Handle (computing)

Ada Lovelace, whose notes added to the end of Luigi Menabrea's paper included the first algorithm designed for processing by an Analytical Engine. She is often recognized as history's first computer programmer.

Not to be confused with Handlers.

- Handle (computing)

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File descriptor

File descriptors for a single process, file table and inode table. Note that multiple file descriptors can refer to the same file table entry (e.g., as a result of the dup system call) and that multiple file table entries can in turn refer to the same inode (if it has been opened multiple times; the table is still simplified because it represents inodes by file names, even though an inode can have multiple names). File descriptor 3 does not refer to anything in the file table, signifying that it has been closed.

In Unix and Unix-like computer operating systems, a file descriptor (FD, less frequently fildes) is a unique identifier (handle) for a file or other input/output resource, such as a pipe or network socket.

Reference (computer science)

Value that enables a program to indirectly access a particular data, such as a variable's value or a record, in the computer's memory or in some other storage device.

Ada Lovelace, whose notes added to the end of Luigi Menabrea's paper included the first algorithm designed for processing by an Analytical Engine. She is often recognized as history's first computer programmer.

Other implementations include an offset (difference) between the datum's address and some fixed "base" address, an index, unique key, or identifier used in a lookup operation into an array or table, an operating system handle, a physical address on a storage device, or a network address such as a URL.

Network socket

Software structure within a network node of a computer network that serves as an endpoint for sending and receiving data across the network.

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The application programming interface (API) for the network protocol stack creates a handle for each socket created by an application, commonly referred to as a socket descriptor.

Process (computing)

Instance of a computer program that is being executed by one or many threads.

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A list of processes as displayed by htop
A process table as displayed by KDE System Guard
The various process states, displayed in a state diagram, with arrows indicating possible transitions between states.

Operating system descriptors of resources that are allocated to the process, such as file descriptors (Unix terminology) or handles (Windows), and data sources and sinks.

Array data structure

Array data structure, or simply an array, is a data structure consisting of a collection of elements , each identified by at least one array index or key.

Illustration of row- and column-major order
A two-dimensional array stored as a one-dimensional array of one-dimensional arrays (rows).

The dope vector is a complete handle for the array, and is a convenient way to pass arrays as arguments to procedures.

Capability-based security

Concept in the design of secure computing systems, one of the existing security models.

While most aspects of computer security involve digital measures such as electronic passwords and encryption, physical security measures such as metal locks are still used to prevent unauthorized tampering.

The user does not access the data structure or object directly, but instead via a handle.

Opaque data type

Opaque data type is a data type whose concrete data structure is not defined in an interface.

Charles Babbage, sometimes referred to as the "father of computing".

Typical examples of opaque data types include handles for resources provided by an operating system to application software.

Job control (Unix)

Shell's representation for a process group.

Unix System III running on a PDP-11 simulator

A job can be referred to by a handle called the job control job ID or simply , which is used by shell builtins to refer to the job.

C file input/output

The C programming language provides many standard library functions for file input and output.

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FILE – also known as a file handle, this is an opaque type containing the information about a file or text stream needed to perform input or output operations on it, including:

Opaque pointer

Opaque pointer is a special case of an opaque data type, a data type declared to be a pointer to a record or data structure of some unspecified type.

Ada Lovelace, whose notes added to the end of Luigi Menabrea's paper included the first algorithm designed for processing by an Analytical Engine. She is often recognized as history's first computer programmer.

It is sometimes referred to as "handle classes", the "Pimpl idiom" (for "pointer to implementation idiom"), "Compiler firewall idiom", "d-pointer" or "Cheshire Cat", especially among the C++ community.