run-time environmentcomputing dictionary

<operating system> A collection of subroutines and environment variables that provide commonly used functions and data for a program while it is running.

Compare: run-time support.

(01 Mar 1995)

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run-time errorcomputing dictionary

<computer programming> An error in the execution of a program which occurs at run time, as opposed to a compile-time error.

A good programming language should, among other things, aim to replace run-time errors by compile-time errors. Language features such as strong typing help.

A good program should attempt to avoid run-time errors by, for example, checking that their input data is sensible. Where this is not possible, the program should attempt to detect the error and handle it gracefully rather than just exiting via the language or operating system's default handler. Here again, a good language will make this easy to do (or at least possible).

See also: abort, core dump, GPF.

(01 Mar 1997)

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run-time librarycomputing dictionary

<operating system, computer programming, library> A file containing routines which are linked with a program at run time rather than at compile-time. The advantage of such dynamic linking is that only one copy of the library needs to be stored, rather than a copy being included with each executable that refers to it. This can greatly reduce the disk space occupied by programs. Furthermore, it means that all programs immediately benefit from changes (e.g. bug fixes) to the single copy of the library without requiring recompilation. Since the library code is normally classified as read-only to the memory management system, it is possible for a single copy of the library to be loaded into memory and shared by all active programs, thus reducing RAM and virtual memory requirements and program load time.

(01 Mar 1997)

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run-time supportcomputing dictionary

Preferred term: run-time system

run-time systemcomputing dictionary

<computer programming> (RTS, run-time support, run-time) Library code and processes which support software written in a particular language running on a particular platform. The RTS typically deals with details of the interface between the program and the operating system such as system calls, program start-up and termination, and memory management.

(01 Apr 1999)

Run-Time Type Informationcomputing dictionary

<compiler> (RTTI) Facilities included in C++ compilers to allow the type of an object to be determined at run time.

This facility, found in good C++ compilers and some other high level languages, adds type information to memory resident objects (i.e. type name or unique type-id). This allows the run-time system to determine if an object is of a specific type, for example, to ensure that a cast of an object is valid.

Acronym: RTTI

(01 Feb 1996)

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