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background

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background


  4  definitions  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Background  \Back"ground`\,  n.  [Back,  a.  +  ground.] 
  1.  Ground  in  the  rear  or  behind,  or  in  the  distance,  as 
  opposed  to  the  foreground,  or  the  ground  in  front. 
 
  2.  (Paint.)  The  space  which  is  behind  and  subordinate  to  a 
  portrait  or  group  of  figures. 
 
  Note:  The  distance  in  a  picture  is  usually  divided  into 
  foreground,  middle  distance,  and  background. 
  --Fairholt. 
 
  3.  Anything  behind,  serving  as  a  foil;  as  the  statue  had  a 
  background  of  red  hangings. 
 
  4.  A  place  in  obscurity  or  retirement,  or  out  of  sight. 
 
  I  fancy  there  was  a  background  of  grinding  and 
  waiting  before  Miss  Torry  could  produce  this  highly 
  finished  .  .  .  performance.  --Mrs. 
  Alexander. 
 
  A  husband  somewhere  in  the  background.  --Thackeray. 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  background 
  n  1:  a  person's  social  heritage:  previous  experience  or  training; 
  "he  is  a  lawyer  with  a  sports  background" 
  2:  the  part  of  a  scene  (or  picture)  that  lies  behind  objects  in 
  the  foreground;  "he  posed  her  against  a  background  of 
  rolling  hillls"  [syn:  {ground}] 
  3:  information  that  is  essential  to  understanding  a  situation 
  or  problem;  "the  embassy  filled  him  in  on  the  background 
  of  the  incident"  [syn:  {background  knowledge}] 
  4:  extraneous  signals  that  can  be  confused  with  the  phenomenon 
  to  be  observed  or  measured;  "they  got  a  bad  connection  and 
  could  hardly  hear  one  another  over  the  background  signals" 
  [syn:  {background  signal}] 
  5:  relatively  unimportant  or  inconspicuous  accompanying 
  situation:  "when  the  rain  came  he  could  hear  the  sound  of 
  thunder  in  the  background" 
  6:  the  state  of  the  environment  in  which  a  situation  exists; 
  "you  can't  do  that  in  a  university  setting"  [syn:  {setting}, 
  {scope}] 
  7:  (computer  science)  the  area  of  the  screen  in  graphical  user 
  interfaces  against  which  icons  and  windows  appear  [syn:  {desktop}, 
  {screen  background}] 
  8:  scenery  hung  at  back  of  stage  [syn:  {backdrop},  {backcloth}] 
  v  :  move  into  the  background;  "he  played  down  his  royla 
  ancestry"  [syn:  {play  down}]  [ant:  {foreground},  {foreground}] 
 
  From  Jargon  File  (4.2.3,  23  NOV  2000)  [jargon]: 
 
  background  n.,adj.,vt.  [common]  To  do  a  task  `in  background' 
  is  to  do  it  whenever  {foreground}  matters  are  not  claiming  your  undivided 
  attention,  and  `to  background'  something  means  to  relegate  it  to  a 
  lower  priority.  "For  now  we'll  just  print  a  list  of  nodes  and  links; 
  I'm  working  on  the  graph-printing  problem  in  background."  Note  that 
  this  implies  ongoing  activity  but  at  a  reduced  level  or  in  spare  time, 
  in  contrast  to  mainstream  `back  burner'  (which  connotes  benign  neglect 
  until  some  future  resumption  of  activity).  Some  people  prefer  to  use  the 
  term  for  processing  that  they  have  queued  up  for  their  unconscious  minds 
  (a  tack  that  one  can  often  fruitfully  take  upon  encountering  an  obstacle 
  in  creative  work).  Compare  {amp  off},  {slopsucker}. 
 
  Technically,  a  task  running  in  background  is  detached  from  the 
  terminal  where  it  was  started  (and  often  running  at  a  lower  priority); 
  oppose  {foreground}.  Nowadays  this  term  is  primarily  associated  with 
  {{Unix}},  but  it  appears  to  have  been  first  used  in  this  sense  on  OS/360. 
 
 
 
  From  The  Free  On-line  Dictionary  of  Computing  (13  Mar  01)  [foldoc]: 
 
  background 
 
  1.    A  task  running  in  the  background  (a 
  background  task)  is  detached  from  the  terminal  where  it  was 
  started  (and  often  running  at  a  lower  priority);  opposite  of 
  {foreground}.  This  means  that  the  task's  input  and  output 
  must  be  from/to  files  (or  other  processes). 
 
  Nowadays  this  term  is  primarily  associated  with  {Unix},  but  it 
  appears  to  have  been  first  used  in  this  sense  on  {OS/360}. 
 
  Compare  {amp  off},  {batch},  {slopsucker}. 
 
  2.    For  a  human  to  do  a  task  "in  the  background"  is  to 
  do  it  whenever  {foreground}  matters  are  not  claiming  your 
  undivided  attention,  and  "to  background"  something  means  to 
  relegate  it  to  a  lower  priority.  "For  now  we'll  just  print  a 
  list  of  nodes  and  links;  I'm  working  on  the  graph-printing 
  problem  in  the  background."  Note  that  this  implies  ongoing 
  activity  but  at  a  reduced  level  or  in  spare  time,  in  contrast 
  to  mainstream  "back  burner"  (which  connotes  benign  neglect 
  until  some  future  resumption  of  activity).  Some  people  prefer 
  to  use  the  term  for  processing  that  they  have  queued  up  for 
  their  unconscious  minds  (often  a  fruitful  tack  to  take  upon 
  encountering  an  obstacle  in  creative  work). 
 
  (1996-05-28) 
 
 




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