= G =
green bytes n.
(also `green words') 1. Meta-information
embedded in a file, such as the length of the file or its name; as
opposed to keeping such information in a separate description file
or record. The term comes from an IBM user's group meeting
(ca. 1962) at which these two approaches were being debated and the
diagram of the file on the blackboard had the `green bytes' drawn
in green. 2. By extension, the non-data bits in any
self-describing format. "A GIF file contains, among other things,
green bytes describing the packing method for the image." Compare
out-of-band, zigamorph, fence (sense 1).
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.