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Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 
ASP
An Active Server Page (ASP) is a HTML page that includes one or more scripts which could be written in various languages that are processed on a Web server before the page is sent to the user. An ASP involves programs that run on the server, usually tailoring a page for the user. Typically, the script in the Web page at the server uses input received as the result of the user's request for the page to access data from a database and then builds or customises the page there and then before sending it to the back to the user's computer. Since it is processed on the server, it can be delivered to almost any browser.
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Bugs
A bug is a coding error in a computer program or a Web site or application. The process of finding bugs before a user does is called debugging.
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C
C is a structured, procedural programming language that has been widely used both for operating systems and applications and that has had a wide following in the academic community. Many versions of Unix-based operating systems are written in C.
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CD-ROM
CD-ROM (Compact Disc, read-only-memory) is an adaptation of the CD that is designed to store computer data in the form of text and graphics, as well as hi-fi stereo sound. The original data format standard was defined by Philips and Sony in the 1983 Yellow Book. The format of the CD-ROM is the same as for audio CDs: a standard CD is 120 mm (4.75 inches) in diameter and 1.2 mm (0.05 inches) thick and is composed of a polycarbonate plastic substrate (under layer - this is the main body of the disc), one or more thin reflective metal (usually aluminium) layers, and a lacquer coating.

CD-ROMs are standardised and will work in any standard CD-ROM drive. CD-ROM drives can also read audio compact discs for music, although CD players cannot read CD-ROM discs.
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CGI
The Common Gateway Interface (CGI) is a standard way for a Web server to pass a Web user's request to an application program and to receive data back to forward to the user.

When the user requests a Web page (for example, by clicking on a highlighted word or entering a Web site address), the server sends back the requested page.

However, when a user fills out a form on a Web page and sends it in, it usually needs to be processed by an application program. The Web server typically passes the form information to a small application program that processes the data and may send back a confirmation message.

This method or convention for passing data back and forth between the server and the application is called the common gateway interface (CGI). It is part of the Web's Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).
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Client
A client is the requesting program or user in a client / server relationship. For example, the user of a Web browser is effectively making client requests for pages from servers all over the Web. The browser itself is a client in its relationship with the computer that is getting and returning the requested HTML file. The computer handling the request and sending back the HTML file is a server.
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CSS/Style Sheets
A cascading style sheet (CSS) is a Web page derived from multiple sources with a defined order of precedence where the definitions of any style element conflict. Using CSS helps to create a level of professionalism and aesthetic value on your Web sites, but it's most useful feature is it's ability to allow you to update multiple pages by changing just one file. Using CSS can also considerably cut down on file download time.

Style sheets work like templates: styles for particular HTML elements are defined just once, and then used over and over on any number of Web pages. To change how an element looks, the style can be changed; the element automatically changes wherever it appears.

Originally, HTML was intended to mark up only a Web page's structure and not how it displayed on the screen. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) developed a complementary markup system, CSS, which was designed to make it easy to define a page's appearance without affecting its HTML structure.
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Delphi
Delphi competes with Visual Basic as an offering for an object-oriented, visual programming approach to application development. Based on object Pascal programming language, the latest version of Delphi includes facilities for rapidly building or converting an application into a Web service.
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Development Server
A development server is a server which may be used by a team of developers in order to test elements or entireties of Web sites to establish how an end user will see them, without having to post that content to the Web site itself. Development servers run in-house and usually run the same operating system as the live Web server for that particular Web site.
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Directories
An alternative to using a search engine is to explore a structured directory of topics. Yahoo, which also lets you use its search engine, is one of the most widely-used directories on the Web. The DMOZ Open Directory Project is another popular, human edited directory.
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Dreamweaver®
Macromedia's popular HTML authoring tool. Products such as these provide an easy way for novices and intermediates to create Web sites in an easy to use environment. For more information or to purchase, click here.
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Ecommerce
Ecommerce is an abbreviating of electronic commerce (EC) and is the act of buying and selling of goods and services on the Internet, especially the World Wide Web via Web sites. This term and a newer term, ebusiness, are often used interchangably. For online retail selling, the term etailing is sometimes used.
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Fireworks MX®
Macromedia Fireworks MX® is graphics creation and manipulation application and has the familiar tools that graphics professionals demand, brought together in a single, web-centred environment. You can quickly create original Web graphics and interactivity, from simple graphical buttons to complex rollover effects and pop-up menus.

Fireworks MX® delivers a complete graphics toolset with a workflow that promotes teamwork and enhances productivity. For more information or to purchase, click here.
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Flash®
Flash® is a popular authoring tool developed by Macromedia. It is used to create vector graphics-based animation programs with full-screen navigation interfaces, graphic illustrations, and simple interactivity in a file format that is small enough to stream across a normal modem connection. The software is ubiquitous on the Web, both because of its speed and for the smooth way in which it renders graphics.

Flash® gives Web designers the ability to import artwork using whatever bitmap or illustration tool they prefer, and to create animation and special effects, and add sound and interactivity.

Web users can download Flash® Player to view Flash® content, which performs across multiple browsers and platforms. Flash® is lauded for being one of the Web's most accessible plug-in. According to an independent study cited by Macromedia, 97.8% of Web users have Flash® Player installed.

For more information or to purchase, click here.
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FTP
File Transfer Protocol (FTP), a standard Internet protocol, is the simplest way to exchange files between computers on the Internet. Like the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which transfers displayable Web pages and related files, and the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), which transfers email, FTP is an application protocol that uses the Internet's TCP/IP protocols. FTP is commonly used to transfer Web page files from their creator to the computer that acts as their server for everyone on the Internet. It's also commonly used to download programs and other files to your computer from other servers.

As a user, you can use FTP with a simple command line interface (for example, from the Windows MS-DOS Prompt window) or with a commercial program that offers a graphical user interface. Your Web browser can also make FTP requests to download programs you select from a Web page. Using FTP, you can also update (delete, rename, move, and copy) files at a server. You need to logon to an FTP server. However, publicly available files are easily accessed using anonymous FTP.
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FTP Client
An FTP client is a program that allows you to perform FTP commands using an easy to use graphical user interface. Where your host provides it, many FTP clients support the resuming of broken downloads and multiple file updates.
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GNU
GNU is a software philosophy created by Richard Stallman et al that stated that software should come with source code so that it can be copied, modified, and redistributed. The GNU project was started in 1983 by Stallman who then formed the Free Software Foundation. He believes that users should be free to do whatever they want with software they acquire, including making copies for friends and modifying the source code and repackaging it with a distribution charge.

The term "free" means "freedom," but this doesn't necessarily mean there is no charge for software. The Free Software Foundation does charge an initial distribution price for GNU. Redistributors can also charge for copies either for cost recovery or for profit.

The Linux operating system contains GNU components.
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HTML
HTML is a simple, universal, text-based markup language that provides the basis of the World Wide Web. It was developed in the early nineties by Tim Berners-Lee as a way for physicists to share research results with each other. Web sites, for the most part, are authored in HTML.
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HTTP
The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the set of rules for exchanging files (text, graphic images, sound, video, and other multimedia files) on the World Wide Web. Relative to the TCP/IP suite of protocols (which are the basis for information exchange on the Internet), HTTP is an application protocol.

Your Web browser is an HTTP client, sending requests to server machines. When the browser user enters file requests by either "opening" a Web file (typing in a Uniform Resource Locator) or clicking on a hypertext link, the browser builds an HTTP request and sends it to the Internet Protocol address indicated by the URL.
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Indexing
Indexing is the method that search engines use when they search your site and rank it. In easy to understand terms, to say your site has been indexed, is to say it has been looked over by the search engines and placed in position to other sites within the search engines indexed pages. A search engine index is its pages of sites returned to you upon searching.
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Intranet
An intranet is a private network that is contained within an organisation. It may consist of many interlinked local area networks and also use leased lines in the Wide Area Network. Typically, an intranet includes connections through one or more gateway computers to the outside Internet.

The main purpose of an intranet is to share company information and computing resources among employees. An intranet can also be used to facilitate working in groups and for teleconferences, etc.
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ISP
Internet Service Provider, the company that supplies your connection to the Internet. Internet Service Providers more often than not offer a whole range of related services such as email, domain names, hosting and Internet and Web services. Some popular ISP's include AOL, Pipex, Demon Internet and Tiscali.
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JavaScript
JavaScript is a script language developed by Netscape. It is similar in capability and features to Microsoft's Visual Basic, Sun's TCL, Perl, and IBM's Rexx. JavaScript is used in conjunction with HTML and CSS to improve the functionality and design of Web pages applications.
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Kazaa
Kazaa (Kazaa Media Desktop or KMD) is a peer-to-peer file-sharing program owned by Sharman Networks. Kazaa is described as "a proactive, virtual, global technology and publishing company, focused on delivering peer-to-peer software."

Kazaa has been criticised in its effort to go mainstream, mainly because it includes advertising software (adware) in the installation.

Unlike the file-sharing program Napster, which used a centralised server to index files, Kaaza users share files directly from each other's hard drives.

Network administrators tend to discourage the use of Kazaa, because in addition to Kazaa users taking up valuable network resources, several damaging viruses and worms have been distributed from within its interface.
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Linux
Linux is an operating system that was designed to provide personal computer users a free or very low-cost operating system comparable to traditional and usually more expensive Unix systems. Linux has a reputation as a very efficient and fast-performing system. Linux's kernel (the central part of the operating system) was developed by Linus Torvalds at the University of Helsinki in Finland. To complete the operating system, Torvalds and other team members made use of system components developed by members of the Free Software Foundation for the GNU project.

Unlike Windows and other proprietary systems, Linux is publicly open and extendible by contributors. Linux comes in versions for all the major microprocessor platforms including the Intel, PowerPC, Sparc, and Alpha platforms. It's also available on IBM's S/390. Linux is distributed commercially by a number of companies. A magazine, Linux Journal, is published as well as a number of books and pocket references.
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Meta Tag
A meta tag is a tag in the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) that describes some aspect of the contents of a Web page. The information that you provide in a meta tag is used by search engines to index a page so that someone searching for the kind of information the page contains will be able to find it.

The meta tag is placed near the top of the HTML in a Web page as part of the heading. There are several kinds of meta tags, but the most important for search engine indexing are the keywords meta tag and the description meta tag.

The keywords meta tag lists the words or phrases that best describe the contents of the page. The description meta tag includes a brief description of the page. Both the keywords and the description are used by search engines in adding a page to their index. Some search engines also use the description to show the searcher a summary of the page's contents.


Although most search engines also use the contents of a page as a way to determine how to index it, the creator of a Web page should be sure to include meta tags with appropriate keywords and description. Well-written meta tags can help make the page rank higher in search results.
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Network
In information technology, a network is a series of points or nodes interconnected by communication paths. Networks can interconnect with other networks and contain subnetworks.

The most types of network include the bus, star, and Token Ring. Networks can also be characterised in terms of distance as local area networks (LAN), metropolitan area networks (MAN), and wide area networks (WAN).
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PayPal
PayPal is a quick and easy way for businesses to accept credit card payments online, and a popular way for people to send money to each other on the Internet. PayPal enables any business or consumer with an email address to securely, conveniently, and cost-effectively send and receive these payments.

The PayPal network extends the existing financial infrastructure of bank accounts and credit cards and creates a global payment solution.
Visit PayPal's Web site.
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Perl
Perl is a script programming language that is similar in syntax to the C language and is an interpreted language. When compiled, a Perl program is almost (but not quite) as fast as a fully precompiled C language program. Perl is regarded as a good choice for developing common gateway interface (CGI) programs because it has good text manipulation facilities.
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PHP
In Web programming, PHP is a script language and interpreter that is freely available and used primarily on Linux Web servers. PHP, originally derived from Personal Home Page Tools, now stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, which the PHP FAQ describes as a "recursive acronym".

PHP is an alternative to Active Server Pages (ASP) technology. As with ASP, the PHP script is embedded within a Web page along with its HTML. Before the page is sent to a user that has requested it, the Web server calls PHP to interpret and perform the operations called for in the PHP script.
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POP3
POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) is the most recent version of a standard protocol for receiving email. POP3 is a client/server protocol in which email is received and held for you by your Internet server. Periodically, you (or your client email receiver) check your mailbox on the server and download any mail. POP can be thought of as a "store-and-forward" service.
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Ranking
Ranking is the term used when talking in general terms of the position of a Web site within the index of a search engine. Ranking can be improved by various techniques and is dependent on many variables, including meta tags, keywords, link popularity and page content.
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Search Engine
On the Internet, a search engine is a coordinated set of programs that include:
  • A spider (also called a "crawler" or a "bot") that goes to every page or representative pages on every Web site that wants to be searchable and reads it, using hypertext links on each page to discover and read a site's other pages.
  • A program that creates a huge index (sometimes called a "catalogue") from the pages that have been read.
  • A program that receives your search request, compares it to the entries in the index, and returns results to you.
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Server
  1. In general, a server is a computer program that provides services to other computer programs in the same or other computers.
  2. The computer that a server program runs in is also frequently referred to as a server (though it may contain a number of server and client programs).
  3. In the client / server programming model, a server is a program that awaits and fulfils requests from client programs in the same or other computers. A given application in a computer may function as a client with requests for services from other programs and also as a server of requests from other programs.
  4. Specific to the Web, a Web server is the computer program (housed in a computer) that serves requested HTML pages or files. A Web client is the requesting program associated with the user. The Web browser in your computer is a client that requests HTML files from Web servers.
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SMTP
SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is a TCP/IP protocol used in sending and receiving email. However, since it's limited in its ability to queue messages at the receiving end, it's usually used with one of two other protocols, POP3 or Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP), that let the user save messages in a server mailbox and download them periodically from the server. In other words, users typically use a program that uses SMTP for sending email and either POP3 or IMAP for receiving messages that have been received for them at their local server. Most mail programs such as Microsoft Outlook let you specify both an SMTP server and a POP server.
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Spam
Spam is unsolicited email on the Internet. From the sender's point-of-view, it's a form of bulk mail, often to a list culled from subscribers to a Usenet discussion group or obtained by companies that specialise in creating email distribution lists.

To the receiver, it usually seems like junk email. In general, it's not considered good netiquette to send spam. It's generally equivalent to unsolicited phone marketing calls except that the user pays for part of the message since everyone shares the cost of maintaining the Internet.

Some apparently unsolicited email is, in fact, email people agreed to receive when they registered with a site and checked a box agreeing to receive postings about particular products or interests. This is known as both opt-in email and permission- based email.
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SQL
SQL (Structured Query Language) is a standard interactive and programming language for getting information from and updating a database. Queries let you select, insert, update, find out the location of data, and so forth.
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TCP/IP
TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) is the basic communication language or protocol of the Internet. It can also be used as a communications protocol in a private network.

When you are set up with direct access to the Internet, your computer is provided with a copy of the TCP/IP program just as every other computer that you may send messages to or get information from also has a copy of TCP/IP. TCP/IP is a two-layer program. The higher layer, Transmission Control Protocol, manages the assembling of a message or file into smaller packets that are transmitted over the Internet and received by a TCP layer that reassembles the packets into the original message. The lower layer, Internet Protocol, handles the address part of each packet so that it gets to the right destination. Each gateway computer on the network checks this address to see where to forward the message. Even though some packets from the same message are routed differently than others, they'll be reassembled at the destination.

Many Internet users are familiar with the even higher layer application protocols that use TCP/IP to get to the Internet. These include the World Wide Web's Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), the File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Telnet (Telnet) which lets you logon to remote computers, and the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). These and other protocols are often packaged together with TCP/IP as a "suite".
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Visual Basic
Visual Basic (VB) is a programming environment from Microsoft® in which a programmer uses a graphical user interface to choose and modify pre-selected sections of code written in the BASIC programming language. Since Visual Basic is easy to learn and fast to write code with, it's sometimes used to prototype an application that will later be written in a more difficult but efficient language.

Visual Basic is also widely used to write working programs. Microsoft® says that there are at least 3 million developers using Visual Basic.
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Web Server
A Web server is a program that, using the client/server model and the World Wide Web's Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), serves the files that form Web pages to Web users (whose computers contain HTTP clients that forward their requests). Every computer on the Internet that contains a Web site must have a Web server program.
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Windows 2000
Windows 2000® is a commercial version of Microsoft®'s evolving Windows® operating system. Previously called Windows NT® 5.0, Microsoft® emphasises that Windows 2000® is evolutionary and "Built on NT Technology."

Windows 2000® is designed to appeal to small business and professional users as well as to the more technical and larger business market for which the NT was designed.
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WYSIWYG
A WYSIWYG (pronounced "wiz-ee-wig") editor or program is one that allows an interface or content developer to create a graphical user interface (GUI) 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.

WYSIWYG is an acronym for "what you see is what you get". A WYSIWYG editor can be contrasted with more traditional editors that require the developer to enter descriptive codes (or markup) and do not permit an immediate way to see the results of the markup.
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