Appendix: Glossary

American Standard Code for Information Interchange. The predominant computer encoding for the English alphabet.
BSD License
A permissive open source license used for the BSD UNIX operating systems (among many, many other tools). May refer to either the two-part or three-part (deprecated) form.
A class of free implementations of the UNIX operating system, originally deriving from the Version 6 AT&T UNIX. This class consists primarily of FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD. These operating systems are licensed either under the BSD license or the ISC license.
A programming language developed in 1969 by Dennis Ritchie at AT&T Bell Labs. This is the language of choice for UNIX development. A compiler for C first appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX, and one is stipulated now by POSIX.1-2008.
Cat Pages
Manual pages pre-formatted and installed with an operating system. Historically, the nroff utility was quite slow: pre-formatted pages in a cache reduced the wait time for man to display a manual. This has since become the convention for most UNIX operating systems.
The Common Development and Distribution License, a free software license.
Command Line
The text environment for operating UNIX systems. Often replaced by graphical windowing systems such as the X Window System.
Cascading style sheet, used primarily to style documents in HTML or XHTML. The language is a standard maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium.
A documentation system maintained by OASIS and developed at
DOS Prompt
Text (command line) interface to the historical Disk Operating System, usually Microsoft's Disk Operating System (MS-DOS).
English Spacing
The practise of using two spaces between sentences as punctuated by ., !, or ?. This applies even in the event that a sentence is quoted or parenthesised, where the spaces follow the final sentence enclosure.
The GNU project is a UNIX-like operating system licensed under on the General Public License.
The General Public License. This is the license of choice for the GNU project.
ISC License
A permissive free software license issued by ISC, the Internet Systems Consortium. This is the license of choice for the OpenBSD free UNIX implementation.
Hypertext markup language. A structured mark-up language standardised by the W3C. This is the predominant language for formatting world wide web content.
The C Standard Library. A set of functions (including system calls) in the C programming language. Standardised by POSIX, among other standards bodies.
A set of parameters defining a locality-specific user interface, such as special characters (glyphs), numerical representations, and so on.
Man Pages
Short form of UNIX manual pages. System documentation for UNIX systems. Usually viewed using the man utility, which pages formatted manual documents using to the screen. Man pages are formatted by a utility such as nroff or mandoc.
A free BSD UNIX operating system, NetBSD.
A free BSD UNIX operating system, OpenBSD.
The Portable Document Format language used to format documents, usually for printing.
Portable Operating System Interface for Unix. Most recently released as POSIX.1-2008, IEEE Std 1003.1-2008. Informally called UNIX08. Standards document for all UNIX implementations.
The PostScript language, usually used as a page description language (e.g., printing).
A document language written for the original UNIX implementation in 1970. This language was used for text processing.
A simple text processing utility for the CTSS operating system, usually paired as TYPSET and RUNOFF, developed before 1965.
Rich text format. Proprietary document file format used in some popular word processors.
System Call
A machine instruction that triggers the operating system to perform a privileged operation on behalf of the user. A typical example is to write a region of memory to a file. In the C standard library, these instructions are encoded as function calls such as write.
The command line environment on a computer. This can either refer to a terminal utility run within a graphical environment or the computer screen itself in text mode.
Computer system originally developed by AT&T Bell Labs in 1969. Modern open-source derivations include GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, etc.
UNIX Programmer's Manual
A historical manual for programming and operating the UNIX operating system. The First Edition, 1971, is preserved for reading.
The Writer's Workbench. This was a set of writing utilities first distributed in the Seventh Edition of the UNIX operating system.
Extensible Hypertext markup language. XML-based form of the popular HTML format. Standardised by the W3C.

Last edited by $Author: kristaps $ on $Date: 2011/11/04 01:06:28 $. Copyright © 2011, Kristaps Dzonsons. CC BY-SA.