HTML for Dummies Glossary

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when used to modify pathnames or URLs, it means a full and complete specification (as opposed to a relative one).

acceptable use
a doctrine originally formulated by the National Science Foundation restricting the Internet to research and academic, but not commercial, use.

alpha test
the testing on software performed by the developers, usually during the development process; also, the first of several stages in the software testing process (see beta test).

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in HTML, an anchor is a tagged text or graphic element that acts as a link to another location inside or outside a given document, or it may be a location in a document that acts as the destination for an incoming link. The latter definition is most commonly how we use it in this book.

a computerized process of creating moving images by rapidly advancing from one still image to the next

anonymous ftp
a type of Internet file access that relies on the File Transfer Protocol service, where any user can typically access a file collection by logging in as anonymous, and supplying his or her username as a password

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the scripting language for the Macintosh operating system, used to build CGI programs for Macintosh-based Web servers

an Internet-based archival search facility, based on databases of file and directory names taken from anonymous ftp servers around the Internet

ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Administration; see DARPA)

in HTML tags, an attribute is a named characteristic of an associated tag. Some attributes are required, while others are optional. Some attributes may also take values (if so the syntax is ATTRIBUTE="value") or not, depending on the tag and the attribute (see Chapter 7 for tag details in alphabetical order)

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AUP (Acceptable Use Policy; see acceptable use)

authoring software
in the context of HTML, authoring software refers to programs that understand HTML tags and their placement. Some such programs can even enforce HTML syntax; others can convert from word processing or document formatting programs to HTML formats.

a powerful scripting language included with most implementations of UNIX, awk supplements the file-processing capabilities of the UNIX shells, including pattern-matching of fields and C-like structured programming constructs.

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back end
the server-side of client/server is called the back end because it is usually handled by programs running in obscurity on the server, out of sight (and mind) for most users.

technically, bandwidth is the range of electrical frequencies a device can handle; more often, it's used as a measure of a communications technology's carrying capacity

Basic (Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code)
a programming language, Basic (also called BASIC) is easy to learn and use. The most popular implementation is Microsoft's QuickBasic.

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beta test
the phase of software testing where a program or system is turned over to a select group of users outside the development organization for use in more or less real-life situations.

The body is one of the main identifiable structures of any HTML document. It is usually trapped between the head information and the footer information.

most Web browsers include a facility for building a list of URLs that users wish to keep for future reference. Netscape calls such references bookmarks in its browser.

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a Web access program that can request HTML documents from Web servers, and render such documents on a user's display device. (see also client)

BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution)
a flavor of UNIX that was particularly important in the late 1970's and 1980's when most of the enhancements and add-ons to UNIX appeared first in the BSD version (like TCP/IP)

acronym for "By The Way"; commonly used in e-mail messages

small verminous creatures that sometimes show up in software in the form of major or minor errors, mistakes, and gotchas. Bugs got their name from insects found in antiquated tube-based computers of the late 50s and early 60s which were attracted to the glow of the filament in a tube.

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a programming language developed at AT&T Bell Laboratories, C remains the implementation language for UNIX and the UNIX programmer's language of choice.

case -sensitive
means that the way computer input is typed is significant; for instance HTML tags can be typed in any mixture of upper- and lowercase, but because HTML character entities are case -sensitive, they must be typed exactly as reproduced in this book.

CD-ROM (Compact Disk-Read-Only Memory)
a computer-readable version of the audio CD, CD-ROMs can contain up to 650 MB of data, making them the distribution media of choice for many of today's large (some would say even bloated) programs and systems.

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CERN (Centre European Researche Nucleare)
the Center for High-Energy Physics in Geneva, Switzerland; the birthplace of the World Wide Web.

character entity
a way of reproducing strange and wonderful characters within HTML, character entities take the form &string; where the ampersand (&) and semicolon are mandatory metacharacters, and string names the character to be reproduced in the browser. Because character entities are case -sensitive, the string between the ampersand and the semicolon must be reproduced exactly as written in Chapter 8 of this book.

character mode
when referring to Web browsers, character mode (also called textmode) means that such browsers can reproduce text data only. They cannot produce graphics directly, without the assistance of a helper application.

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clickable map
a graphic in an HTML file that has had a pixel coordinate map file created for it, to allow regions of the graphic to point to specific URLs for graphically oriented Web navigation.

the end-user side of the client/server arrangement, the term "client" typically refers to a consumer of network services of one kind or another. A Web browser is therefore a client program that talks to Web servers.

a model for computing that divides computing into two separate roles, usually connected by a network: the client works on the end-user's side of the connection, and manages user interaction and display (input and output, and related processing), while the server works elsewhere on the network and manages data-intensive or shared processing activities, like serving up the collections of documents and programs that a Web server typically manages.

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common controls
when designing HTML documents, most experts recommend that you build a set of consistent navigation controls and use them throughout a document (or collection of documents), providing a set of common controls for document navigation.

Common Gateway Interface (CGI)
the specification governing how Web browsers can communicate with and request services from Web servers; also the format and syntax for passing information from browsers to servers via forms or document-based queries in HTML.

computing platform
a way of referring to the kind of computer someone is using, this term encompasses both hardware (the type of machine, processor, etc.) and software (the operating system and applications) in use.

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for HTML content is its raison d'etre; although form is important, content is why users access Web documents and why they keep coming back for more.

an agreed-upon set of rules and approaches that allows systems to communicate with one another and work together.

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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.

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.

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desktop (aka desktop machine)
the computer a user typically has on his or her desktop; a synonym for "end-user computer" or "computer."

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)

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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.

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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.


E-Mail: HTML for Dummies at html4dum@lanw.com
URL: http://www.lanw.com/html4dum/h4d1e/glossary.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]