We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Globbing?

By Pharaba Hacker-Witt
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Globbing, in computer terms, is a fairly important feature in the day-to-day lives of most computer users. Globbing refers to a “wildcard” character that allows for expanding searches for non-specific file names. This was originally a process used when searching a personal computer or server for particular files. Internet search providers have taken it to new levels to allow users to run searches quickly and thoroughly.

In the beginning, globbing was used with a character such as an asterisk or a question mark to expand on what the person was searching for. For example, if the searcher knew the filename included “wisegeek” with something before or after the term, the person could type in “*wisegeek*” and globbing would kick in. The program would then use globbing to find all filenames within that parameter.

One of the down sides to globbing in personal use is the demand on memory as well as processing power. It requires a lot of available RAM to properly run a search. As computers have gotten stronger with larger processing units, this memory requirement has become less of a problem.

Globbing has also been a culprit to blame for shutting down servers. If many people are running remote searches that require a lot of memory, a server can become overloaded and crash. While the major search engines have worked hard to have back-ups in place, a crash can still happen. Still, overloaded servers are now more likely to experience a slowdown in the search process rather than a complete system crash.

Hackers once utilized globbing to weaken systems and obtain information. Writing programs that would continually force a system to perform complex globbing searches would allow a hacker to wear down a system, forcing the user to stay logged on for an extended period of time. If the user was logged into something password protected, this gave the hacker time to seek out the access to the account. Computers have now been programmed with protections against this type of hacking. Most computers will limit the amount of time a server can spend globbing or refuse to glob at all if the wildcard is far too general.

Certain computer programs support globbing, and others do not. The ones that do not are trying to boost the program security. If a person is writing programming, it is important to look into the program's need for globbing before beginning the process, and then writing the program accordingly.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.