fora = F = fork

foreground vt.

[Unix; common] To bring a task to the top of one's stack for immediate processing, and hackers often use it in this sense for non-computer tasks. "If your presentation is due next week, I guess I'd better foreground writing up the design document."

Technically, on a time-sharing system, a task executing in foreground is one able to accept input from and return output to the user; oppose background. Nowadays this term is primarily associated with Unix, but it appears first to have been used in this sense on OS/360. Normally, there is only one foreground task per terminal (or terminal window); having multiple processes simultaneously reading the keyboard is a good way to lose.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Fore"ground` (?), n.

On a painting, and sometimes in a bas-relief, mosaic picture, or the like, that part of the scene represented, which is nearest to the spectator, and therefore occupies the lowest part of the work of art itself. Cf. Distance, n., 6.


© Webster 1913.

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