bells and whistles


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms, Wikipedia.

bells and whistles

[′belz ən ′wis·əlz]
(computer science)
Special hardware features that are likely to attract attention but may not be important or even practical.

bells and whistles

(jargon)
(By analogy with the "toyboxes" on theatre organs). Features added to a program or system to make it more flavourful from a hacker's point of view, without necessarily adding to its utility for its primary function. Distinguished from chrome, which is intended to attract users. "Now that we've got the basic program working, let's go back and add some bells and whistles." No one seems to know what distinguishes a bell from a whistle.

bells and whistles

A slang English term for exceptional features in some product. In the computer field, it typically refers to functions in software that may be greatly appreciated by some users, even though they may not be necessary most of the time. Bells and whistles are extra "goodies" that are often added to help make the product more appealing. Contrast with plain vanilla.
References in periodicals archive ?
1 is being anticipated by many customers who have been waiting for a product that is easier for the end user to program and has the bells and whistles they have been asking for.
Sound effects will be mechanically reproduced using live items like bells and whistles - the same techniques used in movie houses of that era.
Enterprises and service providers often have to compromise when selecting traffic management products, forced to choose between consumer-level products that lack features and performance, and overly expensive solutions with unneeded bells and whistles.
What it means is the emphasis of MLB Advanced Media, established last June by the league owners to centralize all of the sport's Internet operations, is a uniform look of quality and quantity rather than each team trying to outdo the others with bells and whistles.
Bodenheimer stated that avid ESPN consumers are more likely to own wireless devices with "all the bells and whistles.
Lloyd Webber's mediocre musical adaptation of Billy Wilder's great 1950 film needs all the bells and whistles - the hydraulic mansion descending from the rafters, the magnificent Paramount Gate dominating the stage and the perfectly wrought interior of Schwabb's Pharmacy - that were so awe-inspiring in the original Glenn Close-starring Broadway production of a few years back.
COM, an Internet online dating portal, that will be equipped with all of the bells and whistles available.
Ghostbusters'' is being released on DVD today with all the bells and whistles - more like bells, whistles, tympani and chimes - that make this format a delight for film lovers.
It's no secret that the high cost of other tools in the market are used, in part, to pay for high-rent office space, expensive face-to-face meetings with sales reps, and bells and whistles that a developer does not require.