Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

In programming, canonical means "according to the rules." And non-canonical means "not according to the rules." In the early Christian church, the "canon" was the officially chosen text. In The New Hacker's Dictionary , Eric Raymond tells us that the word meant "reed" in its Greek and Latin origin, and a certain length of reed came to be used as a standard measure. In some knowledge areas, such as music and literature, the "canon" is the body of work that everyone studies.

The terms are sometimes used to distinguish whether a programming interface follows a particular standard or precedent or whether it departs from it.

Also see canonicalization .

This was last updated in July 2007
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

Glossaries

  • Computing fundamentals

    - Terms related to computer fundamentals, including computer hardware definitions and words and phrases about software, operating systems, peripherals and troubleshooting.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question
  • THM video files

    THM files are not video files.  They are image files that contain video thumbnails only.There should be some other files that are the actual videos, which will probably be in avi, mp4 or other...

  • AS/400 Printer Problem

    If you're looking to attach the printer via your network, IBM's Information on Printers from Various Manufacturers may be of some assistance.  The Information on Printers from Canon has the Ca...

  • AS400 SFTP remote printing new server MS 2008

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.