main line

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main line

1. Railways
a. the trunk route between two points, usually fed by branch lines
b. (as modifier): a main-line station
2. US a main road
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Main Line


(Russian, magistral’; from Latin magistralis, “leading”).

(1) The main route, the primary line in communications (railroad main line, waterway main line).

(2) A wide and heavily traveled street in a large city.

(3) The main cable or wire in an electrical circuit or in tele-graph and telephone communications.

(4) The main pipe in a sewerage line or water system.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

main loop

The primary logic in a program, which is input-process-output. In an online, interactive program, everything happens when an input occurs, such as a mouse click, mouse movement, keyboard depression or arriving network packet. The main loop takes care of this by continually testing for these inputs and calling the appropriate routines to process them. Outputs are the data on screen and updated files.

In a batch processing program where data are processed without human interaction, the main loop reads the next record and processes it. Output is often continuously updated files with summaries displayed at the end. See loop and event loop.

A Batch Processing Print Job
This example reads order records and prints invoices. After printing date and bill-to/ship-to data, the program prints a variable number of line items. The line item routine is a subloop within the main loop.
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