HTML 4 For Dummies - Bonus Chapters



A type of PC created by Apple Computer in 1984 that first commercially introduced the graphical user interface (GUI), complete with a mouse, icons, and windows. Microsoft Windows uses in its design similar elements as the Macintosh operating system. The Mac operating system is the most popular alternative to Windows.

A Macintosh-based graphical-mode Web browser implemented by MCC (see also MCC).

The process of regularly inspecting, testing, and updating the contents of Web pages; also, an attitude that such activities are both inevitable and advisable.

A set of Perl programs that automate the operation of multiple mailing lists, including moderated and unmoderated mailing lists, and routine handling of subscribe/unsubscribe operations.

map file
A set of pixel coordinates on a graphic image that correspond to the boundaries of regions that users might select when using the graphic for Web navigation. This file must be created by using a graphics program to determine regions and their boundaries, and then stored on the Web server that provides the coordinate translation and URL selection services.

markup language
A formal set of special characters and related capabilities used to define a specific method for handling the display of files that include markup; HTML is a markup language that is an application of SGML and used to design and create Web pages.

A way of embedding special characters (metacharacters) within a text file that instructs a computer program how to handle the file's contents.

Mbps (Megabits per second)
A measure of communications speeds, in units of 220 bits per second (220 = 1,048,576, which is just about 1,000,000 and explains the quasi-metric "M" notation).

MCC (Microelectronics and Computing Corporation)
A computing industry consortium based in Austin, Texas, that developed the WinWeb and MacWeb browser programs.

A specific character within a text file that signals the need for special handling; in HTML the angle brackets (< >), ampersand (&), pound sign (#), and semi-colon (;) can all function as metacharacters.

MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions)
Http communications of Web information over the Internet rely on a special variant of MIME formats to convey Web documents and related files between servers and users. The same technology is used to convey attached files with e-mail messages.

An acronym for modulator/demodulator, a modem is a piece of hardware that converts between analog forms for voice and data used in the telephone system and digital forms used in computers. In other words, a modem lets your computer communicate using the telephone system.

A powerful graphical Web browser originally developed at NCSA, now widely licensed and used in several browser implementations.

An acronym for Motion Picture Experts' Group, .MPEG is a highly compressed format designed moving pictures or other multiframe-per-second media (like video). .MPEG not only provides high compression ratios (up to 200 to 1), it also updates only elements that have changed on screen from one frame to the next, making it extraordinarily efficient. .MPEG is file extension that denotes files using this format, but .MPG is the three-letter equivalent uses on DOS and Windows 3.x systems (which can't handle four-letter file extensions).

MPPP (Multilink Point-to-Point Protocol)
An IP protocol that allows combined use of multiple physical connections between two computers, to create a "larger" virtual link between two machines.

A method of combining text, sound, graphics, and full-motion or animated video within a single compound computer document.

MVS (Multiple Virtual Storage)
A file system used on IBM mainframes and clones.

In the context of the Web, navigation refers to the use of hyperlinks to move within or between HTML documents and other Web-accessible resources.

navigation bar
A way of arranging a series of hypertext links on a single line of a Web page to provide a set of navigation controls for an HTML document or a set of HTML documents.

NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications)
A research unit of the University of Illinois at Urbana, where the original Mosaic browser was built, and where NCSA httpd code is maintained and distributed.

In computer terms, one structure that occurs within another is said to be nested; in HTML, nesting happens most commonly with list structures that may be freely nested within one another, regardless of type.

A networking takeoff on the term etiquette, netiquette refers to the written and unwritten rules of behavior on the Internet. When in doubt if an activity is permitted or not, ask first, and then act only if no one objects (check the FAQ for a given area, too -- it often explicitly states the local rules of netiquette for a newsgroup, mailing list, and so on).

network link
The tie that binds a computer to a network; for dial-in Internet users, this is usually a telephone link; for directly-attached users, it is whatever kind of technology (Ethernet, token-ring, FDDI, and so on) is in use.

A term that describes individuals new to various computer environments or applications.

numeric entity
A special markup element that reproduces a particular character from the ISO-Latin-1 character set, a numeric entity takes the form &#nnn; where nnn is the one-, two- or three-digit numeric code that corresponds to a particular character (Chapter 7 contains a complete list of these codes).

on-demand connection
A dial-up link to a service provider that's available whenever it's needed (on demand, get it?).

A term that indicates that information, activity, or communications are located on, or taking place in, an electronic, networked computing environment (like the Internet). The opposite of online is offline, which is what your computer is as soon as you disconnect from the Internet.

OS (Operating System)
The underlying control program on a computer that makes the hardware run and supports the execution of one or more applications. DOS, UNIX, and OS/2 are all examples of operating systems.

A basic unit (or package) of data used to describe individual elements of online communications; in other words, data moves across networks like the Internet in packets.

The generic term for the HTML documents that Web users view on their browsers.

The basic elements of text within an HTML document,

is the markup tag used to indicate a paragraph break in text (the closing

tag is currently optional in HTML).

path, pathname
See directory path.

PC (personal computer)
Today, PC is used as a generic term to refer to just about any kind of desktop computer; its original definition was as a product name for IBM's 8086-based personal computer, the IBM/PC. Even though a PC is technically any type of desktop computer, many people still use it to refer to IBM-compatible machines only.

PDF (Portable Document Format)
Adobe's rich, typographically correct document format, used to provide multiplatform document access through its Acrobat software as a more powerful alternative to HTML.

A powerful, compact programming language that draws from languages like C, Pascal, sed, awk, and BASIC, Perl is the language of choice for CGI programs, partly owing to its portability and the many platforms on which it is currently supported, and partly owing to its ability to exploit operating system services quickly and easily.

physical markup
Any of a series of HTML markup tags that specifically control character styles -- bold (<B> and italic (<I>) -- or typeface (<TT> for typewriter font).

pick list
Generally, a list of elements displayed for user selection of one or more choices; in HTML, the result of the <SELECT> and <OPTION> tags.

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Revised -- January 16, 1998