Glossary TOC

The gloss of the Web

was lost on the fly

who intended to miss it

as he passed by

  • aiff A sound file format.

  • Anchor The name used to denote a clickable path to another part of a webpage ot to another webpage at another URL address. More specifically, an anchor is a tag in HTML of the type < A HREF= " * " > A hyperlink < /a > where the " * " represents a wildcard URL address, which can include ftp, http, gopher, file, mailto, news, telnet, et cetera.

  • ARPAnet- Advanced Research Project Agency Network - A defense related computer network system which used Transport Control Protocol(TCP) and later the variation Internet Protocol to make information transfer.

  • ASCII The mapping relation between the first 256 numbers and the keyboard symbols used in computer science. Most text files can be stored in ASCII format. This is the format assumed in both http and ftp protocols.

  • au An audio file format.

  • Attribute refers to designators inside HTML tags which can be modified to change the style in an element of a webpage. \vfill \eject

  • Bookmark The name for a simple procedure on most browsers that lets you store an URL address on your hard disk which can be used later to return to that location. Bookmarks are useful for setting anchors on your homepage at a later date.

  • Binary The alphabet of computer systems. Simply put, the numbers zero and one. There are some variations in the way that these two numbers are used, for example; bytes, bits and hexadecimal representations.

  • Bit and Byte A bit is a single binary value in a list of binary values ( i.e 1001 includes four bits) while a byte is a set of eight bits or 256 pieces of information (i.e. 1001 1101 is a byte).

  • Browser refers to a computer program which allows the user to access the information over the internet in a simple and easy way. By browser we will typically mean an http type browser which allows for the transfer of graphics and convenient viewing of text.


  • Cache refers to the system of storing HTML and IMG files on your computer.

  • Clickable refers to an icon, a picture map, an underlined anchor or any other object in an webpage which allows the user to interact with the browser by using the button on the mouse.

  • Delimiter Delimiters are used in HTML to denote special words and phrases. The browser uses delimiters to differentiate computer commands from text and data that should appear on the webpage.


  • ftp -File Transfer Protocol- Allows for the transfer of binary and ASCII files between computers. The binary switch must be set to " I " to transfer binary files. There is currently computer software which will do ftp for you, including some browsers.

  • gif - Graphics Interchange Format - A rigid graphical file description system.

  • Graphical User Interface refers specifically to point and click view screen technology.

  • Help-page A webpage specifically designed to help a user use the website effectively.

  • Homepage usually refers explicitly to the introductory page on an website, or a users own personal introductory page. The browser can be set to start at the user homepage by changing the startup preferences, usually on the preferences menu on the browser window.

  • HTML - HyperText Markup Language- The computer language used to format an webpage. This language is a subset of the language CGML.

  • http - HyperText Transfer Protocol- The coding scheme used to transfer HTML information reliably. This prefix must be used to ensure that the browser will be able to transfer the information accurately. Each http address typically begins with http://www.* where the * represents a wildcard or variable address representation.

  • hyperlink is a synonym for anchor.

  • hypermedia refers specifically to the full range of media distributed over the Web.


  • Icon An icon is a computer image placed on the screen as a clue or reminder of the properties of a computer file, program or anchor.

  • IMG is an HTML tag which instructs the browser to load into the document a graphical file such as
    or a similar bitmap style graphics file.

  • Indexpage A webpage containing a clickable map or outline of the website.

  • Infopage refers to an HTML document on the Web which is designed explicitly to give information about the website to the user. This name is used to set aside the name Homepage for pages which are explicitly introductory pages. The most general designation is webpage.

  • In-line Image refers to a graphics image placed within an HTML document by using the < IMG > tag.

  • Internet The internet developed as the various network systems ( ARPAnet in the United States and CERNET in Europe) combined and began to connect with universities and other interested parties. The electronic mail capabilities of these systems made them especially attractive to a wide audience of users.

  • jpeg - Joint Photographic Expert Group - a rigid graphical file description system and file compression scheme which can use millions of colors.


  • Link refers specifically to an attribute in the $<$BODY$>$ tag of an HTML document, but it is often used as a synonym for anchor or hyperlink in web terminology. Anchor is perhaps a preferred term since the term link has a more specialized meaning in computer science. Remember, several links connect the anchor to the ship.

  • MIME - Multiple Internet Mail Extensions- a method for identifying to the browser the hypermedia contents of the given webpage.

  • Mining - exploring a website to find the most interesting webpages.

  • mpeg - Moving Pictures Expert Group- A set of ordered graphical files which can produce a moving picture.

  • multi-mediapage - hypermedia page uses a variety of sound, graphics and moving pictures within the webpage.

  • Open Look - A graphical user interface system developed by AT$\&$T and Sun Microsystems using the X-Window system.

  • Orb or Orbit The set of strands emanating from an indexpage or homepage. Each orbit is very much like a web. A closed orbit refers specifically to those infopages that are under the control of a single designer and which link only to the designers pages.

  • Platform refers to the computer hardware system together with its operating system. More specifically, it is often used to denote the type of screen output. Examples are :

                  * X-Windows on Unix

                  * Windows or Windows 95 or OS/2 on IBM compatibles.

                  * Macintosh OS

                  * NeXT Step on Unix

  • Portable A portable program or file system is one that can be used on several different computers without using a converter. The standard system for portable text files is ASCII. Java is an example of a portable programming language.

  • Protocol - a step by step security procedure for information transfer between computers.

  • pic - a UNIX troff utility which formats output to print simple drawings of lines, circles et cetera.

  • Postscript - A flexible graphical file description system developed by Adobe Systems.


  • Server - the computer version of a waiter or waitress. The server waits for your requests and then attempts to serve the requested information to you.

  • Strand A chain of webpages emanatinig from an indexpage or homepage

  • Tag refers to a basic word in the language HTML.

  • TCP/IP Transport Control Protocol/Internet Protocol A set of computer packages used initially by ARPAnet and later by the internet to route and to ensure secure information transfers between computers within local networks and between local networks.

  • tiff - {Tag Image File Format} - a file image scheme used for storing pictures.

  • troff - UNIX based print utility


  • UNIX The UNIX operating system originally grew out of the the MULTICS operating system developed for a General Electric computer system. This was the product of a consortium of computer related industries. When the consortium failed to produce a satisfactory product, a computer operating system was developed on a PDP-7 at Bell Labs by Ken Thompson, one of the participants in the original MULTICS project. Ironically, it was dubbed UNIX because it actually could handle multitasking effectively. UNIX created the open system environments along with security measures that made the internet possible. Many of the file transfer protocols grew out of the UNIX concept.

  • URL Uniform Resource Locator. An address system implemented on various servers to provide accurate location and route information to browsers.

  • Utility - an operating system program which manages input and output features such as file manipulation, screen processes, print processes, communication processes et cetera.

  • Web - Nickname fo the World-Wide Web.

  • Weblian - someone at home on the World-Wide Web.

  • Webling - a newcomer to the World-Wide Web.

  • Webpage - Any accessible HTML document on the Web.

  • Website - A system of webpages organized around a homepage or indexpage.

  • Webspert - an expert on the World-Wide Web.

  • Wildcard - *- refers to the a variable filename or http address. It is commonly used when the reader needs to add the address or filename. It is less confusing than using http://www.address.gov since there may be an address which is exactly the one given.

  • WWW World Wide Web. An special feature of the internet which allows accurate transfer of data in the form of documents and graphics, which are easily accessible and window view ready.

  • XBM - X Bit Maps - black and white graphics file storage scheme.

    X-Windows - a UNIX compatible windowing system developed at MIT.