|n.||1.||(Computers) a series of instructions in a computer program which, when executed, cause a cyclic repetition of the same instructions, with no other action by the program, for as long as the program continues to be executed, or the loop is interrupted by some external action.|
|(programming)||infinite loop - (Or "endless loop") Where a piece of program is
executed repeatedly with no hope of stopping. This is nearly
always because of a bug, e.g. if the condition for exiting
the loop is wrong, though it may be intentional if the program
is controlling an embedded system which is supposed to run
continuously until it is turned off. The programmer may also
intend the program to run until interrupted by the user. An
endless loop may also be used as a last-resort error handler
when no other action is appropriate. This is used in some
operating system kernels following a panic.|
A program executing an infinite loop is said to spin or buzz forever and goes catatonic. The program is "wound around the axle".
A standard joke has been made about each generation's exemplar of the ultra-fast machine: "The Cray-3 is so fast it can execute an infinite loop in under 2 seconds!"
See also black hole, recursion, infinite loop.