What is stack? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

(1) TCP/IP is frequently referred to as a "stack." This refers to the layers (TCP, IP, and sometimes others) through which all data passes at both client and server ends of a data exchange. A clear picture of layers similar to those of TCP/IP is provided in our description of OSI, the reference model of the layers involved in any network communication.

The term "stack" is sometimes used to include utilities that support the layers of TCP/IP. The Netscape Handbook says (and we quote): "To make a successful connection to the Internet, your PC needs application software such as Netscape plus a TCP/IP stack consisting of TCP/IP software, sockets software (Winsock.dynamic link library), and hardware driver software (packet drivers). Several popular TCP/IP stacks are available for Windows, including shareware stacks."

(2) In programming, a stack is a data area or buffer used for storing requests that need to be handled. The IBM Dictionary of Computing says that a stack is always a push-down list, meaning that as new requests come in, they push down the old ones. Another way of looking at a push-down list - or stack - is that the program always takes its next item to handle from the top of the stack. (This is unlike other arrangements such as "FIFO" or "first-in first-out.")

This was last updated in April 2005
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)

  • hard error

    - A hard error is an issue in RAM that results from a permanent physical flaw in the module caused by a hardware failure or defect. (WhatIs.com)

  • soft error

    - A soft error is an issue that causes a temporary condition in RAM that alters stored data in an unintended way. Errors that change data stored in RAM are either soft errors or hard errors, which re... (WhatIs.com)

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

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

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