Jargon File

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The Jargon File is a dictionary of common computer lingo (the "jargon"). It is quite funny in many places, though slightly out of date in others. It is also known as The Hacker's Dictionary, or the Hacker's Jargon File. It is public domain, but the authors request attribution. The current incarnation is here. In addition to the glossary of hacker terms which forms the bulk of the file, there are several longer pieces in various appendices.

The Jargon File and this Wiki

Since the Jargon File is in the public domain, entries from the Jargon File can be incorporated into this wiki at will. Keep in mind that the authors of the Jargon File request attribution.

The creators of the File assumed that the reader had some knowledge of the technical meaning of the terms. Also, the File focuses on humor rather than information. Subjects that are the basis of holy wars are explained in a provocative manner, to increase entertainment value, so it is a good idea to edit LQwiki incorporated entries with an eye towards NPOV (neutral point of view). Despite all of this, the File does serve a purpose here. It provides a starting point that LQwiki contributors can build on, which prevents us from having to reinvent the wheel. Also, the file, which was started in the elder days provides insight into the hacker culture which created Linux, and its history.

If you wish to help incorporate the Jargon File into this wiki, it is advised that you concentrate on incorporating Jargon material into existing articles first, and then creating new articles from the Special:Wantedpages list. This will help to ensure that the incorporated entries are on topic.

To add the appropriate attribution to an entry with information from the Jargon File, please include the following:

{{Jargon File/Attribution}}

This will produce "This article is based, in whole or in part, on entry or entries in the Jargon File."


If you want to see how little influence the jargon file really has and how easily it can be defeated (and ignored) as soon as economic success counts, read e.g. http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000020.html

See also