attribute

In general, an attribute is a property or characteristic.

In general, an attribute is a property or characteristic. Color, for example, is an attribute of your hair. In using or programming computers, an attribute is a changeable property or characteristic of some component of a program that can be set to different values.

In the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), an attribute is a characteristic of a page element, such as a font. An HTML user can set font attributes, such as size and color, to different values. In some programming languages, such as PowerBuilder PowerScript, an attribute is a property of an object or may be considered a container for the property of the object. For example, color might be an attribute of a text object, containing the value of "red."

In a database management system (DBMS), an attribute may describe a component of the database, such as a table or a field, or may be used itself as another term for a field.

In the DOS operating system, file properties, such as "read-only" or "visible," are called file attributes.

This was first published in April 2005

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