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!
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
Microsoft Windows is a family of operating systems for personal computers. In this article we look at the history of Microsoft operating... Read More »Slideshow: Interesting Facts About Google Search
From Goats to Penguins, a server outage and trillions of searches, our slideshow presents interesting facts about Google and the Google.com... Read More »Slideshow: 5 Apps to Make Your Commute a Breeze
We've scoured the App and Play Stores to bring you five of the most useful apps to have with you on the road, plus a bonus in-car feature. Read More »
Java is a high-level programming language. This guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of syntax, variables, data types and... Read More »Java Basics, Part 2
This second Study Guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of operators, modifiers and control Structures. Read More »The 7 Layers of the OSI Model
The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »