What is nil? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Programming glossary:

In general use, nil (a contraction of Latin "nihil") means "nothing" or the absence of something. Sometimes nil is used to mean the number zero (0). In programming, nil refers to an empty set or a list containing no entries. In some usages, nil is interchangeable with null. In certain programming languages such as Pascal , SmallTalk , or LISP (list processing), nil represents the absence of an object, or the empty pointer value. In databases, nil refers to an unspecified entry.

The acronym NIL stands for New Implementation of LISP, which has been superseded by CommonLISP. The LISP language and its descendants have been widely used in artificial intelligence ( AI ) programming.

This was last updated in August 2008
Contributor(s): Joseph Flanigan
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • codebase (code base)

    - A codebase (sometimes spelled as two words, code base) is the complete body of source code for a given software program or application. (WhatIs.com)

  • distributed computing

    - In general, distributed computing is any computing that involves programs with components shared among multiple computers. According to some definitions, distributed computing also includes tasks s... (WhatIs.com)

  • middleware

    - Middleware is a general term for software that connects separate, often complex, applications together. (SearchSOA.com)

Glossaries

  • Programming

    - Terms related to software programming, including definitions about programming languages and words and phrases about software design, coding, testing and debugging.

  • 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 ...

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

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