1. An Esprit project aimed at providing effective support to reuse in real-time distributed Ada application programs.

2. An implementation language used by BTI Computer Systems.

E-mail: Pat Helland <helland@hal.com>.

(01 Mar 1994)

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[MIT] A program similar to a daemon, except that it is not invoked at all, but is instead used by the system to perform various secondary tasks. A typical example would be an accounting program, which keeps track of who is logged in, accumulates load-average statistics, etc. Under ITS, many terminals displayed a list of people logged in, where they were, what they were running, etc., along with some random picture (such as a unicorn, Snoopy or the Enterprise), which was generated by the "name dragon". Use is rare outside MIT, under Unix and most other operating systems this would be called a "background demon" or daemon. The best-known Unix example of a dragon is cron. At SAIL, they called this sort of thing a "phantom".

(01 Jul 2002)

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1. A fabulous animal, generally represented as a monstrous winged serpent or lizard, with a crested head and enormous claws, and regarded as very powerful and ferocious. "The dragons which appear in early paintings and sculptures are invariably representations of a winged crocodile." (Fairholt)

In Scripture the term dragon refers to any great monster, whether of the land or sea, usually to some kind of serpent or reptile, sometimes to land serpents of a powerful and deadly kind. It is also applied metaphorically to Satan. "Thou breakest the heads of the dragons in the waters." (Ps. Lxxiv. 13) "Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet." (Ps. Xci. 13) "He laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years." (Rev. Xx. 2)

2. A fierce, violent person, especially. A woman.

3. <astronomy> A constellation of the northern hemisphere figured as a dragon; Draco.

4. A luminous exhalation from marshy grounds, seeming to move through the air as a winged serpent.

5. A short musket hooked to a swivel attached to a soldier's belt; so called from a representation of a dragon's head at the muzzle.

6. <zoology> A small arboreal lizard of the genus Draco, of several species, found in the East Indies and Southern Asia. Five or six of the hind ribs, on each side, are prolonged and covered with weblike skin, forming a sort of wing. These prolongations aid them in making long leaps from tree to tree. Called also flying lizard.

7. <zoology> A variety of carrier pigeon.

8. A fabulous winged creature, sometimes borne as a charge in a coat of arms.

Dragon is often used adjectively, or in combination, in the sense of relating to, resembling, or characteristic of, a dragon.

<botany> Dragon arum, a West African liliaceous tree (Dracaena Draco), yielding one of the resins called dragon's blood. See Dracaena. Dragon water, a medicinal remedy very popular in the earlier half of the 17th century. "Dragon water may do good upon him." . Flying dragon, a large meteoric fireball; a bolide.

Origin: F. Dragon, L. Draco, fr. Gr, prob. Fr, to look (akin to Skr. Dar to see), and so called from its terrible eyes. Cf. Drake a dragon, Dragoon.

(01 Mar 1998)

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