handshakingA term describing a simple synchronization scheme between two connected objects (programs, devices, or computer systems), which is usually designed to ensure that the two objects 'take turns' at communicating with each other.
A classic example of handshaking is the line (wire carrying an electric signal) called 'DTR' of the RS-232 serial communications standard. The receiver puts 12V on this line, and 'pulls it down' (to near 0V) to allow the sender to send bytes of data. The line is allowed to return to 12V in order to stop the sender (temporarily). For a full-duplex connection (both sides can send to each other) there are two DTR lines, one for each side. Sometimes other handshaking protocols are used instead of the DTR line.
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