Foobar is a universal variable understood to represent whatever is being discussed.
It's usually used in examples that illustrate concepts and ideas in computer science.
For instance, a computer science professor may be discussing different file formats. In this case, he would call the generic-example file foo or foobar, then list the extensions associated with the file formats (e.g. foobar.txt, foobar.gif, foobar.exe, foobar.tar).
When foo or foobar is used, everyone understands that these are just examples, and they don't really exist.
Programmers and administrators also use foo and foobar in a similar context. Files or program s named with foo or foobar are understood not to be permanent and will be changed or deleted at anytime.
Foo, bar, and the compound foobar were commonly used at MIT, Stanford and the Helsinki University of Technology, Finland. Other generic variables are used other places, but only these three are considered universal.
One last note: hackers never use foobar to mean fubar!
Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the current devices that we use today. Read More »Small Business Marketing's Greatest Hits
The following compilation of small business marketing tips highlights some of the expert advice published over at Small Business Computing. Read More »13 Best Free Android Apps
From secure messaging to document editing, our top free must-have apps have been rated, reviewed and named the best free Android apps of 2015. Read More »
With cost and security in mind, we look at five cloud storage options that will suit the needs of most home and SMB owners. Read More »Windows 10 Tips for Desktop PC
Five basic tips to help you customize Windows 10 on your desktop PC. Read More »29 Free Android Apps for Cash-Strapped Students
From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
- Watch Datamation's editor James Maguire moderate roundtable discussions with tech experts from companies such as Accenture, Dell, Blue Jeans Network, Microsoft and more »