Open Scripting Architecturecomputing dictionary

(OSA) A CIL approach to the coexistence of multiple scripting systems.

(01 Mar 1995)

Open Shortest-Path Firstcomputing dictionary
Open Shortest-Path First Interior Gateway Protocolcomputing dictionary

<networking, protocol, standard> (OSPF) A link state routing protocol that is one of the Internet standard Interior Gateway Protocols defined in RFC 1247.

There is no OSPF EGP, OSPF is an IGP only.

[Relationship to Internet Protocol packet routing?]

OSPF Design Guide.

Acronym: OSPF

(01 Jul 2002)

open skull fracturemedical dictionary

<orthopaedics> A fracture with laceration of overlying scalp and/or mucous membrane.

Synonyms: compound skull fracture.

(05 Mar 2000)

Open Software Foundationcomputing dictionary


(OSF) A foundation created by nine computer vendors, (Apollo, DEC, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Bull, Nixdorf, Philips, Siemens and Hitachi) to promote "Open Computing". It is planned that common operating systems and interfaces, based on developments of Unix and the X Window System will be forthcoming for a wide range of different hardware architectures. OSF announced the release of the industry's first open operating system - OSF/1 on 23 October 1990.

Acronym: OSF

(01 Mar 1994)

<philosophy, legal> A method and philosophy for software licensing and distribution designed to encourage use and improvement of software written by volunteers by ensuring that anyone can copy the source code and modify it freely.

The term "open source" is now more widely used than the earlier term "free software" (promoted by the Free Software Foundation) but has broadly the same meaning - free of distribution restrictions, not necessarily free of charge.

There are various open source licenses available. Programmers can choose an appropriate license to use when distributing their programs.

The Open Source Initiative promotes the Open Source Definition.

The Cathedral and the Bazaar. was a seminal paper describing the open source phenomenon.

Open Sources - O'Reilly book with full text on-line.

Articles from ZDNet.

(01 Apr 1999)

Open Source Definitioncomputing dictionary

<computing standard>

(OSD) Definition of distribution terms for open source software, promoted by the Open Source Initiative.


Acronym: OSD

(01 Apr 1999)

Open Source Initiativecomputing dictionary


(OSI) An organisation dedicated to managing and promoting the Open Source Definition for the good of the community.


(01 Apr 1999)

Open source licensecomputing dictionary

<legal> Any document that attempts to specify open source usage and distribution of software. These licenses are usually drafted by experts and are likely to be more legally sound than one a programmer could write. However, loopholes do exist.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of open source licenses:

1. Public Domain - No license.

2. BSD License - An early open source license

3. General Public License (GPL) - The copyleft license of the Free Software Foundation. Used for GNU software and much of Linux.

4. Artistic License Less restrictive than the GPL, permitted by Perl in addition to the GPL.

5. Mozilla Public Licenses. (MPL, MozPL) and Netscape Public License (NPL).

["Open Sources", pub. O'Reilly, full text].

(01 Apr 1999)

open source, Open Source Definition, Open Source Initiative < Prev | Next > OpenStep, open switch, open system

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<operating system> An object-oriented application programming interface (API) derived from NEXTSTEP and proposed as an open standard by NeXT in 1994.

OpenStep is the specification of the object kits of NEXTSTEP. OPENSTEP/Mach was an implementation of this specification. The original, OPENSTEP version 4.0, and really was NEXTSTEP 4. Rhapsody was the codename for Apple's Mac OS X Server, which is really NEXTSTEP 5 (it calls itself "kernel 5.3" at boot time).

OpenStep was designed to be implemented independently of the computer's operating system, computer hardware, and user interface. The API for Rhapsody will be a superset of OpenStep's.

When the OpenStep API is implemented for a specific platform and made into a product, it is written in uppercase, e.g. OPENSTEP Developer 4.2 for Mach, or OPENSTEP Enterprise for Windows NT and Windows 95. Versions of OPENSTEP exist for Windows 95/NT, Solaris, HP/UX, and Mach.

(01 Apr 1999)

(IBM, probably from railways) An unresolved question, issue, or problem.

(01 Mar 1994)

A system that exchanges energy and materials with the outside environment.

(09 Oct 1997)

Open System Architecturecomputing dictionary

<operating system> (OSA) A competitor to IBM's SNA.

(01 Oct 2005)

open systems environmentcomputing dictionary

You have spelt this word correctly and it exists in the computing dictionary, but we have no definition for it yet. Please do suggest it for inclusion, or supply a suitable definition via the community pages.

Open Systems Interconnectcomputing dictionary
Open Systems Interconnectioncomputing dictionary

<networking> (OSI-RM, OSI Reference Model, seven layer model) A model of network architecture and a suite of protocols (a protocol stack) to implement it, developed by ISO in 1978 as a framework for international standards in heterogeneous computer network architecture.

The OSI architecture is split between seven layers, from lowest to highest: 1 physical layer, 2 data link layer, 3 network layer, 4 transport layer, 5 session layer, 6 presentation layer, 7 application layer.

Each layer uses the layer immediately below it and provides a service to the layer above. In some implementations a layer may itself be composed of sub-layers.

OSI is the umbrella name for a series of non-proprietary protocols and specifications, comprising, among others, the OSI Reference Model, ASN.1 (Abstract Syntax Notation 1), BER (Basic Encoding Rules), CMIP and CMIS (Common Management Information Protocol and Services), X.400 (Message Handling System, or MHS), X.500 (Directory Service), Z39.50 (search and retrieval protocol used by WAIS), and many others. Apart from its actual application to real protocols, it also serves as a useful teaching model.

(01 Sep 2004)