Glossary of Web Terms
Quick find: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Acrobat: Adobe software that converts postscript files into universally readable
file format (PDF) for distribution across all computer platforms and the internet.
AIFF: Audio Interchange File Format: A common sound file format used on the
Anchors: A link to a specific location on a Web page. An example exists at the
top of this page. Also called Bookmarks in some Web
page editors (Microsoft FrontPage), not to be confused with bookmarks in browsers.
Animated Gifs: A method of creating an animation wherein a single GIF file
contains all of the images used in an animation.
See some samples here.
Antialiasing: The ability of some graphics programs to make jagged lines appear
to be smoother than they are.
AppleScript: Apple's scripting and programming language for the MacOS, used
extensively for creating CGI's on Mac based Web servers.
ASCII: American Standard Code for Information Interchange. The standard
character set for the transmission of data (files saved as plain text are usually saved in
the ASCII character set).
AVI: File extension for Microsoft's Video for Windows (i.e. MY_VIDEO.AVI)
Background Image: A tiled image used as a background pattern on a web page.
Bandwidth: The amount of data that can travel through a network circuit, usually
measure in kilobytes or megabytes per second.
Baud Rate: A measure of communications speed that represents the number of
possible changes of state per second. It is often used to mean "bits per
second." Typically used to refer to the speed of a modem. (e.g. 300, 2,400, 9,600,
BBEdit: An ASCII text editor from Bare Bones Software. Useful for adding HTML
coding to pages created in PageMill.
BBS (bulletin board system): A system whereby users can log in and leave or read
messages (not attached to a WAN).
Bit: the smallest unit of computerized information. In computer binary language
this is the simple on-and-off code.
Bookmark: A URL address stored in your browser. Also,
some Web page editors also use the term Bookmark to mean linked locations within a web
Browsers: Software that interprets HTML tags to display HTML documents over the
web as formatted text and graphics. (Netscape Navigator, Mosaic, Internet Explorer)
Byte: A unit of measurement ( 8 bits ) used to rate storage capacity of disks;
1000 bytes is a kilobyte; a million bytes is a megabyte; 1 billion bytes is a gigabyte.
Cache: The area where temporary copies of information are stored for fast
retrieval. Data can be stored either in memory or on disk. For the web, it makes returning
to a web page rapid when compared to the first time it is loaded.
Claris Home Page: OBSOLETE-Claris Corporation's
'drag and drop' web page authoring software.
CGI (Common Gateway Interface): A standard for sending data from a Web server to
another application. Also refers to the applications that work in conjunction with a Web
server. Commonly used in page hit counters, etc. Go here for some free CGI scripts.
Client: A computer or workstation that requests files or services from another
CMYK: The abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. The process colors
used in color printing.
Commercial online services: Companies charging for access to their content and
services. (examples: America Online, CompuServe, Prodigy)
Compression: A mathematical algorithm to compress files in size.
JPEG compression is often used on scanned photographs. Compression (making files smaller)
is achieved by software or hardware (compression boards) or both.
Content Providers: Any organization or business providing information and/or
products over a computer network. Can be anyone from a small business to the the federal
government. (e.g. Time Magazine, Adobe.com, etc.)
CPU (central processing unit): The "brain" of the computer that
Cropping: Shaping or editing the photograph. This is an artistic judgment which
trims the image to fill available space.
CUSeeMe: OBSOLETE- A format that
allows low-resolution video (and sound) to be sent along with a chat message. Think of it
as IRC (Internet Relay Chat) with video. The video quality is poor (and will get better
slowly) and updates about 1 frame every second or so. This depends completely on the
bandwidth of the connection to the Internet that both the sender and receiver of the video
have (the higher the bandwidth, the better the quality).
Cyberspace: The sensation of place without location, or space without
physicality, experienced while using global computer networks. The term was popularized by
William Gibson in his novel Neurmancer.
Digital: Method of data storage and transmission in which each code is given a
combination of bits. Each bit indicates the presence of absence of a condition (on-off
yes-no) digitize: to convert via scanner photographic or other graphic images to a series
of binary codes which can be processed by a computer.
Disk: (usually refers to magnetic storage) A coated platter for storing programs
and data files. The main types are floppy or hard disks.
DPI: Dots per inch or in digital imaging pixels per inch. A measure of
Dynamic HTML: An advanced HTML specification that permits creation of
interactive and dynamic web pages with multimedia and animation effects. Created using
Electronic digital camera: A camera that uses no film or processing. The images
as created are digitized, stored on a disk or sent to a computer.
E-mail: Electronic mail. The electronic exchange of messages addressed to
individuals between computers. Use the "mailto:" command to place email links on
a web page.
Email address: A unique identifier that allows email to be sent from one
computer to another. Example: firstname.lastname@example.org
Emoticon: Emotion icons, little sideways faces formed with punctuation. They are
supposed to provide a clue as to your current emotion. Examples:
Emulation: Terminal emulation is a program that runs in a workstation that makes
it look to both the user and the host like a specific type of data terminal.
EPS: Encapsulated postscript file format. Useful for graphics in printing, but
doesn't work well for an electronic media format.
Ethernet: An industry standard hardware and software protocol for transmission
of data packets over a network wire, usually at 10 and 100 megabits per second.
File format: The way data is stored in a file. EPS, TIFF, GIF, JPEG and PICT are
all picture file formats. For the web, GIF and JPEG pictures are used almost exclusively.
File server or server: A type of computer performing as a server that holds
files in private and shared subdirectories for distribution to LAN (Large Area Network) or
WAN (Wide Area Network) users.
Firewall: The term for any security measures taken, whether software or
hardware, that protect and or limit a user's access to the Internet. A type of router that
watches the messages being passed through it and controls which messages are allowed
Flat bed scanner: An image scanner used primarily to scan reflective art.
Floppy disk: a flexible magnetic disk used to record and store data (also called
a diskette). Usually stores just over a Megabyte of data.
Form: An interactive page on the Web that allows a user to submit information to
Frames: A feature built into browsers that splits a window into independent but
Front Door: First page of a website.
FrontPage: Microsoft's WYSIWYG web page authoring program.
FTP (File transfer protocol): The Internet protocol most often used for
transferring files across the Internet.
Gateway: A computer that connects subnets of different types. These subnets run
different protocols and operating systems. Gateways can also provide access to mini and
mainframe computers as well as to WANs (Wide Area Networks).
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format): A graphic compression file format popularized
by CompuServe that allows for images of up to 8-bits or 256 colors. One of the more common
graphic formats on the Web.
GifBuilder: A shareware application that creates animated gif files for delivery
over the web. See Animated GIF.
GPIB (General Purpose Interface Bus): Allows different types of computer
peripherals to interface to a computer by standardizing the signal.
GraphicConverter: A shareware application that opens and converts a wide range
of image file formats.
GUI (Graphical User Interface): A term used to describe operating systems and
programs that utilize images, mouse control, and WYSIWYG technology to make computers and
programs easier to use.
Hardware: The equipment that makes up a computer system as opposed to the
programming or instructions sets for the system (software).
Helper Applications: Software programs that work independently but in connection
with each other. These helper application will run independent of each other. (e.g.
Netscape and Sparkle)
High-resolution image: A digitized image which contains the greatest amount of
pixels per inch.
Home: The URL that is set in browser preferences as the website to visit when
the browser is booted (default URL).
Hot Spot: An area in an imagemap that is designated to serve as a link to
another web page.
HTML: Hypertext Mark-up Language - A programming language that uses special
codes called markup tags to indicate formatting and special elements within a Web page. Go here and select View Page Source to see how a simple page is
HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol - A procedure for transferring HTML
web pages over the internet.
ImageMap: An web page image with corresponding "hotspots" that link to
other HTML documents and resources on the Web. They are often used in navigation bars, or
wherever a graphic interface is desirable instead of plain text.
Interlacing: The ability of a GIF file to be loaded for viewing so that it
appears to fade-in gradually.
Internet: The term used to describe the vast worldwide network of networks.
Internet Explorer: Microsoft
corporation's Web browser.
IRC (Internet Relay Chat): A way for people to communicate in realtime with text
over the internet (each sees the text in a window on their computer).
ISDN: Integrated Services Digital Network: A telecommunication protocol that
uses digital technology for data transmission for both computer and voice communication.
ISP: Internet service provider (i.e. Frognet, DialNet, etc.)
Java: A programming language developed by Sun Microsystem's to add scripting
routines to Web pages. Permits features on a web page beyond what HTML can provide.
JPEG: The abbreviation for an image compression algorithm (Joint Photographic
Experts Group). Supports 24 bit color (16.7 million colors) as compared to GIF which only
supports 8 bit color (256 colors).
LAN (Local Area Network): A method for connecting PCs so that they can share
information and peripherals in a limited geographical area.
Layout: A drawing showing the typographic parts (ads, photos, text) in their
Link: An area on a Web page designated as being able to direct a viewer to
another location on the internet.
Low resolution image: Usually refers to an image that contains only the
information necessary to accurately display the image on the computer screen. Generally
not over 640 pixels by 480 pixels in size.
Megabyte: (MB) a unit of measure of store data corresponding to 1024 kilobytes
or 1,048,576 bytes.
Modem: Abbreviation for modulation-demodulation, but more commonly refers to a
hardware device that transport data packets by converting digital signal into analog
signals for transmission via telephone wires. Still the most common way for users to
connect to the internet. Speed of the connection is measured in Baud
(i.e. 28,800 baud)
Network: A group or system of electronic components and connecting circuitry
designated to function in a consistant manner. A group of computers and printers linked
NetObjects Fusion: Web page authoring software.
Node: A device or computer on a network.
Online: A computer in the state of being connected to other computers for data
retrieval and sharing.
Optical scanner: A device that uses light to scan and convert text, graphics, or
other images into digitized data that can be read by a computer.
PageMill: Adobe Corporation's 'drag and drop' web page authoring software.
Path: The named location of a file on a disk. Path specifications include all
nested folder names that house the file. On DOS machines, a path may take the form
C:\\data\myfile.txt where "C" is the hard drive, "data" is the name of
the folder holding the file called "myfile.txt".
Personal Web Server: Microsoft's free software utility for publishing
web pages from your desktop computer. You must have a direct connection to the internet
for this to work. Available for both Mac and Windows 95 computers.
PhotoShop: Adobe's digital imaging software. Used to manipulate or enhance
digital photographs and to create original digital artwork.
PICT: A digital file format common on the Macintosh. Rarely found on Windows
Pixel: Picture Element. The smallest portion of a picture for which information
PDF Files (Portable Document Format): Adobe Acrobat native file
format making fully formatted documents available seamlessly across all computer platforms
with all type and layout intact.
Plug-ins: An extension to an application that adds functionality. Plug-ins
cannot function as stand alone applications.
Postscript: Page description language developed by Adobe that allows rasterizing output devices such as
laser printers and typesetters to output images that may include both text and graphics.
Quicktime: Apple's standard for digital video. Common on both Macintosh and PC
Raster image processor (RIP): Usually software in a device that takes pixels and
turns them into dots for the printed image. The RIP prepares data for output on a raster
image device such as a laser printer.
RealPlayer: A browser plug-in that
delivers audio and/or video over the internet.
Resolution: The quality of the information measured in pixels per inch or pixels
per centimeter for digital images.
Router: A device that forwards network traffic between networks.
Search Engine: An internet service that searches for websites and/or content
contained in Web pages on the internet. Examples include Yahoo
and Alta Vista.
Server: (or File Server) Any computer on a network that makes files and
communication services available to other computers.
Service Providers: An organization that allows individual clients to connect to
the internet. ISP's usually charge a fee for this service. (Local ISP's: FrogNet, DialNet)
Shockwave: A Macromedia
technology for embedding animation files (like Macromedia Director files) into a Webpage.
SND: The Macintosh native sound file format.
Splash Screen: The first Web page a visitor sees when arriving at a Website.
Tables: A graphically divided area in which content can be organized and divided
by grid lines for display on a Web page.
Tango: A scripting application that allows servers to search a database and
deliver the requested information to a client.
Thumbnail: A small, iconized version of a larger graphical image.
TIFF: Tagged Image File Format. A popular image file format for desktop
publishing, but not widely used for web graphics.
Transparency: The ability to see through a single color of a GIF file's 256
colors when viewed in a Web Browser.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator): The location of a page on the internet. It
generally has the form "http://www.viscom.ohiou.edu".
Unix: An extremely flexible and powerful but complicated operating system that
pioneered Internet connectivity.
VRML (Virtual Reality Markup Language): Used for describing 3D spaces in which
users can view and navigate. These are not pre-rendered like movie files, but rendered
on-the-fly (in realtime as the users move within them) from the descriptions of the
WAN: Wide Area Network: A high-speed network of computers extending farther than
WAV (Waveform Audio Format): An audio file format developed by IBM and
Microsoft. Popular on Windows machines for transferring recorded sound across the
Webmaster: The person responsible for maintaining the files on a website.
Website: The collective Web pages that make up all the material on a server.
WebStar: Starnine Corporation's Macintosh
web server software.
WWW (World Wide Web): The network of clients and servers that navigate and store
information the the Internet.
WYSIWYG: What you see is what you get.
640 x 480: The most common resolution size in pixels of the standard 13"
72 DPI: Common computer screen resolution.
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