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2 definitions found
 for register dancing
From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  register dancing
   n.
  
      Many older processor architectures suffer from a serious shortage of
      general-purpose registers. This is especially a problem for
      compiler-writers, because their generated code needs places to store
      temporaries for things like intermediate values in expression evaluation.
      Some designs with this problem, like the Intel 80x86, do have a handful of
      special-purpose registers that can be pressed into service, providing
      suitable care is taken to avoid unpleasant side effects on the state of the
      processor: while the special-purpose register is being used to hold an
      intermediate value, a delicate minuet is required in which the previous
      value of the register is saved and then restored just before the official
      function (and value) of the special-purpose register is again needed.
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018) :

  register dancing
  
     Many older processor architectures suffer from a serious
     shortage of general-purpose registers.  This is especially a
     problem for compiler-writers, because their generated code
     needs places to store temporaries for things like intermediate
     values in expression evaluation.  Some designs with this
     problem, like the Intel 80x86, do have a handful of
     special-purpose registers that can be pressed into service,
     providing suitable care is taken to avoid unpleasant side
     effects on the state of the processor: while the
     special-purpose register is being used to hold an intermediate
     value, a delicate minuet is required in which the previous
     value of the register is saved and then restored just before
     the official function (and value) of the special-purpose
     register is again needed.
  
     [{Jargon File]
  

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