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parameter switch

See parameter.


(1) Any value passed to a program by the user or by another program in order to configure the program for a particular purpose. A parameter may be anything; for example, a file name, a coordinate, a range of values, a money amount or a code of some kind. Parameters may be required as in parameter-driven software (see below) or they may be optional. Parameters are often entered as a series of values following the program name when the program is loaded; for example, a DOS switch defines a parameter. In the command dir /p the /p is a parameter switch that means pause after every screenful.

(2) In programming, a value passed to a subroutine or function for processing. Programming today's graphical applications in languages such as C, C++ and Java requires knowledge of hundreds of parameters.

In the following C function, which creates the text window for the Windows version of this database, there are 11 parameters passed to the CreateWindow routine. Some of them call yet other functions for necessary information. In order to call this routine in a program, the programmer must determine the values for every parameter.

 hWndText = CreateWindow

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