What does dwim mean?

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dwim

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Freebase

  1. DWIM

    DWIM computer systems attempt to anticipate what users intend to do, correcting trivial errors automatically rather than blindly executing users' explicit but incorrect input. The term was coined by Warren Teitelman in his DWIM package for BBN Lisp, part of his PILOT system, some time before 1966. Teitelman's DWIM package "correct[ed] errors automatically or with minor user intervention", similarly to a spell checker for natural language. Teitelman and his Xerox PARC colleague Larry Masinter later described the philosophy of DWIM in the Interlisp programming environment: Although most users think of DWIM as a single identifiable package, it embodies a pervasive philosophy of user interface design: at the user interface level, system facilities should make reasonable interpretations when given unrecognized input. ...the style of interface used throughout Interlisp allows the user to omit various parameters and have these default to reasonable values... DWIM is an embodiment of the idea that the user is interacting with an agent who attempts to interpret the user's request from contextual information. Since we want the user to feel that he is conversing with the system, he should not be stopped and forced to correct himself or give additional information in situations where the correction or information is obvious.

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. DWIM

    [acronym, ‘Do What I Mean’] 1. adj. Able to guess, sometimes even correctly, the result intended when bogus input was provided. 2. n. obs. The BBNLISP/INTERLISP function that attempted to accomplish this feat by correcting many of the more common errors. See hairy. 3. Occasionally, an interjection hurled at a balky computer, esp. when one senses one might be tripping over legalisms (see legalese). 4. Of a person, someone whose directions are incomprehensible and vague, but who nevertheless has the expectation that you will solve the problem using the specific method he/she has in mind.Warren Teitelman originally wrote DWIM to fix his typos and spelling errors, so it was somewhat idiosyncratic to his style, and would often make hash of anyone else's typos if they were stylistically different. Some victims of DWIM thus claimed that the acronym stood for ‘Damn Warren’s Infernal Machine!'.In one notorious incident, Warren added a DWIM feature to the command interpreter used at Xerox PARC. One day another hacker there typed delete *$ to free up some disk space. (The editor there named backup files by appending $ to the original file name, so he was trying to delete any backup files left over from old editing sessions.) It happened that there weren't any editor backup files, so DWIM helpfully reported *$ not found, assuming you meant 'delete *'. It then started to delete all the files on the disk! The hacker managed to stop it with a Vulcan nerve pinch after only a half dozen or so files were lost.The disgruntled victim later said he had been sorely tempted to go to Warren's office, tie Warren down in his chair in front of his workstation, and then type delete *$ twice.DWIM is often suggested in jest as a desired feature for a complex program; it is also occasionally described as the single instruction the ideal computer would have. Back when proofs of program correctness were in vogue, there were also jokes about DWIMC (Do What I Mean, Correctly). A related term, more often seen as a verb, is DTRT (Do The Right Thing); see Right Thing.

Suggested Resources

  1. DWIM

    What does DWIM stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the DWIM acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

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Numerology

  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of dwim in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of dwim in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Images & Illustrations of dwim

  1. dwimdwimdwimdwimdwim

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    a decorative musical accompaniment (often improvised) added above a basic melody
    • A. descant
    • B. abrade
    • C. caddie
    • D. aberrate

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