feature


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Idioms, Wikipedia.
Related to feature: feature article, Feature story

feature

TV, Radio a programme given special prominence on radio or television as indicated by attendant publicity

feature

[′fē·chər]
(computer science)
In automatic pattern recognition, a property of an image that is useful for its interpretation.

feature

(jargon)
1. A good property or behaviour (as of a program). Whether it was intended or not is immaterial.

2. An intended property or behaviour (as of a program). Whether it is good or not is immaterial (but if bad, it is also a misfeature).

3. A surprising property or behaviour; in particular, one that is purposely inconsistent because it works better that way - such an inconsistency is therefore a feature and not a bug. This kind of feature is sometimes called a miswart.

4. A property or behaviour that is gratuitous or unnecessary, though perhaps also impressive or cute. For example, one feature of Common LISP's "format" function is the ability to print numbers in two different Roman-numeral formats (see bells, whistles, and gongs).

5. A property or behaviour that was put in to help someone else but that happens to be in your way.

6. A bug that has been documented. To call something a feature sometimes means the author of the program did not consider the particular case, and that the program responded in a way that was unexpected but not strictly incorrect. A standard joke is that a bug can be turned into a feature simply by documenting it (then theoretically no one can complain about it because it's in the manual), or even by simply declaring it to be good. "That's not a bug, that's a feature!" is a common catch-phrase. Apparently there is a Volkswagen Beetle in San Francisco whose license plate reads "FEATURE".

See also feetch feetch, creeping featurism, wart, green lightning.

The relationship among bugs, features, misfeatures, warts and miswarts might be clarified by the following hypothetical exchange between two hackers on an airliner:

A: "This seat doesn't recline."

B: "That's not a bug, that's a feature. There is an emergency exit door built around the window behind you, and the route has to be kept clear."

A: "Oh. Then it's a misfeature; they should have increased the spacing between rows here."

B: "Yes. But if they'd increased spacing in only one section it would have been a wart - they would've had to make nonstandard-length ceiling panels to fit over the displaced seats."

A: "A miswart, actually. If they increased spacing throughout they'd lose several rows and a chunk out of the profit margin. So unequal spacing would actually be the Right Thing."

B: "Indeed."

"Undocumented feature" is a common euphemism for a bug.

7. An attribute or function of a class in Eiffel.
References in classic literature ?
A cadaverousness of complexion; an eye large, liquid, and luminous beyond comparison; lips somewhat thin and very pallid, but of a surpassingly beautiful curve; a nose of a delicate Hebrew model, but with a breadth of nostril unusual in similar formations; a finely-moulded chin, speaking, in its want of prominence, of a want of moral energy; hair of a more than web-like softness and tenuity; these features, with an inordinate expansion above the regions of the temple, made up altogether a countenance not easily to be forgotten.
Having scrutinised the house from top to bottom, he rubbed his hands, a broad smile overspread his features, and he said joyfully, "This is just what I wanted
The youth saw his features wrathfully red, and saw him make a dab with his sword.
He has evidently taken part of his ideas concerning it from the representations of others, who have somewhat exaggerated its features.
The young man smiled again, but the expression of his face was no longer mingled with a look of anguish; it was a kind benevolent gleam of gratitude and affection which crossed his ghastly features, like a ray of sunshine enlivening the gloom of a day in winter.
He would have heard of channels and sandbanks, of natural features of the land useful for sea-marks, of villages and tribes and modes of barter and precautions to take: with the instructive tales about native chiefs dyed more or less blue, whose character for greediness, ferocity, or amiability must have been expounded to him with that capacity for vivid language which seems joined naturally to the shadiness of moral character and recklessness of disposition.
My mother, I perceived, had bequeathed to me much of her features and countenance--her forehead, her eyes, her complexion.
A soft languor spread over her lovely features, but increased their Beauty--.
She had a thin awkward figure, a sallow skin without colour, dark lank hair, and strong features -- so much for her person; and not less unpropitious for heroism seemed her mind.
So far as the geography, the inhabitants, the animals, and the features of the countries the travellers pass over are described, it is entirely accurate.
The vicomte was a nice-looking young man with soft features and polished manners, who evidently considered himself a celebrity but out of politeness modestly placed himself at the disposal of the circle in which he found himself.
As a result of the enchantment Jellia took on the form and features of Mombi, while the old witch grew to resemble the girl so closely that it seemed impossible anyone could guess the deception.