HTML 4 For Dummies - Bonus Chapters



A type of computer program that knows how to connect to two or more different kinds of networks, and to translate information from one side's format to the other's, and vice versa. Common types of gateways include e-mail, database, and communications.

An abbreviation for CompuServe's Graphic Interchange Format, GIF is one of a set of commonly used graphics formats within Web documents, because of its compressed format and compact nature.

A program/protocol developed at the University of Minnesota, Gopher provides for unified, menu-driven presentation of a variety of Internet services, including WAIS, Telnet, and FTP.

In HTML documents, graphics are files that belong to one of a restricted family of types (usually .GIF or .JPEG) that are referenced via URLs for inline display on Web pages.

An abbreviation for general regular expresssion parser, grep is a standard UNIX program that looks for patterns found in files and reports on their occurrences. grep handles a wide range of patterns, including so-called "regular expressions" that can use all kinds of substitutions and wild cards to provide powerful search-and-replace operations within files.

GUI (Graphical User Interface)
Pronounced "gooey," GUIs make graphical Web browsers possible; they create a visually oriented interface that makes it easy for users to interact with computerized information of all kinds. Microsoft Windows and the Mac OS are operating systems that use GUIs.

For HTML a heading is a markup tag used to add document structure. The term may sometimes be used to refer to the initial portion of an HTML document between the <HEAD>... </HEAD> tags, where titles and context definitions are commonly supplied.

helper applications
Today, browsers can display multiple graphics files (and sometimes other kinds of data); sometimes, browsers must pass particular files -- for instance, motion picture or sound files -- over to other applications that know how to render the data they contain. Such programs are called helper applications, because they help the browser deliver Web information to users.

A numbering system composed of six letters and ten numbers that is to condense binary numbers. In HTML, hexadecimal numbering is used with tags and their attributes to denote what colors should comprise backgrounds and other elements in a Web page.

hierarchical structure
A way of organizing Web pages using links that make some pages subordinate to others (see tree structured for another description of this kind of organization).

history list
Each time a user accesses the Web, the browser normally keeps a list of all the URLs visited during a session; this is called a history list and provides a handy way to jump back to any page that's already been visited. History lists in Netscape Navigator normally disappear when the browser is exited, but Internet Explorer saves history lists.

A Web page that consists of a series of links to other pages, usually annotated with information about what's available on each link. Hotlists act like switchboards to content information and are usually organized around a particular topic or area of interest.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
The SGML-derived markup language used to create Web pages. Not quite a programming language, HTML nevertheless provides a rich lexicon and syntax for designing and creating useful hypertext documents for the Web.

http or HTTP (hypertext teleprocessing protocol, a.k.a. HyperText Transfer Protocol)
The Internet protocol used to manage communication between Web clients (browsers) and servers.

httpd (http daemon)
The name of the collection of programs that runs on a Web server to provide Web services. In UNIX-speak, a daemon is a program that runs all the time listening for service requests of a particular type; thus, an httpd is a program that runs all the time on a Web server, ready to field and handle Web service requests.

A shorthand term for hypertext link, which is defined below.

Any of a variety of computer media -- including text, graphics, video, sound, and so on -- available through hypertext links on the Web.

hypertext link
In HTML, a hypertext link is defined by special markup that creates a user-selectable document element that can be selected to change the user's focus from one document (or part of a document) to another.

A method of organizing text, graphics, and other kinds of data for computer use that lets individual data elements point to one another; a nonlinear method of organizing information, especially text.

image map
A synonym for clickable image, this refers to an overlaid collection of pixel coordinates for a graphic that can be used to locate a user's selection of a region on a graphic, in turn used to select a related hypertext link for further Web navigation.

Acronym for "In My Humble Opinion," mostly used in e-mail.

A psuedo-Teutonic synonym for Information Superhighway (taken from Autobahn, the German highway system), commonly used because it's shorter and "cooler" than Information Superhighway.

Information Superhighway
The near-mythical agglomeration of the Internet, communications companies, telephone systems, and other communications media that politicians seem to believe will be the "next big thing" in business, academia, and industry. Many people believe that this highway is already here, and that it's called "the Internet."

input-handling program
For Web services, a program that runs on a Web server designated by the ACTION attribute of an HTML <FORM> tag; its job is to field, interpret, and respond to user input from a browser, typically by custom-building an HTML document in response to some user request.

An Internet traveler (like "Astronaut" or "Argonaut").

Internet Service Provider (ISP)
A company or organization that provides a variety of Internet services for a fee.

A worldwide collection of networks that began with technology and equipment funded by the U.S. Department of Defense in the 1970s. Today, it links users in nearly every country, speaking nearly every known language.

IP (Internet Protocol; see TCP/IP)
IP is the specific networking protocol of the same name used to tie computers together over the Internet; IP is also used as a synonym for the whole TCP/IP protocol suite.

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
An emerging digital technology for telecommunications that offers higher bandwidth and better signal quality than old-fashioned analog telephone lines. Not yet available in many parts of the United States or in the rest of the world.

ISO (International Standardization Organization)
The granddaddy of standards organizations worldwide, the ISO is made up of standards bodies from countries all over the world. Most important communications and computing standards -- like the telecommunications and character code standards mentioned in this book -- are the subject of ISO standards.

An object-oriented, platform-independent, secure, and compact programming language designed for Web application deployment. Java was created by Sun Microsystems, but is supported by most system vendors.

.JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts' Group, an industry association that defined a highly compressible format for images designed for complex color still images (like photographs). .JPEG files usually take the extension .JPEG (except DOS or Windows 3.x machines, which are limited to the three-character .JPG equivalent). Today, .JPEG is one graphics format of choice for Web use, particularly for complex images.

Kbps (Kilobits per second)
A measure of communications speed, in units of 210 bits per second (210 = 1024, which is just about 1,000 and explains the quasi-metric "K" notation).

KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!)
A self-descriptive philosophy that's supposed to remind us to "eschew obfuscation" but is easier to understand!

LAN (Local-Area Network)
One of many communications technologies used to link computers together in a single location or on a campus.

layout element
In an HTML document a layout element is a paragraph, list, graphic, horizontal rule, heading, or some other document component whose placement on a page contributes to its overall look and feel.

linear text
Shorthand for old-fashioned documents that work like this book: by placing one page after the other, ad infinitum in a straight line. Even though such books have indexes, pointers, cross-references, and other attempts to add linkage, they must be applied manually (rather than by clicking your mouse).

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, and 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> .

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.

Return to Main Glossary Page

Home | Bonus Chapters | FTP Resources | Site Overview | Book Contents | Book URLs | Book Examples | Wayfinding Toolkit | Contact Info

E-mail: HTML For Dummies

Webmaster: Natanya Pitts, LANWrights
Copyright Information
Revised -- January 16, 1998