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Free On-line Dictionary of Computing

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Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (FOLDOC)
Type of site
Internet encyclopedia project
Available inEnglish
OwnerDenis Howe
Created byDenis Howe, many contributors
Launched1985; 39 years ago (1985)
Current statusActive

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (FOLDOC) is an online, searchable, encyclopedic dictionary of computing subjects.[1]


FOLDOC was founded in 1985 by Denis Howe and was hosted by Imperial College London. In May 2015, the site was updated to state that it was "no longer supported by Imperial College Department of Computing". Howe has served as the editor-in-chief since the dictionary's inception, with visitors to the website able to make suggestions for additions or corrections to articles.[2]

Open sourcing[edit]

The dictionary incorporates the text of other free resources, such as the Jargon File, as well as covering many other computing-related topics. Due to its availability under the GNU Free Documentation License, a copyleft license, it has in turn been incorporated in whole or part into other free content projects, such as Wikipedia.


  • This site's brief 2001 review by a Ziff Davis publication begins "Despite this online dictionary’s pale user interface, it offers impressive functionality."[3]
  • Oxford University Press knows of them,[4] and notes that it "is maintained by volunteers."
  • A university tells its students that FOLDOC can be used to find information about "companies, projects, history, in fact any of the vocabulary you might expect to find in a computer dictionary."[5]


  1. ^ "About FOLDOC".
  2. ^ Hodgkin, Adam. "How Web-Based Reference Books Are Evolving Beyond the Dictionary". Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
  3. ^ "Free Online Dictionary of Computing". ExtremeTech.com. Ziff Davis. 17 May 2001. Archived from the original on 26 September 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Oxford Reference". Oxford University Press. 2013.
  5. ^ "OC E-Resources - CUFTS - Sfu".[dead link]

External links[edit]