Back to Offline Readers
Up to Surf's Up Table of Contents

Buzzwords for Browsers

By Michael Elgan, Editor

ActiveX: A technology developed by Microsoft to enhance Web sites by allowing rich documents, multimedia files and custom controls within a browser without using a helper app. Also known as OLE.

Anchor: A hyperlinked word or group of words.

Authentication: A system for checking a user's identity for security reasons.

Authoring: The act of creating Web pages or any HTML code.

Bandwidth: The amount of data that can be transmitted in a given period of time.

Bookmark: A link to a site that is saved within the browser for quick future use.

Browser: Software used for reading and downloading Web files and pages.

Cybermall: A Web site designed for online shopping, shared by two or more commercial organizations.

Cyberspace: The Internet and the connected online services. Coined by William Gibson for the definitive cyberpunk novel Neuromancer.

Dial-up connection: A modem connection via standard telephone lines.

Direct connection: A hookup to the Internet or online service that is constantly active. Also known as a leased-line connection.

DNS: Domain Naming System. A database of Internet addresses that translates back and forth between alphanumeric Web site addresses and Internet protocol numbers.

Document: A file that can be read by a browser or its helper applications.

Domain: A collection of computers and network links administered by a single entity.

EDI: Electronic Data Interchange. A system that enables business transactions over telecommunications networks.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions. A text file that contains common questions and answers on a specific topic.

Firewall: A stringent security measure designed to protect a network from unauthorized access.

ftp: File Transfer Protocol. An older protocol used for transferring files to and from remote sites.

GIF: Graphics Interchange Format. Developed by CompuServe, this 8-bit graphics standard is the most common format on the Web.

Helper applications: Programs that can be linked to various file types and commands. Helper apps will launch automatically when linked files are accessed through a browser.

Hits: The number of times a file is accessed at a Web site.

Home page: The main page of a Web site.

Hotlink: A hyperlink that hasn't been visited yet.

HTML: HyperText Markup Language. A set of text-formatting and layout codes used to create Web pages that can be interpreted by a browser.

HTTP: HyperText Transfer Protocol. Used for transmitting and linking Web pages.

Hyperlink: A word, picture or button on a Web page that, when clicked, brings the user to another Web page or another part of the current page. Same as link.

Hypermedia: Linked non-text media.

Hypertext: Linked text.

IAB: Internet Activities Board. A council that chooses Internet standards.

Image map: A picture or graphic with areas hyperlinked to other pages or Web resources.

Inline image: A graphics file visible from within a Web page.

InterNIC: Internet Network Information Center. The organization that registers Internet domain names.

IP: Internet Protocol. A technical standard that governs Internet communications.

ISDN: Integrated Services Digital Network. A standard that allows communication over digital telephone lines.

ISOC: Internet Society. The organization that sponsors the IAB.

ISP: Internet service provider.

Java: A programming language developed by Sun Microsystems. Java was designed for writing software programs integrated into Web pages.

JavaScript: A scripting language, much simpler than Java itself, designed to write simple Web programs.

JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group. A compressed, 24-bit graphics file format that is gaining popularity on the Web.

Link: *See hyperlink.*

Live: Describes a word, picture or button with an associated working link.

MIME: Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. A messaging standard for coding multimedia files in text for transfer over Internet e-mail.

Mosaic: A graphical multimedia browser developed at the National Center for Supercomputer Applications (NCSA).

MPEG: Moving Pictures Experts Group. A compressed-video file format.

Node: A site with a network address that communicates over the Internet.

Page hits: A measure of the number of Web pages accessed at a particular site, or of the number of times a single page is hit.

POP: Point Of Presence. The geographical location where users can connect to an Internet service provider.

Protocol: A set of standards that determine how communications are handled.

Router: A program that handles communication between networks.

Search engine: A program that searches an index of Web sites, trying to match selected keywords or concepts.

SGML: Standard Generalized Markup Language. An early Internet standard for the publication and delivery of information.

SLIP: Serial Line Internet Protocol. A standard for connecting to the Internet over conventional telephone lines.

Socket: A technology that serves as the endpoint when computers communicate with each other.

T1: A 1.544 megabit-per-second (Mbps) data line.

T2: A 6.312Mbps data line.

T3: A 44.736Mbps data line.

T4: A 274.176Mbps data line.

TCP/IP: Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. The basic set of protocols that control applications on the Internet.

URL: Uniform Resource Locator. An addressing system used on the Web.

VBScript: A scripting language developed by Microsoft to create simple Web programs.

VRML: Virtual Reality Modeling Language (pronounced *ver*-mull). A collection of multimedia technologies that allow 3-D animation to travel across a Web connection.

WAIS: Wide Area Information Server. A search facility for finding information Internet-wide.

Web: Abbreviation for World Wide Web.

Webmaster: A person responsible for the administration of a Web site.

Web page: An HTML-based document that can be viewed by a browser.

Winsock: The Windows-specific socket.

World Wide Web: A hypertext-document Internet service that can be navigated with a browser.

Back to Offline Readers
Up to Surf's Up Table of Contents