HTML for Dummies Glossary

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for HTML, a link is a pointer in one part of a document that can transport users to another part of the same document, or to another document entirely. This capability puts the "hyper" into hypertext. In other words, a link is a one-to-one relationship/association between two concepts or ideas, similiar to "cognition" (the brain has triggers such as smell, sight, sound that cause a link to be followed to a similar concept or reaction).

list element
an item in an HTML list structure tagged with <LI> (list item) tag.

list tags
HTML tags for a variety of list styles, including ordered lists <OL>, unordered lists <UL>, menus <MENU>, glossary lists <DL>, or directory lists <DIR>.

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an Internet e-mail handling program, typically UNIX-based, that provides mechanisms to let users manage, contribute and subscribe to, and exit from named mailing lists that distribute messages to all subscribed members daily. A common mechanism for delivering information to interested parties on the Internet, this is how the HTML working group communicates amongst its members, for instance.

logical markup
refers to any of a number of HTML character handling tags that exist to provide emphasis or to indicate a particular kind of device or action is involved (see Chapter 6 for a discussion of HTML tags by category that includes the details on descriptive versus physical markup).

a widely-used UNIX-based character-mode Web browser.

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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.

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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.

a way of embedding special characters (metacharacters) within a text file to instruct a computer program how to handle the contents of the file itself.

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 that is used to design and create Web pages.

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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.

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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, and vice-versa.

an acronym for modulator/demodulator, a modem is a piece of hardware that converts between the analog forms for voice and data used in the telephone system and the digital forms for data 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 for a variety of commercial browser implementations.

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an acronym for Motion Picture Experts' Group, MPEG is a highly compressed format designed for use in moving pictures or other multi-frame-per-second media (like video). MPEG can not only provide tremendous compression (up to 200 to 1), it also update only elements that have changed on-screen from one frame to the next, making it extraordinarily efficient as well. .MPEG is the common file extension to denote files using this format, and .MPG is the three-letter equivalent in use on DOS and Windows systems (which can't handle four-letter file extensions).

MPPP (Multilink Point-to-Point Protocol)
an Internet protocol that allows simultaneous use of multiple physical connections between one computer and another, to aggregate their combined bandwidth and create a "larger" virtual link between the two machines.

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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.

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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 implementation was built, and where the NCSA httpd Web server code is maintained and distributed.

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in computer terms, one structure that occurs within another is said to be nested; in HTML, nesting happens most commonly with list structures which 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 will often explicitly state the local rules of netiquette for a newsgroup, mailing list, etc.).

network link
the tie that binds a computer to a network; for dial-in Internet users, this will usually be a telephone link; for directly-attached users, it will be whatever kind of technology (Ethernet, token-ring, FDDI, etc.) is in local use.

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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 1, 2 or 3-digit numeric code that corresponds to a particular character (Chapter 8 contains a complete list of these codes).

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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.

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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, <P> is the markup tag used to indicate a paragraph break in text (the closing </P> 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.

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a powerful, compact programming language that draws from the capabilities of languages like C, Pascal, sed, awk, and BASIC, Perl is emerging as 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 system services in UNIX 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 to construct such a list for use in a form.

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as used in this book, pipe generally refers to the bandwidth of the connection in use between a workstation and the Internet (or the server on the other end of the connection, actually).

plain text
usually refers to vanilla ASCII text, as created or viewed in a simple text-editing program.

synonym for computer.

port address
TCP/IP-based applications use the concept of port address to know which program to talk to on the receiving end of a connection. There may be many programs running on a computer at once -- including multiple copies of the same program -- a port address provides a mechanism to uniquely identify exactly which process the data should be delivered to.

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POTS (Plain Old Telephone System)
the normal analog telephone system, just like the one you probably have at home.

PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol)
a modern, low-overhead serial communications protocol, typically used to interconnect two computers via modem. Most Web browsers require either a PPP or SLIP connection in order to work.

a formal, rigidly-defined set of rules and formats that computers use to communicate with one another.

provider (see service provider)

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RAM (Random-Access Memory)
the memory used in most computers to store the results of ongoing work, and that provides space to store the operating system and applications that are actually running at any given moment.

when applied to URLs, relative means that in the absence of the <BASE> tag, the link is relative to the current page's URL in which the link is defined. This makes for shorter, more compact URLs and explains why most local URLs are relative, not absolute.

any HTML document or other item or service available via the Web. Resources are what URLs point to.

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return (short for "carriage return")
in text files, a return is what causes the words on a line to end and makes the display pick up at the leftmost location on the display. As used in this book, it means don't hit the Enter or Return key on your keyboard in the middle of a line of HTML markup or a URL specification.

a special Web-traveling program that wanders all over the place, following and recording URLs and related titles for future reference (like in search engines).

ROM (Read-Only Memory)
a form of computer memory that allows values to be stored only once; after the data is initially recorded, the computer can only read the contents. ROMs are used to supply constant code elements like bootstrap loaders, network addresses, and other more or less unvarying programs or instructions.

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a special-purpose piece of internetworking gear that makes it possible to connect networks together, a router is capable of reading the destination address of any network packet. It can forward the packet to a local recipient if its address resides on any network that the router can reach, or on to another router if the packet is destined for delivery to a network that the current router cannot access.

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the glowing part on the front of your computer monitor where you see the Web do its thing (and anything else your computer might like to show you).

search engine
a special Web program that can search the contents of a database of available Web pages and other resources to provide information that relates to specific topics or keywords supplied by a user.

search tools
any of a number of programs (see Chapter 16) that can permit HTML documents to become searchable, using the <ISINDEX> tag to inform the browser of the need for a search window, and behind-the-scenes indexing and anchoring schemes to let users locate particular sections of or items within a document.

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a powerful UNIX-based text-editing program that makes it easy to locate and manipulate text elements within any of a number of files.

a computer on a network whose job is to listen for particular service requests, and to respond to those that it knows how to satisfy.

service provider
an organization that provides individuals or other organizations with access to the Internet. Service providers usually offer a variety of communications options for their customers, ranging from analog telephone lines, to a variety of higher-bandwidth leased lines, to ISDN and other digital communications services.


E-Mail: HTML for Dummies at html4dum@lanw.com
URL: http://www.lanw.com/html4dum/h4d1e/glossar3.htm
Text - Copyright © 1995, Ed Tittel & Steve James.
For Dummies, the Dummies Man logo and Dummies Press are trademarks or registered trademarks of Wiley Publishing, Inc. Used with Permission.
Web Layout - Copyright © 1995, LANWrights
Revised -- May, 2002 [MCB]