HTML 4 For Dummies - Bonus Chapters

S-Z


 

RAM (Random-Access Memory)
The memory used in most computers to store ongoing work, and that also provides space to store the operating system and any applications that are actually running at any given moment. When you turn off or restart your computer, any contents stored in RAM disappear forever.

relative
When applied to URLs, relative means that in the absence of the 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.

Request for Comment (RFC)
Numbered documents maintained by the IETF that contain the standards, procedures, and specifications of protocols, plus descriptions of Internet environments, addressing schemes, and capabilities.

resource
Any HTML document or other item or service available via the Web. URL point to resources.

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

robot
A special Web-traveling program that wanders widely, following and recording URLs and related titles for future reference 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. The contents of ROM remain even after the computer is switched off.

router
A special-purpose piece of Internet-working 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.

screen
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).

scripting language
A special kind of programming language that is read and executed by a computer at the same time (which means that the computer figures out what to do with it when it appears in a document or at the time that it's used. JavaScript and Perl are common scripting languages associated with Web use).

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.

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

server
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.

setup
When negotiating a network connection, the phase at the beginning of the communications process is called the setup. At this point, protocol details, communication rates, and error-handling approaches are worked out, allowing the connection to proceed correctly and reliably thenceforth.

SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language)
An ISO standard document definition, specification, and creation mechanism that makes platform and display differences across multiple computers irrelevant to the delivery and rendering of documents.

shareware
Software, available by various means, that users can run for free for a trial period. When that trial period expires, users must register and purchase the software, or they must discontinue its use.

singleton tag
An HTML tag that does not require the use of a closing tag.

SLIP (Serial Line Interface Protocol)
A relatively old-fashioned TCP/IP protocol used to manage telecommunications between a client and a server that treats the phone line as a "slow extension" to a network.

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)
An underlying protocol and service used for Internet-based electronic mail.

specification
A formal document that describes the capabilities, functions, and interfaces for a specific piece of software, a markup language, or a communications protocol.

spider (a.k.a. Web spider, Webcrawler)
A Web-traversing program that tirelessly investigates Web pages and their links, while storing information about its travels for inclusion in the databases typically used by search engines.

stdin (UNIX standard input device)
The default source for input in the UNIX environment, stdin is the input source for CGI programs as well.

stdout (UNIX standard output device)
The default recipient for output in the UNIX environment, stdout is the output source for Web browsers and servers as well (including CGI programs).

superstructure
In HTML documents, we refer to superstructure as the layout and navigational elements used to create a consistent look and feel for Web pages belonging to a document set.

syntax checker
A program that checks a particular HTML document's markup against the rules that govern its use; a recommended part of the testing regimen for all HTML documents.

syntax
Literally, the formal rules for how to speak, we use syntax in this book to describe the rules that govern how HTML markup looks and behaves within HTML documents. The real syntax definition for HTML comes from the SGML Document Type Definition (DTD).

tag
The formal name for an element of HTML markup, usually enclosed in angle brackets (< >).

TCP (Transmission Control Protocol; see TCP/IP)
The transport layer protocol for the TCP/IP suite, TCP is a reliable, connection-oriented protocol that usually guarantees delivery across a network.

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)
The name for the suite of protocols and services used to manage network communications and applications over the Internet.

teardown
When a network communication session is ending, the two computers agree to stop talking, and then systematically break the connection, and recover the port addresses and other resources used for the session. This process is called teardown.

technophobe
Literally, someone who's afraid of technology, this term is more commonly applied to those who don't want to understand technology, simply to use it!

Telnet
The Internet protocol and service that lets you take a smart computer (your own, probably) and make it emulate a dumb terminal over the network. Briefly, Telnet is a way of running programs and using capabilities on other computers across the Internet.

template
Literally, a model to imitate, we use the term template in this book to describe the skeleton of a Web page, including the HTML for its heading and footer, and a consistent layout and set of navigation elements.

terminal emulation
The process of making a full-fledged, standalone computer act like a terminal attached to another computer, terminal emulation is the service that Telnet provides across the Internet.

test plan
The series of steps and elements to be followed in conducting a formal test of software or other computerized systems; we strongly recommend that you write -- and use -- a test plan as a part of your Web publication process.

text controls
Any of a number of HTML tags, including both physical and logical markup, text controls provide a method of managing the way that text appears within an HTML document.

text-mode
A method of browser operation that displays characters only. Text-mode browsers cannot display graphics without the assistance of helper applications.

throughput
Another measure of communications capability, this term refers to the amount of data that can be "put through" a connection in a given period of time. It differs from bandwidth in being a measure of actual performance, rather than a theoretical maximum for the medium involved.

thumbnail
A miniature rendering of a graphical image, used as a link to the full-sized version.

title
The text supplied between . . . defines the text that shows up on that page's title bar when displayed, and is also used as data in many Web search engines.

TMP directories
Special working directories, normally associated with Microsoft Windows operating systems, where temporary files are created and manipulated while programs are executing.

token ring
The second most common type of local-area networking technology in use, token ring is always and forever associated with IBM, since they helped to develop and perfect this type of network. It takes its name from passing around special permits to transmit called tokens, in a ring-shaped pattern around the network, to give all attached devices a fair chance to broadcast information whenever they must.

transparent .GIF
A specially rendered .GIF image that takes on the background color selected in a browser capable of handling such .GIFs. This makes the graphic blend into the existing color scheme and provides a more professional-looking page.

tree structure(d) (see also hierarchical structure)
Computer scientists like to think of hierarchies in graphical terms, which makes them look like upside-down trees (single root at the top, multiple branches below). File systems and genealogies are examples of tree-structured organizations that we all know, but they abound in the computer world. This structure also works well for certain Web document sets, especially larger, more complex ones.

UNIX shell
The name of the command-line program used to manage user-computer interaction, the shell can also be used to write CGI scripts and other kinds of useful programs for UNIX.

UNIX
The operating system of choice for the Internet community at large, and the Web community, too, UNIX offers the broadest range of tools, utilities, and programming libraries for Web server use.

URI (Uniform Resource Identifier)
Any of a class of objects that identify resources available to the Web; both URLs and URNs are instances of URIs.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
The primary naming scheme used to identify Web resources, URLs define the protocols to use, the domain name of the Web server where a resource resides, the port address to use for communication, and a directory path to access named Web files or resources.

URL-encoded text
A method for passing information requests and URL specification to Web servers from browsers, URL encoding replaces spaces with plus signs (+) and substitutes special hex codes for a range of otherwise unreproducable characters. This method is used to pass document queries from browsers to servers (for the details, please consult Chapter 12).

URN (Uniform Resource Name)
A permanent, unchanging name for a Web resource, URNs are seldom used in today's Web environment. They do, however, present a method guaranteed to obtain access to a resource, as soon as the URN can be fully resolved (it sometimes consists of human or organizational contact information, rather than resource location data).

Usenet
An Internet protocol and service that provides access to a vast array of named newsgroups, where users congregate to exchange information and materials related to specific topics or concerns.

V.32
CCITT standard for a 9.6 Kbps two-wire full duplex modem operating on a regular dial-up or 2-wire leased lines.

V.32bis
Newer higher-speed CCITT standard for full-duplex transmission on two-wire leased and dial-up lines at rates from 4.8 to 14.4 Kbps.

V.34
The newest high-speed CCITT standard for full-duplex transmission on two-wire leased and dial-up lines at rates from 4.8 to 28.8 Kbps.

V.42
CCITT error correction standard that can be used with V.32, V.32bis, and V.34.

V.42bis
CCITT data compression standard, capable of compressing files on-the-fly at an average rate of 3.5:1. It can yield speeds of up to 38.4 Kbps on a 9.6 Kbps modem, and up to 115.2 Kbps on a 28.8 modem. If your modem can do this, try to find an Internet service provider that also supports V.42bis. This feature pays for itself very quickly.

VAX/VMS
The VAX is a Digital Equipment Corporation computer in wide use; VMS (Virtual Memory System) names the proprietary operating system that many of these machines run, but many VAXes run UNIX instead.

Veronica
A search tool for navigating the global collection of Gopher servers, collectively referred to as Gopherspace.

WAIS (Wide-Area Information Service)
A collection of programs that implement a specific protocol for information retrieval, able to index large-scale collections of data round the Internet. WAIS provides content-oriented query services to WAIS clients and is one of the more powerful Internet search tools available.

Web pages
Synonym for HTML documents, we use Web pages in this book to refer to sets of related, interlinked HTML documents, usually produced by a single author or organization.

Web server
A computer, usually on the Internet, that plays host to httpd and related Web-service software.

Web site
An addressed location, usually on the Internet, that provides access to the set of Web pages that correspond to the URL for a given site; thus a Web site consists of a Web server and a named collection of Web documents, both accessible through a single URL.

Web
Shorthand for the World-Wide Web (or W3), we also use Web in this book to refer to a related, interlinked set of HTML documents.

white space
The "breathing room" on a page, this refers to parts of a display or document unoccupied by text or other visual elements. A certain amount of white space is essential to make documents attractive and readable.

Windows (a.k.a. MS-Windows)
Microsoft's astonishingly popular (and sometimes frustrating) GUI environment for PCs, Windows is the GUI of choice for most desktop computer users.

WinWeb
The Windows version of a once-popular Web browser developed at MCC, now long since supplanted by Netscape Navigator and Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

World Wide Web (a.k.a. WWW or W3) the complete collection of all Web servers available on the Internet, which comes as close to containing the "sum of human knowledge" as anything we've ever seen.

WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)
A term used to describe text editors or other layout tools (like HTML authoring tools) that attempt to show their users on screen what final, finished documents will look like.

X Windows
The GUI of choice for UNIX systems, X Windows offers a graphical window, icon, and mouse metaphor similar to (but much more robust and powerful than) Microsoft Windows.

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Revised -- January 16, 1998