In information technology, vanilla (pronounced vah-NIHL-uh ) is an adjective meaning plain or basic. The unfeatured version of a product is sometimes referred to as the vanilla version. The term is based on the fact that vanilla is the most popular or at least the most commonly served flavor of ice cream. Or, as Eric Raymond, editor of The New Hacker's Dictionary , puts it, the default ice cream.
IBM's BookMaster product, a text publishing system used in mainframe environments, provides a default way, called vanilla , to specify which parts of the book to publish, and another fancier way to specify it, called mocha .
Some Web sites with frames call the simpler version of their site the vanilla version.