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An application programming interface (API) that allows web browsers to download and execute Windows programs. For example, Netscape Communicator's support for ActiveX lets users open an Excel spreadsheet from within Netscape Navigator.


A program that creates a model of a computer user's personal interests and tastes, and acts as a proxy in searching out and prioritizing information for that user. Agent technology is often used to classify and prioritize information for custom delivery via push technology.


Active Server Pages (.asp) make use of special code on Microsoft web servers to create web pages. Generally used in large e-commerce websites.

Blogs or Blogging

A blog (short for web log) is a way for someone to present a running journal for a wide variety of readers. They have been made to be very simple to create and maintain. Sometimes readers can add their own entries or comments to the blog


A way for web browser users to mark a web page they want to return to later.

Browser safe colors

The 216 colors that will not get dithered on monitors that only display 256 colors. A very large GIF that contains a complete list of browser safe colors is here.


To store on a computer user's hard disk a local copy of a web page accessed via the Internet. The web browser compares the cached copy of the page to the original, and if there have been no changes, the browser will use the cached copy rather than reloading the page onto the client, saving processing and download time. Also refers to a web site's database generating static copies of frequently requested dynamic pages, reducing processing time.


A feature that lets you talk with other computer users in real-time online sessions.


Computer hardware or software used by an end user on a computer network or the Internet to query a remote server. A web browser is an example of client software.


A computing network in which the functions are divided between clients (or personal computers or terminals), and servers that store, process, and transmit the information.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface)

A server-side communication standard supported by all web servers for accessing external programs. Since HTML allows only one-way communication from the server, which is read by the web browser or client, CGI permits communication and interaction from the client to the server for two-way, dynamic web pages.


A unique string of letters and numbers that the web server stores in a file on your hard drive. This method is used by web designers to track visitors to a web site so the visitors do not have to enter the same information every time they go to a new page or revisit a site. For example, web designers use cookies to keep track of purchases a visitor wants to make while shopping through a web catalog. Cookies may work through a single visit to a web site, such as when tracking a shopping trip, or may be set to work through multiple sessions when a visitor returns to the site.


A data software file, containing many records, each of which contains the same set of fields, where each field contains a specific type of information.

Digital Certificates

The digital equivalent of positive identification, such as a driver's license. Issued by various certificate authorities, digital certificates are used to prove that a web site, or a visitor to a web site, is the entity or person they claim to be.

Digital Signatures

Digital signatures work just like paper-and-ink signatures, allowing document recipients to confirm the source of a document. Digital signatures are generated by digital certificates.


When a color that is not browser safe is displayed, two browser safe colors are mixed (or alternated) to create the desired color. This is called dithering.

Domain Names

All servers on the Internet have a TCP-IP address that consists of a set of four numbers like By assigning a name to the TCP-IP address - or vice versa - the Web becomes easier to use. URL addresses (domain names) are obtainable from many sources. Anyone can own a domain name. The real quest is finding one no one owns yet.


To receive a copy of a file from another computer or web server using a modem.


A web document that is created from a database in real-time or "on the fly" at the same time it is being viewed, providing a continuous flow of new information and giving visitors a new experience each time they visit the web site.

E-Commerce (Electronic Commerce)

Conducting business online, including product display, online ordering, secure transactions and inventory management.


A method of encoding messages to provide privacy for email, discussion group postings, and other communications as they move over intranets or the Internet. Some methods of encrypting, such as 128-bit encryption, are so difficult to break that U.S. export laws permit them to be used only within the United States.


A specialized virtual community created by linking business groups via the World Wide Web. Similar to an intranet, an extranet includes outside vendors and uses web technology to facilitate inter business transactions, such as placing and checking orders, tracking merchandise, and making payments.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

A list of facts about a specific subject. Usually presented in a question and answer format.


Computer hardware and/or software that limits access to a computer over a network or from an outside source. Used to prevent computer hackers from getting into a company's computer systems.


On web pages, a "frame" refer to a part of the screen which is reserved for a particular purpose. On this web site, there is a "navigation frame" and a "content frame".

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

A standard that allows users to transfer files from one computer to another using a modem and telephone lines. Like HTTP, FTP is a protocol that provides a way of uploading and downloading files, including .DOC, .EXE, .SIT, .ZIP, .GIF, .JPG, etc.

GIF (Graphic Information File)

Originated by CompuServe as a way of keeping image files small for easier transport over networks. GIFs are the most widely used graphic file type because can be transparent or even animated. GIFs are limited to 256 colors and look best when using the 216 browser safe colors.

GUI (Graphical User Interface)

A user interface that displays in graphic or pictorial format rather than in text only.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language)

HTML is the code that tells browsers how to display a page on your screen. This code, sometimes called "markup", uses "tags" that instruct a browser to make text a certain size or style, display an image, or link to another page or web site.

HTML Editor

A software program that makes creating a web page nearly as easy as typing a memo using a word processor. Instead of learning HTML commands, users can format web pages using a menu. HTML editing tools support bullets, tables, paragraph alignment, font size, font color, indenting, and other common formatting features. Many HTML editor packages display the page being edited exactly the same way it will be displayed on the web - a feature called WYSIWYG, or what you see is what you get.


An element found on web pages and other electronic documents that, when clicked with a mouse, automatically opens a file or web page in your web browser. A hyperlink may be a word, button, or graphic. When a hyperlink is text, it typically displays in a different color and may also be underlined. A text hyperlink that has already been visited is usually displayed in a different color.


The "information superhighway" that is made possible by standard Transmission Control Protocols/Internet Protocols (TCP/IP). Originally developed for the U.S. military in 1969, it grew to include educational and research institutions. With the advent of Netscape Navigator, the arcane commands formerly used to access the Internet became unnecessary. The Internet includes the World Wide Web, Usenet user groups and newsgroups.

IMAP4 (Internet Message Access Protocol Version 4)

A network standard that allows users to manage email messages and folders from multiple locations and systems. Users can choose to store their messages on their own local computer (or client), or on a server.

ISP (Internet Service Provider)

A company or organization that lets users connect to the Internet by dialing into its computers using a modem. ISPs typically charge a fee for providing a dial-up telephone number, an email address, and some technical assistance (usually via email). Also called an IPP. See also online service.

IP (Internet Protocol) Address

A company that allows individuals or other companies to use their server space to host web sites. Nearly every ISP is an IPP, so you don't hear this term very often.


A computer network that functions like the Internet using web browser software to access and process the information that employees need, but the information and web pages are located on computers within a company. A firewall is usually used to block access from outside the Intranet.

IPP (Internet Presence Provider)

A company that allows individuals or other companies to use their server space to host web sites. Nearly every ISP is an IPP, so you don't hear this term very often.


Invented at Sun Computers, Java is a programming language like C++. The advantage of using Java is that almost all computer systems, and most browsers, have the capability of running Java applications, or applets. Java programs are automatically downloaded and executed on the client side by the web browser. You can do lots of things in Java that you can't do in HTML. Not to be confused with JavaScript.

Java Applet

Java applets are small Java programs that get downloaded to your computer and then run from a web browser when a web page that uses Java is loaded.


Netscape's extension to HTML. It's a scripting language that is built onto an HTML document, as opposed to a Java applet which is a separate piece of code which is downloaded to your browser when accessed. JavaScript is controlled by Netscape and licensed to other browser manufacturers like Microsoft, which is why some JavaScript implementations don't work right on Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Microsoft, invented it's own scripting language called VBscript based on Visual Basic. They also use a JavaScript subset called JScript. A script composed in one language cannot be interpreted in another. None of these actually have anything at all to do with Java. Netscape licensed the name from Sun and redubbed their scripting language which was originally called LiveScript.

IJPG or JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

The second Internet graphic standard. JPEGs allow for a greater depth of color than GIF images. They can contain millions of colors with smaller file sizes than other formats. JPEGs can be compressed using various quality settings. The higher the compression, the smaller the file, but the lower the resulting quality.

Key Words

Specific word(s) entered into a search engine by the user that result(s) in a list of Web sites related to the key word. The key word can be purchased by advertisers in order to direct the hyperlink opportunity to the advertiser's site or to serve an ad related to the user's search.

LAN (Local Area Network)

A group of computers connected together (a network) which are at one physical location.


An electronic connection between two Web sites. Also called "hot link" and hyperlink.


The identification or name used to access a computer, network or site.


META tags always go in the HEAD section of the document. META NAME tags include descriptions and keywords. This HTML code helps some search engines classify and rank a web page. META HTTP-EQUIV tags can indicate to the web browser how to display the page. There are many more uses for META tags.


A modulator demodulator, or device that allows a computer to receive and transmit data over standard telephone lines. A modem takes digital data and converts it to analog data, and the modem at the other end takes the analog data and converts it back to digital. Most computers use modems to connect to the Internet and the World Wide Web.


The MySQL® database is the world's most popular open source database and runs on more than 20 platforms including Linux, Windows, OS/X, HP-UX, AIX, and Netware.


An electronic bulletin board devoted to talking about a specific topic and open to everybody. Only a handful of newsgroups permit the posting of advertising.

Online Service

A company that allows computer users to connect to the Internet by dialing into its computers using a modem. Similar to ISPs, these services also offer features and online content available only to members.


A computer operating system such as Sun, Unix, Windows, or Macintosh.


Small applications that add new functionality, multimedia, or audio-video capability to a program.

POP3 (Post Office Protocol, version 3)

A POP3 server acts as your email Post Office. You use an email client, like Eudora or those built-in to Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer, to retrieve your mail to your local drive using the POP3 protocol.


To translate a computer application into another computer languages o it can be read on another operating system, or platform.


A request for information, usually to a search engine.


RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is basically just a simple code like xml or html, that allows website owners to send out or syndicates a site's contents. RSS is usually associated with Blogs and Blogging because Blogs use RSS Feeds to syndicate their contents.

Real Time

At the same time, simultaneously. An event where two or more people communicate simultaneously, similar to the way people speak on a telephone at the same time. This is in contrast to time-shifting, where one person leaves a message and the other person responds later.

Rich Text

Email formatting that allows the viewer to read underlined, bold, italics, colored text, and different sizes and type styles. Also known as HTML email.

Search Engine

A web-based program that allows users to search and retrieve specific information from the World Wide Web. The search engine may search the full text of web documents or a list of keywords, or use librarians who review web documents and index them manually for retrieval. Here is more information on search engines.


Computer hardware and software that is attached to a network and which automatically stores, processes, and transmits data or information that is generally accessed by many people using client programs. A standard language is used to define this client-server interaction.


Copyrighted software that is distributed over the Internet or from one satisfied user to another user. No fee is charged for trying the program, but the user is expected to pay a donation to the owner and tell others about the program if he or she continues to use it.


Although SPAM is technically something else, it usually refers to unsolicited e-mail. Unsolicited e-mail is any email message received where the recipient did not specifically ask for it. Here's some good information on unsolicited e-mail or try Network Abuse Clearinghouse or CAUCE.

SMTP(Standard Mail Transfer Protocol)

The standard mail protocol for sending email over intranets and the Internet.

Style Sheets

Extensions to standard HTML that allow designers to control multiple web page styles from a single file. Used to predefine page elements such as font size, color, and style; image placement; and background images, and have the same style applied to a series of web pages.

TCP-IP (Transmission Control Protocol - Internet Protocol)

A common method of assigning addresses on a network so that different types of server operating systems can all communicate regardless of any other communications protocol also in effect. In other words, you may be using a PC running Windows 95, connecting to an ISP running UNIX which, in turn, attaches to the Internet. If all three are running TCP-IP (which they are) than they can all talk to each other.


A program used by webmasters to communicate with UNIX servers.


a.k.a. Internet Newsgroups or simply Newsgroups. Most major browsers have a built-in newsreader. A newsgroup is like a community bulletin board about a particular subject. There are Newsgroups on just about every subject imaginable.


To send a copy of a file from a client to a server using a modem.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)

A World Wide Web address. Every page on every web site on every web server has a unique URL. You can see the URL of a web page in the address or location field in your browser. This term has recently been superseded by URI, or Uniform Resource Identifier. Also known as an Internet address or web address.

User Interface

The part of a computer program that displays on the screen for the user to see. Also used to describe how humans interact with what they see on the computer screen. A good user interface makes it easy for users to do what they want to do. See also graphical user interface.


Unix-to-Unix encode and Unix-to-Unix decode. Programs that encode or decode binary information, such as graphic images or document files, to be sent over the Internet.


Person viewing content or ads on the Web. There is currently no way to measure viewers.


measurement which has been filtered for robotic activity of one or more text and/or graphics downloads from a site without 30 consecutive minutes of inactivity and which can be reasonably attributed to a single browser for a single session.


Individual or browser which accesses a Web site within a specific time period.


A standard protocol for voicemail messaging. (WAV stands for Waveform Audio.)

Web Browser

A software application used to make navigating the Internet easy for the user by providing a graphical user interface (or GUI) so the user can click menus, icons, or buttons rather than learning difficult computer commands. Also called a web client because the browser application resides on the client, or the computer of the individual using it, rather than residing on a web server.

Web Host

A company that allows individuals or other companies to use their server space to host web sites.


The person in charge of implementing and modifying a web site.

Web Page

A single document on the World Wide Web that is specified by a unique address or URL and that contains text, hyperlinks, and graphics.

Web Server

Computer hardware where web pages are stored and accessed by others using web client software, or the computer software that allows the user to access the web pages. See also server.

Web Site

A group of similar web pages linked by hyperlinks and managed by a single company, organization, or individual. A web site may include text, graphics, audio and video files, and hyperlinks to other web pages.

WWW or W3: World Wide Web

The World Wide Web is sometimes considered the graphical interface for the Internet, which is the network itself. Sometimes the web sites and their pages are called the World Wide Web. Often the two terms WWW and Internet are used interchangeably.

Also know as the web. A portion of the Internet that is composed of web servers that provide access to web sites and web documents.

The most important feature of the WWW is its inherent ability to link to any other part of the web. These links are sometimes called hyperlinks.


What you see is what you get. To display a document being edited exactly the same way it will be displayed on the web or in print.


XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a standardized way for web page authors to present information.


XHTML is a more standardized way for web page authors to write HTML using XML standards.