What do all these acronyms and terms mean?
World Wide Web | Email | General
World Wide Web Terms
Banner Advertising The
term used for ads that appear usually on the top of the screen of a web
page. Usually will show up first when you load a page, and usually
is flashy. Sometimes additional window(s) will open up automatically
leading you to full web pages for a particular product. Clicking
on this ad will usually open up at least one additional window to a web
site that wants to sell you something (usually somehow related to your
search or web page you have found). In general, for this course,
I'd recommend you NOT click on these ads as they sometimes open multiple
windows and can eventually crash your computer. They can also waste
Blackboard A product
name for courseware. Courseware is a software program an instructor
uses to deliver a course through the World Wide Web. Other examples of
courseware include WebCT, Course Compass, and Etudes.
Short for Web log, a blog is a Web
page that serves as a publicly-accessible personal journal for an individual.
Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality of the author.
Sometimes a blog functions like a discussion board because users are often
invited to respond to the author's comments and create an online discussion.
Browser The name
for software packages that allows us to explore the World Wide Web.
Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer are two such browsers.
message given to a Web browser by a Web server. The browser stores the
message in a text file called cookie.txt. The message is then sent back
to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server.
The main purpose of cookies is to identify users and possibly prepare customized Web pages for them. When you enter a Web site using cookies, you may be asked to fill out a form providing such information as your name and interests. This information is packaged into a cookie and sent to your Web browser which stores it for later use. The next time you go to the same Web site, your browser will send the cookie to the Web server. The server can use this information to present you with custom Web pages. So, for example, instead of seeing just a generic welcome page you might see a welcome page with your name on it.
Domain Look under
Markup Language) The programming language that is used to create
web pages. It is a coding language where a block of text is surrounded
by codes to indicate how should the text appear. It also provides
commands as to where items from other files should be placed, such
as images. Files that end with .htm or .html are files that contain
Hypertext Markup Languages and can be viewed through a Browser.
HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) The primary protocol for the World Wide Web. With this protocol, you can access any web page on any public World Wide Web Server on the Internet.
Hypertext Generally, any text that contains "links" to other documents - words or phrases in the document that can be chosen by the user and which cause another document to be retrieved and displayed. The text is usually underlined or highlighted.
Invisible Web The
term used to describe those web sites that search engines CANNOT pick up,
usually because to get to these sites you need to be at a particular site
or domain, first. For example, you can only retrieve certain census
documents by first going to the United States census web site.
They are filed in a way that each individual page CANNOT be retrieved except
from the site's database. Also, sites that are not HTML files, such
as FTP files and PDF files (the latter, those picked up by Adobe Acrobat),
will also NOT be picked up by most search engines (Google, at present
can pick up SOME PDF files). Special web directories called
Invisible Web directories are now being created to simply index the various
specialized DATABASES a lot of particular web sites have out there.
Paid for Inclusion Advertising A
new trend where search engines charge money to companies or organizations
or persons who want to make sure their web page is listed in the search
results page. Sometimes, there is an automatic guarantee the web
site will be listed, but others may require a payment just for consideration.
Usually, these sites are placed in a special category and may be so marked
that they are "Sponsored" web sites, but not always. Often, they
will be placed on top of the list and usually will be in bigger fonts.
The following search engines/web directories use this practice: GoTo.com
(all its listings), LookSmart (sponsored ads are listed under "Featured
Listings"), all search engines that use the Inktomi database, Ask Jeeves,
Alta Vista, FAST (AlltheWeb), Google, and others. (In Google, sponsored
sites are in a blue box field). To avoid simply going to sites
that are "bought" rather than those that may be of better quality, users
are encouraged to get to know the INTERFACE of each search engine and web
directory's search results screen.
the term "metasite," "megasite," or "webliography" is used for such sites).
From having the scope of every subject to just to a particular subject,
a Portal is a web site where the creator(s) have taken time to find
sites that are considered useful, may be rich in information, and are of
fine quality. Some portals actually have a rating system, but most
simply list the sites deemed valuable. Portals include such sites
Academic Info and Librarians' Index to the Internet.
Many libraries' web sites have subject guides and online reference directories
that would definitely fit this category. Users should judge and evaluate
the quality of a portal, just like any other web page. Sometimes
a portal will have a search engine as well. Note: a portal is NOT the
same as a web directory (one which only indexes the World Wide Web).
Search Engine Sites
that aid users in finding Web pages relating to chosen topics. For
example: Google, Yahoo, and Infoseek. These sites contain programs
that allow users to search through at least one database that searches
for words throughout the internet. Web directories are those
that actually index the Web (usually only a portion), and those such as
Yahoo! lead you to the indexed sites, first, before searching the World
Wide Web as a whole. Portals or meta sites are those that
select web sites that are of considerable quality, sometimes based on particular
subjects. Those containing search engines will lead you to a list
of sites that are indexed. A meta-search engine is a search
engine that acts as an interface as it searches more than one of the other
search engines at once. For example, Dogpile will search the databases
of Yahoo!, Altavista, and Hotbot at once.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator) A web address. This is an addressing scheme that allows you to locate Internet documents on the World Wide Web and other places on the Internet
A URL looks like this: http://www.webwx.com
A URL can also be very long. For example, the URL for this page is:
Web Directory Usually a type of search engine, a web directory indexes a portion of the World Wide Web (that portion contains sites that were registered directly to the search engine's company and/or found by people employed by the search engine's company). The indexing is usually done by humans and a controlled vocabulary is given so that web sites on similar subjects can be grouped together. Because the World Wide Web is always growing and URLs are always changing, Web Directories usually can only index a small portion of the Web. Yahoo!, LookSmart, and Open Directory are web directories. A web directory could sometimes also have the elements of a meta-site or a portal as well
Attachment A file
attached to an e-mail message. Many e-mail systems only support sending
text files as e-mail. If the attachment is a binary file or formatted text
file (such as a MS-Word document), it must be encoded before it is sent
and decoded once it is received. Recent versions of Email software
such as Hotmail and Eudora most often do the encoding and decoding automatically.
Domain Look under
Emoticon An acronym for emotion icon, a small icon composed of punctuation characters that indicates how an e-mail message should be interpreted (that is, the writer's mood). For example, a :-) emoticon indicates that the message is meant as a joke and shouldn't be taken seriously. An emoticon is also called a smiley.
Listserv An automatic mailing list server developed by Eric Thomas for BITNET in 1986. When e-mail is addressed to a LISTSERV mailing list, it is automatically broadcast to everyone on the list. The result is similar to a newsgroup or forum, except that the messages are transmitted as e-mail and are therefore available only to individuals on the list.
Mailbox An area
in memory or on a storage device where e-mail is placed. In
e-mail systems, each user has a private mailbox. When the user receives
e-mail, the mail system automatically puts it in the mailbox.
Spam (or spamming) An
inappropriate attempt to use a mailing list, or USENET or other networked
communications facility as if it was a broadcast medium by sending the
same message to a large number of people who didn't ask for it. Mass
Urban Legends The
term used for emails you will often receive that usually will have some
type of warning or some type of story and may encourage you to send this
message to many others. Often, stories are made up or taken out of
context or are simply not true, or there to serve like spam, where you
send multiple messages to other people. These emails can often be
seen as "tall tales" or may be simply "pulling your leg." Some virus
warnings are really urban legends (and often untrue). Some Email
chain letters are also Urban Legends.
Virus Look under
Worm Look under General
General Internet Terms
Cyberspace A metaphor
for describing the non-physical terrain created by computer systems. Online
systems, for example, create a cyberspace within which people can communicate
with one another (via e-mail), do research, or simply window shop. Like
physical space, cyberspace contains objects (files, mail messages, graphics,
etc.) and different modes of transportation and delivery. Unlike real space,
though, exploring cyberspace does not require any physical movement other
than pressing keys on a keyboard or moving a mouse.
Discussion Boards Also
known as Bulletin Boards or Discussion Groups, Discussion Boards are online
forums where users can post messages. Messages are usually grouped by
topics and such topic groups are usually called threads.
the last three letters of an Internet address represent the domain or particular
section of the Internet. If you notice, both Email and Web addresses
end with these suffixes. Domain suffixes include:
|.net||Network Infrastructure Organizations|
|.org||Usually a Non-Profit Organization|
|.store||Businesses offering goods|
|.nom||Individuals with personal sites|
|.firm||Businesses or Firms|
|.web||entities emphasizing the World Wide Web|
|.rec||Recreational or Entertainment Activities|
|Recognized by only two letters, these domains have codes that represent particular countries (such as .il for Italy and .jp for Japan). As of right now, web addresses that have the domains such as .com or .org most often identify United States businesses, organizations, etc (though that is slowly changing). A web site with the address that has a country domain can be ANY of the types of entities listed above.|
Download To take information from one computer to another computer or to a floppy disk. On the Internet, when you download you are taking information from a remote computer.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) The
protocol used on the Internet for sending files. These files can
be from any program and the only way they can be viewed is if you have
the program that matches the particular file, or what is called a "viewer"
to see them. For example, a PowerPoint presentation that is not converted
to html can only open up if you're in PowerPoint or your web browser has
a type of plugin which can view PowerPoint presentations.
ISP (Internet Service Provider) An
institution (usually a private company) that provides access to the Internet
in some form, usually for money.
LAN (Local Area Network) A
computer network limited to the immediate area, sometimes to the same floor
or same building.
etiquette, or the etiquette of the Internet.
Network Any time
you connect two or more computers together so that they can share resources,
you have a computer network
A forum or an on-line discussion group, usually covering any conceivable
interest. To view and post messages to a newsgroup, you need a news
reader, a program that runs on your computer and connects you to a news
server on the Internet.
Plugin A hardware
or software module that adds a specific feature or service to a larger
system. For example, there are a number of plug-ins for the Netscape Navigator
browser that enable it to display different types of audio or video messages.
Server A computer,
or a software package, that provides a specific kind of service to client
software running on other computers. The term can refer to a particular
piece of software, as a WWW server, or to the machine on which the software
Telnet The command
and program used to login from one internet site to another. The
telnet command/program gets you to the "login" prompt of another host computer.
A typical telnet screen is one with a plain background (usually black or
white) and does not contain any graphics.
UNIX A computer
operating system (the basic software running on a computer, underneath
things like word processors and spreadsheets). It is the most common
operating system for servers on the Internet.
Virus A program or piece
of code that is loaded onto your computer without your knowledge and runs
against your wishes. Most viruses can also replicate themselves. All computer
viruses are manmade. A simple virus that can make a copy of itself over
and over again is relatively easy to produce. Even such a simple virus
is dangerous because it will quickly use all available memory and bring
the system to a halt. An even more dangerous type of virus is one capable
of transmitting itself across networks and bypassing security systems.
A worm is a special type of virus that can replicate itself and use memory,
but cannot attach itself to other programs. (2) A term used
loosely for more recent viruses that are sent through Email and affect
Email software programs such as Microsoft Outlook. Once the virus
is opened, the sender unknowingly sends the virus to anyone they are emailing
(usually as a separate message). Or, in some Email software
programs, a message can be automatically sent to all addresses in the user's
address book without the user ever knowing. The infamous I Love You,
Melissa, and Happy99 viruses are called worms, mainly because they fit
definition one, and the "layman" began thinking of these type of Email
viruses as "worms."
Definitions adapted from previous "Internet Skills" courses at Chabot, the PC Webopedia and from the University of Arizona Library's "Internet Jargon and Terms"