bang path


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bang path

(communications)
An old-style UUCP electronic-mail address naming a sequence of hosts through which a message must pass to get from some assumed-reachable location to the addressee (a "source route"). So called because each hop is signified by a bang sign (exclamation mark). Thus, for example, the path

...!bigsite!foovax!barbox!me

directs people to route their mail to computer bigsite (presumably a well-known location accessible to everybody) and from there through the computer foovax to the account of user me on barbox.

Before autorouting mailers became commonplace, people often published compound bang addresses using the { } convention (see glob) to give paths from *several* big computers, in the hope that one's correspondent might be able to get mail to one of them reliably. e.g.

...!seismo, ut-sally, ihnp4!rice!beta!gamma!me

Bang paths of 8 to 10 hops were not uncommon in 1981. Late-night dial-up UUCP links would cause week-long transmission times. Bang paths were often selected by both transmission time and reliability, as messages would often get lost.

bang path

(operating system)
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)

bang path

An address for sending email via UUCP that specifies the entire route to the destination computer. It separates each hostname with an exclamation point, which is known as a bang. For example, the bang path midearth!shire!bilbo!jsmith would go to the JSMITH user account on the BILBO host, which is reached by first going to MIDEARTH and then SHIRE. See UUCP.
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