XML For Dummies, 2nd Edition Glossary: A-F

active channel
In Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0, active channels are a collection of Web sites developed specifically for IE4 that use Dynamic HTML to present their material.

ActiveX control
An object ending in .ocx that was created using ActiveX technology.

A collection of technologies that allow software components created in different languages to communicate with each other in a networked environment.

AIX (Advanced Interactive Executive)
IBM's version of UNIX.

ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)
A coding method to translate characters, such as numbers, text, and symbols, into digital form.

A property associated with some HTML tag that is a named characteristic of that tag. Some tags take required attributes, some have optional attributes, and some have both types.

Cabinet (CAB) file
A Microsoft binary code distribution mechanism. CAB files are used with Windows 95, Windows NT, and BackOffice products as a way of packaging large numbers of binary files into a smaller number of containers for easy code distribution and installation.

capacity set
An SGML declaration instruction that helps users determine the storage requirements for an SGML document. Capacity defines how often an object of a certain category occurs in an SGML document. For example, the capacity is based on the maximum number of elements defined and information about the instances of each type of element.

CDF (Channel Definition Format)
An XML-based file format, developed by Microsoft, for the description of channel information.

CDF specification
The rules and regulations that govern the syntax and structure of the Channel Definition Format, as applied to any CDF file.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface)
A standard that allows programs of various types to interact with Web servers, usually to provide interactive response to user input from a browser.

Information about organized content on an intranet or the Internet.

character entities
Strings of characters that represent other characters; for example, &lt; and &Egrave; show a string of characters (lt and Egrave) that stand for others (< and È).

chemical bond
Represents the connection between two atoms.

CML (Chemical Markup Language)
An XML-compatible markup language with specific extensions for describing molecules and compounds.

A viewer used to view CML files. It is also available as an applet that can run within a browser, such as Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer.

construction rule
A rule in an XML document that specifies a pattern and construction of an element (for example, constructing a division by using the <DIV>...</DIV> tags) when the specified pattern is found.

A token that can be used to uniquely identify any piece of data or content.

content markup tags
In MathML, content markup provides an explicit encoding for the mathematical structure of an expression, rather than requiring some particular rendering or appearance.

content model
Defines what components may comprise a certain part of a document.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
A method of coding that allows users to define how certain HTML, DHTML, or XML structural elements, such as paragraphs and headings, should be displayed using style rules instead of additional markup.

delimiter set
An SGML declaration instruction that is used to assign different strings and characters that have the same semantics as the characters found in HTML.

Document Character Set
An SGML declaration instruction that allows users to specify which character set to use in a document. XML uses the ISO/IEC 10646 character set, which is similar to Unicode.

DOM (Document Object Model)
A platform- and language-neutral program interface that allows programs and scripts to access and update the content, structure, and style of documents in a standard way.

DOS (Disk Operating System)
A widely used PC operating system. DOS has been largely supplanted by Windows of some kind or another on most desktops.

DRP (Distribution and Replication Protocol)
Represents the joint efforts of Marimba, Inc., Netscape Communications, Sun Microsystems, @Home, Inc., and Novell, to define a way to "...significantly improve the efficiency and reliability of data distribution over HTTP" (to quote from the group's press release on the subject).

DSSSL (Document Style Semantics and Specification Language)
A superset of XSL. DSSSL is a document style language used primarily with SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) files.

DSSSL Application Environment (DAE)
An implementation of a DSSSL Developer's Toolkit that provides a framework to process SGML-related documents and SGML markup that includes both DSSSL and non-DSSSL constructs.

electronic commerce
The exchange of money and goods over the Internet or some other public network.

Users can define certain element types as illegal within a content model and in all content models that are children in its hierarchy, thereby excluding them from use.

Extended Pointer
XML's version of the TEI extended pointer, also called an XPointer.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
A collection of questions and answers related to a specific topic. FAQs are most commonly found on Usenet newsgroups.

foreign key
A reference to another element within an element's definition.

A way of dividing Web pages into multiple scrollable regions.

Software offered by companies at no charge, hence the name "freeware."

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Revised -- February 7, 2000