A Glossary of Terms for the World Wide Web Newcomer
If you're new to the World Wide Web, the jargon can be confusing, bewildering,
and downright intimidating. The following list is by no means comprehensive,
but does offer a reasonable introduction to terms and phrases you may hear
bantered about in WWW discussions.
- (also referred to as Aiff-c) A compressed version of Aiff.
- A format common on Silicon Graphics UNIX workstations
and Apple Macintosh computer systems. It allows a variety of recording rates
and bits. This format is supported by most browsers.
- A small application written in the Java programming
language that requires a browser or other special applications to run properly.
- (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) The
world-wide standard for code numbers used by computers to represent all the
upper and lowercase Latin letters, numbers, punctuation, and so on.
- An audio format that provides a 2:1 compression ratio and is
similar in quality and file size to the Aiff and Wav formats. Au is a format
originally employed on NEXT and Sun workstations. It is a very popular format
and is supported by most browsers.
- A high-speed line that forms a major route for
information within a network.
- A measure of how much information can be sent
through any given connection. Bandwidth is usually measured in bits per
- Commonly used as a measure for how many bits a modem can
send or receive per second.
- (fromBINaryHEXadecimal) A method of converting non-
text files (nonASCII) into ASCII.
- An attribute of the IMG tag that specifies the width of the
border that surrounds a particular image. In the command <IMG
SRC="tom.gif" BORDER=0> no border will be visible around the
image named "tom.gif".
- (bits per second) A measure of speed for how much data
(measured in bits) can be transferred per second. A 14.4 modem can move
14,400 bits per second.
- An application program used to view Internet content.
Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer are two popular browsers.
- Usually eight bits that represent a single character.
- Cascading Style Sheets
- An HTML extension that allows
sophisticated formatting of HTML documents.
- The directory name, on a Web server, in which CGI scripts
are stored. Some servers have one cgi-bin directory. Other servers provide a
cgi-bin directory for each customer.
- CGI Script
- A small program, traditionally written in a scripting
language like Perl, that is used to communicate between the server and browsers.
This definition is usually extended to include small programs written in C, C++,
or other compiled languages.
- (Common Gateway Interface) A Protocol that describes how a
Web server maintains a "dialog" with other pieces of software on the same
- Clickable Image Map
- A map with a set of "hot spots." Clicking
these hot spots will load another URL or execute a command.
- Client-Side Image Map
- Image maps where the map coordinates and
URLs are downloaded to the client. This is a much more efficient and desirable
arrangement than the older server-side image maps. The only drawback is not all
browsers support client-side image maps.
- An application program that gets information from a server.
There are many types of clients; Web browsers are good examples of clients.
- Persistent Client State HTTP Cookies are mechanisms that
can be set and monitored by the server on the client side to track information
about the client.
- Domain Name
- A unique name used to identify an Internet site.
Common examples include www.netscape.com, ftp.microsoft.com,
- Drop Shadow
- An effect commonly used to make it appear as though
an image is casting a shadow onto an HTML page.
- Messages that are sent from one person to another
electronically. These messages can include text, graphics, and audio
- A common standard of connecting LANS.
- (Fiber Distributed Data Interface) A high-speed standard for
transmitting data, approximately 10 times faster than ethernet.
- Fire Wall
- A hardware and software barrier constructed between a
LAN and the Internet to provide security.
- Font FACE
- Helvetica, Arial, and Comic Sans MS are all examples
of font faces. Or the FACE attribute that lets you specify a particular font used as
<FONT FACE="Arial"> for example.
- A special type of window defined by the FRAME tag.
- (File Transfer Protocol) A method of moving files between two
- (Graphics Interchange Format) A common image format. This
file format can only represent 256 colors and is therefore best for representing
line art or images with limited color range (unlike photographs or photo-realistic
renderings). A GIF file may contain multiple images and therefore can be used
for creating animations.
- Hi-Res image
- A relative term, but usually reserved for images that
are at least larger than 720x486.
- A computer that provides services to other computers on the
- HTML Tags
- The elements of HTML that are used to define page
elements. HR, H1, and IMG are all examples of HTML tags.
- (HyperText Markup Language) The language used to create
Web pages. This language is made up of a set of TAGS used to define page
elements and ATTRIBUTES, which are applied to the tags.
- (HyperText Transport Protocol) The method used for moving
hypertext files across the Internet. HTTP expects a server for distributing
content and a browser for viewing it.
- A text or image reference that, when clicked by the user,
loads an URL.
- Text or graphics that contain links to other words,
documents, applications, or multimedia content.
- Image Maps
- A series of coordinates that define "hot areas" for the
user to click.
- Interlaced GIF
- A GIF image file where the scan lines are stored in
an alternating order, so that as the image is read it appears to fade in or get
sharper. Do not use this option for saving GIF images that you will use for GIF
- The storage of image scan lines in an order other than
the traditional top-to-bottom or bottom-to-top order.
- Internet Explorer
- A popular Web browser created by Microsoft.
- The vast interconnected global network that provides the
means for world-wide electronic communication.
- An internal network setup by an organization that uses the
tools and protocols commonly found on the Internet for private use. Commonly
used for corporate communication and other MIS functions.
- IP Number
- A number used to identify machines on the Internet.
These are four-part numbers separated by periods. Even though many times
"Domain Names" are used to connect to machines on the Internet, machines still
do have, and must maintain their own, unique IP numbers.
- (Integrated Services Digital Network) A method used to move
digital data over phone lines at high speeds. Typically ISDN speeds are
approximately 56,000 bits per second.
- (Internet service provider) A company or institution that
provides Internet access and services.
- Java Developer's Kit (JDK)
- A set of tools developed by Sun to
help popularize the Java programming language.
- A programming language invented by Sun Microsystems. Java
includes a "byte-serve" interpreter on the client side that makes Java code
portable across all platforms that run a Java-capable browser. Java applications
(applets), can be written to perform almost any task from within the browser.
Two limitations of applets are: their size must remain small or download time
becomes extreme, and byte-code interpretation makes applets slow for
computationally complex tasks.
- A scripting language that runs in a browser and extends
the browsers capability for specific interactions.
- An image format that provides user-definable compression.
Best used on photo-realistic content. For line art see GIF.
- (Local Area Network) A computer network limited to a
relatively small area (a room or an office building, for example).
- The repeating of a series of frames. For GIF animations
this is an attribute that can be explicitly built in during their construction.
- An audio format that contains the "notes" of a song rather
than digitized sound.
- (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) The standard for
attaching non-text files to e-mail. Attachments can include graphics, audio files,
application programs, and so on. Besides e-mail, the MIME standard is used by
Web servers to identify the files they are sending to clients.
- A format much like MIDI; it is a series of notes and
instruments. In addition, Mod files include the samples of the instruments that
are being used. Because of this, Mod files are much larger than MIDI files.
- The original Web browser, this piece of software Put a UI
on the Internet.
- A compression scheme used to compress audio and video
content. MPEG requires significant Processing Power to both encode and
decode the content.
- Multicolumn Tag
- A Netscape extension that lets you create
documents of multiple columns without using tables or frames.
- Nested Frame
- A frame placed inside an existing frame. Nesting
frames makes creating sophisticated frame base documents easy.
- Internet etiquette.
- Netscape Navigator
- The most popular Web browser. It was
Netscape's willingness to embrace external technologies such as plug-ins that
allowed many software companies to put diverse content on the Internet.
Netscape's acceptance of Sun's Java Programming language increased the
flexibility and power of the browser model.
- Discussion groups on USENET.
- (Networked Information Center) An office that handles
information for a network. InterNIC is where domain names are registered and
- An application program designed to add functionality to a
browser (or in a broader sense, any other application). A common example
would be an application that lets you view images of a new format.
- A new image format that provides a superset of the GIF
format's features, including full color and true transparency.
- (Point of Presence) A location where an Internet connection
can be established via dial-up phone fines.
- (Point-to-Point Protocol) This is a protocol that lets you use a
phone line and a modem to establish a TCP/IP connection to the Internet. You
can use this protocol to be assigned a temporary or permanent IP address.
- Progressive JPEG
- A JPEG format where the image information is
gradually downloaded. That is, a full-size, low-quality image initially appears,
followed by successive passes that improve the image's quality. A progressive
JPEG file takes no longer to download than a traditional JPEG file, and the end
user can get a good idea of what the final image will look like with only 25
percent of the image downloaded.
- An Apple multimedia format that can store images and
- Random Image Displayer
- A CGI script that displays a series of
images in a random order.
- Either a plug-in or a format used to create and play
streaming audio content.
- Server-Side Image Map
- An image map where the coordinate
information and "URL" information is present on the server. This is an older
technology and, for the most part, has been replaced by client-side image maps.
- Usually a computer and a software package that provides a
service to other computers connected to the network. For Internet users, this can
be any one of thousands of servers that provide Web content.
- Software distributed for a free trial period, usually
lasting 30 days. If you find the software useful and want to continue using it
beyond this trial period, you are required to pay the author the shareware fee.
Shareware is not free unless expressly noted by the author.
- A series of Macromedia plug-ins and associated
formats that provide for the viewing and distribution of multimedia content.
- (Serial Line Internet Protocol) This is a protocol that lets you
use a phone line and a modem to establish a TCP/IP connection to the Internet.
For the most part, this protocol is being replaced by PPP.
- SPACER Tag
- A Netscape extension that lets you add horizontal
and vertical within HTML documents.
- Streaming Audio
- Audio downloaded at a rate greater than or equal
to the rate that it is being played. Theoretically, streaming audio can play
- (system operator) An individual responsible for the operation
of a computer system or network.
- A connection with a speed of l,544,000 bits per second. This
speed is still less than what is required to broadcast full-screen, full-color, full-
motion video (30 frames per second) in an uncompressed format.
- A connection with a speed of 44,736,000 bits per second. This
speed is more than enough for full-motion video.
- (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) This
refers to the group of protocols used for transfer of data across the Internet;
essential for all Internet connections.
- Temporary Image
- An image used as a placeholder when complex
documents are being constructed and exact image dimensions are not known.
- Tiled Image
- A background image that repeats over and over.
Sometimes, these images are carefully created so the seams between the repeated
images are not visible.
- Transparent Image
- Images that contain transparency information.
Currently, this is restrictive to GIF images where only one color can serve as the
- A multi-user operating system with TCP/IP built in, important
because it is the most common operating system for servers on the Internet.
- (Uniform Resource Locator) Used to give addresses to
resources located across the World Wide Web. For example:
- Virtual Reality
- Popularly defined as a world created and accessed
by using technology.
- (World Wide Web Consortium) The body that sets standards
for the HyperText Markup Language (HTML).
- (wide area network) A network that covers an area larger than
a single building. Its usage is rather arbitrary the difference between a LAN and
a WAN is not always easily defined.
- A new file format that provides storage of photo-realistic
images. Most similar to JPEG.
- The World Wide Web.
Shoestring Graphics & Printing
7160 N.W. Somerset Dr.
Corvallis, OR 97330-9519
This page is Copyright © 1994 by Shoestring Graphics & Printing,
Corvallis, Oregon, USA. All Rights Reserved