Friday, April 15, 2005

Software Stack

Have you heard people referring to their code as a software stack or the terms I/O stack, TCP/IP stack, Firewire, USB, etc stack. Have you wondered why the term stack is used? I was asked this and I thought I should illustrate it.

The figure (could be better) shows the application at the center of data processing. The color green shows data going out and red shows data coming in. Whenever, software is organized as layers, the data flow is always LIFO (Last In First Out) or FILO (First In Last Out). Since a stack functions in a similar manner, the code is referred to as a stack.
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