B C D E
F G H I
J K L M
N O P Q R
S T U V W
X Y Z
A small software application.
More commonly known as the term for Java- and
animation, or perform sophisticated database queries, or anything else
that a small application does.
A way to describe network capacity.
If you've got a 56K modem, you've got a high-bandwidth connection. If you've
got a 9,600 bps modem, you've got a low-bandwidth connection. If you want
to use digital video, you need a high bandwidth.
Chances are good that you're using
a browser to look at this document. A browser, in most current usage, is
any client software that is used for looking at World Wide Web resources.
There are other kinds of browsers, too -- for example, image catalogs on
CDs are accessed through image-database browsers. Netscape
Navigator, Internet Explorer and Mosaic
are browsers. So is Lynx.
Centre européen pour
la recherche nucléaire (European Center for Nuclear Research). The
original home of the World Wide Web, Geneva's CERN developed Web protocols
as a means for scientific researchers to exchange documents easily.
Common Gateway Interface.
A means for adding functionality to the World Wide Web through scripting.
Among other things, CGI scripts can pull records out of an external database.
Whenever you run a search on the Internet, you are likely to be using a
A software application that interacts
with a server application. In the case of the World
Wide Web, a browser client, like Netscape Navigator,
will request a file over the Internet from a server program.
Client/Server is the organizational
model for the newer generation of computing. Instead of a host computer
running all applications and feeding information to users via dumb terminals,
an application on the user's local machine -- the client -- requests and
stores information from, and on, the server, but then does much of the
A means for determining how long
an HTML file stays in the client browser window before
it is refreshed or replaced. Client pull is used, among other things, for
routing users from one page to another.
The nebulous domain that is inhabited
by computers and networks. Originated in William Gibson's novel Neuromancer.
The unique name for each Internet
site. The "top level" of a domain name is the last part, always two or
three letters. In the United States, the top-level domains are .com
(for commercial organizations), .org (for non-profit organizations),
.net (for network providers), .gov (for the Federal government),
and .mil (for the military). In other countries, two-letter ISO-standard
codes represent each country, e.g. .fr for France, .de for
Germany, .uk for the United Kingdom, .ca for Canada, .jp
for Japan, and so forth. There are exceptions: .us is occasionally
used, especially by municipal and state governments, and foreign companies
are allowed access to the .com and .net top-level domains.
The hierarchy for domain names is represented
from right to left. After the top-level domain name come the various sub-domain
names. A domain name generally represents one computer. Users' workstations
may have their own domain names, or they may simply be assigned IP
"Virtual" domain names also exist. These
may be aliases to other machines, or they may simply point to a directory
on a large host machine that serves as a mail or Web server. This is often
done for small businesses and individuals who want to have a presence on
the Internet but who do not want to have to set up a physical site.
Domain Name Server. A piece
of software sitting on a server computer that resolves domain names to
actual IP addresses. For example, if you wanted to open
an Internet telephone call with Morty Miller, whose workstation domain
name was mortym.bigcorp.com, you would enter mortym.bigcorp.com.
The DNS would determine that mortym.bigcorp.com actually represented
the address 18.104.22.168. The DNS would then transmit that IP address
to your computer; and your computer would initiate the telephone call.
Nodes communicate with each other using IP addresses rather than domain
names, though users may never see the actual IP addresses being used.
Electronic Mail. Electronic
communications, sending text messages.
Frequently Asked Questions.
FAQs are text files, posted to Usenet newsgroups, mailing lists, or World
Wide Web pages, that have answers to the most commonly asked questions
on a particular subject. Although they are often technical in nature (e.g.
QuarkXPress FAQ, Gas Chromatography FAQ, etc.), they may exist on any topic
under the sun (Esperanto FAQ, Elvis FAQ). If you ask a question on any
given subject, you may be referred to the FAQ first.
Software developed by individuals
or small companies that costs nothing to use. The developer retains the
copyright to the product, so freeware is not in the public domain. Many
Internet utilities are freeware or shareware.
File Transfer Protocol.
FTP is the most common method for transfering files over the Internet.
When you want to upload your new Web pages to your server, for example,
you send them using FTP. Some FTP sites -- notably university shareware/freeware
archives, and software company archives -- allow you to log on anonymously
to retrieve public files. There are numerous FTP clients for each operating
system -- some using a graphical interface, others require commands to
be typed in.
Graphics Interchange Format.
One of the two major graphics file formats on the Web. . GIF is limited
to 256 colors (8-bit color). GIF files have the extension .gif.
See also JPEG.
A billion bytes.
A thousand megabytes. Workstations now often have
one- or two-gigabyte hard drives. Some servers have mass storage measured
A large computer that is accessed
for remote services. Host is a bit of an old-fashioned, mainframe-computer
term, and has become something of a synonym for server.
Terminals are used for connecting to hosts.
Hypertext Markup Language.
The page-coding language for the World Wide Web. Every page that you see
on the Web is represented in HTML, whether it was written by a human or
by a computer. HTML is relatively simple: you turn attributes on and off
using "tags"; and you create graphics and text hyperlinks to pages or files
anywhere else on the Internet. HTML pages are viewed using a World Wide
Web client program such as Netscape or Mosaic.
HTML files end in the file extension .html or .htm.
Hypertext Transport Protocol.
The protocol for serving files on the World Wide Web, HTTP is what browsers
and clients use to send and get files. The string
http:// makes up the first part of the URL for
all World Wide Web pages.
Text linked to other text or other
documents. Apple Computer was an early pioneer in hypertext, publishing
an easy-to-program application called HyperCard. The World Wide Web is
based upon hypertext links. Clicking on any underlined text in a Web document
will prompt your browser to request another resource: another part of the
same document, another document, or another file, such as an image or sound.
The ability to link resources in this way is what makes the WWW so easy
The "world's biggest network".
The worldwide net of networks and subnetworks.
The name for Microsoft's World
Wide Web browser.
Internet Explorer has been gaining ground
on Netscape's Navigator. An increasing number of
Web authors are writing their pages so that they work with IE as well as
the Netscape Navigator browser.
A unique number consisting of 4 numbers
between 0 and 255 punctuated by dots, e.g. 22.214.171.124
Every computer running TCP/IP has its own
unique IP number. Many computers are also assigned domain
names, which are easier to remember.
Also called "imagemap". An image,
displayed in a World-Wide Web browser window, that has certain regions
mapped out as links to other Web documents. ISMAP requests are processed
by CGI scripts sitting on the remote server.
Internet Service Provider.
A company that allows home and corporate users to connect to the Internet.
The connection may be part-time PPP or SLIP
(for home users), or it may be a full-time ISDN, T-1,
or T-3 connection (for companies and clients running
new programming language, based on C++ is used to develop "applets" that
load from WWW sites. Identical Java applets can be used on any supported
platform -- that is, a Macintosh machine will run the same code as a Unix
machine or a Windows NT machine.
An implementation of the Java
programming language that allows non-programmers to build Java-based applications
Joint Photographic Experts'
Group. A standard for photographic image compression. JPEG is a "lossy"
compression method, which discards data from an image and interpolates
the surrounding area. JPEG is also used for compressing frames of the QuickTime
movie format, although it is gradually being replaced by MPEG
for motion-picture compression. JPEG is capable of storing 24-bit images
(millions of colors). JPEG files on the Web have the extension .jpeg
or .jpg. See also: GIF
Literally, a thousand bytes,
but actually 1,024 bytes. See also: Bit, Megabyte,
To "log in" is to gain access
to a protected computer. As a noun, login is the Unix term for account
An early World Wide Web browser,
Lynx is text-only. Though most early World Wide Web pages were easily comprehensible
when viewed with text-only browsers, the Web's increasing dependence on
graphics makes solutions like Lynx more and more unworkable -- much to
the detriment of the visually impaired, who use text-to-speech software
to "read" online text.
An automated e-mail
group mailing list. They are often supported by software vendors or user
groups to disseminate information on a regular basis. Mailing lists tend
to be somewhat more serious than the more anarchical discussion groups
on the Usenet.
A million bits.
Transmission speed over local area networks (LANs) is
often measured in terms of Megabits per second (Mbps).
A million bytes.
A thousand (1,024, to be exact) kilobytes. Hard-disk space is usually given
in megabytes -- but disks are getting bigger, and may be measured in gigabytes
or -- on very large server volumes -- terabytes.
Developed as freeware at NCSA,
Mosaic was the first graphical World Wide Web browser. It quickly lost
prominence when Mark Andreessen, its principal developer, left NCSA to
form Netscape. The source code for Mosaic has been
licensed to other software companies; most online services' browsers are
based on some Mosaic code.
Motion Pictures Experts Group.
An evolving standard for digital video compression. Often used for creating
movie files seen on the World Wide Web. See also JPEG
"Proper" etiquette on the Internet.
The colloquial name for the premier
World Wide Web browser (which is actually called "Netscape Navigator"),
and the name of the company that publishes it.
Netscape has quickly become the de facto
standard-setter for the World Wide Web. Most Web authors write their pages
to take advantage of the Netscape Navigator browser; Netscape's server
software (Netscape Communications Server and Netscape Commerce Server)
are extremely successful commercial server packages; and Netscape Navigator
is the first browser to support Sun Microsystems' Java
Netscape Communications Corporation is
the brainchild of Jim Clark, a former Silicon Graphics executive, and Mark
Andreessen, the principal developer of Mosaic at NCSA.
Netscape now occupies Wall Street legend, because when it was first offered
for public sale in August 1995, Netscape stock gained three times its opening
value on the first day.
Network Information Center.
An office that assigns domain names on the Internet.
Generally, each top-level domain has a NIC. In the United States, the InterNIC
assigns all high-level domain names ending with .com, .org, .net, .gov,
.mil, and .us. Lower-level domain names are usually assigned
by local network administrators.
A closed, pay-to-use system for
e-mail, chat groups, newsgroups, and the like. Online services are much
like overgrown BBSs in that one owner controls all the
content. Although online services are largely responsible for the initial
growth in interest in the Internet, they are beginning to lose customers,
who see the Internet as more open, more interesting, and cheaper -- though
not always for the faint-of-heart (technically or emotionally). The best-known
online services are America Online, CompuServe, and Prodigy.
Portable Document Format.
The file format used by Adobe Acrobat.
A UNIX-based scripting language
that is often used on the World Wide Web. When you submit a complex form
from your browser window, for example, the processing of the information
may be handled by a Perl script. Perl scripts usually end in the extension
Pretty Good Privacy. An
open data-encryption standard written by Phil Zimmermann. PGP encrypts
documents using the RSA encryption algorithm. PGP is prohibited from export
by the US Government.
A piece of software, often written
by a third-party software developer, that loads in conjunction with a host
application and extends the functionality of that application. Sometimes
An Internet-based application,
often used as a plug-in to Web browsers, that allows
for real-time transmission of audio (e.g., radio broadcasts).
Robots on the Internet
have little to do with the mechanized beasts of science-fiction movies.
They automate time-consuming tasks that humans don't like to do, such as
gathering database information or checking the validity of hypertext links.
A special software/hardware implementation
that allows users to search the World Wide Web for information based on
keywords and other search criteria. The search engine is one of the most
useful aspects of the World Wide Web. Some of the major ones are InfoSeek,
Alta Vista, Excite, Lycos, Webcrawler, and Yahoo.
Some search engines find pages through
robots that regularly crawl the Web, building databases
of information on current pages. Others solely index items that have been
submitted manually. Many search engines use both methods.
Server is a generic term
for hardware or software that provides services to clients on a network.
A network file server gives users on a network access to shared hard-disk
volumes. A World Wide Web server gives Internet users access to documents
on that server's volume. A mail server distributes mail to individual users
within a local area network.
Modern computing is increasingly based
upon the client/server model.
Software, usually developed by
a small company or an individual, that is distributed via the Internet,
online services, and CD-ROMs, and which costs very little (usually $10-$50)
to use. Payment of shareware fees is based on the honor system, although
an increasing number of shareware programs allow use of the software for
a short time, after which the software will fail to function unless the
user pays for the software. Many Internet utilities are shareware or freeware.
written by Macromedia that allows interactive multimedia presentations
to play in a World Wide Web browser window.
Secure Hypertext Transmission
Protocol. A standard used for transferring secure documents over the
World Wide Web. S-HTTP relies upon the RSA encryption algorithm. Presently
S-HTTP is used mostly for credit-card purchases over the Web. Pages using
this protocol have a URL starting with https://
To spam is to flood Usenet
newsgroups or mailing lists with unwanted,
unsolicited information. A spam may be advertising material, a get-rich-quick
scheme, or a paranoid rant.
A Silicon Valley hardware and
software company, one of the major players in the high-end Unix workstation
market. Sun is the developer of Java, the new programming
language for the Internet. Sun supports two flavors of Unix: SunOS and
Uniform Resource Locator.
The address of any document or other resource on the Internet. URLs always
start with a protocol name, like http, ftp, gopher, or telnet,
for example, and then usually list the resource's domain
name and file path. A typical World Wide Web URL goes like this:
A URL for a particular file on an FTP site
would be similar to this:
Some non-standard URLs are used for launching
other applications that access information over the Internet. A couple
of examples of these are netphone://, for one company's Internet
telephony application, and FMP3://, for accessing FileMaker Pro
Virtual Reality Modeling Language.
Pronounced -- "vermal." VRML can be thought of as the HTML
of 3-D. Developed partially at Silicon Graphics, the company that brought
you the dinosaurs in the movie Jurassic Park.
World Wide Web
The collection of resources across
the Internet that is accessed using World Wide Web browsers.
It is an effective means for tying together very different types of resources
that are scattered across servers all over the world.
Wide Web (see). Also, in lowercase, the most common domain-name
prefix for World Wide Web servers, e.g. www.netscape.com.