abstraction layer

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abstraction layer

Software that translates a high-level request into the low-level commands required to perform the operation. The most common abstraction layer is the programming interface (API) between an application and the operating system. High-level calls are made to the operating system, which executes the necessary instructions to perform the task.

The domain names and URLs on the Internet are another common abstraction layer, enabling an alphabetic name such as computerlanguage.com to be converted into the numeric IP address of the Web server (see Internet domain name).

Multiple Layers of Abstraction
Today's applications are often programmed in multiple layers of abstraction. For example, a program can be written by selecting menu options and dragging icons around the screen. These movements may be translated into a high-level language that is translated into a low-level language, which is translated into machine language. The farther away from the machine language of the computer that an operation is programmed, the more instructions are executed to perform the task.

Combine this with the interaction of the operating system, which itself may be executing 10 times as many instructions as necessary, and you understand why even on a fast computer, a user may be able to press the keyboard keys faster than the program can accept the input. Considering modern personal computers execute upwards of two billion instructions per second, compared to the first PCs that executed one million, the extra machine cycles are absorbed layer to layer, each one telling the next one what to do. See level of abstraction.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Compositions are built from a wide range of sounds that are represented as shapes, which you arrange on an abstract interface that looks as if it has come out of a design studio from the 1990s.
The elements component includes the actor component that is specifically related to the engagement and story line interfaces and contains one abstract interface (drama) and two concrete (interaction and gestures) interfaces.
The interplay between concrete and abstract interfaces allowed easy identification and description of all the complex game elements and helped in game documentation, identification of appropriate technologies needed to be built into the game editor and player, and finally the production of a detailed story line with integrated puzzles.
public abstract interface Command { abstract public void execute(); } Then whenever a user interface event such as a button or menu click occurs, the program simply calls the execute method for that object.
The abstract interface model is built by defining perceptible objects (e.g., a picture, a city map, and so forth) in terms of interface classes.
Assuming a familiarity with C++, this guide focuses on techniques for solving the specific problems that game programmers often encounter, with chapters on inheritance, exceptions, performance, memory allocation, the standard template library, abstract interfaces, and object management.