Alan Freedman -- The Computer Language Company - Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
Longest-Running Tech Reference on the Planet

A CDE Definition

You'll love The Computer Desktop Encyclopedia (CDE) for Tech Term of the Day (TTOD)



(1) In programming, a statement that requests services from another subroutine or program. The call is physically made to the subroutine by a branch instruction or some other linking method that is created by the assembler, compiler or interpreter. The routine that is called is responsible for returning control to the calling program after it has finished processing. See stack.

(2) In communications, the action taken by the transmitting station to establish a connection with the receiving station in a dial-up network.


(1) In a network, a hierarchy of software layers in both clients and servers that are required in order to communicate with each other. See protocol stack.

(2) A hierarchy of software. A stack is the common set of programs used in a computer. The stack can refer to infrastructure only (see technology stack) or to the applications the company gives its employees (see application stack). It may also refer to an industry set or developer set of programs. For example, the phrase "they don't offer a complete stack" could imply that a software company has an incomplete set of applications for a particular industry or niche.

(3) A set of hardware registers or a reserved amount of memory used for arithmetic calculations, local variables or to keep track of internal operations (the sequence of routines called in a program). For example, one routine calls another, which calls another and so on. As each routine is completed, the computer returns control to the calling routine all the way back to the first one that started the sequence. Stacks used in this way are LIFO based: the last item, or address, placed (pushed) onto the stack is the first item removed (popped) from the stack.

Stacks are also used to hold interrupts until they can be serviced. Used in this manner, they are FIFO stacks, in which the first item onto the stack is the first one out of the stack. See internal stack failure, stack dump and stack fault.

(4) A Macintosh folder view (see Stacks).

(5) An earlier Macintosh development system (see HyperCard).

Personal Use Only

Before/After Your Search Term
Cairocall accounting
CALcall agent
calculated fieldcall by name
calculatorcall by reference
Calderacall by value
calendaringcall center
calibratecall center in a box
calibrationcall center overflow
calibration disccall centre
Calicocall control

Terms By Topic
Click any of the following categories for a list of fundamental terms.
Computer Words You Gotta KnowSystem design
Job categoriesUnix/Linux
Interesting stuffPersonal computers
InternetIndustrial Automation/Process Control
Communications & networkingAssociations/Standards organizations
HistoryDesktop publishing
ProgrammingHealthcare IT
System design