1 Reply Latest reply on Sep 25, 2001 9:35 PM by 843793

    What exactly is the term "bootstrap"

    843793
      Can somebody provide a clear explanation to what "bootstrap" means?
        • 1. Re: What exactly is the term
          843793
          Sure. I'll avoid java and just blab about the problem in general.

          All computers are designed with some ability to be started at a particular memory address. If there are no instructions in that memory located, well, the computer won't get very far.

          Alternatively you could type in - somehow - a very large program. In fact, to do very much - say read from a disk - you might have to type in an awful lot. No fun.

          So a challenge is to write a very small amount of code so the computer can start, and have that code load a larger amount of code and jump into it. That's bootstrapping.

          A few other random notes:

          o Most, if not all, computers are designed so that the lowest level of bootstrap is stored somewhere in read-only memory - no typing required.

          o You can view the process of getting a complete operating system - or a runtime system like java - as a bootstrapping operation: Start with something simple and limited, and birng up something complex and powerful.