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 ?
Optical media vendors have created an organization called Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA), which is promoting backward compatibility.
In summary, 10GFC backward compatibility to 2GFC and 4GFC cost too much to make it backward compatible.
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0 -- a planned upgrade to the specification that will increase capacity and add new features based on DisplayPort's unique micro-packet architecture while maintaining full backward compatibility with DisplayPort 1.
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Fox's commitment to emerging technologies is dedicated to enhancing the consumer experience of its products and providing for backward compatibility with their existing home entertainment libraries while also aggressively protecting its intellectual property from piracy.
It also offers extensible and multi-protocol to support 1Gbps, 2Gbps, and 10Gbps Fibre Channel, IP, and InfiniBand protocols and forward and backward compatibility with the entire SilkWorm product family.
The RAGE 128 PRO implements the complete AGP 4X specification, while maintaining full backward compatibility to the AGP 2X interface and the millions of RAGE 128 parts already shipped.
9 million products worldwide--offers protection with backward compatibility and scalability to SLR tape storage products.
The system is designed for compatibility with future communications waveforms and links, and also for backward compatibility with existing systems.