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Jargon used in computing

= J =
=====

J. Random: /J rand'm/ n. [generalized from {J. Random Hacker}] Arbitrary; ordinary; any one;
   any old. `J. Random' is often prefixed to a noun to make a name out of it. It means roughly
   `some particular' or `any specific one'. "Would you let J. Random Loser marry your
   daughter?"  The most common uses are `J. Random Hacker', `J. Random Loser', and `J. Random
   Nerd' ("Should J. Random Loser be allowed to {gun} down other people?"), but it can be used
   simply as an elaborate version of {random} in any sense.

J. Random Hacker: [MIT] /J rand'm hak'r/ n. A mythical figure like the Unknown Soldier; the
   archetypal hacker nerd. See {random}, {Suzie COBOL}. This may originally have been inspired
   or influenced by `J. Fred Muggs', a show-biz chimpanzee whose name was a household word
   back in the early days of {TMRC}.

jaggies: /jag'eez/ n. The `stairstep' effect observable when an edge (esp. a linear edge of
   very shallow or steep slope) is rendered on a pixel device (as opposed to a vector display).

JCL: /J-C-L/ n. 1. IBM's supremely {rude} Job Control Language. JCL is the script language used
   to control the execution of programs in IBM's batch systems. JCL has a very {fascist}
   syntax, and some versions will, for example, {barf} if two spaces appear where it expects
   one.  Most programmers confronted with JCL simply copy a working file (or card deck),
   changing the file names. Someone who actually understands and generates unique JCL is
   regarded with the mixed respect one gives to someone who memorizes the phone book. It is
   reported that hackers at IBM itself sometimes sing "Who's the breeder of the crud that
   mangles you and me?  I-B-M, J-C-L, M-o-u-s-e" to the tune of the "Mickey Mouse Club" theme
   to express their opinion of the beast.  2. A comparative for any very {rude} software that
   a hacker is expected to use.  "That's as bad as JCL."  As with {COBOL}, JCL is often used
   as an archetype of ugliness even by those who haven't experienced it.  See also {IBM},
   {fear and loathing}.

JEDR: // n. Synonymous with {IYFEG}. At one time, people in the USENET newsgroup
   rec.humor.funny tended to use `JEDR' instead of {IYFEG} or `<ethnic>'; this stemmed from a
   public attempt to suppress the group once made by a loser with initials JEDR after he was
   offended by an ethnic joke posted there. (The practice was {retcon}ned by the expanding
   these initials as `Joke Ethnic/Denomination/Race'.)  After much sound and fury JEDR faded
   away; this term appears to be doing likewise.  JEDR's only permanent effect on the
   net.culture was to discredit `sensitivity' arguments for censorship so thoroughly that more
   recent attempts to raise them have met with immediate and near-universal rejection.

JFCL: /jif'kl/, /jaf'kl/, /j*-fi'kl/ vt., obs. (alt. `jfcl') To cancel or annul something.
   "Why don't you jfcl that out?" The fastest do-nothing instruction on older models of the
   PDP-10 happened to be JFCL, which stands for "Jump if Flag set and then CLear the flag";
   this does something useful, but is a very fast no-operation if no flag is specified. Geoff
   Goodfellow, one of the jargon-1 co-authors, has long had JFCL on the license plate of his
   BMW.  Usage: rare except among old-time PDP-10 hackers.

jiffy: n. 1. The duration of one tick of the system clock on the computer (see {tick}). Often
   one AC cycle time (1/60 second in the U.S. and Canada, 1/50 most other places), but more
   recently 1/100 sec has become common.  "The swapper runs every 6 jiffies" means that the
   virtual memory management routine is executed once for every 6 ticks of the clock, or about
   ten times a second. 2. Confusingly, the term is sometimes also used for a 1-millisecond
   {wall time} interval.  3. Indeterminate time from a few seconds to forever.  "I'll do it in
   a jiffy" means certainly not now and possibly never.  This is a bit contrary to the more
   widespread use of the word.  Oppose {nano}. See also {Real Soon Now}.

job security: n. When some piece of code is written in a particularly {obscure} fashion, and
   no good reason (such as time or space optimization) can be discovered, it is often said
   that the programmer was attempting to increase his job security (i.e., by making himself
   indispensable for maintenance). This sour joke seldom has to be said in full; if two
   hackers are looking over some code together and one points at a section and says "job
   security", the other one may just nod.

jock: n. 1. A programmer who is characterized by large and somewhat brute-force programs. See
   {brute force}. 2. When modified by another noun, describes a specialist in some particular
   computing area. The compounds `compiler jock' and `systems jock' seem to be the best-
   established examples of this.

joe code: /joh' kohd`/ n. 1. Code that is overly {tense} and unmaintainable. "{Perl} may be a
   handy program, but if you look at the source, it's complete joe code."  2. Badly written,
   possibly buggy code.
   Correspondents wishing to remain anonymous have fingered a particular Joe at the Lawrence
   Berkeley Laboratory and observed that usage has drifted slightly; the original sobriquet
   `Joe code' was intended in sense 1.

JR[LN]: /J-R-L/, /J-R-N/ n. The names JRL and JRN were sometimes used as example names when
   discussing a kind of user ID used under {{TOPS-10}}; they were understood to be the initials
   of (fictitious) programmers named `J. Random Loser' and `J. Random Nerd' (see {J. Random}).
   For example, if one said "To log in, type log one comma jay are en" (that is, "log 1,JRN"),
   the listener would have understood that he should use his own computer ID in place of `JRN'.

JRST: /jerst/ [based on the PDP-10 jump instruction] v.,obs. To suddenly change subjects, with
   no intention of returning to the previous topic.  Usage: rather rare except among PDP-10
   diehards, and considered silly.  See also {AOS}.

juggling eggs: vi. Keeping a lot of {state} in your head while modifying a program. "Don't
   bother me now, I'm juggling eggs", means that an interrupt is likely to result in the
   program's being scrambled.  In the classic first-contact SF novel `The Mote in God's Eye',
   by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, an alien describes a very difficult task by saying "We
   juggle priceless eggs in variable gravity."  That is a very hackish use of language.  See
   also {hack mode}.

jump off into never-never land: [from J. M. Barrie's `Peter Pan'] v. Same as {branch to
   Fishkill}, but more common in technical cultures associated with non-IBM computers that use
   the term `jump' rather than `branch'.  Compare {hyperspace}.



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This page (jargonj.html) was last modified on Sunday 27/01/2013