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 Glossary - D

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DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration)
a US Department of Defense funding agency that supplied the cash and some of the expertise that led to the development of the Internet, among many other interesting things.
dedicated line
a telephone line dedicated to the purpose of computerized telecommunications; a dedicated line may be operated continuously (24 hours a day) by its owner. In this book, such lines usually provide a link to an Internet service provider.
default
in general computer-speak, a default is a selection that's made automatically in a program, instruction, or whatever when no selections are made explicitly. For HTML the default is the value assigned to an attribute when none is supplied.
desktop (aka desktop machine)
the computer a user typically has on his or her desktop; a synonym for "end-user computer" or "computer."
dial-up
a connection to the Internet (or some other remote computer or network), made by dialing up an access telephone number

directory path
the device and directory names needed to locate a particular file in any given file system; for HTML, UNIX-style directory paths usually apply.
DNS (Domain Name Server -- see domain names)
document
the basic unit of HTML information, a document refers to the entire contents of any single HTML file. Since this doesn't always correspond to normal notions of a document, we refer to what could formally be called "HTML documents" more or less interchangeably with "Web pages" which is how such documents are rendered by browsers for display.
document headings
the class of HTML tags that we generically refer to as <H*>, document headings allow authors to insert headings of various sizes and weights (from 1 to 6) to add structure to their documents' contents. As structural elements, headings should identify the beginning of a new concept or idea within a document.
document structure
for HTML, this refers to the methods used to organize and navigate within HTML documents or related collections of documents.
document-based queries
one of two methods of passing information from a browser to a Web server, document-based queries are designed to pass short strings of information to the server, using the METHOD="GET" HTTP method of delivery. This method is typically used for search requests or other short lookup operations.
DoD (Department of Defense)
the folks who paid the bills for and operated the earliest versions of the Internet.

domain names
the names used on the Internet as part of a distributed database system for translating computer names into physical addresses and vice versa.
DOS (Disk Operating System; see also operating system)
the underlying control program used to make most Intel-based PCs run. Microsoft's MS-DOS is the most widely-used implementation of DOS, and provides the scaffolding atop which it's equally widely-used MS-Windows software runs.
DTD (Document Type Definition)
a formal SGML specification for a document, a DTD lays out the structural elements and markup definitions that can then be used to create instances of documents.

dumb terminal
a display device with attached keyboard that relies on the intelligence of another computer to drive its display and interpret its keyboard inputs. Such devices were the norm in the heyday of the mainframe and minicomputer and are still widely used for reservation systems, point of sale, and other specialized-use applications.

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