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Web Design and Internet Glossary

The Internet is a world unto itself, created by  geeks who delight in trying to outdo each other in creating obscure names for the technology.  But fear not; we will reduce it to English here:

  • Address
    Just like the address on your house, it is a means to uniquely identify the location of a web page.
  • ADSL
    (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Loop/Line). Commonly called "DSL" or "highspeed internet connection" or simply "broadband"; it uses the telephone line to provide access to the internet. Speeds used to be 10 times that of a dial up connection, but the technology is continually evolving and growing faster. Note: upload and download speeds are usually different. Important: Unlike the dial up, you can still use your telephone for voice or fax at the same time.
  • Anonymous FTP (Anon FTP)
    A method for downloading and uploading files using FTP protocol without having a username or a password. In place of a username, word "anonymous" is used, and in place of a password, email address is usually used. If a hosting plan offers this service, your users will be able to download or upload files with FTP without having their own account.
  • Anonymous remailer
    A SMTP server that allows sending anonymous email messages. It removes or changes the "From" field of all messages that it processes.
  • Apache Web Server
    Apache is an open-source (source code is freely available and can be shared) HTTP Web server software. According to Netcraft survey, it is currently the most popular web server on the Net. It is usually run on Unix operating system versions like Linux or BSD, but it can also be run on Windows. It is a full-featured server with many powerful add-ons freely available. Apache's major competitor is Microsoft's IIS.
  • Applet
    Most often refers to a small Java program designed to run in a Web browser. Java applets run in a sandbox, so they can't perform unauthorized functions like file reading or opening Net connections to other computer from your computer.
  • Archive
    Archives are large files containing valuable data. Archives are often compressed to save space.
  • ARJ
    One of the most popular compression formats.
  • ASCII
    (American Standard Code for Information Interchange). A standard for coding text files. Every character has an associated number and any text can be represented by a sequence of numbers.
  • ASP - Active Server Pages

  • Microsoft's server-side scripting language. Recognized by an .asp extension, it mixes HTML and scripting code that can be written in VBScript or JScript. ASP is distributed with Microsoft's IIS web server, so most host using IIS will also offer ASP for dynamic web programming. ASP.NET is the next version of ASP. Other popular server-side scripting languages are Perl, PHP, ColdFusion, TCL, Python, and JSP.
  • Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
    A set of network protocols designed for multimedia transmission. Data is partitioned into cells (53 bytes each) and passed along a virtual circuit. ATM allows for building very high speed networks.
  • Attachment
    A part of an email message. Usually a file (a data file or a multimedia file) or a webpage. It is not a part of the text of the message, instead it is attached to the message.
  • AU
    Audio file format for Unix systems.
  • Authentication
    Authentication is used to confirm the identity of the other party involved in the data transmission.
  • AVI files
    Audio/Video Interleave. Audio file format used by Microsoft Widows.
  • BACK / FORWARD
    Buttons in most browsers' Tool Button Bar, upper left. BACK returns you to the document previously viewed. FORWARD goes to the next document, after you go BACK.
    If it seems like the BACK button does not work, check if you are in a new Netscape window; some Web pages are programmed to open a new window when you click on some links. Each window has its own short-term search HISTORY. If this does not work, use GO to select the page you want (some Web pages are programmed to disable BACK).
  • Backbone
    Main high-speed network connection composing the Internet. Backbones are operated by major telecommunications companies like Sprint, MCI, or AT&T. Internet backbone maps are here.
  • Bandwidth
    Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred over the network in a fixed amount of time. On the Net, it is usually expressed in bits per second (bps) or in higher units like Mbps (millions of bits per second). 28.8 modem can deliver 28,800 bps, a T1 line is about 1.5 Mbps.
  • BLOG or WEB LOG
    A blog (short for "web log") is a type of web page that serves as a publicly accessible personal journal (or log) for an individual. Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality of the author. Blog software usually has archives of old blogs, and is searchable. Frequently blogging software is used by web pages providing excellent information on many topics, although very frequently the content is personal and requires VERY careful evaluation.
  • Body
    The part of an email message that contains the actual text of the message.
  • Bookmarks (Netscape and Mozilla Firefox) or Favorites (I.E.)
    It is the means by which you save direct links to sites you wish to return to. To create a bookmark in Netscape, click on BOOKMARKS, then ADD BOOKMARK. Or left-click on and drag the little bookmark icon (in Netscape 4.6 and higher, to the right of the word BOOKMARK) to the place you want a new bookmark filed. To visit a bookmarked site, click on BOOKMARKS and select the site from the list.
    The equivalent in Internet Explorer to Netscape's Bookmarks is called "Favorites."
    You can download a bookmark file to diskette and install it on another computer. To do this in Netscape, select BOOKMARKS, then EDIT BOOKMARKS, then, in the FILE menu, select SAVE AS. To do this in IE, select from the main browser tool bar FILE, then Import and Export... and follow directions for exporting to a file. Import (part of the same IE program) allows you to bring a Netscape Bookmark file into IE as Favorites.
  • Bookmark
    A way of storing a frequently visited website address. It is then easier to access the website in the future.
  • Bot
    An automated piece of software that can be used in chat rooms or to crawl the web.
  • Browser
    Computer program that allows to search the World Wide Web and displays the content of the web pages. Examples are Mosaic, Netscape, Mozilla, Opera and Internet Explorer.
  • Browser sniffing
    The process in which the web site tries to determine what kind of web browser the user is using. This is done to suit the website to the particular capabilities of the browser.
  • C/C++
    Popular programming languages (C++ includes objects) that can be used to create server programs that run after compilation. C and C++ were not designed specifically for web programming, but they can still be useful, especially because mature compilers producing very fast code and large code libraries already exist.
  • CA - Certifying Authority. Authority which signs public key (PK), so some third party can verify, that the PK is really belongs to whom it claims to belong.
  • Cable Modem
    A cable modem is used for connecting to the Internet using the cable TV infrastructure. It offers high speed Internet access.
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
    A style-sheet determines how the HTML document is displayed by the browser. The current version of CSS is version 2 (CSS2).
  • CERN
    (Conseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire) A nuclear research laboratory where the World Wide Web was invented.
  • Certificate
    Digital ID used for SSL transactions. It includes owner's public key, the name of the owner, the issuer, hostname, and the expiration date.
  • Certificate Authority
    A company trusted by a browser maker that issues digital certificates that are supposed to guarantee that the company is what it claims to be for use in encrypted digital transactions though SSL. Verisign is the biggest certificate authority.
  • CGI - Common Gateway Interface
    A standard for interfacing web servers with an executable application. A CGI program can be written in any language like Perl or C/C++ and it is often stored in a special directory like /cgi-bin. CGI is often used to process data from HTML forms.
  • cgi-bin
    A directory on the server where the executable CGI scripts reside.
  • Client/Server
    A network architecture where a system is divided into two parts: the client and the server.
  • Clustering
    Connecting many computers and making them appear as one machine. This is done to increase reliability and performance.
  • Co-location (colo)
    Putting a web server in a dedicated facility that provides high-speed Internet connection, security, environment, backup power, and technical support. Unlike the dedicated server, the client controls both hardware and software.
  • ColdFusion
    ColdFusion is an easy to use server-side scripting language developed by Allaire. It comes with ColdFusion Studio, a visual IDE. Here is Allaire's ColdFusion page. Other popular server-side scripting languages are ASP. Perl, PHP, TCL, Python, and JSP.
  • Command-line interface
    The opposite of the GUI (Graphical User Interface). A way of interacting with a computer system using the keyboard and a text-only display. Usually more powerful, but less user-friendly thatn a GUI.
  • Control Panel
    Control panel included in web hosting packages is an online web-based application that allows you to easily manage different aspects of your account. Most control panels will let you upload files, add email accounts, change contact information, set up shopping carts or databases, view usage statistics, etc.
  • Cookie
    A Cookie is a piece of data that is saved in the user's browser by the web server. It is used to customize user's browsing experience.
  • CPU
    Central Processing Unit. The most important part of the computer.
  • Crawler
    Also known as spider, an automated software that retrieves webpages and follows the hyperlinks contained in them. Used to generate indexes used by search engines.
  • Data transfer
    In Web hosting, the total size of files transferred by an account in a month. Sites with a lots of graphics, downloads, or streaming audio or video and a lot of visitors will require plans with more available transfer.
  • Database
    Data in a structured format stored on a web server. Most popular type is a relational database. The most common query (information retrieval) language for relational databases is SQL. Linux-based hosts most commonly include MySQL database and Windows NT-based hosts usually include Access or MS SQL databases.
  • Dedicated Server
    Similar to co-location, except that you lease or rent hardware from a Web host. The main advantage over co-location is easier upgrade and usually better support. Getting a dedicated server or co-locating is necessary for sites that outgrow shared servers because they use a lot of bandwidth and resources or they require total control over software environment.
  • DES
    Data Encryption Standard - an U.S. government approved cipher. It is easy to break in its simplest form, but used multiple times with key of at least 128 bits provides good security.
  • DHCP
    (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol). An automated way of obtaining an IP address in the Local Area Network.  
  • DHTML - Dynamic HTML, HTML that can create active responses.
  • Dial up
    Dialup access is a way of connecting a computer to the Internet using a modem and the telephone line. It is rather slow and blocks the telephone line.
  • DNS
    Domain Name System. Internet service that maps Internet domains into corresponding IP addresses. DNS database is distributed and replicated among many DNS servers, so when you change your domain's IP address, the changes take a while to propagate.  
  • DOM - Document Object Model.
  • Domain name
    Domain name is an easy-to-remember address that can be translated by DNS into server's IP address. Domain names are hierarchical. Domain's suffix indicates which TLD (top level domain) it belongs to, for example .com, .gov, .org, .net, or .jp. Recently ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) added several new TLDs, like .biz, .pro., and .museum.

    DSL
    Digital Subscriber Line. A better way of connecting a computer to the Internet using the telephone line. It's faster than the dialup and doesn't block the telephone line. However, it is more expensive because the special equipment is required.
     
  • DTD - Document Type Definition, this is the formal specification of a markup language, written using SGML
  • E-Business
    Using web and Internet technologies in conducting the business activities. Also expanding end enhancing traditional business practices by means of the Internet.

    EMail (Electronic Mail,e-mail)
    One of the most popular Internet services. Basically it's the transmission of text based messages. An email message can also contain more structured elements, like tables, images and multimedia. It can also be used to send various data files, by means of attachments. You have to have an email account in order to be able to use this service.

    Encryption
    Encryption means encoding data using a cryptographic cipher. Encrypted data can be read (decrypted) only by an authorized entity.

    Ethernet
    Local Area Network (LAN) protocol invented by Xerox Corporation. It is a broadcast protocol that uses CSMA/CD method and utilizes electrical cables. It can run at various speeds: 10Mbps, 100Mbps and even 1000Mbps. IEEE 802.3 standard describes Ethernet. Word Ethernet is also sometimes used to describe the implementation that runs at the speed of 10Mbps.

    Extranet
    A part of the company's network that is made accessible for some group of people. Sometimes protected by a password or some other kind of authentication. It allows users to access some of the non-public data, eg. a person's credit card balance.

    FAQ
    (Frequently Asked Question) Lists of frequently asked questions and answers to them are used as a way of sharing knowledge on the web. They are a very good way of finding solutions to different problems. Some companies include them in their websites to minimize the number of Customer Support inquiries.

    Fast Ethernet
    Fast Ethernet is the implementation of Ethernet standard that operates at the speed of 100Mbps.

    FCC
    (Federal Communications Commission). U.S.A. telecommunications regulatory organization. It controls standards that pertain to electronic and electromagnetic transmission and also licenses the frequencies and bandwidth for the commercial use.

    FDDI
    (Fiber Distributed Data Interface). A very high speed network protocol. Uses fiber-optic cable, and is mainly used as the backbone network protocol due to its speed. It is also often the choice for critical applications due to its reliability.

    Fibre Optic Cable
    A cable used for transmitting data as a light wave. A fiber optic cable is composed of one or more optical fibers. It is more expensive that copper wire, but offers higher transmission speeds and allows for communication over larger distances.

    Filename extension
    Last three or four letters of a file name that appear after the dot. Used to designate the type of file and the format used.

    Filtering
    Screening network packets for certain properties, such as the source or destination address, protocol used or even a pattern in the data. It is used in firewalls in order to decide if the traffic is to be forwarded or rejected. Provides the basis for network security.

    Firewall
    Firewall refers to either software-only or separate software and hardware combination that serves to protect an internal network or a computer from attacks and unauthorized access by sitting between the Internet and the internal network.

    Flame
    An insulting email message sent to an individual as punishment for not adhering to the netiquette. Can be sometimes seen in the newsgroups or on internet message boards.

    FrontPage Extensions
    Microsoft's server-side applications that lets users of FrontPage Web site creation tool to incorporate "web-bots" that perform pre-packaged function like full-text Web site searching or adding a hit counter. FrontPage extensions are also available for Unix-based operating systems but some hosts refuse to use them because of potential security holes.

    FTP
    File Transfer Protocol. The Internet protocol defining how to download and upload files between a client and an FTP server. Popular client FTP programs are CuteFTP and WS_FTP. Major browser also have FTP capability.

    FTPmail
    Using email messages to access the FTP sites. Requires a special software installed on the server.


    GIF
    (Graphics Interchange Format) A graphic file format invented by Compuserve. One of the most widely used formats for internet and web. Uses a lossless compression method, thus ensuring that the quality of the image is not lowered.

    Gigabit Ethernet
    Gigabit Ethernet is the Ethernet standard implementation that runs at 1000Mbps.

    Gigabyte (Gb)
    1024 Megabytes.

    Graphical User Interface (GUI)
    A way of interacting with the computer that relies on graphical symbols. Most often requires a mouse. It is less powerful then the command-line interface, but is more user friendly and is easier to learn for users without technical background.

    Hit
    In the WWW world "hit" is used to describe a single request made by a web browser. The data transmitted by the web server in response to the request is a text file or a binary file (images, audio, video, executables and other data).

    Home Page
    Main web page owned by a company, organization or an individual. This is the page that is initially displayed when user makes a request for a particular domain name.

    Host
    A networked computer dedicated to providing a certain kind of service. Usually refers to a computer that stores the website files and has a web server running on it.
     
  • HTML - HyperText Markup Language, it is the language in which web pages are written. It allows the images to be combined with text and offers wide range of formatting capabilities. One of the most important features of HTML is hypertext, that allows web pages to be liked one to each other. HTML relies on tags, which have the following form:
    - an opening tag,
    - a closing tag. HTML code is stored in a normal text file.
     
  • HTTP - HyperText Transfer Protocol
    The main protocol used to transfer and receive data over the World Wide Web. The latest version of HTTP is 1.1. Basic HTTP transaction involves a WWW browser connecting to a server, browser sending a request to the server specifying its capabilities and which document is requested, server responding with the required data, and closing of the connection. The overview of HTTP is here
  • Hyperlink
    A part of the web page that links to another web page. By clicking on a hyperlink user redirects the browser to another page. The word hyperlink is sometimes shortened to just "link".

    Hypertext
    A text on the web page that is linked to another webpage. Browsers usually display hypertext as underlined and in blue color.

    IIS
    Microsoft Internet Information Server. Microsoft's Web server that comes built-in with Windows NT Server 4 and Windows 2000 server. Here is Microsoft's IIS web site.

    Image Map
    An image displayed on the webpage that has different areas that are hyperlinks. By clicking on different parts of the image browser can be redirected to another webpage, or can display modified version of the current one.

    IMAP
    Internet Message Access Protocol. A method allowing a client email program to access remote messages stored on a mail server. The protocol includes operations for creating, deleting, and renaming mailboxes, checking for new messages, message parsing, searching, and setting and clearing flags. IMAP was originally developed in 1986 at Stanford.

    Internet
    Not to be confused with internet (with lowercase i). The word Internet refers to all the computer networks worldwide that are connected together. TCP/IP is the de facto standard protocol set for Internet.

    Internet backbone
    An extremely fast network that connects major cities. Most often it utilizes T3 circuits and provides the bandwidth of 45Mbps.

    InterNIC
    The organization that handles domain name registrations. See http://www.internic.net/

    Intranet
    A part of an organization's network that is private. Only authorized individuals have access to the intranet. Besides that an intranet is very similar to the Internet in a sense that it offers the same services and uses the same protocols.

    IP
    (Internet Protocol) is tha main protocol used on the Internet.

    IP Address
    Internet Protocol Address. A unique number that identifies all devices connected to the Internet. It usually looks like groups of numbers from 0 to 255, separated by periods, such as 255.62.130.128.

    IP packet
    IP packet is the basic data chunk that can be sent over the Internet. All the data is partitioned into IP packets on the sending computer and reassembled on the receiving computer.

    IRC
    Internet Relay Chat. Multi-user chat service. IRC users can go into public or private channels to discuss a topic or transfer files. IRC servers are connected into networks. The most popular IRC client program is mIRC. Many hosts are vary of letting customers access IRC because of a possibility of a denial of service attack on the whole network.

    ISDN
    (Integrated Services Digital Network). An international standard that governs the transmission of both voice and data. It uses a digital circuits and has speed of 64Kbps. It can be used for normal telephone service as well as data transmission.

    ISO
    (International Organisation for Standardisation). An Geneva-based international organization that develops and publishes various international standards.

    ISP
    Internet Service Provider. A company that provides its subscribers with Internet access. Customers have a username and a password and can dial-up or use a cable or DSL line to connect to ISP's network which is connected to the Internet. The biggest ISP is AOL.

    JAR
    A popular compression format. Also a name of a compression utility.
     
  • Java - Java programming language
    Sun Microsystems's programming language. Java is a platform-independent (at least in theory), crash-protected, object-oriented language that can be used to write applets that run in a browser, servlets that run server-side, or independent programs. Java's syntax is similar to that of C++.
  • JavaScript - Scripting language
  • Java applet - Java application, which runs on the client side (inside the Web browser).
  • Java Servlet
    Servlets are programs written in Java that run on a Web server and can produce dynamic pages. Also see JSP.
  • JVM (Java VM) - Java Virtual machine. Also known as Java Runtime Environment.
    A set of programs that allow for Java applets to be run on a particular computer system.
  • JavaScript
    Simple, client-side programming language created by Sun and Netscape. JavaScript can be embedded in HTML pages to create interactive effects and do tasks like validate form data. JavaScript is a separate language from Java. All popular modern browsers support JavaScript. A few hosts support server-side JavaScript.

    JDBC
    Java Database Connectivity - a mechanism allowing Java applets to access different databases.

    JPEG
    (Joint Photographic Experts Group) A image compression format designed for the Internet. Uses lossy compression, meaning that the quality of the image can be lowered.

    JScript
    Microsoft's implementation of ECMAScript standard based on JavaScript. Limited, object-based, interpreted scripting language. Here is the official JScript site. JScript is comparable to VBScript.

    JSP
    Java Server Pages. Extension of Java Servlet technology for combining Java server-side programs and HTML. JSP pages have an extension .jsp.

    Kbps
    Kilobits per second. 1Kbps = 1024bps.

    Kermit
    Protocol for transferring files over the modem connection. It's very slow.

    Kilobyte (Kb)
    1024 bytes.

    LAN
    Local Area Network. A network of devices (computers, printers, hubs) occupying a small area. Usually LANs do not span more than one building. LANs are very fast compared to WANs.
  • LDAP - Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, client-server protocol for accessing a directory service.
  • Leased line
    A dedicated communication line. User is charged a flat fee instead of being billed per minute of usage.

    Link
    Another name for a connection. Sometimes refers to a physical line.

    Linux
    A free UNIX-like operating system developed by Linus Torvalds. Linux and FreeBSD are very often used by hosting companies as their operating systems.

    Login
    An alias for an individual that is used for identification and authentication when accessing a computer system. Usually it is a sequence of characters and digits.

    Lossless
    A compression scheme is loseless when decompressed file is exactly the same as the original. This is needed for compressing executable programs and data files.
    Lossy
    A lossy compression allows for the quality of the compressed data to be diminished after decompression. It is suitable for audio, video and image compression.

    LZW compression
    Lempel Ziv Welch compression - a popular compression algorithm.

    Mailing List
    A way of having a group discussion with list subscribers by email. Emails are sent to all list subscribers. Popular mailing list programs, like Listserv and Majordomo, allow for automated subscription and un-subscription from a mailing list. Some hosting plans allow creation of mailing lists.

    Mailserver
    The Internet host (together with the appropriate software) that is used to send, receive and forward email messages.

    Megabyte (MB)
    1MB = 1024 KiloBytes = 1,048,576 bytes

    Microsoft Access
    Microsoft's low-end relational database included with the MS Office suite. Here is the official site for Microsoft Access. Cheaper NT hosting plans sometimes include MS Access database.

    Microsoft FoxPro
    Microsoft's RAD tool for creating relational databases. FoxPro is a part of Microsoft's Visual Studio. Here is the official MS FoxPro site.

    Microsoft SQL Server
    Microsoft's high-end SQL database running on Windows systems. Here is the official Microsoft SQL Server site.

    MIME
    (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) a method of including binary data and other multimedia content within email messages.

    Mirror site
    An FTP site that stores the exact content of some other site. Mirroring is done in order to minimize the load on a particular server and also to increase reliability.

    Miva Empressa
    Miva's XML based server-side scripting language. Available for multiple platforms. Here is Miva Empressa home page.

    Miva Merchant
    Browser-based storefront development and management system for merchants. Here is Miva Merchant home page.

    Modem
    MOdulator-DEModulator. A device used to transform digital data sent by a computer to analog format suitable for transmission over a telephone line. It also transforms analog signals back to the digital form. A modem is required for the dial up connection to the Internet.

    MP3
    An extremely popular lossy audio compression format. Widely used over the Internet.

    MPEG
    (Motion Picture Experts Group) video compression format for movies or animations.

    mSQL (Mini SQL)
    Light-weight relational database. Here is mSQL home page.

    MySQL
    Most popular open-source relational database. Many Unix-based plans allow MySQL databases. Here is MySQL home page.

    Netiquette
    Informal set of rules that should be followed when using internet services like email, message boards and newsgroups. Describes what it means to be "well behaved" while interacting with other people online.

    Netscape Communications
    A company that developed one of the most popular web browsers: Netscape Navigator.

    Network
    A group of electronic devices connected together that are able to communicate with each other.

    Newsgroup
    A virtual Internet place where people exchange thoughts, ideas and interests, amuse themselves and do a zillion other things, all by means of text messages.

    Newsreader
    An application that allows to use newsgroups.
  • NSAPI - Netscape API, API for writing plug-ins for Netscape browser.
  • ODBC
    (Open Database Connectivity) A standard allowing applications to access different databases in an uniform way.

    Offline
    The state of the computer when it is not connected to the network (i.e. it is not online).

    Online
    Tha state of a computer when it is connected to the network and communicate with other machines.

    Operating system
    A software heart of the computer. It is a set of programs that manage the hardware resources of a computer, provide the environment for application programs to run and provide the user interface. Most known operating systems are: different flavors of Unix (SunOs, HP-UX, Irix, FreeBSD, Linux,...), MacOS and Windows.

    Page
    Name for a basic web document. Websites usually consist of many (web) pages.

    PAP
    (Password Authentication Protocol). PAP is the authentication protocol used over PPP connections.

    Peer-to-Peer network
    A peer-to-peer network is a collection of computers that can communicate and share information, but that don't have any kind of hierarchical structure. This is the opposite of the client/server model.

    Perl
    Open source CGI scripting programming language. Written in 1987. Still one of the most popular web programming languages mostly due to its powerful text-manipulation facilities. A huge number of Perl scripts are available for download.

    PHP
    PHP is an free, open-source server-side scripting language. PHP code can be embedded in HTML. PHP files usually have extensions like .php or .php3. PHP language style is similar to C and Java. Here is the PHP group web site. Other popular server-side scripting languages are ASP, Perl, ColdFusion, TCL, Python, and JSP.

    PKZIP or PKUNZIP
    Popular compression and decompression programs.

    Plug-in
    An add-on piece of software that can extend the features of an existing application. For example Netscape browser plug-ins allow displaying of new types of web content, that the browser can't display on its own.
     
  • POP

    Short for Post Office Protocol, a protocol used to retrieve e-mail from a mail server. Most e-mail applications (sometimes called an e-mail client) use the POP protocol, although some can use the newer IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol).

    There are two versions of POP. The first, called POP2, became a standard in the mid-80's and requires SMTP to send messages. The newer version, POP3, can be used with or without SMTP.

  • POP
    Post Office Protocol. Popular but inflexible email retrieval standard. All messages are downloaded at the name time and can only be manipulated on a client machine. Current version is POP3. Also see IMAP.

    Port
    A socket on the computer or other network device used to connect it to the network.

    PPP
    (Point to Point Protocol) A network protocol widely used to connect computers to the Internet. Most often used on a telephone line.

    Python
    Interpreted programming language, sometimes offered by hosts for server-side scripting. Here is the Python home page.

    RAID
    Redundant Array of Independent (or Inexpensive) Disks. Type of disk, often used on servers, where several physical disks are combined into an array for better speed and fault tolerance.
    Level 0 implements data striping where file blocks are written to separate drives. Does not provide fault tolerance, because failure of one drive will result in data loss.
    Level 1 implements data mirroring. Data is duplicated on two drives either through software or hardware. Provides faster read performance than a single drive.
    Level 2 - not used in practice. Data is split at bit level at written to multiple drives.
    Level 3 - requires at least 3 drives. Data block is striped at byte level across drives and error correction codes (parity info) is recorder on another drive. Provides fault tolerance but slower writing performance.
    Level 4 - Similar to Level 3 but provides faster performance because it uses blocks for striping.
    Level 5 - Similar to Level 4 but improves performance but also striping parity info across multiple drives.
    Level 6 - Similar to Level 5 but also uses second parity scheme for better fault tolerance.
    Level 7 - Proprietary RAID design by Storage Computer Corporation. Faster than other levels because it uses multiple levels of cache and asynchronous I/O transfers.
    In addition multiple RAID levels can be combined to improve performance or reliability.

    Raw Logs
    Raw access data updated in real-time that can be downloaded and used by any statistics program. Typically each line show the user's IP, date and time of the access, what kind of request was done, which document was requested, HTTP status code, bytes transferred, referrer, and user agent info. If a host doesn't have statistics, you'll need access to raw logs to identify who your site's visitors are. Analyzing raw logs can also provide more detailed look at site accesses than stats.

    Reseller
    Resellers are usually smaller companies that still try to build their customers base. They don't own the server with user accounts but can perform most administrative functions.

    RSA
    A public key cryptosystem developed by Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman. It can be used to encrypt session keys and to generate digital certificates.

    S/MIME
    Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions - a way of making email messages more secure. S/MIME uses digital certificates to attest the message origin and encryption to ensure that message could not be read while in transit.
  • Scalability The ability of a piece of software or hardware to expand/grow as if necessary.

    Scripting Language
    A programming language in which programs are the series of commands that are interpreted and then executed one by one. Doesn't require the compilation phase, for the price of lower performance.

    Search engine
    An Internet service that stores a vast number of web pages and allows for fast searching among them. Also, a piece of software that implements a website search functionality.

    Search form
    An online form in which a query to the webpages database is specified.

    search indexer
    A search engine uses search indexer to provide faster search.

    Self-extracting Archive
    An archived file that is also an executable program. The original archived file is decompressed when that program is run.

    Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP)
    Another network protocol used to connect computers to the networks. Similar to PPP.

    Server
    A networked computer that handles client requests for Web pages.

    Service Provider
    A company that provides access to the Internet, usually for a fee.

    Session
    All the data exchange between two parties, starting when the connection is established and ending when connection terminates.

    Setup fee
    Initial fee charged by a host to set up your hosting account. You can use our Price Search to minimize your costs over a period of time including the setup fee.
  • SGML - Standard Generalized Markup Language, a standard for describing markup languages
  • Shared hosting The most basic of Web hosting types. With shared hosting, numerous Web sites are shared on one server. While an economic solution, they typically cannot handle large amounts of storage or traffic.

    Shopping cart A program designed to handle the e-commerce section of a Web site. Shopping cart software lets users browse for and purchase products online.

    Shopping Cart
    Software that allows users to select products from a Web catalog, modify their choices, calculate prices, review their choices, and order them. Many hosts with e-commerce plans offer installed shopping carts, but you can always get a shopping cart of your choice instead.

    SHTTP
    Secure HTTP. A version of HTTP protocol that uses encryption to assure that the traffic between the server and the browser cannot be eveasdropped on. Should be considered mandatory for all e-commerce applications.

    Signature
    A few lines of text that are automatically attached at the end of each email message by the email client. Usually it's some personal identification or an (un)interesting quote.

    Signed applet
    An applet that has a digital signature to confirm that it originates from the legitimate server.

    SMTP
    Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. Very popular protocol used to transfer email messages across the Internet mail servers.

    Snail Mail
    A normal paper mail delivered by the Post Office.

    Spam
    Unsolicited email sent in mass quantities to multiple receipents, most often for marketing purposes. Highly annoying and constituting one of the most serious netiquette violations.

    Spider
    An automated software that retrieves webpages and follows the hyperlinks contained in them. Used to generate indexes used by search engines.

    SQL
    Structured Query Language. Limited programming language used for updating and performing queries on relational databases. All databases share a common subset of SQL. Most popular SQL databases available with hosting plans are MySQL and MS SQL.

    SSH
    Secure Shell. Developed by SSH Communications Security, it is a standard for encrypted terminal Internet connections. SSH programs provide strong authentication and encrypted communications, replacing less secure access methods like telnet.
     
  • SSI - Server Side Includes, technology, which allows the server to include some dynamic information in a Web page before it is sent to a browser. Many hosting companies require that SSI pages have .shtml extension.
  • SSL - Secure Sockets Layer, use for security, it is an encrypted channel over which other protocols (like HTTP) can be used securely.  It is typically used for commercial transactions data such as credit card numbers. You can recognize it because the address or URL begins with "https". You willalso need to register to get a certificate from a Certificate Authority.
  • Static (or dedicated) IP
    If a host offers a static IP, it means that your site will be assigned a unique and unchanging IP address. See the FAQ for some possible advantages of using a static IP.

    Streaming
    Playing multimedia files (audio and video) without requiring a full download. Audio and video are compressed but they still may require a lot of bandwidth. Most popular streaming media formats are Real Audio/Video.

    Subdomain
    Subdomain is a way to divide your site into sections with short and easy to remember names. For example, a section of this site for new users could be at newbies.webhostingratings.com. Other use of subdomains might be to let somebody else use your account (but this may not be allowed by your host's terms of use). Large websites might make their subdomains point to another server to reduce load on the main www site.

    Surfing
    Using world wide web is often referred to as "surfing the web".

    T1
    Dedicated telecommunications line providing 1.5 Mbps of bandwidth. Consists of 24 individual channels 64 Kbps each, that can be configured for voice or data transmission. T1 lines can be leased by businesses that required a dedicated Net connection of with higher reliability than a DSL and faster than an ISDN line but are still quite expensive.
    T3
    Dedicated telecommunications line providing 44 Mbps of bandwidth. T3 lines are often used by ISPs to connect to the Internet backbone.

    TCP
    (Transmission Control Protocol) is the most important of the network protocols used in the Internet.

    TCP/IP
    (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol). This protocol suite is the de facto standard for the today's Internet. TCP is a higher level protocol that runs on top of the IP protocol.

    Telnet
    Character-based protocol for connecting with remote systems. Still popular among hosts, but it is being replaced by much more secure SSH access.

    Terabyte (TB)
    1024 gigabytes

    TLD
    Top Level Domain. The domain name elements at the right, such as .com, .org or .gov. Recently, new TLDs like .pro or .museum were added to supplement older TLDs. ccTLDs (country code TLDs), like .uk or .fr are used per-country.

    Traffic
    Data packets being transmitted over a network.

    Unix
    A family of multi-user operating systems, first developed by AT&T Bell Laboratories in the 1970s and then licensed to many universities. A basis for Linux, a very popular operating system among web hosts.

    UPS
    Uninterruptible Power Supply. UPS keeps the server running on a battery for several minutes after a power outage, allowing for a clean shutdown without loss of data. UPS can also shield the server from line voltage spikes and drops.
     
  • URI - Uniform Resource Identifier. Basically the same as URL.
  • URL - Universal Resource Locator, the address of the resource on the Web. It consists of the type of service or protocol, next the host name and then the file on the host.

    Usenet
    Network of all the newsgroups in the Internet.

    UUencode
    It is a method of sending binary files using email - similar in purpose to MIME.

    VBScript
    Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition. Interpreted scripting language (subset of MS Visual Basic language) for creating scripts that can be embedded in HTML pages or for creating ActiveX Controls. Meant as an alternative to JavaScript. Here is the official VBScript site. VBScript is comparable to JScript.

    viewer
    An stand-alone application used to display files of different formats. For example a QuickTime move viewer or a JPG file viewer.

    Virus
    A virus is a malicious program written to do as much harm as possible. Viruses can spread themselves over the network.
     
  • VRML - Virtual Reality Markup language
  • VPN
    (Virtual Private Network). A virtual private network is a method of accessing the private network in a secure way over public communication lines and networks.

    W3C
    World Wide Web Consortium. An international industry consortium that develops standards for the world wide web.

    WAV
    An audio file format. Very accurate, but offers no compression, thus resulting in very large files.

    Webmaster
    A person responsible for the maintenance of a particular website.

    whois
    An Internet service allowing to obtain the information about the domain name owner.

    WWW
    World Wide Web (or Web) is the most popular Internet service. It allows access to the information and services from the web servers. A web browser is needed to use the Web.
     
  • WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get
  • XML - Extensible Markup Language

  • A meta-language, abbreviated version of SGML, used to specify other document types used on the Web. Accepted as a format in 1998 to replace dependence on HTML extensions. MSIE 5.5 and Netscape 6 both support XML.

    XML processor
    A program that can XML documents and access their content.

    XMODEM
    A file transfer protocol. Rather slow.

    ZIP
    A popular compression utility.


 

 
BOOLEAN LOGIC
Way to combine terms using "operators" such as "AND," "OR," "AND NOT" and sometimes "NEAR." AND requires all terms appear in a record. OR retrieves records with either term. AND NOT excludes terms. Parentheses may be used to sequence operations and group words. Always enclose terms joined by OR with parentheses. Which search engines have this?
See +REQUIRE or -REJECT TERM and FUZZY AND. Want a more extensive explanation of Boolean logic, with illustrations?
BROWSE
To follow links in a page, to shop around in a page, exploring what's there, a bit like window shopping. The opposite of browsing a page is searching it. When you search a page, you find a search box, enter terms, and find all occurrences of the terms throughout the site. When you browse, you have to guess which words on the page pertain to your interests. Searching is usually more efficient, but sometimes you find things by browsing that you might not find because you might not think of the "right" term to search by.
BROWSERS
Browsers are software programs that enable you to view WWW documents. They "translate" HTML-encoded files into the text, images, sounds, and other features you see. Microsoft Internet Explorer (called simply IE), Netscape, Mosaic, Macweb, and Netcruiser are examples of browsers that enable you to view text and images and many other WWW features. They are software that must be installed on your computer. For more information about browsers, consult the introductory pages of the Teaching Library tutorial. See also LYNX, a browser often used from slow modems because it does not display images, colors, or sound, but lets you perform most basic WWW functions and see the content.
CACHE
In browsers, "cache" is used to identify a space where web pages you have visited are stored in your computer. A copy of documents you retrieve is stored in cache. When you use GO, BACK, or any other means to revisit a document, the browser first checks to see if it is in cache and will retrieve it from there because it is much faster than retrieving it from the server.
CACHED LINK
In search results from Google, Yahoo! Search, and some other search engines, there is usually a Cached link which allows you to view the version of a page that the search engine has stored in its database. The live page on the web might differ from this cached copy, because the cached copy dates from whenever the search engine's spider last visited the page and detected modified content. Use the cached link to see when a page was last crawled and, in Google, where your terms are and why you got a page when all of your search terms are not in it.
CASE SENSITIVE
Capital letters (upper case) retrieve only upper case. Most search tools are not case sensitive or only respond to initial capitals, as in proper names. It is always safe to key all lower case (no capitals), because lower case will always retrieve upper case. Which search engines have this?
CGI
"Common Gateway Interface," the most common way Web programs interact dynamically with users. Many search boxes and other applications that result in a page with content tailored to the user's search terms rely on CGI to process the data once it's submitted, to pass it to a background program in JAVA, JAVASCRIPT, or another programming language, and then to integrate the response into a display using HTML.
COOKIE
A message from a WEB SERVER computer, sent to and stored by your browser on your computer. When your computer consults the originating server computer, the cookie is sent back to the server, allowing it to respond to you according to the cookie's contents. The main use for cookies is to provide customized Web pages according to a profile of your interests. When you log onto a "customize" type of invitation on a Web page and fill in your name and other information, this may result in a cookie on your computer which that Web page will access to appear to "know" you and provide what you want. If you fill out these forms, you may also receive e-mail and other solicitation independent of cookies.
DOMAIN, TOP LEVEL DOMAIN (TLD)
Hierarchical scheme for indicating logical and sometimes geographical venue of a web-page from the network. In the US, common domains are .edu (education), .gov (government agency), .net (network related), .com (commercial), .org (nonprofit and research organizations). Outside the US, domains indicate country: ca (Canada), uk (United Kingdom), au (Australia), jp (Japan), fr (France), etc. Neither of these lists is exhaustive. See also DNS entry.
DOMAIN NAME, DOMAIN NAME SERVER (DNS)ENTRY
Any of these terms refers to the initial part of a URL, down to the first /, where the domain and name of the host or SERVER computer are listed (most often in reversed order, name first, then domain). The domain name gives you who "published" a page, made it public by putting it on the Web.
A domain name is translated in huge tables standardized across the Internet into a numeric IP address unique the host computer sought. These tables are maintained on computers called "Domain Name Servers." Whenever you ask the browser to find a URL, the browser must consult the table on the domain name server that particular computer is networked to consult.
"Domain Name Server entry" frequently appears a browser error message when you try to enter a URL. If this lookup fails for any reason, the "lacks DNS entry" error occurs. The most common remedy is simply to try the URL again, when the domain name server is less busy, and it will find the entry (the corresponding numeric IP address). For more information, see "All About Domain Names."

DOWNLOAD
To copy something from a primary source to a more peripheral one, as in saving something found on the Web (currently located on its server) to diskette or to a file on your local hard drive. More information.
EXTENSION or FILE EXTENSION
In Windows, DOS and some other operating systems, one or several letters at the end of a filename. Filename extensions usually follow a period (dot) and indicate the type of file. For example, this.txt denotes a plain text file, that.htm or that.html denotes an HTML file. Some common image extensions are picture.jpg or picture.jpeg or picture.bmp or picture.gif
FAVORITES
In the Internet Explorer browser, a means to get back to a URL you like, similar to Netscape's Bookmarks.
FIELD SEARCHING
Ability to limit a search by requiring word or phrase to appear in a specific field of documents (e.g., title, url, link). See LIMITING TO FIELD.
FIND
Button in Netscape Tool Button Bar at top. Searches for word(s) keyed in document in screen only. Useful to locate a term in a long document. Can be invoked by the keyboard command, Ctrl+F.
FRESHNESS
How up-to-date a search engine database is, based primarily on how often its spiders recirculate around the Web and update their copies of the web pages they hold, and discover new ones. Also determined by how quickly they integrate new sites that web authors send to them. Two weeks is about as good as most search engines do, but some update certain selected web sites more frequently.
FRAMES
A format for web documents that divides the screen into segments, each with a scroll bar as if it were as "window" within the window. Usually, selecting a category of documents in one frame shows the contents of the category in another frame. To go BACK in a frame, position the cursor in the frame an press the right mouse button, and select "Back in frame" (or Forward).
You can adjust frame dimensions by positioning the cursor over the border between frames and dragging the border up/down or right/left holding the mouse button down over the border.
FTP
File Transfer Protocol. Ability to transfer rapidly entire files from one computer to another, intact for viewing or other purposes.
FUZZY AND
In ranking of results, documents with all terms (Boolean AND) are ranked first, followed by documents containing any terms (Boolean OR) are retrieved. The farther down, the fewer the terms, although at least one should always be present.
GO
Button in Netscape Menu Bar at top. Provides list of recent sites you visited, retained for the current session only. Click on any site in the list to return to the site. For a more permanent marker, make a BOOKMARK.
HEAD or HEADER (of HTML document)
The top portion of the HTML source code behind Web pages, beginning with <HEAD> and ending with </HEAD>. It contains the Title, Description, Keywords fields and others that web page authors may use to describe the page. The title appears in the title bar of most browsers, but the other fields cannot be seen as part of the body of the page. To view the <HEAD> portion of web pages in Netscape, click VIEW, Page Source. In Internet Explorer, click VIEW, Source. Some search engines will retrieve based on text in these fields.
HISTORY, Search History
Available by using the combined keystrokes CTRL + H, a more permanent record of sites you have visited/retrieved than GO. You can set how many days your Netscape retains history in Edit | Preferences, and in Internet Explorer in Tools | Internet Options ? General.
HOST
Computer that provides web-documents to clients or users. See also server.
HTML
Hypertext Markup Language. A standardized language of computer code, imbedded in "source" documents behind all Web documents, containing the textual content, images, links to other documents (and possibly other applications such as sound or motion), and formatting instructions for display on the screen. When you view a Web page, you are looking at the product of this code working behind the scenes in conjunction with your browser. Browsers are programmed to interpret HTML for display.
HTML often imbeds within it other programming languages and applications such as SGML, XML, Javascript, CGI-script and more. It is possible to deliver or access and execute virtually any program via the WWW.
You can see HTML in Netscape by selecting the View pop-down menu tab, then "Document Source." If you download a document as "Source," the file will contain HTML markup codes and can be viewed in Netscape and other browsers.
HYPERTEXT
On the World Wide Web, the feature, built into HTML, that allows a text area, image, or other object to become a "link" (as if in a chain) that retrieves another computer file (another Web page, image, sound file, or other document) on the Internet. The range of possibilities is limited by the ability of the computer retrieving the outside file to view, play, or otherwise open the incoming file. It needs to have software that can interact with the imported file. Many software capabilities of this type are built into browsers or can be added as "plug-ins."
INTERNET (Upper case I)
The vast collection of interconnected networks that all use the TCP/IP protocols and that evolved from the ARPANET of the late 60ís and early 70ís. An "internet" (lower case i) is any computers connected to each other (a network), and are not part of the Internet unless the use TCP/IP protocols. An "intranet" is a private network inside a company or organization that uses the same kinds of software that you would find on the public Internet, but that is only for internal use. An intranet may be on the Internet or may simply be a network.
IP Address or IP Number
(Internet Protocol number or address). A unique number consisting of 4 parts separated by dots, e.g. 165.113.245.2
Every machine that is on the Internet has a unique IP address. If a machine does not have an IP number, it is not really on the Internet. Most machines also have one or more Domain Names that are easier for people to remember.
ISP or Internet Service Provider
A company that sells Internet connections via modem (examples: aol, Mindspring - thousands of ISPs to choose from; not easy to evaluate). Faster, more expensive Internet connectivity is available via cable, DSL, ISDN, or web-TV. Often these companies also provide Web page hosting service (free or relatively inexpensive web pages -- the origin of many personal pages).
JAVA
A network-oriented programming language invented by Sun Microsystems that is specifically designed for writing programs that can be safely downloaded to your computer through the Internet and immediately run without fear of viruses or other harm to our computer or files. Using small Java programs (called "Applets"), Web pages can include functions such as animations, calculators, and other fancy tricks. We can expect to see a huge variety of features added to the Web using Java, since you can write a Java program to do almost anything a regular computer program can do, and then include that Java program in a Web page. For more information search any of these jargon terms in the PC Webopedia.
JAVASCRIPT
A simple programming language developed by Netscape to enable greater interactivity in Web pages. It shares some characteristics with JAVA but is independent. It interacts with HTML, enabling dynamic content and motion.
KEYWORD(S)
A word searched for in a search command. Keywords are searched in any order. Use spaces to separate keywords in simple keyword searching. To search keywords exactly as keyed (in the same order), see PHRASE.
LIMITING TO A FIELD
Requiring that a keyword or phrase appear in a specific field of documents retrieved. Most often used to limit to the "Title" field in order to find documents primarily about one or more keywords. (Can be used for other fields. See the table summarizing search tools features.)
LINK
The URL imbedded in another document, so that if you click on the highlighted text or button referring to the link, you retrieve the outside URL. If you search the field "link:", you retrieve on text in these imbedded URLs which you do not see in the documents.
LINK "ROT"
Term used to describe the frustrating and frequent problem caused by the constant changing in URLs. A Web page or search tool offers a link and when you click on it, you get an error message (e.g., "not available") or a page saying the site has moved to a new URL. Search engine spiders cannot keep up with the changes. URLs change frequently because the documents are moved to new computers, the file structure on the computer is reorganized, or sites are discontinued. If there is no referring link to the new URL, there is little you can do but try to search for the same or an equivalent site from scratch.
LISTSERVERS
A discussion group mechanism that permits you to subscribe and receive and participate in discussions via e-mail. For more information see the Beyond General Web Searching Listservers section or attend Part III of these Web courses.
LYNX browser
Lynx is a "browser" program like Netscape or Internet Explorer that can access information on World Wide Web, but without access to images, film, or sound. It is used often from slow modems to eliminate the need to wait to download images and other features. Lynx allows you to read the text of any WWW document, and to select hypertext links in these documents. You can use Lynx to go to any WWW document, to fill out forms available on WWW, to print and save files and perform many other tasks. For information on how to use Lynx, see Lynx Basics.
META-SEARCH ENGINE
Search engines that automatically submit your keyword search to several other search tools, and retrieve results from all their databases. Convenient time-savers for relatively simple keyword searches (one or two keywords or phrases in " "). See Meta-Search Engines page for complete descriptions and examples.
NESTING
A term used in Boolean searching to indicate the sequence in which operations are to be performed. Enclosing words in parentheses identifies a group or "nest." Groups can be within other groups. The operations will be performed from the innermost nest to the outmost, and then from left to right.
NEWSGROUP
A discussion group operated through the Internet. Not to be confused with LISTSERVERS which operate through e-mail. For more information see the Beyond General Web Searching Usenet Newsgroups section.
PERSONAL PAGE
A web page created by an individual (as opposed to someone creating a page for an institution, business, organization, or other entity). Often personal pages contain valid and useful opinions, links to important resources, and significant facts. One of the greatest benefits of the Web is the freedom it as given almost anyone to put his or her ideas "out there." But frequently personal pages offer highly biased personal perspectives or ironical/satirical spoofs, which must be evaluated carefully. The presence in the page's URL of a personal name (such as "jbarker") and a ~ or % or the word "users" or "people" or "members" very frequently indicate a site offering personal pages.
PACKET, PACKET JAM
When you retrieve a document via the WWW, the document is sent in "packets" which fit in between other messages on the telecommunications lines, and then are reassembled when they arrive at your end. This occurs using TCP/IP protocol. The packets may be sent via different paths on the networks which carry the Internet. If any of these packets gets delayed, your document cannot be reassembled and displayed. This is called a "packet jam." You can often resolve packet jams by pressing STOP then RELOAD. RELOAD requests a fresh copy of the document, and it is likely to be sent without jamming.
PDF or .pdf or pdf file
Abbreviation for Portable Document Format, a file format developed by Adobe Systems, that is used to capture almost any kind of document with the formatting in the original. Viewing a PDF file requires Acrobat Reader, which is built into most browsers and can be downloaded free from Adobe.
PHRASE
More than one KEYWORD, searched exactly as keyed (all terms required to be in documents, in the order keyed). Enclosing keywords in quotations " " forms a phrase in AltaVista, , and some other search tools. Some times a phrase is called a "character string."
PLUG-IN
An application built into a browser or added to a browser to enable it to interact with a special file type (such as a movie, sound file, Word document, etc.)
POPULARITY RANKING of search results
Some search engines rank the order in which search results appear primarily by how many other sites link to each page (a kind of popularity vote based on the assumption that other pages would create a link to the "best" pages). Google is the best example of this. See also Subject-Based Ranking.
+REQUIRE or -REJECT A TERM OR PHRASE
Insert + immediately before a term (no space) to limit search to documents containing a term. Insert - immediately before a term (no space) to exclude documents containing a term. Can be used immediately (no space) before the " " delimiting a phrase.
Functions partially like basic BOOLEAN LOGIC. If + precedes more than one term, they are required as with Boolean AND. If - is used, terms are excluded as with Boolean AND NOT. If neither + no - is used, the default if Boolean OR. However, full Boolean logic allows parentheses to group and sequence logical operations, and +/- do not. Which search engines have this?
RELEVANCY RANKING of search results
The most common method for determining the order in which search results are displayed. Each search tool uses its own unique algorithm. Most use "fuzzy and" combined with factors such as how often your terms occur in documents, whether they occur together as a phrase, and whether they are in title or how near the top of the text. Popularity is another ranking system.
SCRIPT
A script is a type of programming language that can be used to fetch and display Web pages. There are may kinds and uses of scripts on the Web. They can be used to create all or part of a page, and communicate with searchable databases. Forms (boxes) and many interactive links, which respond differently depending on what you enter, all require some kind of script language. When you find a question marke (?) in the URL of a page, some kind of script command was used in generating and/or delivering that page. Most search engine spiders are instructed not to crawl pages from scripts, although it is usually technically possible for them to do so (see Invisible Web for more information).
SCROLL (DOWN, UP, LEFT, RIGHT)
Moving up or down within a document in your screen. Use scroll bar at right. Click on arrow down or arrow up. Drag the scroll button down or up. Or click on the page up or page down icons at the bottom of the bar. If you need to scroll left or right, use the scroll bar at the bottom.
SERVER, WEB SERVER
A computer running that software, assigned an IP address, and connected to the Internet so that it can provide documents via the World Wide Web. Also called HOST computer. Web servers are the closest equivalent to what in the print world is called the "publisher" of a print document. An important difference is that most print publishers carefully edit the content and quality of their publications in an effort to market them and future publications. This convention is not required in the Web world, where anyone can be a publisher; careful evaluation of Web pages is therefore mandatory. Also called a "Host."
SERVER-SIDE
Something that operates on the "server" computer (providing the Web page), as opposed to the "client" computer (which is you or someone else viewing the Web page). Usually it is a program or command or procedure or other application causes dynamic pages or animation or other interaction.
SHTML, usually seen as .shtml
An file name extension that identifies web pages containing SSI commands.
SITE or WEB-SITE
This term is often used to mean "web page," but there is supposed to be a difference. A web page is a single entity, one URL, one file that you might find on the Web. A "site," properly speaking, is an location or gathering or center for a bunch of related pages linked to from that site. For example, the site for the present tutorial is the top-level page "Internet Resources." All of the pages associated with it branch out from there -- the web searching tutorial and all its pages, and more. Together they make up a "site." When we estimate there are 5 billion web pages on the Web, we do not mean "sites." There would be far fewer sites.
SPIDERS
Computer robot programs, referred to sometimes as "crawlers" or "knowledge-bots" or "knowbots" that are used by search engines to roam the World Wide Web via the Internet, visit sites and databases, and keep the search engine database of web pages up to date. They obtain new pages, update known pages, and delete obsolete ones. Their findings are then integrated into the "home" database.
Most large search engines operate several robots all the time. Even so, the Web is so enormous that it can take six months for spiders to cover it, resulting in a certain degree of "out-of-datedness" (link rot) in all the search engines. For more information, read about search engines.
SPONSOR (of a Web page or site)
Many Web pages have organizations, businesses, institutions like universities or nonprofit foundations, or other interests which "sponsor" the page. Frequently you can find a link titled "Sponsors" or an "About us" link explaining who or what (if anyone) is sponsoring the page. Sometimes the advertisers on the page (banner ads, links, buttons to sites that sell or promote something) are "sponsors." WHY is this important? Sponsors and the funding they provide may, or may not, influence what can be said on the page or site -- can bias what you find, by excluding some opposing viewpoint or causing some other imbalanced information. The site is not bad because of sponsors, but you they should alert you to the need to evaluate a page or site very carefully.
SSI commands
SSI stands for "server-side include," a type of HTML instruction telling a computer that serves Web pages to dynamically generate data, usually by inserting certain variable contents into a fixed template or boilerplate Web page. Used especially in database searches.
STEMMING
In keyword searching, word endings are automatically removed (lines becomes line); searches are performed on the stem + common endings (line or lines retrieves line, lines, line's, lines', lining, lined). Not very common as a practice, and not always disclosed. Can usually be avoided by placing a term in " ".
STOP WORDS
In database searching, "stop words" are small and frequently occurring words like and, or, in, of that are often ignored when keyed as search terms. Sometimes putting them in quotes " " will allow you to search them. Sometimes + immediately before them makes them searchable. See Table of Search Engine features.
SUBJECT-BASED POPULARITY RANKING of search results
A variation on popularity ranking in which the links in pages on the same subject are used to in ranking search results. Used by Teoma.
SUBJECT DIRECTORY
An approach to Web documents by a lexicon of subject terms hierarchically grouped. May be browsed or searched by keywords. Subject directories are smaller than other searchable databases, because of the human involvement required to classify documents by subject.
SUB-SEARCHING
Ability to search only within the results of a previous search. Enables you to refine search results, in effect making the computer "read" the search results for you selecting documents with terms you sub-search on. Can function much like RESULTS RANKING. Which search engines have this?
TCP/IP
(Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) -- This is the suite of protocols that defines the Internet. Originally designed for the UNIX operating system, TCP/IP software is now available for every major kind of computer operating system. To be truly on the Internet, your computer must have TCP/IP software. See also IP Address.
TELNET
Internet service allowing one computer to log onto another, connecting as if not remote.
THESAURUS
In some search tools, the terms you choose to search on can lead you to other terms you may not have thought of. Different search tools have different ways of presenting this information, sometimes with suggested words you may choose among and sometimes automatically. The terms are based on the terms in the results of your search, not on some dictionary-like thesaurus.
TITLE (of a document)
The official title of a document from the "meta" field called title. The text of this meta title field may or may not also occur in the visible body of the document. It is what appears in the top bar of the window when you display the document and it is the title that appears in search engine results. The "meta" field called title is not mandatory in HTML coding. Sometimes you retrieve a document with "No Title" as its supposed title; this is caused when the meta-title field is left blank.
In Alta Vista and some other search tools, title: search also matches on the "meta" field, which contains document descriptors not displayed on the Web. See also LIMITING TO A FIELD.
TRUNCATION
In a search, the ability to enter the first part of a keyword, insert a symbol (usually *), and accept any variant spellings or word endings, from the occurrence of the symbol forward. (E.g., femini* retrieves feminine, feminism, feminism, etc.) Which search engines have this?
URL
Uniform Resource Locator. The unique address of any Web document. May be keyed in Netscape's OPEN or Netscape's LOCATION / GO TO box to retrieve a document. There is a logic the layout of a URL:
Anatomy of a URL:

Type of file (could say ftp:// or telnet://) Domain name (computer file is on and its location on the Internet) Path or directory on the computer to this file Name of file, and its file extension (usually ending in .html or .htm)
http:// www.lib.berkeley.edu/ TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/ FindInfo.html

USENET
Bulletinboard-like network featuring thousands of "newsgroups." For more information see the Beyond General Web Searching discussion group section.
WORD VARIANTS
Different word endings (such as -ing, -s, es, -ism, -ist,etc.) will be retrieved only if you allow for them in your search terms. One way to do this TRUNCATION, but few systems accept truncation. Another way is to enter the variants either separated by BOOLEAN OR (and grouped in parentheses). In +REQUIRE/-REJECT non-Boolean systems, enter the variant terms preceded with neither + nor -, because this will allow documents containing any of them to retrieved.
XHTML
A variant of HTML. Stands for Extensible Hypertext Markup Language is a hybrid between HTML and XML that is more universally acceptable in Web pages and search engines than XML.
XML
Extensible Markup Language, a dilution for Web page use of SGML (Standard General Markup Language), which is not readily viewable in ordinary browsers and is difficult to apply to Web pages. XML is very useful (among other things) for pages emerging from databases and other applications where parts of the page are standardized and must reappear many times. See XHTML.

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