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Re: FOO and BAR

From: Philip TAYLOR [PC87S/O-XP] <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003 12:17:03 +0000
Message-ID: <3E7076BF.669FC810@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
To: "G. Hagedorn" <G.Hagedorn@BBA.DE>
CC: www-validator@w3.org



Gregor Hagedorn wrote:
> 
> In the help for the validator
> (http://validator.w3.org/docs/errors.html) two words are used which I
> tried to look up in my dictionary and still do not understand the
> help file (I am not a native speaker). I think they are probably
> abbreviation for something.
> 
> What is foo and bar? Can you add a definition of these to the help
> file?

They have no real meaning, but are frequently used in computer
parlance as shorthand for metanotions which would otherwise
have to be explained.  So, for example, if I cite a URL as

	http://www.w3c.org/foo.html

I am not referring to a real file "foo.html" but rather to
any HTML file whose URL starts with "http://www.w3c.org/"
and whose explicit file type is .html (as opposed to, say,
".htm or ".asp").

There is another abbreviation which you may encounter which
has a similar sound to "foo bar", but this is spelled 
"fubar" and means "messed up beyond all recognition".
You will appreciate that "messed" does not start with the
leading "f" of "fubar", and you should therefore substitute
a rather more coarse word starting with "f" to get the
actual meaning.  Similar is "snafu" : "system normal,
all messed up".

Philip Taylor, RHBNC
Received on Thursday, 13 March 2003 07:17:15 GMT

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