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bar

Contributor(s): Alison Gudgeon

In programming, bar is a metasyntactic variable that is used to temporarily represent a function . Other examples include (but are by no means limited to) ack, baz, blarg, wibble, foo , fum, and qux. Metasyntactic variables are sometimes used in developing a conceptual version of a program or examples of programming code written for illustrative purposes.

Any filename beginning with a metasyntactic variable denotes a scratch file. This means the file can be deleted at any time without affecting the program.

When two or more metasyntactic variables are needed, bar is often paired with foo as a result of the fact that foo is phonetically the first part of the otherwise unrelated acronym, FUBAR . In other words, foo (which has its own history; see Smokey Stover) gave rise to the later use of bar as a metasyntactic variable because of its phonetic association with the well-known acronym.

Sometimes the terms Base Address Register and Buffer Address Register are shortened to the acronym bar or BAR.

In physics, the bar is a unit of pressure equal to one million (10 6 ) dynes, equivalent to 10 newtons, per square centimeter. This is approximately the pressure exerted by Earth's atmosphere at sea level.

The word bar, in English, has numerous plain-usage definitions that can be found in any dictionary.

Also see foo and FUBAR .

This was last updated in September 2005

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