A slot is a small, narrow opening used to receive or place something. It also describes a position, as in airplane design, where a slot is opened along the leading edge of an aircraft wing to improve airflow.
In electronics, a slot is a receptacle on a printed circuit board that allows components to pass values from one to another. This type of connector was a standard in computers before sockets became more common, but it remains useful today.
The word slot comes from the Latin verb sleutana, which means “to enter.” It is related to the German Schloss and the Italian sleutano, and it has many different meanings.
It can be used to describe a specific position, as in the slot occupied by the chief copy editor of a newspaper, or it can refer to a general term that means “hole” or “crack.” This article explores the various ways that the word slot is used and how it came into English.
Slots can be programmed to perform different tasks, such as storing information or passing information from component to component. Python supports a variety of slots, which can store True/False values, categorical values, or a list of values. They can also be untyped, allowing them to use states owned by other classes, interfaces, or signals.
Computers have many types of slots that allow them to expand their hardware. These can be either specialized expansion boards, or bays that allow disk drives to be installed. Expansion slots are particularly useful for upgrading older machines.
They also allow for the installation of new hardware, like processors or memory. Most desktop computers come with a set of expansion slots, so you can easily upgrade your system as needed.
A slot can also be a logical unit of computation, such as in a VLIW (vertical-length instruction word) computer. This type of machine has a specific number of slots, each of which carries its own set of instructions.
Using slots can be important for ensuring that the machine runs efficiently and quickly. It’s possible to configure a slot to execute specific instructions at a specified time. This feature is called “auto-slot.”
In an expandable content display system, a slot can be identified by entries in a content database that identify the slot and the resource identifier of the corresponding electronic publication. This information is then passed to the data processing system when a user requests content from the display system.
The system processes the information to determine whether the slot is valid for expanding in the direction requested by the user. If it is, the system selects and displays the item.
A slot can also be used to control air traffic at busy airports, allowing multiple flights to enter and leave without disrupting each other’s schedules. The term slot is also used in hockey, where it refers to the area between the blue line and the face-off circles.
The term slot is often confused with the terms hole, notch, or vent. This is because the slot plays many syntactic roles and helps extract information from data.