The Jargon File is a glossary and usage dictionary of computer programmer slang . The original Jargon File was a collection of terms from technical crops Such as the MIT AI Lab , the Stanford AI Lab (SAIL) and others of the old ARPANET AI / LISP / PDP-10 communities, Including BBN Technologies , Carnegie Mellon University , and Worcester Polytechnic Institute . It was published in 1983 as The Hacker’s Dictionary (edited by Guy Steele ),

1975 to 1983

The Jargon-File “was written by Raphael Finkel at Stanford in 1975. From that time until the plug was finally pulled on the SAIL computer in 1991, the file was named” AIWORD.RF [UP, DOC] “(” [UP, DOC] “was a system directory for” User Program DOCumentation “on the WAITS operating system). Some terms, such as frob , foo and mung are believed to date back to the early 1950s from the Tech Model Railroad Club at MIT and documented in the 1959 Dictionary of the TMRC Language compiled by Peter Samson. [1] The revisions of Jargon-1 were all unnumbered and may be collectively considered “version 1”. Note that it was always called “AIWORD” or “the Jargon file”, never “the File”; The last term was coined by Eric Raymond.

In 1976, Mark Crispin , having seen an announcement about the File on the SAIL computer, FTPed a copy of the File to the MIT AI Lab. “AI: MRC, SAIL JARGON” (“AI” lab computer, directory “MRC”, file “SAIL JARGON”).

Raphael Finkel dropped out of active participation Shortly thereafter and Don Woods est devenu the SAIL touch for the File (qui Was subsequently kept in duplicate at SAIL and MIT, with periodic resynchronizations).

The File expanded by fits and starts up to 1983. Richard Stallman Was Among the prominent contributors, Adding Many MIT and ITS -related article coinages. The Incompatible Timesharing System (ITS) was named to distinguish it from another early MIT computer operating system, The Compatible Timesharing System.

In 1981, a hacker named Charles Spurgeon got a large chunk of the file published in Stewart Brand ‘s CoEvolution Quarterly (issue 29, pages 26-35) with illustrations by Phil Wadler and Guy Steele (including a couple of Steele’ s Crunchly cartoons). This appears to be the first publication.

A late release of jargon-1, expanded with commentary for the mass market, Was edited by Guy Steele into a book published in 1983 as The Hacker’s Dictionary (Harper & Row CN 1082, ISBN 0-06-091082-8 ). It included all of Steele’s Crunchly cartoons. The other Jargon-1 editors (Raphael Finkel, Don Woods and Mark Crispin) contributed to this revision, as did Stallman and Geoff Goodfellow . This book (now out of print) is hereafter referred to as “Steele-1983” and those six as the Steele-1983 coauthors.

1983 to 1990

Shortly after the publication of Steele-1983, the File effectively stopped growing and changing. Steele-1983, but external to the permanent.

The AI Lab Culture HAD-been hit hard in the late 1970s by funding cuts and the resulting and administrative decision to use vendor-supported hardware and associated proprietary software INSTEAD of homebrew whenever will be. At MIT, most AI work had turned to dedicated Lisp machines . At the same time, the commercialization of AI technology lured some of the AI ​​Lab’s best and brightest away to startups along the Route 128 strip in Massachusetts and out west in Silicon Valley . The startups built Lisp machines for MIT; The central MIT-AI computer became a TWENEX system rather than a host for the AI ​​hackers’ beloved ITS.

The Stanford AI Lab has been able to find a solution to the problem. -1980s, most of the interesting software work was being done on the emerging BSD Unix standard.

In May 1983, the PDP-10- centered cultures that had been nourished by the cancellation of the Jupiter project at DEC . The File’s compilers, already dispersed, moved on to other things. Steele-1983 was partly a monument to what its authors thought was a dying tradition; No one involved realized at the time. Citation needed ]

As mentioned in some editions: [2]

By the mid-1980s, the file’s content was dated, but the legend had it grown up around it never quite died out. The book, and softcopies obtained off the ARPANET , MIT’s; The content exerted a strong and continuous influence on hackish slang and humor. Even as the advent of the microcomputer and other trends fueled a Tremendous expansion of hackerdom, the File (and related materials like the AI Koansin Appendix A) cam to be seen as a sort of sacred epic, a hacker-cultural Matter of Britain Chronicling The heroic exploits of the Knights of the Lab. The pace of change in hackerdom at large accelerated tremendously, but the Jargon.

1990 and later

A new revision was begun in 1990, which contained nearly all the text of a late version of Jargon-1 (a few obsolete PDP-10-related entries were dropped after consultation with the editors of Steele-1983). Steele-1983, 1983, 1981, pp. 159-152. The text of this article is not available in English.

The new version cast a wider than the old Jargon File; AI or PDP-10 hacker culture but all of the technical computing cultures in which the true hacker-nature is manifested. More than half of the entries now derived from Usenet and Represent jargon Then current in the C and Unix communities, aim special efforts Were made to collect jargon from other cultures Including IBM PC programmers, Amiga fans, Mac enthusiasts, and Even the IBM mainframe world . Citation needed ]

Eric Raymond maintained the new File with support from Guy Steele, and is the credited editor of the print version of it, The New Hacker’s Dictionary (published by MIT Press in 1991); Hereafter Raymond-1991. Some of the changes made under his watch were controversial; Early critics accused Raymond of unfairly changing the file to the Unix hacker culture instead of the old hacker cultures where the Jargon File originated. Raymond has had a lot of hacking and hacking. [3] After the second edition of NHD (MIT Press, 1993; hereafter Raymond-1993), Raymond was accused of adding terms reflecting his own politics and vocabulary, [4] [1] [1] [2] [2] [2] [2] [2] [2] [2]  Translations to be translated into English. [5]

The Raymond version was revised again, to include terminology from the nascent subculture of the public Internet and the World Wide Web, and published by MIT Press as The New Hacker’s Dictionary , Third Edition, in 1996 (hereafter Raymond-1996).

As of January 2016 , Jargon File since 2003. A volunteer editor produces two updates, reflecting later influences (mostly excoriated) from text messaging , LOLspeak , and Internet slang in general; The last was produced in January 2012. [6]

Impact and reception


DESPITE icts tongue-in-cheek approach, multiple other style guides and similar works-have Cited The New Hacker’s Dictionary as a reference, and Even recommended Following Reviews some of its “hackish” best practices. The Oxford English Dictionary has used the NHD as a source for computer-related neologisms . [7] The Chicago Manual of Style , the leading American academic and book-publishing style guide, Beginning with icts 15th edition (2003) Explicitly defers, for “computer writing” to the quotation punctuation style – logical quotation – recommended by the essay “Hacker Writing Style” in The New Hacker ‘ S Dictionary (and cites NHD for nothing else). [8] The 16th edition (2010, and the current issue of 2016 ) does likewise. [9] The National Geographic Style Manual lists NHD Among only 8 Specialized dictionaries, out of 22 total sources, qui it is based. That manual is the house style of NGS publications and has-been available online for public browsing since 1995. [10] The NGSM does not Specify what, In Particular, it drew from the NHD or Any Other source. And the current issue of 2016 ) does likewise. [9] The National Geographic Style Manual lists NHD Among only 8 Specialized dictionaries, out of 22 total sources, qui it is based. That manual is the house style of NGS publications and has-been available online for public browsing since 1995. [10] The NGSM does not Specify what, In Particular, it drew from the NHD or Any Other source. And the current issue of 2016 ) does likewise. [9]The National Geographic Style Manual lists NHD Among only 8 Specialized dictionaries, out of 22 total sources, qui it is based. That manual is the house style of NGS publications and has-been available online for public browsing since 1995. [10] The NGSM does not Specify what, In Particular, it drew from the NHD or Any Other source.

Aside from these guides and the Encyclopedia of New Media , the Jargon file, especially in print form, is often cited for both its definitions and its essays, by cyberpunk subculture, computer jargon and online style, and The Bibliography of Literary Theory, Criticism and Philology edited by José Ángel García Landa (2015); Wired Style: Principles of English Usage in the Digital Age by Constance Hale and Jessie Scanlon of Wiredmagazine (1999); Transhumanism: The History of a Dangerous Idea by David Livingstone (2015); Mark Dery’s Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture (1994) and Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century (2007); Beyond Cyberpunk! A Do-it-yourself Guide to the Future by Gareth Branwyn and Peter Sugarman (1991); And many others.

Time magazine used The New Hacker’s Dictionary (Raymond-1993) as the basis for an article about online culture in the November 1995 inaugural edition of the “Time Digital” department. NHD was cited by name on the front page of The Wall Street Journal . When? ] Upon the release of the second edition, Newsweek used it as a primary source, and quoted entries in a sidebar, for a major article on the Internet and its history. When? ]The MTV show This Week in Rock used excerpts from the Jargon File in its “CyberStuff” segments.

On October 23, 2003, The New Hacker’s Dictionary was used in a legal case. SCO Group Cited the Raymond-1996 definition of “FUD” ( fear, uncertainty and doubt ) is questionable qui dwelt IBM business practices, in a legal filing in the civil lawsuit SCO Group, Inc. v. International Business Machines Corp. [11] (In response, SCO Raymond added to the entry in a revised copy of the Jargon File , That feeling SCO’s own practices deserved similar criticism. [12] )

Defense of the term hacker 

The book is PARTICULARLY Noted for helping (or at least try trying) to preserve the distinction entre hacker (a consummate program) and a cracker (a computer criminal ); Even Though not reviewing the book in detail, both, the London Review of Books [13] and MIT Technology Review [14] remarked on it in this regard. In a substantial businesses entry on the work, the Encyclopedia of New Media by Steve Jones (2002) Observed That this defense of the term hacker Was a motivating factor for Both Steele’s and Raymond’s print editions: [15]

The Hacker’s Dictionary and the New Hacker’s Dictionary, a hacker’s culture, provide a repository of hacking history for younger and future hackers, and perhaps most importantly, to represent hacker culture in a positive light to the general public. In the early 1990s in particular, many news stories emerged portraying hackers as law-breakers with no respect for the personal privacy or property of others. Raymond wanted to show some of the positive values ​​of hacker culture, especially the hacker sense of humor. Because of the hacker culture, a slang dictionary works quite well for such purposes.

Reviews and reactions

[W] here will you find … a definition like ‘A cuspy but bogus raving story about N random broken people’?
– Steve Jackson , bOING bOING , Vol. 1, No. 10 (1991).

PC Magazine in 1984, stated that The Hacker’s Dictionary was superior to most other computer-humor books, and noted its authenticity to “hard-core programmers’ conversations,” especially slang from MIT and Stanford. [16] Reviews quoted by the publisher include: William Safireof the New York Times referring to the Raymond-1991 NHD as a “sprightly lexicon” and Recommending it as a nerdy gift That holiday season[17] (this reappeared in his “On Language “Column again in mid-October 1992); Hugh Kenner in Byte suggesting that it was so engaging that one’s reading of it should be ”

US game designer Steve Jackson , writing for bOING bOING magazine in its pre-blog, print days, described NHD’s essay “A Portrait of J. Random Hacker” as “a wonderfully accurate pseudo-demographic description of the people who make up the Hacker culture. ” He was nevertheless critical of Raymond’s tendency to editorialize, even ” flame “, and of the Steele cartoons, which Jackson described as “sophomoric, and embarrassingly out of place beside the dry and sophisticated humor of the text. He wound up his review with some rhetorical questions: “where else will you find, for instance, That one attoparsec per microfortnight is equal to one inch per second? Can an example of the canonical use of canonical ? Or a definition like ‘A cuspy but bogus raving story about N random broken people’? ” [20]

The third print edition garnered additional coverage, in the usual places like Wired (August 1996), and Even in very populist came like People magazine (October 21, 1996). [7]


  1. Jump up^ “TMRC” . The Jargon File .
  2. Jump up^ THIS IS THE JARGON FILE, VERSION 2.6.2, 14 FEB 1991
  3. Jump up^ Raymond, Eric. “Updating JARGON.TXT Is Not Bogus: An Apologia” . Retrieved 2007-01-26 .
  4. Jump up^ “Need To Know 2003-06-06” . Retrieved 2007-01-25 .
  5. Jump up^ Raymond, Eric S. (29 December 2003). “You Too, Can Add an Entry!” . Jargon File . Retrieved January 28, 2015 .
  6. Jump up^ Raymond, Eric S. (2002-01-05). Tulsyan, Y., ed. “The Jargon File” . . 5.0.1. Archived from the original on 2013-08-27 . Retrieved 2015-09-08 .
  7. ^ Jump up to:b Raymond, Eric S. (October 27, 2003). “The Book on the File” . Jargon File Resources . Retrieved September 23, 2015 .
  8. Jump up^ “Closing Quotation Marks in Relation to Other Punctuation: 6.8. The Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed.). U. of Chicago Pr. August 2003. p. 242. ISBN  978-0-321115-83-6 . Eric S. Raymond, “Hacker Writing Style,” in The New Hacker’s Dictionary (bibliogr. 5).
  9. Jump up^ “Computer Terms: 7.75. Distinguishing words to be typed and other elements”. The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.). U. of Chicago Pr. August 2010. pp. 371-372 (7.75). ISBN  978-0-226104-20-1 . Retrieved September 22, 2015 . Same quotation as in the 15th ed.
  10. Jump up^ Brindley, David; Style Committee, eds. (2014). “Sources” . National Geographic Style Manual . Washington, DC: National Geographic Society . Retrieved September 22, 2015 . As of 2016, it was last updated in 2014
  11. Jump up^ Raymond, Eric S. (October 1, 2004). “The Jargon File, version 4.4.8 [sic]” . . Retrieved January 5, 2016 . On October 23, 2003, the Jargon File achieved the dubious honor of being cited in the SCO-vs.-IBM lawsuit. See the FUD entry for details. The correct version number is actually 4.4.7, as given in the rest of the documents there.
  12. Jump up^ Raymond, Eric S., ed. (December 29, 2003). “FUD” . The Jargon File . 4.4.7.
  13. Jump up^ Stewart, Ian (4 November 1993). “Oops” . pp. 38-39 . Retrieved 18 October 2016 – via London Review of Books.
  14. Jump up^ Garfinkel, Simson. “Hack License” . Retrieved 18 October2016 .
  15. Jump up^ Jones, Steve (December 2002). Encyclopedia of New Media: An Essential Reference to Communication and Technology . SAGE Publications . ISBN  978-1-452265-28-5 . Retrieved September 23, 2015 .
  16. Jump up^ Langdell, James (April 3, 1984). “Hacker Spoken Here” . PC Magazine . p. 39 . Retrieved October 24, 2013 .
  17. Jump up^ Safire, William (December 8, 1991). “On Language”. The New York Times .
  18. Jump up^ Kenner, Hugh (January 1992). “Print Queue”. Byte . UBM .
  19. Jump up^ “Reviews: The New Hacker’s Dictionary , Third Edition” . . Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press . 2015 . Retrieved September 22, 2015 .
  20. Jump up^ Jackson, Steve (1991). “The New Hacker’s Dictionary: Book review” . . Steve Jackson Games . Retrieved September 22, 2015 . Originally published in bOING bOINGmagazine, Vol. 1, No. 10.

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