<programming language>

1. An early (IBM 360?) interpreted text-processing language for beginners, close to basic English.

["Computer Programming in English", M.P. Barnett, Harcourt Brace 1969].

2. ["Some Proposals for SNAP, A Language with Formal Macro Facilities", R.B. Napper, Computer J 10(3):231-243, 1967].

[Same as 1?]

(01 Nov 2006)

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1. <computer programming> To remove indirection, e.g. by replacing a pointer to a pointer with a pointer to the final target (see chase pointers).

The underlying metaphor may be a rubber band stretched through a number of points; if you release it from the intermediate points, it snaps to a straight line from first to last.

Often a trampoline performs an error check once and then snaps the pointer that invoked it so subsequent calls will bypass the trampoline (and its one-shot error check). In this context one also speaks of "snapping links". For example, in a Lisp implementation, a function interface trampoline might check to make sure that the caller is passing the correct number of arguments; if it is, and if the caller and the callee are both compiled, then snapping the link allows that particular path to use a direct procedure-call instruction with no further overhead.

2. <operating system> snap dump.

(01 Nov 2006)

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1. To break short, or at once; to part asunder suddenly; as, a mast snaps; a needle snaps. "But this weapon will snap short, unfaithful to the hand that employs it." (Burke)

2. To give forth, or produce, a sharp, cracking noise; to crack; as, blazing firewood snaps.

3. To make an effort to bite; to aim to seize with the teeth; to catch eagerly (at anything); often with at; as, a dog snapsat a passenger; a fish snaps at the bait.

4. To utter sharp, harsh, angry words; often with at; as, to snap at a child.

5. To miss fire; as, the gun snapped.

1. A sudden breaking or rupture of any substance.

2. A sudden, eager bite; a sudden seizing, or effort to seize, as with the teeth.

3. A sudden, sharp motion or blow, as with the finger sprung from the thumb, or the thumb from the finger.

4. A sharp, abrupt sound, as that made by the crack of a whip; as, the snap of the trigger of a gun.

5. A greedy fellow.

6. That which is, or may be, snapped up; something bitten off, seized, or obtained by a single quick movement; hence, a bite, morsel, or fragment; a scrap. "He's a nimble fellow, And alike skilled in every liberal science, As having certain snaps of all." (B. Jonson)

7. A sudden severe interval or spell; applied to the weather; as, a cold snap.

8. A small catch or fastening held or closed by means of a spring, or one which closes with a snapping sound, as the catch of a bracelet, necklace, clasp of a book, etc.

9. <zoology> A snap beetle.

10. A thin, crisp cake, usually small, and flavoured with ginger; used chiefly in the plural.

11. Briskness; vigor; energy; decision.

12. Any circumstance out of which money may be made or an advantage gained. Snap back, a flask for small work, having its sides separable and held together by latches, so that the flask may be removed from around the sand mold. Snap judgment, a judgment formed on the instant without deliberation. Snap lock, a lock shutting with a catch or snap. Snap riveting, riveting in which the rivets have snapheads formed by a die or swaging tool. Snap shot, a quick offhand shot, without deliberately taking aim.

Origin: Cf. D. Snap a snatching. See Snap.

(01 Mar 1998)

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