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Glossary

A

ASP
(Active Server Pages)

A specification for a dynamically created Web page with an .asp extension that contains either Visual Basic or Jscript code.

B

b2b
(business-to-business)

Business Websites where only other businesses can access or buy products on the site.

b2c
(business-to-consumer)

E-commerce Websites that sell goods directly to consumers.

Beta

The preliminary or testing stage. Commonly used when describing the pre-release phase of new software. The beta version comes after the alpha version.

C

CGI
(Common Gateway Interface)

A standard for running programs on a server from a Web page. Gateway programs, or scripts, are executable programs that can be run independently.

Cookies

Cookies are small data files written to a users hard drive when browsing certain Websites. These data files contain information the site can use to track such things as passwords, lists of pages you've visited, and the date when you last looked at a certain page.

CSS
(Cascading Style Sheet)

Cascading Style Sheets work like a template, allowing Web developers to define a style for an HTML element and then apply it to as many Web pages as they like. It is usually a single text file (with a .css extension) that contains lines of code, necessary to define such elements as font family, size, weight, colour, etc. CSS code can also be included in an HTML document. (see HTML)

D

DHTML
(Dynamic HTML)

A combination of HTML, style sheets, and scripts that make Web pages more interactive. (see HTML)

Domain Name

The address or URL of a particular Website. The domain name comes after http://www. This is also how you describe the name to the right of the @ sign in an e-mail address. Domain names come with different extensions based on whether the domain belongs to a commerical enterprise (.com), an educational establishment (.edu in the USA, .ac.uk in the UK), a government body (.gov), the military (.mil), a network (.net), or a nonprofit organization (.org). They can also have a geographical extension such as .co.uk. e.g. www.lankesterdesigns.co.uk based in the UK. (see URL)

E

Easter Egg

Easter eggs are hidden features placed by programmers in software applications, operating systems, and even some hardware. When the hidden command sequence is found, an Easter-egged product will perform an action, such as displaying a message, a small animation or playing a sound.

Extranet

Used by companies to provide non public information to a select group of people, such as business partners or customers. An extranet may look like an ordinary Website but you have to enter a password or use digital encryption to access it.

F

Frameset

An invisible Web page that divides a browser window into several sections, each with the ability to display a separate Web page.

FTP
(File Transfer Protocol)

The Internet protocol that regulates how files are transferred across the Internet.

G

GIF
(Graphics Interchange Format)

GIF is one of the two most popular image formats used on the Internet. It supports up to 8-bit colour depth images, i.e. 256 colours. (see JPG)

GIF89a

The same format as GIF, but supports animation and single colour transparency.

GIF87a

The earlier version of the GIF format which does not support transparency or animation.

H

HTML
(HyperText Markup Language)

HTML is a collection of commands, called Tags, integrated into plain text documents that can be interpreted by Web browsers.

I

Interlace

An Interlaced GIF is displayed incrementally in several passes, and detail is added each time. Depending on which graphics viewer or Web browser is being used, interlaced GIFs may produce a "venetian blind" effect or simply a blurry or blocky image that gradually sharpens. (see GIF & Noninterlaced)

ISP
(Internet Service Provider)

A company that provides access to the Internet. Before you can connect to the Internet you must first establish an account with an Internet Service Provider. For a monthly or yearly charge the service provider will give you a username, password and an access phone number.

J

JavaScript

A scripting language for Web pages which can be embedded into HTML documents. JavaScript was designed to resemble Java, which in turn is a lot like C and C++.The difference is that Java was built as a general purpose object language, while JavaScript is intended to provide a quicker and simpler language for enhancing Web pages. (see HTML)

JPG, or JPEG
(Joint Photographic Experts Group)

JPG is one of the two most popular image formats used on the Internet. It is used for photographs and other continuous tone images. It supports 24-bit (16.7 million) colour but does not support animation or transparency. (see GIF)

K

Keyword

The term or phrase that a user types in to begin an online search. Keywords are a series of words which help the search engines readily identify and index a Website. These are often contained in the meta tag of an HTML document. (see HTML & Meta tag)

KPBS
(Kilobits per second)

A modem's speed is measured in the number of bits it can transfer in a second. Modems rated in kilobits per second are now the standard.

L

Lossy & Lossless

Two compression techniques used for reducing the size of an image. Lossless techniques throw away redundant bits of information without affecting the quality of the image. Techniques, such as JPEG, make files smaller, but they throw out image quality in the process.(see GIF & JPG)

M

META Tags

Invisible elements in a Web page that contain information about a Website's content and keywords. Search engines use META Tags to gain information about a Website. (see Keyword & Tag)

N

Noninterlaced

A noninterlaced GIF downloads one line a time, starting from the top. (see GIF & Interlaced)

O

Online

Being connected to the Internet via an ISP. Used as an adjective, it describes a variety of activities that users do on the Internet, for example: online chat, online shopping, online games, online searching, online communities, etc.

P

PNG
(Portable Network Graphics)

PNG is a format used to transmit and store bitmapped images. It was created specifically for the Internet and other networks. It provides alpha transparency, high colour support, and slightly better compression than GIF. Older browsers do not support PNG. (see GIF & JPG)

Portal

Websites that serve as starting points to other destinations or activities on the Web. Portals commonly provide services such as e-mail, online chat forums, shopping, searching, content, newsfeeds, etc. (see Vertical Portal)

Q

QuickTime

Developed by Apple Computer, QuickTime is a method of storing sound, graphics, and movie files. It has .mov file extension. Although QuickTime was originally developed for the Macintosh, player software is now available for Windows and other platforms.

R

RGB
(Red Green Blue)

The three colors that create all other colors on a computer screen.

Raster Graphics

Raster-based graphics have become a standard technology and are popularly known by their GIF and JPEG formats. Raster graphics use pixel-by-pixel definitions as opposed to vector graphics which use computer algorithms to describe shapes, lines, animation, etc. (see GIF & JPG)

S

SHTML
(Server-side include Hypertext Markup Language)

A Web file with the suffix of .shtml indicates a file that will include some information added "on the fly" by the server before being sent.

SGML
(Standard Generalized Markup Language)

An international standard for the publication and delivery of electronic information.

T

Tag

An HTML command that has an effect upon the content of a Web page. Enclosed by angle brackets (<>) tags allow control over colours, fonts, links and the position of content in a Web page.

U

Upload

To copy a file from a local computer to a remote server or host system. The reverse process of download.

URL
(Uniform Resource Locator)

The address of a Website typed into a Web browser in order to access it.

V

Vertical Portal

A Website that caters to consumers within a particular industry. Another definition of a vertical portal is one that caters solely to other businesses. (see Portal)

W

W3C
(The World Wide Web Consortium)

The World Wide Web Consortium develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its full potential as a forum for information, commerce, communication, and collective understanding.

WYSIWYG
(What You See Is What You Get)

A WYSIWYG editor or program is one that allows an interface or content developer to create a graphical user interface or page of text so that the developer can see what the end result will look like while the interface or document is being created.

X

XML
(eXtensible Markup Language)

A programming language/specification developed by the W3C. XML is a pared-down version of SGML, designed especially for Web documents. It enables Web authors and designers to create their own customized tags to provide functionality not available with HTML. (see W3C, XML, SGML & HTML)

Y

Yahoo!

A directory of World Wide Websites organized in a hierarchy of topic categories.

Z

Zine
(electronic magazine)

The nickname for an electronic magazine. Also referred to as e-zine.

ZIP

An open standard for compression and decompression used widely for PC download archives. Commonly referred to as a "ZIP file," it can hold one or many files as well as a directory structure. After you download the file you need to use a decompression software program to "UNZIP" the file.

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