a data structure that provides access to inter-process communication. For the past 40 years, this basically means network communication.

A data structure that provides access to inter-process communication. Originally designed to operate on a single machine (before networking was common), then co-opted to make the Internet possible. Variations like IPX/SPX were developed for Local Area Networks and Wide Area Networks to get around intellectual property restrictions in the early-to-middle timeframe of Unix popularity.