word of the day

Subject: word of the day
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 2009 14:57:35 -0500

I don't know what that word is, nor even if it exists.

I just have this nagging suspicion that there's a word that would serve...

Say you have a shell or command-line environment. Um, a command-line window in Windoze for example.

You are at the standard command-line prompt (for that shell/environment/whatever).
You have some executable utility binary files in the current directory.

You type the name of an executable possibly followed by some arguments or parameters, possibly not.

In one case, the command does something, finishes, and goes away.

In the other case, the command puts up a command-line menu and waits for you to type one of the permissible... um.... subcommands, with attendant options and parameters, and that subcommand does its thing and stops, but you are still at the prompt for the main command, not the prompt for your shell.
You can either issue another of the special-purpose commands of this lingering utility, or you can say "exit" and find yourself back at (say) the Windoze command-line prompt (DOS prompt).

The word "menu-driven" floats around, but is somehow not satisfactory.
Someone mumbled "TSR?", but the utility doesn't terminate - you can't actually run anything else in that "DOS" window until you actively terminate the utility, in which case it's entirely gone.

I thought there was another term that nicely indicated a style of command-driven utility that started, accepted multiple commands, or just sat there, until actively dismissed - versus one that you call with all the parameters it's going to need, and it goes entirely away as soon as it completes the one task.

They say the memory is the second thing to go.

Kevin McLauchlan
Senior Technical Writer
SafeNet, Inc.

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