bootstrap

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bootstrap

[′büt‚strap]
(computer science)
The procedures for making a computer or a program function through its own actions.
(engineering)
A technique or device designed to bring itself into a desired state by means of its own action.

bootstrap

(operating system, compiler)
To load and initialise the operating system on a computer. Normally abbreviated to "boot". From the curious expression "to pull oneself up by one's bootstraps", one of the legendary feats of Baron von Munchhausen. The bootstrap loader is the program that runs on the computer before any (normal) program can run. Derived terms include reboot, cold boot, warm boot, soft boot and hard boot.

The term also applies to the use of a compiler to compile itself. The usual process is to write an interpreter for a language, L, in some other existing language. The compiler is then written in L and the interpreter is used to run it. This produces an executable for compiling programs in L from the source of the compiler in L. This technique is often used to verify the correctness of a compiler. It was first used in the LISP community.

See also My Favourite Toy Language.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Kiwi has dragged a bunch of no-hopers up by their boot straps to play with pride, passion and no little skill, emerging as a genuine challenge to everyone.
Now we are exporting our expertise in pulling ourselves up by the boot straps.
The site features The Ranch's new cutting edge "Custom Boot Builder Technology," which gives customers the opportunity to grab their inner cowboy by the boot straps and design their own unique pair of handmade Lucchese Classics.
Perhaps a Sir John Harvey Jonestype character could be found to pull Royal Mail up by the boot straps.
These people who moaned about Manchester getting everything are now moaning aswe are pulling ourselves up by our boot straps and turning our fortunes around.
We no longer need to paint ourselves as a region hauling itself up by the boot straps.
Prescott has pulled himself up by his boot straps and now enjoys being the big man.
Moffett has dragged Welsh rugby up by its boot straps over the past three, dynamic years.
In turn, Croft and Kasprowicz pushed Glamorgan towards respectability, with a further 65 for the ninth wicket before Bichel plucked a caught and bowled from his boot straps to see off Croft for 59, and Kasprowicz was last man out on 33.