Search in: Word
Vietnamese keyboard: Off
Virtual keyboard: Show
Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
magic cookie
Jump to user comments
1. Something passed between routines or programs that enables
the receiver to perform some operation; a capability ticket
or opaque identifier. Especially used of small data objects
that contain data encoded in a strange or intrinsically
machine-dependent way. E.g. on non-Unix operating systems
with a non-byte-stream model of files, the result of "ftell"
may be a magic cookie rather than a byte offset; it can be
passed to "fseek", but not operated on in any meaningful
way. The phrase "it hands you a magic cookie" means it
returns a result whose contents are not defined but which can
be passed back to the same or some other program later.
2. An in-band code for changing graphic rendition (e.g. inverse
video or underlining) or performing other control functions.
Some older terminals would leave a blank on the screen
corresponding to mode-change magic cookies; this was also
called a glitch (or occasionally a "turd"; compare mousedroppings).