Browse Definitions:
Definition

transparent

In computers, transparent means something a little different than its general meaning of having the quality of being easily seen through , coming closer to meaning invisible or undetectable . Computer programs and procedures that are said to be transparent are typically those that the user is - or could be - unaware of. Transparency is considered to be especially desirable in situations where users that are not particularly technically inclined would tend to be confused by seeing or having to interact directly with programming components. The domain name system  (DNS), for example, operates in a transparent manner, resolving authorized domain names into Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, all without the user's knowledge. Transparent is also used to refer to a change or upgrade of hardware or software that is undetectable in subsequent uses of the system.

A secondary meaning of transparent refers to complete predictability, as, for example, in a transparent computer system or program, output is entirely predictable from knowing the input.

This was last updated in June 2010

Continue Reading About transparent

Join the conversation

5 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

I always struggled to understand this term as explained in here transparent in dictionary is completely different. Thanks a bunch for sorting this out for once and all.
Cancel
I believe this is a complete misuse of the word "transparent". Software engineers have mangled this word for over 30 years. They mean to say "opaque" or something equivalent. There is no legitimate reason for this egregious misuse of English. It should be corrected in the journals. Can anyone provide the origins of this specific use of "transparent"?
Cancel
I hear you, post 471034. I've always been a little bothered by this. We're using the word exactly opposite of its standard meaning. On the other hand, I also "get it". A window is transparent; you "don't even know it's there", but it serves the purpose of blocking wind and rain, so we could say that transparency allows an object to fulfils its purpose without being noticeable, like the NSA.
Cancel
I feel the same way, post 475265. The computer tech usage of "transparency" does make sense, but it's absolutely irritating that it's effectively its own opposite.

Something I found amusing was that post 471034 used the phrase "egregious misuse" in it. "Egregious" meant "remarkably good" before its usage became ironic and it changed definition to its opposite.
Cancel
Thanks for this clarification. The way this word is used by software engineers has bothered me for a long time just like the other commenters here!
It's like an optical illusion... I get both sides of it now.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

Dateiendungen und Dateiformate

Gesponsert von:

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • security information and event management (SIEM)

    Security information and event management (SIEM) is an approach to security management that seeks to provide a holistic view of ...

  • polymorphic virus

    A polymorphic virus is a harmful, destructive or intrusive type of malware that can change or 'morph,' making it difficult to ...

  • cyberterrorism

    According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, cyberterrorism is any 'premeditated, politically motivated attack against ...

SearchHealthIT

  • accountable care organization (ACO)

    An accountable care organization (ACO) is an association of hospitals, healthcare providers and insurers in which all parties ...

  • patient engagement

    Patient engagement is an ideal healthcare situation in which people are well-informed about -- and motivated to be involved -- in...

  • personal health record (PHR)

    A personal health record (PHR) is a collection of health-related information that is documented and maintained by the individual ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF)

    NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) is a technology specification designed to enable nonvolatile memory express message-based commands to...

  • cloud object storage

    Cloud object storage is a format for storing unstructured data in the cloud.

  • parallel file system

    A parallel file system is a software component designed to store data across multiple networked servers and to facilitate ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close