interface


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interface

1. Chem a surface that forms the boundary between two bodies, liquids, or chemical phases
2. an electrical circuit linking one device, esp a computer, with another
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

interface

[′in·tər‚fās]
(computer science)
Some form of electronic device that enables one piece of gear to communicate with or control another.
A device linking two otherwise incompatible devices, such as an editing terminal of one manufacturer to typesetter of another.
(geophysics)
(physical chemistry)
The boundary between any two phases: among the three phases (gas, liquid, and solid), there are five types of interfaces: gas-liquid, gas-solid, liquid-liquid, liquid-solid, and solid-solid.
(science and technology)
A shared boundary; it may be a piece of hardware used between two pieces of equipment, a portion of computer storage accessed by two or more programs, or a surface that forms the boundary between two types of materials.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

interface

The common boundary, often a plane surface, between two bodies or materials.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

interface

(jargon)
A boundary across which two systems communicate. An interface might be a hardware connector used to link to other devices, or it might be a convention used to allow communication between two software systems. Often there is some intermediate component between the two systems which connects their interfaces together. For example, two EIA-232 interfaces connected via a serial cable.

See also graphical user interface, Application Program Interface.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)

interface

The connection and interaction between hardware, software and the user. Users "talk to" the software. The software "talks to" the hardware and other software. Hardware "talks to" other hardware. All this is interfacing. It has to be designed, developed, tested and redesigned; and with each incarnation, a new specification is born that may become yet one more de facto or regulated standard.

Hardware Interfaces
Hardware interfaces are the plugs, sockets, cables and electrical signals traveling through them. Examples are USB, FireWire, Ethernet, ATA/IDE, SCSI and PCI.

Software/Programming Interfaces
Software interfaces (programming interfaces) are the languages, codes and messages that programs use to communicate with each other and to the hardware. Examples are the Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems, SMTP email, IP network protocols and the software drivers that activate the peripheral devices.

User Interfaces
User interfaces are the keyboards, mice, commands and menus used for communication between you and the computer. Examples are the command lines in DOS and Unix, and the graphical interfaces in Windows, Mac and Linux.

Format & Function


Every interface implies a structure. Electrical signals are made up of voltage levels, frequencies and duration. The data passed from one device or program to another has a precise format (header, body, trailer, etc.).

Every interface implies a function. At the hardware level, electronic signals activate functions; data are read, written, transmitted, received, checked for error, etc. At the software level, instructions activate the hardware (access methods, data link protocols, etc.). At higher levels, the data transferred or transmitted may itself request functions to be performed (client/server, program to program, etc.).

Language & Programming


An interface is activated by programming language commands. The complexity of the functions and the design of the language determine how difficult it is to program.

User Interface, Protocol, API and ABI


The design of the interaction between the user and the computer is called a "user interface." The rules, formats and functions between components in a communications system or network are called "protocols." The language and message formats between routines within a program or between software components is called an "application programming interface" (API). The specification for an operating system working in a specific machine environment has been known as an "application binary interface" (ABI), but this term is not widely used.

All the above interactions are interfaces. Regardless of what they are called, they all create rules that must be precisely followed in a digital world.


A Whole Lot of Talking To
No matter what they're called, interfaces boil down to a format and language that defines the services one system is capable of delivering to another.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
[E.sub.Ge/4H-SiC] denotes the total energy of the interface system, N is the number of atoms at the interface in the model, and A is the interfacial area.
In this case, the roughness of interface 3 is varied (0%, 0.4%, 4%, and 10.0%), while others (1st, 2nd, and 4th) are kept abrupt.
The NR KPP consists of measurable and testable performance measures and metrics derived from associated DoD architectures, and is used to assess both the technical exchange of information, data, and services, and the end-to-end operational effectiveness of those exchanges." This ensures that the requirements exist for interoperability across network interfaces and testing or that verification is performed against the requirements.
Sliding Lever Interface. Figure 16 shows the prototype of the sliding lever interface.
State-of-the-art interfaces meet emerging market needs MIPI Alliance's new sensor specification addresses the needs of sensors in smartphones by advancing traditional I2C and SPI interfaces for use in the mobile context.
The main aim of the research is to formulate and develop an ICT Work Interface Strategy for Construction-based Project in construction industry.
That may be the reason why the CGM-crushed stones interface shown significant hardening characteristics.
The selection and optimum combination of materials is the most commonly used method for the interface design of fibrous composites.
In front tracking, the customary stationary volumetric mesh is supplemented by a moving interface mesh that is used to explicitly track the interface.
Standard features: Jacketed day tanks with electric agitators and level control, closed-loop metering-cylinder control, cylinder seal lubrication, process-monitoring system, mixhead hydraulic system, abrasive-use rates straight type mixhead; Allen-Bradley SLC 5/03 PLC with Panelview 600 operator interface, 100 pour-time settings, modem service support.
Bid uses AJAX technology, a web development technique, resulting in state-of-the-art interface design that streamlines the bid management process.

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