A CDE Definition
(Application Binary Interface) A specification for a specific hardware platform combined with the operating system. It is one step beyond the application program interface (API), which defines the calls from the application to the operating system. The ABI defines the API plus the machine language for a particular CPU family. An API does not ensure runtime compatibility, but an ABI does, because it defines the machine language, or runtime, format. See Wabi.
ABI and API Relationship
(Windows ABI) Software from former Sun division SunSoft that emulated Windows applications under Unix by converting the calls made by Windows applications into X Window calls. Since it executed native code, it ran Windows applications at a high performance level. The SunSoft unit was folded back into the parent company, and Wabi shipped for a time with the Solaris 2.5 OS, but eventually reached end of life status. See Wine.
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