bang path meaning

  "bang path" in a sentence
1. <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

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.

2. <operating system> A shebang.
  • bang-path:    [Computer]1. <c ...
  • bang:    Verb: bang &n ...
  • bang !!:    [Slang](verb, tran ...


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  1. Usenet traffic was originally transmitted over the UUCP protocol using bang paths.
  2. At the time, it was a complement to bang paths " it used as message routing headers.
  3. At first, all Usenet and UUCP messages used " bang paths ", such as unc ! research ! ucbvax ! mark, as email addresses.
  4. Early e-mail systems also used the exclamation mark as a separator character between hostnames for routing information, usually referred to as " bang path " notation.
  5. To make things worse sometimes the " new " ( 1982 ) style of addresses was mixed with old UUCP " bang paths " in constructs like&

Related Words

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PC Version