backward compatibility


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backward compatibility

[¦bak·wərd kəm‚pad·ə′bil·əd·ē]
(computer science)

backward compatibility

(jargon)
Able to share data or commands with older versions of itself, or sometimes other older systems, particularly systems it intends to supplant. Sometimes backward compatibility is limited to being able to read old data but does not extend to being able to write data in a format that can be read by old versions.

For example, WordPerfect 6.0 can read WordPerfect 5.1 files, so it is backward compatible. It can be said that Perl is backward compatible with awk, because Perl was (among other things) intended to replace awk, and can, with a converter, run awk programs.

See also: backward combatability.

Compare: forward compatible.
References in periodicals archive ?
Red Dead Redemption," "Gears of War" and "Call of Duty: Black Ops" are now confirmed to be getting backward compatibility this month.
These development efforts are made simpler and faster by PCI Express' backward compatibility with PCI applications and drivers.
On the other hand, with the exception of CD-ROM media and drives, the market life of WORM and rewritable optical media and drives has been relatively brief and vendors have introduced new products with little concern for interoperability and backward compatibility.
Downside: To obtain the outstanding speed, it had to forgo backward compatibility with its earlier models.
Backward compatibility has been difficult to achieve, but we think it can happen.
They note Xbox One backward compatibility is integrated seamlessly throughout the console.
By using the proven dye technology incorporated in its 8X DVD+R media as the platform for the new, more sensitive Advanced AZO technology, MKM engineers not only achieved 16X +R write speed, they ensured that the new media will maintain backward compatibility with existing DVD recorders and 1-8X DVD+R burners.
Now, to take advantage of the best in technology and business practices, and to de-emphasize things that are no longer needed, we are making our first break with backward compatibility," said Richard P.
The backward compatibility of 8GFC is compelling because it assures users that their 2GFC and 4GFC investments will be protected and preserved going forward.
The Serial Attached SCSI specification defines a device-level enterprise storage interface incorporating SCSI backward compatibility, serial point-to-point interconnections, dual porting, increased addressability and the ability to scale to small form factors.
0 specification deliver the speed that our customers seek, and, with it, full backward compatibility.
With proven Travan technology reliability, the Travan 40 tape drives offer up to 20 Gbytes native storage capacity (40 Gbytes compressed) while maintaining backward compatibility with the previous generation.