Computer Dictionary/protocol

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A set of formal rules describing how to transmit data, especially across a network. Low level protocols define the electrical and physical standards to be observed, bit- and byte-ordering and the transmission and [[Computer Dictionary/error detection and correction|error detection and correction]] of the bit stream. High level protocols deal with the data formatting, including the syntax of messages, the terminal to computer dialogue, character sets, sequencing of messages etc.

Many protocols are defined by RFCs or by OSI.

See also handshaking.

(Jargon File)

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