This is a pipe.

This is not an l , or an i, or a 1, or a capital I. It’s called a pipe. It’s a character on a keyboard that is simply a vertical bar. You find it on the backslash key on a QWERTY  keyboard.

What does it do?

OR
If you put two of them together, like this ||  then it means “or”.  So if you’re writing a logic statement like IF apples OR oranges are fruit THEN do blah, blah, blah, you would use the double pipes. If (apples || oranges == fruit) {blah, blah blah}

Delimit
What the heck is delimit? That’s worse than “pipe”! A “delimiter” is used in a text file to tell the computer where to start and stop.  So if I had a delimited file that had lemons|bananas|cantaloupe,  and I opened up in excel, I could tell excel to put that text in columns. Excel would know to look for the delimiter (in this case, the pipe) and it would put everything between the pipes in a separate column.

Separator
It is frequently used just to separate text. It’s common to see it in a footer with something like 2018 | Kristina Plauché |123 Happy Street.

Now you can say you learned something today. Good for you. Thanks for reading!

I’m starting a fun little series on Instagram and Facebook that highlight some of the words that us regular folks think of one way and programmers think of another way.

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