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  • Nov 27th 2012
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Best File Format Genre of All Time

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    1

    Serialization

    • File Formats: Property list
    In computer science, in the context of data storage and transmission, serialization is the process of converting a data structure or object state into a format that can be stored (for example, in a file or memory buffer, or transmitted across a network connection link) and "resurrected" later in the same or another computer environment. When the resulting series of bits is reread according to the serialization format, it can be used to create a semantically identical clone of the original object. For many complex objects, such as those that make extensive use of references, this process is not straightforward. Serialization of object-oriented objects does not include any of their associated methods with which they were previously inextricably linked. This process of serializing an object is also called deflating or marshalling an object. The opposite operation, extracting a data structure from a series of bytes, is deserialization (which is also called inflating or unmarshalling). Serialization provides: For some of these features to be useful, architecture independence must be maintained. For example, for maximal use of distribution, a computer running on a different hardware
    6.57
    7 votes
    2
    Binary file

    Binary file

    • File Formats: COFF
    A binary file is a computer file that is not a text file; it may contain any type of data, encoded in binary form for computer storage and processing purposes. Many binary file formats contain parts that can be interpreted as text; for example, some computer document files containing formatted text, such as older Microsoft Word document files, contain the text of the document but also contain formatting information in binary form. When downloading, a completely functional program without any installer is also often called program binary, or binaries (as opposed to the source code). Binary files are usually thought of as being a sequence of bytes, which means the binary digits (bits) are grouped in eights. Binary files typically contain bytes that are intended to be interpreted as something other than text characters. Compiled computer programs are typical examples; indeed, compiled applications (object files) are sometimes referred to, particularly by programmers, as binaries. But binary files can also contain images, sounds, compressed versions of other files, etc. — in short, any type of file content whatsoever. Some binary files contain headers, blocks of metadata used by a
    7.17
    6 votes
    3

    Document file format

    • File Formats: DVI
    A document file format is a text or binary file format for storing documents on a storage media, especially for use by computers. There currently exist a multitude of incompatible document file formats. A rough consensus has been established that XML is to be the basis for future document file formats. Examples of XML-based open standards are DocBook, XHTML, and, more recently, the ISO/IEC standards OpenDocument (ISO 26300:2006) and Office Open XML (ISO 29500:2008). In 1993, the ITU-T tried to establish a standard for document file formats, known as the Open Document Architecture (ODA) which was supposed to replace all competing document file formats. It is described in ITU-T documents T.411 through T.421, which are equivalent to ISO 8613. It did not succeed. Page description languages such as PostScript and PDF have become the de facto standard for documents that a typical user should only be able to create and read, not edit. In 2001, PDF became an international ISO/IEC standard (ISO 15930-1:2001, ISO 19005-1:2005, ISO 32000-1:2008). HTML is the most used and open international standard and it is also used as document file format. It has also become ISO/IEC standard (ISO
    7.60
    5 votes
    4
    Computer Animation

    Computer Animation

    • File Formats: MNG
    Computer animation is the process used for generating animated images by using computer graphics. The more general term computer generated imagery encompasses both static scenes and dynamic images, while computer animation only refers to moving images. Modern computer animation usually uses 3D computer graphics, although 2D computer graphics are still used for stylistic, low bandwidth, and faster real-time renderings. Sometimes the target of the animation is the computer itself, but sometimes the target is another medium, such as film. Computer animation is essentially a digital successor to the stop motion techniques used in traditional animation with 3D models and frame-by-frame animation of 2D illustrations. Computer generated animations are more controllable than other more physically based processes, such as constructing miniatures for effects shots or hiring extras for crowd scenes, and because it allows the creation of images that would not be feasible using any other technology. It can also allow a single graphic artist to produce such content without the use of actors, expensive set pieces, or props. To create the illusion of movement, an image is displayed on the computer
    8.25
    4 votes
    5

    Database

    • File Formats: OpenDocument
    A database is an organized collection of data. The data is typically organized to model relevant aspects of reality (for example, the availability of rooms in hotels), in a way that supports processes requiring this information (for example, finding a hotel with vacancies). The term database is correctly applied to the data and their supporting data structures, and not to the database management system (DBMS). The database data collection with DBMS is called a database system. The term database system implies that the data is managed to some level of quality (measured in terms of accuracy, availability, usability, and resilience) and this in turn often implies the use of a general-purpose database management system (DBMS). A general-purpose DBMS is typically a complex software system that meets many usage requirements to properly maintain its databases which are often large and complex. The utilization of databases is now so widespread that virtually every technology and product relies on databases and DBMSs for its development and commercialization, or even may have DBMS software embedded in it. Also, organizations and companies, from small to large, depend heavily on databases
    6.60
    5 votes
    6
    Icon

    Icon

    • File Formats: Apple Icon Image
    A computer icon is a pictogram displayed on a computer screen and used to navigate a computer system or mobile device. The icon itself is a small picture or symbol serving as a quick, intuitive representation of a software tool, function or a data file accessible on the system. It functions as an electronic hyperlink or file shortcut to access the program or data. Computer icons, in conjunction with computer windows, menus and a pointing device, form the graphical user interface (GUI) of the computer system, and enable the user to easily and intuitively navigate the system. Computer icons belong to the much larger topic of the history of the graphical user interface. The icons displayed on the screen represent data files or tools accessible on the system. In activating (clicking on) an icon, the user can move directly into and out of the identified function without knowing anything further about the location or requirements of the file. On most systems, standard computer icons can be created and deleted, replicated, selected, clicked or double-clicked, and dragged to a new position on the screen to create a customized user environment. The standard icons found on many computer
    8.00
    4 votes
    7

    Word processing

    • File Formats: Rich Text Format Directory
    Word processing is the creation of documents using a word processor. It can also refer to advanced shorthand techniques, sometimes used in specialized contexts with a specially modified typewriter. The term was coined at IBM's Boeblingen, West Germany (at that time) Laboratory in the 1960s. This program will enable the user to write articles books, letter documents, reports, etc. It makes editing a very simple task. The main features of this program are, Font Application, Spell Check, Grammar Check, Thesaurus, Autocorrect, Auto text, Web integration, HTML documentation etc.
    6.40
    5 votes
    8

    Container format

    • File Formats: Audio file format
    A container or wrapper format is a metafile format whose specification describes how different data elements and metadata coexist in a computer file. Among the earliest cross-platform container formats were Distinguished Encoding Rules and the 1985 Interchange File Format. Containers are frequently used in multimedia applications. Since the container does not describe how data or metadata is encoded, a program able to identify and open a container file might not be able to decode the contained data. This may be caused by the program lacking the required decoding algorithm. By definition, a container format could wrap any kind of data. Though there are some examples of such file formats (e.g. Microsoft Windows's DLL files), most container formats are specialized for specific data requirements. For example, a popular family of containers is found for use with multimedia file formats. Since audio and video streams can be coded and decoded with many different algorithms, a container format may be used to provide a single file format to the user. The container file is used to identify and interleave different data types. Simpler container formats can contain different types of audio
    9.33
    3 votes
    9

    RAW image format

    • File Formats: Digital Negative
    A camera raw image file contains minimally processed data from the image sensor of either a digital camera, image scanner, or motion picture film scanner. Raw files are so named because they are not yet processed and therefore are not ready to be printed or edited with a bitmap graphics editor. Normally, the image is processed by a raw converter in a wide-gamut internal colorspace where precise adjustments can be made before conversion to a "positive" file format such as TIFF or JPEG for storage, printing, or further manipulation, which often encodes the image in a device-dependent colorspace. There are dozens if not hundreds of raw formats in use by different models of digital equipment (like cameras or film scanners). Raw image files are sometimes called digital negatives, as they fulfill the same role as negatives in film photography: that is, the negative is not directly usable as an image, but has all of the information needed to create an image. Likewise, the process of converting a raw image file into a viewable format is sometimes called developing a raw image, by analogy with the film development process used to convert photographic film into viewable prints. The selection
    7.25
    4 votes
    10
    Raster graphics

    Raster graphics

    • File Formats: MrSID
    In computer graphics, a raster graphics image, or bitmap, is a dot matrix data structure representing a generally rectangular grid of pixels, or points of color, viewable via a monitor, paper, or other display medium. Raster images are stored in image files with varying formats (see comparison of graphics file formats). A bitmap corresponds bit-for-bit with an image displayed on a screen, generally in the same format used for storage in the display's video memory, or maybe as a device-independent bitmap. A bitmap is technically characterized by the width and height of the image in pixels and by the number of bits per pixel (a color depth, which determines the number of colors it can represent). The printing and prepress industries know raster graphics as contones (from "continuous tones") and refer to vector graphics as "line work". The word "raster" has its origins in the Latin rastrum (a rake), which is derived from radere (to scrape). It originally referred to the raster scan of cathode ray tube (CRT) video monitors, which paints the image line by line by magnetically steering a focused electron beam. By association, it came also to refer to a rectangular grid of pixels. See
    6.75
    4 votes
    11

    Video codec

    • File Formats: Smacker video
    A video codec is a device or software that enables video compression or decompression for digital video. The compression usually employs lossy data compression. Historically, video was stored as an analog signal on magnetic tape. Around the time when the compact disc entered the market as a digital-format replacement for analog audio, it became feasible to also begin storing and using video in digital form, and a variety of such technologies began to emerge. Audio and video call for customized methods of compression. Engineers and mathematicians have tried a number of solutions for tackling this problem. There is a complex balance between the video quality, the quantity of the data needed to represent it (also known as the bit rate), the complexity of the encoding and decoding algorithms, robustness to data losses and errors, ease of editing, random access, the state of the art of compression algorithm design, end-to-end delay, and a number of other factors. Digital video codecs are found in DVD systems (players, recorders), Video CD systems, in emerging satellite and digital terrestrial broadcast systems, various digital devices and software products with video recording or
    6.75
    4 votes
    12

    Configuration file

    • File Formats: Wesnoth Markup Language
    In computing, configuration files, or config files configure the initial settings for some computer programs. They are used for user applications, server processes and operating system settings. The files are often written in ASCII (rarely UTF-8) and line-oriented, with lines terminated by a newline or carriage return/line feed pair, depending on the operating system. They may be considered a simple database. Some applications provide tools to create, modify, and verify the syntax of their configuration files; these sometimes have graphical interfaces. For other programs, system administrators may be expected to create and modify files by hand using a text editor. For server processes and operating-system settings, there is often no standard tool, but operating systems may provide their own graphical interfaces such as YaST or debconf. Some computer programs only read their configuration files at startup. Others periodically check the configuration files for changes. Users can instruct some programs to re-read the configuration files and apply the changes to the current process, or indeed to read arbitrary files as a configuration file. There are no definitive standards or strong
    8.33
    3 votes
    13

    Disk image

    • File Formats: Disk image
    A disk image is a single file or storage device containing the complete contents and structure representing a data storage medium or device, such as a hard drive, tape drive, floppy disk, optical disc, or USB flash drive. A disk image is usually created by creating a complete sector-by-sector copy of the source medium and thereby perfectly replicating the structure and contents of a storage device. Some disk imaging utilities omit unused file space from source media, or compress the disk they represent to reduce storage requirements, though these are typically referred to as archive files, as they are not literally disk images. Disk image file formats may be open standards, such as the ISO image format for optical disc images, or proprietary to particular software applications. Disk images were originally used for backup and disk cloning of floppy disk media, where replication or storage of an exact structure was necessary and efficient. Disk images are used heavily for duplication of optical media including DVDs, Blu-ray disks, etc. It is also used to make perfect clones of hard disks. A virtual disk may emulate any type of physical drive, such as a hard drive, tape drive, key
    6.50
    4 votes
    14

    Playlist

    • File Formats: Advanced Stream Redirector
    In its most general form, a playlist is simply a list of songs. They can be played in sequential or shuffled order. The term has several specialized meanings in the realms of radio broadcasting and personal computers. The term originally came about in the early days of top 40 radio formats when stations would devise (and, eventually, publish) a limited list of songs to be played. The term would go on to refer to the entire catalog of songs that a given radio station (of any format) would draw from. Additionally, the term was used to refer to an ordered list of songs played during a given time period. Playlists are often adjusted based on time of day, known as dayparting. As music storage and playback using personal computers became common, the term playlist was adopted by various media player software programs intended to organize and control music on a PC. Such playlists may be defined, stored, and selected to run either in sequence or, if a random playlist function is selected, in a random order. Playlists' uses include allowing a particular desired musical atmosphere to be created and maintained without constant user interaction, or to allow a variety of different styles of
    6.50
    4 votes
    15

    Office suite

    • File Formats: OpenDocument
    In computing, an office suite, sometimes called an office software suite or productivity suite is a collection of productivity programs intended to be used by knowledge workers. The components are generally distributed together, have a consistent user interface and usually can interact with each other, sometimes in ways that the operating system would not normally allow. Existing office suites contain wide range of various components. Most typically, the base components include: Less common components of office suites include:
    8.00
    3 votes
    16

    Peer-to-peer

    • File Formats: BitTorrent
    A peer-to-peer (abbreviated to P2P) computer network is one in which each computer in the network can act as a client or server for the other computers in the network, allowing shared access to various resources such as files, peripherals, and sensors without the need for a central server. P2P networks can be set up within the home, a business, or over the Internet. Each network type requires all computers in the network to use the same or a compatible program to connect to each other and access files and other resources found on the other computer. P2P networks can be used for sharing content such as audio, video, data, or anything in digital format. P2P is a distributed application architecture that partitions tasks or workloads among peers. Peers are equally privileged participants in the application. Each computer in the network is referred to as a node. The owner of each computer on a P2P network would set aside a portion of its resources - such as processing power, disk storage, or network bandwidth - to be made directly available to other network participant, without the need for central coordination by servers or stable hosts. With this model, peers are both suppliers and
    6.25
    4 votes
    17
    Image file formats

    Image file formats

    • File Formats: Tag Image File Format / Electronic Photography
    Image file formats are standardized means of organizing and storing digital images. Image files are composed of digital data in one of these formats that can be rasterized for use on a computer display or printer. An image file format may store data in uncompressed, compressed, or vector formats. Once rasterized, an image becomes a grid of pixels, each of which has a number of bits to designate its color equal to the color depth of the device displaying it. Generally speaking, in raster images, Image file size is positively correlated to the number of pixels in an image and the color depth, or bits per pixel, of the image. Images can be compressed in various ways, however. Compression uses an algorithm that stores an exact representation or an approximation of the original image in a smaller number of bytes that can be expanded back to its uncompressed form with a corresponding decompression algorithm. Considering different compressions, it is common for two images of the same number of pixels and color depth to have a very different compressed file size. Considering exactly the same compression, number of pixels, and color depth for two images, different graphical complexity of
    7.67
    3 votes
    18

    File archiver

    • File Formats: ARJ
    A file archiver is a computer program that combines a number of files together into one archive file, or a series of archive files, for easier transportation or storage. Many file archivers employ archive formats that provide lossless data compression to reduce the size of the archive which is often useful for transferring a large number of individual files over a high latency network like the Internet. The most basic archivers just take a list of files and concatenate their contents sequentially into the archive. In addition the archive must also contain some information about at least the names and lengths of the originals, so that proper reconstruction is possible. Most archivers also store metadata about a file that the operating system provides, such as timestamps, ownership and access control. The process of making an archive file is called archiving or packing. Reconstructing the original files from the archive is termed unarchiving, unpacking or extracting. Unlike integrated archival and compression tools like PKZIP, WinZip, and WinRAR, the Unix tools ar, tar, cpio (for "archiver", "tape archiver" and "copy in/out" respectively) act as archivers but not compressors. Users
    6.00
    4 votes
    19

    GIS file formats

    • File Formats: Geography Markup Language
    A GIS file format is a standard of encoding geographical information into a file. They are created mainly by government mapping agencies (such as the USGS or National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency) or by GIS software developers. Metadata often includes: A raster data type is, in essence, any type of digital image represented by reducible and enlargeable grids. Anyone who is familiar with digital photography will recognize the Raster graphics pixel as the smallest individual grid unit building block of an image, usually not readily identified as an artifact shape until an image is produced on a very large scale. A combination of the pixels making up an image color formation scheme will compose details of an image, as is distinct from the commonly used points, lines, and polygon area location symbols of scalable vector graphics as the basis of the vector model of area attribute rendering. While a digital image is concerned with its output blending together its grid based details as an identifiable representation of reality, in a photograph or art image transferred into a computer, the raster data type will reflect a digitized abstraction of reality dealt with by grid populating
    6.00
    4 votes
    20

    Event-driven programming

    In computer programming, event-driven programming (EDP) or event-based programming is a programming paradigm in which the flow of the program is determined by events—e.g., sensor outputs or user actions (mouse clicks, key presses) or messages from other programs or threads. Event-driven programming can also be defined as an application architecture technique in which the application has a main loop which is clearly divided down to two sections: In embedded systems the same may be achieved using interrupts instead of a constantly running main loop; in that case the former portion of the architecture resides completely in computer hardware. Event-driven programs can be written in any language, although the task is easier in languages that provide high-level abstractions, such as closures. Some integrated development environments, such as Microsoft Visual Studio, provide code generation assistants that automate the most repetitive tasks required for event handling. Because the code for checking for events and the main loop does not depend on the application, many programming frameworks take care of their implementation and expect the user to provide only the code for the event
    5.75
    4 votes
    21
    Typeface

    Typeface

    • File Formats: OpenType
    In typography, a typeface is a set of characters that share common design features. A single typeface is represented by a specific weight, style, condensation, width, slant, italicization, ornamentation, and designer or foundry, but not by size. (e.g. "ITC Helvetica Neue Condensed Bold Italic" is a different typeface from "ITC Helvetica Neue Condensed regular Italic" or "ITC Helvetica Neue Condensed Bold". However, all belong to the Typeface Family of "ITC Helvetica Neue" which is a different Family than "ITC Helvetica" or Adobe Helvetica.) There are thousands of different typefaces in existence, with new ones being developed constantly. The art and craft of designing typefaces is called type design. Designers of typefaces are called type designers. In digital typography, type designers are sometimes also called font developers or font designers. Every typeface is a collection of glyphs, each of which represents an individual letter, number, punctuation mark, or other symbol. The same glyph may be used for characters from different scripts, e.g. Roman uppercase A looks the same as Cyrillic uppercase А and Greek uppercase alpha. There are typefaces tailored for special applications,
    9.00
    2 votes
    22
    Cursor

    Cursor

    • File Formats: ICO
    In computing, a cursor is an indicator used to show the position on a computer monitor or other display device that will respond to input from a text input or pointing device. The flashing text cursor may be referred to as a caret in some cases, such as in caret browsing. The mouse cursor may be referred to as a pointer, owing to its arrow shape on some systems. In most command-line interfaces or text editors, the text cursor or caret navigation, is an underscore, a solid rectangle, or a vertical line, which may be flashing or steady, indicating where text will be placed when entered (the insertion point). In text mode displays, it was not possible to show a vertical bar between characters to show where the new text would be inserted, so an underscore or block cursor was used instead. In situations where a block was used, the block was usually created by inverting the pixels of the character using the boolean math exclusive or function. On text editors and word processors of modern design on bitmapped displays, the vertical bar is typically used instead. Some details of the vertical bar's origins have been described in Bill Moggridge's Designing Interactions (ISBN 0262134748). The
    7.00
    3 votes
    23
    Lossy data compression

    Lossy data compression

    • File Formats: MrSID
    In information technology, "lossy" compression is a data encoding method that compresses data by discarding (losing) some of it. The procedure aims to minimize the amount of data that needs to be held, handled, and/or transmitted by a computer. The different versions of the photo of the dog at the right demonstrate how much data can be dispensed with, and how the images become progressively coarser as the data that made up the original one is discarded (lost). Typically, a substantial amount of data can be discarded before the result is sufficiently degraded to be noticed by the user. Lossy compression is most commonly used to compress multimedia data (audio, video, and still images), especially in applications such as streaming media and internet telephony. By contrast, lossless compression is required for text and data files, such as bank records and text articles. In many cases it is advantageous to make a master lossless file that can then be used to produce compressed files for different purposes; for example, a multi-megabyte file can be used at full size to produce a full-page advertisement in a glossy magazine, and a 10 kilobyte lossy copy can be made for a small image on a
    5.50
    4 votes
    24

    Audio file format

    • File Formats: Waveform Audio
    An audio file format is a file format for storing digital audio data on a computer system. This data can be stored uncompressed, or compressed to reduce the file size. It can be a raw bitstream, but it is usually a container format or an audio data format with defined storage layer. It is important to distinguish between a file format and an audio codec. A codec performs the encoding and decoding of the raw audio data while the data itself is stored in a file with a specific audio file format. Although most audio file formats support only one type of audio data (created with an audio coder), a multimedia container format (as Matroska or AVI) may support multiple types of audio and video data. There are three major groups of audio file formats: There is one major uncompressed audio format, PCM, which is usually stored in a .wav file on Windows or in a .aiff file on Mac OS. The AIFF format is based on the Interchange File Format (IFF). The WAV format is based on the Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF), which is similar to IFF. WAV and AIFF are flexible file formats designed to store more or less any combination of sampling rates or bitrates. This makes them suitable file formats
    8.50
    2 votes
    25
    Computer graphics (images)

    Computer graphics (images)

    • File Formats: PICT
    Computer graphics are graphics created using computers and, more generally, the representation and manipulation of image data by a computer with help from specialized software and hardware. The development of computer graphics has made computers easier to interact with, and better for understanding and interpreting many types of data. Developments in computer graphics have had a profound impact on many types of media and have revolutionized animation, movies and the video game industry. The term computer graphics has been used in a broad sense to describe "almost everything on computers that is not text or sound". Typically, the term computer graphics refers to several different things: Computer graphics is widespread today. Computer imagery is found on television, in newspapers, for example in weather reports, or for example in all kinds of medical investigation and surgical procedures. A well-constructed graph can present complex statistics in a form that is easier to understand and interpret. In the media "such graphs are used to illustrate papers, reports, thesis", and other presentation material. Many powerful tools have been developed to visualize data. Computer generated
    8.50
    2 votes
    26
    Programming language

    Programming language

    A programming language is an artificial language designed to communicate instructions to a machine, particularly a computer. Programming languages can be used to create programs that control the behavior of a machine and/or to express algorithms precisely. The earliest programming languages predate the invention of the computer, and were used to direct the behavior of machines such as Jacquard looms and player pianos. Thousands of different programming languages have been created, mainly in the computer field, with many more being created every year. Most programming languages describe computation in an imperative style, i.e., as a sequence of commands, although some languages, such as those that support functional programming or logic programming, use alternative forms of description. The description of a programming language is usually split into the two components of syntax (form) and semantics (meaning). Some languages are defined by a specification document (for example, the C programming language is specified by an ISO Standard), while other languages, such as Perl 5 and earlier, have a dominant implementation that is used as a reference. A programming language is a notation
    8.50
    2 votes
    27
    Business card

    Business card

    • File Formats: vCard
    Business cards are cards bearing business information about a company or individual. They are shared during formal introductions as a convenience and a memory aid. A business card typically includes the giver's name, company affiliation (usually with a logo) and contact information such as street addresses, telephone number(s), fax number, e-mail addresses and website. It can also include telex, bank account and tax code. Traditionally many cards were simple black text on white stock; today a professional business card will sometimes include one or more aspects of striking visual design. Business cards are printed on some form of card stock, the visual effect, method of printing, cost and other details varying according to cultural or organizational norms and personal preferences. The common weight of a business card varies some by location. Generally, business cards are printed on stock that is 350 g/m² (density), 45 kg (100 lb) (weight), or 12 pt (thickness). High quality business cards without full-color photographs are normally printed using spot colors on sheet-fed offset printing presses. Some companies have gone so far as to trademark their spot colors (examples are UPS
    6.67
    3 votes
    28

    Chemical file format

    • File Formats: Chemical Markup Language
    This article discusses some common molecular file formats, including usage and converting between them. Chemical information is usually provided as files or streams and many formats have been created, with varying degrees of documentation. The format can be found by three means (see chemical MIME section) Chemical Markup Language (CML) is an open standard for representing molecular and other chemical data. The open source project includes XML Schema, source code for parsing and working with CML data, and an active community. The articles Tools for Working with Chemical Markup Language and XML for Chemistry and Biosciences discusses CML in more detail. CML data files are accepted by many tools, including JChemPaint, Jmol, XDrawChem and MarvinView. The Protein Data Bank Format is commonly used for proteins but it can be used for other types of molecules as well. It was originally designed as, and continues to be, a fixed-column-width format and thus officially has a built-in maximum number of atoms, of residues, and of chains; this currently results in splitting very large structures such as ribosomes into multiple files (e.g., 3I1M, 3I1N, 3I1O, 3I1P). However, many tools can read
    6.33
    3 votes
    29
    Markup language

    Markup language

    • File Formats: XBRL
    A markup language is a modern system for annotating a document in a way that is syntactically distinguishable from the text. The idea and terminology evolved from the "marking up" of manuscripts, i.e., the revision instructions by editors, traditionally written with a blue pencil on authors' manuscripts. Examples are typesetting instructions such as those found in troff and LaTeX, or structural markers such as XML tags. Markup instructs the software displaying the text to carry out appropriate actions, but is omitted from the version of the text that is displayed to users. Some markup languages, such as HTML, have pre-defined presentation semantics, meaning that their specification prescribes how the structured data are to be presented; others, such as XML, do not. A widely-used markup language is HyperText Markup Language (HTML), one of the document formats of the World Wide Web. HTML, which is an instance of SGML (though, strictly, it does not comply with all the rules of SGML), follows many of the markup conventions used in the publishing industry in the communication of printed work between authors, editors, and printers. There are three general categories of electronic
    7.50
    2 votes
    30

    Audio format

    • File Formats: Waveform Audio
    An audio format is a medium for storing sound and music. The term is applied to both the physical recording media and the recording formats of the audio content – in computer science it is often limited to the audio file format, but its wider use usually refers to the physical method used to store the data. Music is recorded and distributed using a variety of audio formats, some of which store additional information.
    5.67
    3 votes
    31

    Audio codec

    • File Formats: Vorbis
    All codecs are devices or computer programs capable of coding or decoding a digital data stream or signal. The term audio codec has two meanings depending on the context: In software, an "audio codec" is a computer program implementing an algorithm that compresses and decompresses digital audio data according to a given audio file format or streaming media audio format. The object of the algorithm is to represent the high-fidelity audio signal with minimum number of bits while retaining the quality. This can effectively reduce the storage space and the bandwidth required for transmission of the stored audio file. Most codecs are implemented as libraries which interface to one or more multimedia players. In hardware, "audio codec" refers to a single device that encodes analog audio as digital signals and decodes digital back into analog. In other words, it contains both an Analog-to-digital converter (ADC) and Digital-to-analog converter (DAC) running off the same clock. This is used in sound cards that support both audio in and out, for instance.
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    Lossless data compression

    • File Formats: PNG
    Lossless data compression is a class of data compression algorithms that allows the exact original data to be reconstructed from the compressed data. The term lossless is in contrast to lossy data compression, which only allows an approximation of the original data to be reconstructed, in exchange for better compression rates. Lossless data compression is used in many applications. For example, it is used in the ZIP file format and in the Unix tool gzip. It is also often used as a component within lossy data compression technologies (e.g. lossless mid/side joint stereo preprocessing by the LAME MP3 encoder and other lossy audio encoders). Lossless compression is used in cases where it is important that the original and the decompressed data be identical, or where deviations from the original data could be deleterious. Typical examples are executable programs, text documents, and source code. Some image file formats, like PNG or GIF, use only lossless compression, while others like TIFF and MNG may use either lossless or lossy methods. Lossless audio formats are most often used for archiving or production purposes, with smaller lossy audio files being typically used on portable
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    Package management system

    Package management system

    • File Formats: Deb
    In software, a package management system, also called package manager, is a collection of software tools to automate the process of installing, upgrading, configuring, and removing software packages for a computer's operating system in a consistent manner. It typically maintains a database of software dependencies and version information to prevent software mismatches and missing prerequisites. Packages are distributions of software, applications and data. Packages also contain metadata, such as the software's name, description of its purpose, version number, vendor, checksum, and a list of dependencies necessary for the software to run properly. Upon installation, metadata is stored in a local package database. Package management systems are designed to save organizations time and money through remote administration and software distribution technology that eliminate the need for manual installs and updates. This can be particularly useful for large enterprises whose operating systems are based on Linux and other Unix-like systems, typically consisting of hundreds or even thousands of distinct software packages; in the former case, a package management system is a convenience, in
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    Core dump

    Core dump

    • File Formats: Mach-O
    In computing, a core dump, memory dump, or storage dump consists of the recorded state of the working memory of a computer program at a specific time, generally when the program has terminated abnormally (crashed). In practice, other key pieces of program state are usually dumped at the same time, including the processor registers, which may include the program counter and stack pointer, memory management information, and other processor and operating system flags and information. Core dumps are often used to assist in diagnosing and debugging errors in computer programs. The name comes from magnetic core memory, the principal form of random access memory from the 1950s to the 1970s. The name has remained long after magnetic core technology became obsolete. On many operating systems, a fatal error in a program automatically triggers a core dump; by extension the phrase "to dump core" has come to mean, in many cases, any fatal error, regardless of whether a record of the program memory results. The term "core dump", "memory dump", or just "dump" has become jargon to indicate any storing of a large amount of raw data for further examination. Before the advent of disk operating
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    Electronic design automation

    • File Formats: Caltech Intermediate Form
    Electronic design automation (EDA or ECAD) is a category of software tools for designing electronic systems such as printed circuit boards and integrated circuits. The tools work together in a design flow that chip designers use to design and analyze entire semiconductor chips. This article describes EDA specifically with respect to integrated circuits. Before EDA, integrated circuits were designed by hand, and manually laid out. Some advanced shops used geometric software to generate the tapes for the Gerber photoplotter, but even those copied digital recordings of mechanically drawn components. The process was fundamentally graphic, with the translation from electronics to graphics done manually. The best known company from this era was Calma, whose GDSII format survives. By the mid-70s, developers started to automate the design, and not just the drafting. The first placement and routing (Place and route) tools were developed. The proceedings of the Design Automation Conference cover much of this era. The next era began about the time of the publication of "Introduction to VLSI Systems" by Carver Mead and Lynn Conway in 1980. This ground breaking text advocated chip design with
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    Associative array

    • File Formats: Property list
    In computer science, an associative array, map, or dictionary is an abstract data type composed of a collection of (key, value) pairs, such that each possible key appears at most once in the collection. Operations associated with this data type allow: The dictionary problem is the task of designing a data structure that implements an associative array. A standard solution to the dictionary problem is a hash table; in some cases it is also possible to solve the problem using directly addressed arrays, binary search trees, or other more specialized structures. Many programming languages include associative arrays as primitive data types, and they are available in software libraries for many others. Content-addressable memory is a form of direct hardware-level support for associative arrays. Associative arrays have many applications including such fundamental programming patterns as memoization and the decorator pattern. In an associative array, the association between a key and a value is often known as a "binding", and the same word "binding" may also be used to refer to the process of creating a new association. The operations that are usually defined for an associative array are:
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    Scripting language

    • File Formats: Batch file
    A scripting language or script language is a programming language that supports the writing of scripts, programs written for a software environment that automate the execution of tasks which could alternatively be executed one-by-one by a human operator. Environments that can be automated through scripting include software applications, web pages within a web browser, the shells of operating systems, and several general purpose and domain-specific languages such as those for embedded systems. Scripts can be written and executed "on-the-fly", without explicit compile and link steps; they are typically created or modified by the person executing them. A scripting language is usually interpreted from source code or bytecode. By contrast, the software environment the scripts are written for is typically written in a compiled language and distributed in machine code form; the user may not have access to its source code, let alone be able to modify it. The spectrum of scripting languages ranges from very small and highly domain-specific languages to general-purpose programming languages. The term script is typically reserved for small programs (up to a few thousand lines of code). Early
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    Graphics File Formats

    • File Formats: GIF
    Here is a summary of the most common graphics file format: Some file formats, e.g. PDF, allow both raster and vector graphics. This is because the underlying PostScript system of the Portable Document Format is designed to handle both methods of creating graphics. mnb
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    Metalanguage

    • File Formats: SGML
    Broadly, any metalanguage is language or symbols used when language itself is being discussed or examined. In logic and linguistics, a metalanguage is a language used to make statements about statements in another language (the object language). Expressions in a metalanguage are often distinguished from those in an object language by the use of italics, quotation marks, or writing on a separate line. There is a variety of recognized metalanguages, including embedded, ordered, and nested (or, hierarchical). An embedded metalanguage is a language formally, naturally and firmly fixed in an object language. This idea is found in Douglas Hofstadter's book, Gödel, Escher, Bach, in a discussion of the relationship between formal languages and number theory: “... it is in the nature of any formalization of number theory that its metalanguage is embedded within it.”. It occurs in natural, or informal, languages, as well—such as in English, where descriptors, i.e. adjectives, adverbs, and possessive pronouns, constitute an embedded metalanguage; and where nouns, verbs, and, in some instances, adjectives and adverbs, constitute an object language. Thus, the adjective “red” in the phrase “red
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    Outline font

    • File Formats: Type 1 and Type 3 fonts
    An outline font (or "vector font") is one defined as vector graphics, i.e. as a set of lines and curves to define the border of glyphs, as opposed to a bitmap font, which defines each glyph as an array of pixels. Examples are PostScript (Type 1 and Type 3 fonts), TrueType and OpenType.Outline font characters can be scaled to any size and otherwise transformed more easily than a bitmap font, and with more attractive results, though this requires a lot of numerical processing. The result of transforming a character in an outline font in a particular way is often saved as a bitmap in a font cache to avoid repeating the calculations if that character is to be drawn again. Article based on outline font at FOLDOC.
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    Computer Aided Design

    Computer Aided Design

    • File Formats: AutoCAD DWG
    Computer-aided design (CAD), also known as computer-aided drafting (CAD) or computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), is the use of computer systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design. Computer-aided drafting describes the process of creating a technical drawing with the use of computer software. CAD software is used to increase the productivity of the designer, improve the quality of design, improve communications through documentation, and to create a database for manufacturing. CAD output is often in the form of electronic files for print or machining operations. CAD software uses either vector based graphics to depict the objects of traditional drafting, or may also produce raster graphics showing the overall appearance of designed objects. CAD often involves more than just shapes. As in the manual drafting of technical and engineering drawings, the output of CAD must convey information, such as materials, processes, dimensions, and tolerances, according to application-specific conventions. CAD may be used to design curves and figures in two-dimensional (2D) space; or curves, surfaces, and solids in three-dimensional (3D) space. CAD
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    Spreadsheet

    • File Formats: OpenDocument
    A spreadsheet is an interactive computer application program for organization and analysis of information in tabular form. Spreadsheets developed as computerized simulations of paper accounting worksheets. The program operates on data represented as cells of an array, organized in rows and columns. Each cell of the array can contain either numeric or text data, or the results of formulas that automatically calculate and display a value based on the contents of other cells. The user of the spreadsheet can make changes in any stored value and observe the effects on calculated values. This makes the spreadsheet useful for "what-if" analysis since many cases can be rapidly investigated without tedious manual recalculation. Modern spreadsheet software can have multiple interacting sheets, and can display data either as text and numerals, or in graphical form. In addition to the fundamental operations of arithmetic and mathematical functions, modern spreadsheets provide built-in functions for common financial and statistical operations. Such calculations as net present value or standard deviation can be applied to tabular data with a pre-programmed function in a formula. Spreadsheet
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    Audio data compression

    Audio data compression

    • File Formats: ACT
    Audio compression is a form of data compression designed to reduce the transmission bandwidth requirement of digital audio streams and the storage size of audio files. Audio compression algorithms are implemented in computer software as audio codecs. Generic data compression algorithms perform poorly with audio data, seldom reducing data size much below 87% from the original, and are not designed for use in real time applications. Consequently, specifically optimized audio lossless and lossy algorithms have been created. Lossy algorithms provide greater compression rates and are used in mainstream consumer audio devices. In both lossy and lossless compression, information redundancy is reduced, using methods such as coding, pattern recognition and linear prediction to reduce the amount of information used to represent the uncompressed data. The trade-off between slightly reduced audio quality and transmission or storage size is outweighed by the latter for most practical audio applications in which users may not perceive the loss in playback rendition quality. For example, one Compact Disc holds approximately one hour of uncompressed high fidelity music, less than 2 hours of music
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    Object file

    Object file

    • File Formats: COFF
    An object file is a file containing relocatable format machine code that is usually not directly executable. Object files are produced by an assembler, compiler, or other language translator, and used as input to the linker. Additionally, object files may contain metadata such as information to resolve symbolic cross-references between different modules, relocation information, stack unwinding information, comments, program symbols, debugging or profiling information. A linker is typically used to generate an executable or library by combining parts of object files. An object file format is a computer file format used for the storage of object code and related data. There are many different object file formats; originally each type of computer had its own unique format, but with the advent of Unix and other portable operating systems, some formats, such as COFF and ELF have been defined and used on different kinds of systems. It is possible for the same file format to be used both as linker input and output, and thus as the library and executable file format. The design and/or choice of an object file format is a key part of overall system design. It affects the performance of the
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    Vector graphics

    Vector graphics

    • File Formats: Scalable Vector Graphics
    Vector graphics is the use of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygon(s), which are all based on mathematical expressions, to represent images in computer graphics. "Vector", in this context, implies more than a straight line. Vector graphics is based on images made up of vectors (also called paths, or strokes) which lead through locations called control points. Each of these points has a definite position on the x and y axes of the work plan. Each point, as well, is a variety of database, including the location of the point in the work space and the direction of the vector (which is what defines the direction of the track). Each track can be assigned a color, a shape, a thickness and also a fill. This does not affect the size of the files in a substantial way because all information resides in the structure; it describes how to draw the vector. Computer displays are made up from grids of small rectangular cells called pixels; the term comes from "picture elements". The picture is built up from these cells. The smaller and closer the cells are together, the better the quality (resolution) of the image, but the bigger the file needed to store the
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    51

    Data compression

    • File Formats: ARC
    In computer science and information theory, data compression, source coding, or bit-rate reduction involves encoding information using fewer bits than the original representation. Compression can be either be lossy or lossless. Lossless compression reduces bits by identifying and eliminating statistical redundancy. No information is lost in lossless compression. Lossy compression reduces bits by identifying marginally important information and removing it. The process of reducing the size of a data file is popularly referred to as data compression, although its formal name is source coding (coding done at the source of the data, before it is stored or transmitted). Compression is useful because it helps reduce resources usage, such as data storage space or transmission capacity. Because compressed data must be decompressed to be used, this extra processing imposes computational or other costs through decompression, this situation is far from being a free lunch. Data compression is subject to a space-time complexity trade-off. For instance, a compression scheme for video may require expensive hardware for the video to be decompressed fast enough to be viewed as it is being
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    Forward error correction

    • File Formats: Parchive
    In telecommunication, information theory, and coding theory, forward error correction (FEC) or channel coding is a technique used for controlling errors in data transmission over unreliable or noisy communication channels. The central idea is the sender encodes their message in a redundant way by using an error-correcting code (ECC). The American mathematician Richard Hamming pioneered this field in the 1940s and invented the first error-correcting code in 1950: the Hamming (7,4) code. The redundancy allows the receiver to detect a limited number of errors that may occur anywhere in the message, and often to correct these errors without retransmission. FEC gives the receiver the ability to correct errors without needing a reverse channel to request retransmission of data, but at the cost of a fixed, higher forward channel bandwidth. FEC is therefore applied in situations where retransmissions are costly or impossible, such as one-way communication links and when broadcasting to multiple receivers in multicast. FEC information is usually added to mass storage devices to enable recovery of corrupted data, and is widely used in modems. FEC processing in a receiver may be applied to a
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    Generalized Markup Language

    Generalized Markup Language (GML) is a set of macros that implement intent-based (procedural) markup tags for the IBM text formatter, SCRIPT. SCRIPT/VS is the main component of IBM's Document Composition Facility (DCF). A starter set of tags in GML is provided with the DCF product. GML was developed in the 1960s by Charles Goldfarb, Edward Mosher and Raymond Lorie (whose surname initials were used by Goldfarb to make up the term GML). Using GML, a document is marked up with tags that define what the text is, in terms of paragraphs, headers, lists, tables, and so forth. The document can then be automatically formatted for various devices simply by specifying a profile for the device. For example, it is possible to format a document for a laser printer or a line (dot matrix) printer or for a screen simply by specifying a profile for the device without changing the document itself. The Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), an ISO-standard technology for defining generalized markup languages for documents, is descended from GML. The Extensible Markup Language (XML) was initially a streamlined and simplified development of SGML, but has outgrown its parent in terms of worldwide
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    Presentation program

    Presentation program

    • File Formats: OpenDocument
    A presentation program (also called a presentation graphics program) is a computer software package used to display information, normally in the form of a slide show. It typically includes three major functions: an editor that allows text to be inserted and formatted, a method for inserting and manipulating graphic images and a slide-show system to display the content. The presentation graphics software ran on computer workstations, such as those manufactured by Trollman, Genigraphics, Autographix, and Dicomed. It became quite easy to make last-minute changes compared to traditional typesetting and pasteup. It was also a lot easier to produce a large number of slides in a small amount of time. However, these workstations also required skilled operators, and a single workstation represented an investment of $50,000 to $200,000 (in 1979 dollars). In the mid-1980s developments in the world of computers changed the way presentations were created. Inexpensive, specialized applications now made it possible for anyone with a PC or Macintosh to create professional-looking presentation graphics. Originally these programs were used to generate 35 mm slides, to be presented using a slide
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    ASCII

    • File Formats: .properties
    The American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII, pronunciation: /ˈæski/ ASS-kee;) is a character-encoding scheme originally based on the English alphabet. ASCII codes represent text in computers, communications equipment, and other devices that use text. Most modern character-encoding schemes are based on ASCII, though they support many additional characters. ASCII developed from telegraphic codes. Its first commercial use was as a seven-bit teleprinter code promoted by Bell data services. Work on the ASCII standard began on October 6, 1960, with the first meeting of the American Standards Association's (ASA) X3.2 subcommittee. The first edition of the standard was published during 1963, a major revision during 1967, and the most recent update during 1986. Compared to earlier telegraph codes, the proposed Bell code and ASCII were both ordered for more convenient sorting (i.e., alphabetization) of lists and added features for devices other than teleprinters. ASCII includes definitions for 128 characters: 33 are non-printing control characters (many now obsolete) that affect how text and space is processed and 95 printable characters, including the space (which is
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    Executable

    Executable

    • File Formats: Executable and Linkable Format
    In computing, an executable file causes a computer "to perform indicated tasks according to encoded instructions," as opposed to a data file that must be parsed by a program to be meaningful. These instructions are traditionally machine code instructions for a physical CPU. However, in a more general sense, a file containing instructions (such as bytecode) for a software interpreter may also be considered executable; even a scripting language source file may therefore be considered executable in this sense. The exact interpretation depends upon the use; while the term often refers only to machine code files, in the context of protection against computer viruses all files which cause potentially hazardous instruction execution, including scripts, are conveniently lumped together. While an executable file can be hand-coded in machine language, it is far more usual to develop software as source code in a high-level language easily understood by humans, or in some cases an assembly language more complex for humans but more closely associated with machine code instructions. The high-level language is compiled into either an executable machine code file or a non-executable machine-code
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    PNG

    PNG

    • File Formats: APNG
    Portable Network Graphics (PNG  /ˈpɪŋ/ PING) is a bitmapped image format that employs lossless data compression. PNG was created to improve upon and replace GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) as an image-file format not requiring a patent license. PNG supports palette-based images (with palettes of 24-bit RGB or 32-bit RGBA colors), grayscale images (with or without alpha channel), and full-color non-palette-based RGB[A] images (with or without alpha channel). PNG was designed for transferring images on the Internet, not for professional-quality print graphics, and therefore does not support non-RGB color spaces such as CMYK. PNG files nearly always use file extension PNG or png and are assigned MIME media type image/png; it was approved for this use by the Internet Engineering Steering Group on 14 October 1996. PNG was published as an ISO/IEC standard in 2004. The motivation for creating the PNG format was in early 1995, after it became known that the Lempel–Ziv–Welch (LZW) data compression algorithm used in the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) format was patented by Unisys. There were also other problems with the GIF format that made a replacement desirable, notably its limit of
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    Stylesheet language

    • File Formats: XSLT File Format
    A style sheet language, or style language, is a computer language that expresses the presentation of structured documents. One attractive feature of structured documents is that the content can be reused in many contexts and presented in various ways. Different style sheets can be attached to the logical structure to produce different presentations. One modern style sheet language with widespread use is Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), which is used to style documents written in HTML, XHTML, SVG, XUL, and other markup languages. For content in structured documents to be presented, a set of stylistic rules – describing, for example, colors, fonts and layout – must be applied. A collection of stylistic rules is called a style sheet. Style sheets in the form of written documents have a long history of use by editors and typographers to ensure consistency of presentation, spelling and punctuation. In electronic publishing, style sheet languages are mostly used in the context of visual presentation rather than spelling and punctuation. All style sheet languages offer functionality in these areas:
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    Word processor

    Word processor

    • File Formats: DOC
    A word processor is a computer application used for the production (including composition, editing, formatting and possibly printing) of any sort of printable material. Word processor may also refer to a type of stand-alone office machine, popular in the 1970s and 1980s, combining the keyboard text-entry and printing functions of an electric typewriter with a dedicated processor (like a computer processor) for the editing of text. Although features and design varied between manufacturers and models, with new features added as technology advanced, word processors for several years usually featured a monochrome display and the ability to save documents on memory cards or diskettes. Later models introduced innovations such as spell-checking programs, increased formatting options, and dot-matrix printing. As the more versatile combination of a personal computer and separate printer became commonplace, most business-machine companies stopped manufacturing the word processor as a stand-alone office machine. As of 2009 there were only two U.S. companies, Classic and AlphaSmart, which still made stand-alone word processors. Many older machines, however, remain in use. Since 2009, Sentinel
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