhm'bl*j/ The topic of one's mumbling (see mumble). "All that mumblage" is used like "all that stuff" when it is not quite clear how the subject of discussion works, or like "all that crap" when "mumble" is being used as an implicit replacement for pejoratives.

[Jargon File]

mumble

1. Said when the correct response is too complicated to enunciate, or the speaker has not thought it out. Often prefaces a longer answer, or indicates a general reluctance to get into a long discussion. "Don't you think that we could improve LISP performance by using a hybrid reference-count transaction garbage collector, if the cache is big enough and there are some extra cache bits for the microcode to use?" "Well, mumble ... I'll have to think about it."

2. Yet another metasyntactic variable, like foo.

3. Sometimes used in "public" contexts on-line as a placefiller for things one is barred from giving details about. For example, a poster with pre-released hardware in his machine might say "Yup, my machine now has an extra 16M of memory, thanks to the card I'm testing for Mumbleco."

4. A conversational wild card used to designate something one doesn't want to bother spelling out, but which can be glarked from context. Compare blurgle.

5. [XEROX PARC] A colloquialism used to suggest that further discussion would be fruitless.

Last updated: 1997-03-27

mumble mode

<jargon>

The mode a program, piece of hardware, or other system is said to be in when it is still running and perhaps reacting to input and/or occasionally producing output (especially if it shouldn't), but in a way that appears wildly inappropriate to the task it is supposed to perform.

Compare "off the trolley" and "deep space".

Last updated: 1997-03-27

MUMPS

<language>

(Or "M") Massachusetts General Hospital Utility Multi-Programming System.

A programming language with extensive tools for the support of database management systems. MUMPS was originally used for medical records and is now widely used where multiple users access the same databases simultaneously, e.g. banks, stock exchanges, travel agencies, hospitals.

Early MUMPS implementations for PDP-11 and IBM PC were complete operating systems, as well as programming languages, but current-day implementations usually run under a normal host operating system.

A MUMPS program hardly ever explicitly performs low-level operations such as opening a file - there are programming constructs in the language that will do so implicitly, and most MUMPS programmers are not even aware of the operating system activity that MUMPS performs.

Syntactically MUMPS has only one data-type: strings. Semantically, the language has many data-types: text strings, binary strings, floating point values, integer values, Boolean values. Interpretation of strings is done inside functions, or implicitly while applying mathematical operators. Since many operations involve only moving data from one location to another, it is faster to just move uninterpreted strings. Of course, when a value is used multiple times in the context of arithmetical operations, optimised implementations will typically save the numerical value of the string.

MUMPS was designed for portability. Currently, it is possible to share the same MUMPS database between radically different architectures, because all values are stored as text strings. The worst an implementation may have to do is swap pairs of bytes. Such multi-CPU databases are actually in use, some offices share databases between VAX, DEC Alpha, SUN, IBM PC and HP workstations.

Versions of MUMPS are available on practically all hardware, from the smallest (IBM PC, Apple Macintosh, Acorn Archimedes), to the largest mainframe. MSM (Micronetics Standard MUMPS) runs on IBM PC RT and R6000; DSM (Digital Standard Mumps) on the PDP-11, VAX, DEC Alpha, and Windows-NT; Datatree MUMPS from InterSystems runs on IBM PC; and MGlobal MUMPS on the Macintosh. Multi-platform versions include M/SQL, available from InterSystems, PFCS <[email protected]> and MSM.

Greystone Technologies' GT/M runs on VAX and DEC Alpha. This is a compiler whereas the others are interpreters. GT/SQL is their SQL pre-processor.

ISO standard 11756 (1991). ANSI standard: "MUMPS Language Standard", X11.1 (1977, 1984, 1990, 1995?).

The MUMPS User's Group was the M Technology Association.

Usenet newsgroups: comp.lang.mumps.

Last updated: 2003-06-04

Nearby terms:

Multi-Version Concurrency Controlmulti-way branchMuMathmumblagemumble

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