Meaning – The word foil, refers to a thin sheet of transparent plastic material used for the overhead projection of illustrations (visual aids). This is a widely used device in IBM and many IBMers are physically incapable of delivering an oral presentation without a stack of foils.

In the context of computing, the term FOIL refers to two programming languages. The first FOIL was a CAI language developed at the University of Michigan in 1967. The acronym stood for File-Oriented Interpretive Language and it was very similar to other CAI languages like COURSEWRITER and PILOT. However, it tried to make the language somewhat block-structured using whitespace which ended up making the language vaguely similar to BASIC or ABC.

Example of usage“The second FOIL was a music generation language for the Touché computer instrument in 1979. The Touché was a keyboard that had digital tone generation and allowed you to program software for performances.”