A generic large constant. This is the numerical equivalence to foo, bar, fie and gazonk. Where, in a program, a large constant, is to be inserted, and an example value is supplied, 4711 may be used. Also, when a number has to be shoosen, but the actual value of it does not matter (As is the case with port numbers for new services), 4711 may be used.

4711 is the name of a famous Eau de Cologne from Cologne in Germany. It was designed by distiller Peter Heinrich Molanus in 1820. The current bottle in Bremer blue and gold is a classic that was designed in 1839. The recipe is still a secret blend that is matured in oak casks.

The number comes from the house number given to the house of Wilhel Muelhens in Glockengasse during the French occupation in 1796.

It became a registered trademark in 1875.

Source: http://www.4711.com

This number is also the bitmask in Unix systems that is often used as the file mode on some executables. The mode translates to "setuid, with the owner having full permission, and all others having only execute permission."

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