Encyclopedia > Defenestration

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Defenestration is the act of throwing someone or something out of a window (the word comes from Latin language roots). Historically, it was used as an act of political dissent, particularly in Prague.

Some meanings from FOLDOC (Free Online Dictionary of Computing) are:

  • Proper karmic retribution for an incorrigible punster. "Oh, ghod, that was awful!" "Quick! Defenestrate him!"
  • The act of exiting a window system in order to get better response time from a full-screen program. This comes from the dictionary meaning of 'defenestrate', which is to throw something out a window.
  • The act of discarding something under the assumption that it will improve matters. "I don't have any disk space left." "Well, why don't you defenestrate that 100 megs worth of old core dumps?"
  • Under a GUI, the act of dragging something out of a window (onto the screen). "Next, defenestrate the MugWump icon."

More recently, the term defenestration has been used for the act of removing Microsoft Windows from a PC. "Microsoft" and "Windows" are registered trademarks of the Microsoft Corporation. Bill Gates is the richest person on Planet Earth, but he isn't the most popular, and some computer specialists would rather use an operating system such as Linux than one produced by Microsoft given the choice.

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