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Glossary

Glossary of Internet Technology Terms.

Browse our glossary of definitions for some common and some not-so-common technology terms.

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Access Provider

A company that sells Internet connectivity.

ActiveX

A Java-like Microsoft language that permits web-originated programs
to be run from Microsoft Explorer browser.

Alias

An alternative name for an object, such as a variable, file, or
device.

Anonymous FTP (UNIX only)

Allows for users to access your web site with standard File Transfer
Protocol (FTP) client software in order to upload/download files
without supplying a unique username and password (anonymous). With
the advent of the current HTTP specifications and browsers, however,
this is fairly moot, since the same can be done through your browser.

Applet

A high-level program that can be included in an HTML page, most
often an image. The program’s code is then executed by the browser.
Note: Many older browsers cannot interpret Java applets and disregard
them.

Application

Applications software (also called end-user programs) includes database
programs, word processors, and spreadsheets. Figuratively speaking,
applications software sits on top of systems software because it
is unable to run without the operating system and system utilities.

Archie

A program that enables you to search for files anywhere on the Internet
by filename.

ARPANET

The precursor to the Internet, ARPANET was a large wide-area network
created in 1969 by the United States Defense Advanced Research Project
Agency (ARPA).

ASCII

Acronym for AMERICAN STANDARD CODE FOR INFORMATION INTERCHANGE,
a standard character set.

Authentication

The process of identifying an individual, usually based on a username
and password.


Backbone (Internet Backbone)

A backbone is a large transmission line that carries data gathered
from smaller lines that interconnect with it. On the Internet or
other wide area network, a backbone is a set of paths that local
or regional networks connect to for long-distance interconnection.

Backup Generator

A alternative source of power, in the event that the standard electrical
services are interupted. Normally, these devices deliver power on
a temporary basis, and run on natural gas or desiel fuel.

Backup/Restore

The process of copying files so that they are preserved in the case
of equipment failure or catastrophe. If files are damaged on the
server, we resort to the backup copy to restore the files back to
the machine.

Bandwidth

The amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of
time. For digital devices, the bandwidth is usually expressed in
bits per second(bps) or bytes per second. Web hosting accounts usually
offer bandwidth amounts in gigabytes per month.

Banner Advertising

A graphic advertising image on a web site.

Baud rate

The speed rate of a data channel – expressed as bits per second
(bps) – which is usually used when referring to the speed of modems.

BBS

Bulletin Board System. An electronic message center. Most bulletin
boards serve specific interest groups.

Binary

Pertaining to a number system that has just two unique digits. Computers
are based on the binary numbering system, which consists of just
two unique numbers, 0 and 1.

Bit

Short for binary digit, the smallest unit of information on a machine.
A single bit can hold only one of two values: 0 or 1.

Benchmark

A test used to compare performance of hardware and/or software.

Body

HTML tag used to enclose the body (all the text and tags) of the
HTML document.

Bookmark

Nearly all web browsers support a bookmarking feature that lets
you save the address (URL) of a web page so that you can easily
revisit the page at a later time.

Browser

Short for web browser, a software application used to locate and
display web pages. Netscape and Microsoft Internet Explorer are
the most common.

Byte

Eight bits; the fundamental unit of personal computer data.


Cache

Pronounced cash, a special high-speed storage mechanism. It can
be either a reserved section of main memory or an independent high-speed
storage device. Your browser has a cache in it to store the pages
you have looked at.

CERN

European Particle Physics Laboratory, the developers of the World
Wide Web.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface)

The scripting language used to write gateway scripts for CERN and
NCSA web servers. CGI programs are the most common way for web servers
to interact dynamically with users. Many HTML pages that contain
forms, for example, use a CGI program to process the form’s data
once it’s submitted.

Chat

Real-time communication between two users via computer. Once a chat
has been initiated, either user can enter text by typing on the
keyboard and the entered text will appear on the other user’s monitor.

Cisco

One of the leading manufacturers of network equipment. Cisco’s primary
business is in Internet working products, such as routers, bridges,
and switches.

Click-through Rate

In web advertising, the click through rate is the number of clicks
on an advertisement (such as a banner ad) is expressed as a percentage
of the number of times that the page where the ad appears was downloaded.
Thus, the click through rate would be 10% if one in ten people who
viewed the advertisement clicked on it, and landed on the advertisers’
site.

Client/Server Architecture

A network architecture in which each computer or process on the
network is either a client or a server. Servers are powerful computers
dedicated to managing disk drives (file servers), printers (print
servers), or network traffic (network servers). Clients are PCs
or workstations on which users run applications. Clients rely on
servers for resources, such as files, devices, and even processing
power.

Co-located Server

Some companies own a server, but want to locate it in the secure
environment of a web hosting provider. That way they can take advantage
of the fastest possible connections to the Internet while handing
over day-to-day management of the site.

Connectivity

A computer buzzword that refers to a program or device’s ability
to link with other programs and devices.

Cookies

A 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.


Daemon

Pronounced demon or damon, a process that runs in the background
and performs a specified operation at predefined times or in response
to certain events. The term daemon is a UNIX term, though many other
operating systems provide support for daemons, though they’re sometimes
called other names. Windows, for example, refers to daemons and
system agents and services. Typical daemon processes include print
spoolers, e-mail handlers, and other programs that perform administrative
tasks for the operating system.

Database

A database is a structured set of records, such as a mailing list.
A web browser can access a public database by Perl Scripts. There
are many ways for a user to find information in a database. When
the data is structured as a table in a single file, a user need
only browse the page and use the browser’s “find” feature.
However, to search a relational database spread over many files,
a sophisticated CGI script is required to access the data.

Data Transfer

The outward bound traffic from a web site, with the exception of
e-mail. Any HTML, graphic, audio or video file that is accessed
by someone viewing your site is included. High rates of data transfer
indicate a heavily trafficked site.

Dedicated Line

A permanently connected telephone line between two computer systems.
Dedicated lines make up the bulk of the Internet.

Dedicated Server

A dedicated server is a single computer in a network reserved for
serving the needs of the network. For example, some networks require
that one computer be set aside to manage communications between
all the other computers. A dedicated server could also be a computer
that manages printer resources. In a web hosting context a dedicated
server is a server allocated to one customer.

Dial-up

An “on ramp” to the Internet-the service which allows
one to “dial” into the Internet through their communication
lines.

Digital Certificate

An attachment to an electronic message used for security purposes.
The most common use of a digital certificate is to verify that a
user sending a message is who he or she claims to be, and to provide
the receiver with the means to encode a reply.

Digital Picture

A photograph stored in a format recognizable and usable by computers.

Directory

A major division on a hard drive or server used to divide and organize
files.

Directories

A directory is a web site that focuses on listing web sites by individual
topics. A search engine lists pages, where as a directory lists
web sites. On the World Wide Web, a directory is a subject guide,
usually organized by major topics and subtopics. The best-known
directory is Yahoo! Many other sites now use a Yahoo!-like directory
including major portal sites like Excite, Netscape, Lycos, CNET,
MSN, and AOL.com. Niche portals like Garden.com (for gardeners),
Fool.com (for investors), SearchNT.com (for Windows NT administrators),
etc. are also considered directories.

Disk Storage Space

In a shared hosting environment, the amount of server disk storage
allocated to your account. This space can be used to store HTML
and graphics files, programs or scripts, mail messages, compressed
files, or other files that make up your web site. This does not
include the log files, as they are owned by the processes on the
server.

DLT

Short for Digital Linear Tape, a type of magnetic tape storage device.
DLTs are half an inch wide and the cartridges come in several sizes
ranging from 20 to over 40 GB. DLT drives are faster than most other
types of tape drives, achieving transfer rates of 2.5 MBps.

DNS

Short for Domain Name System (or Service), an Internet service that
translates domain names into IP addresses. Because domain names
are alphabetic, they’re easier to remember. The Internet however,
is really based on IP addresses. Every time you use a domain name,
therefore, a DNS service must translate the name into the corresponding
IP address. For example, the domain name www.example.com might translate
to 198.105.232.4.

Domain

The name for a company, organization, or individual’s Internet connection.
Individual computers within this domain all end with the domain
as a part of their host name.

Download

To transfer a file from another computer to your computer.

Dynamic Web Pages

Web pages more animated and more responsive to user interaction
than previous versions of HTML. Dynamic web pages are constructed
using the DHTML language (standard HTML, style sheets and programming).


E-commerce (electronic commerce)

The purchasing of goods and services over the Internet.

E-mail (electronic mail)

A communication system that allows you to send text, files and/or
graphical messages over the Internet.

E-mail Autoresponders/Lists

An autoresponder will send a standard response e-mail message (based
on a text file you specify) to anyone who sends an e-mail to a specific
e-mail address (which you specify) at your domain.

E-mail Hosting

Instead of having a server at your company location, your ISP can
host your email for you using their server.

Encryption

The translation of data into a secret code. Encryption is the most
effective way to achieve data security. To read an encrypted file,
you must have access to a secret key or password that enables you
to decrypt it. Unencrypted data is called plain text; encrypted
data is referred to as cipher text. Most e-commerce software applications
utilize encryption technology.

Ethernet

A local-area network (LAN) protocol developed by Xerox Corporation
in cooperation with DEC and Intel in 1976. Ethernet uses a bus or
star topology and supports data transfer rates of 10 Mbps. It is
one of the most widely implemented LAN standards. A newer version
of Ethernet, called 100Base-T (or Fast Ethernet), supports data
transfer rates of 100 Mbps. And the newest version, Gigabit Ethernet
supports data rates of 1 gigabit (1,000 megabits) per second.

Extranet

An extranet is a private network that uses Internet protocols and
public telecommunications lines. An extranet can be viewed as part
of a company’s intranet that is extended to users outside the company.
The main purpose of an extranet is to share information with individuals
or groups outside a company, such as suppliers, customers and partners.


FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions – the role of these is to answer the
majority of questions commonly asked by newcomers. FAQs provide
a means by which questions that are frequently asked can be collated
into one document. The majority of FAQs are posted on the USENET
in related groups.

File Formats

The patterns and standards used to store a program on a disk. Examples
are GIF, JPEG, AIFF.

File Server

A file server is a computer and storage device dedicated to storing
files. Any user on the network can store files on the server.

Firewall

A system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private
network. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software,
or a combination of both.

Form

HTML documents designed with fill-in text boxes, lists of options,
and other elements that allow the user of the form to send information
back to the web server. (E.g. registration form, order form, etc.)

Frame

An HTML tag introduced by Netscape to allow partitioning of the
browser window into independent document display areas.

Frame Relay

A packet-switching protocol for connecting devices on a Wide Area
Network (WAN). Frame Relay networks in the U.S. support data transfer
rates at T-1 (1.544 Mbps) and T-3 (45 Mbps) speeds. In fact, you
can think of Frame Relay as a way of utilizing existing T-1 and
T-3 lines owned by a service provider. Most telephone companies
now provide Frame Relay service for customers who want connections
at 56 Kbps to T-1 speeds.

Freeware

Copyrighted software given away for free by the author. Although
it is available for free, the author retains the copyright, which
means that you cannot do anything with it that is not expressly
allowed by the author. Usually, the author allows people to use
the software, but not sell it.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

The primary method for accessing files via the Internet.


Gb (Gigabit)

In data communications, a gigabit is one billion bits (1,073,741,824
bits to be exact). Bit – the smallest unit of data in a computer.
A bit has a single binary value, either 0 or 1.

GB (Gigabyte)

In data communications, a gigabyte is one billion bytes (1,073,741,824
bytes to be exact). Byte – a group of eight binary digits processed
as a unit by a computer and used especially to represent an alphanumeric
character.

GIF

A popular type of image file format. Stands for Graphic Image Format.

Gigabytes

2 to the 30th power (1,073,741,824) bytes. One gigabyte is equal
to 1,024 megabytes. Gigabyte is often abbreviated as G or GB.

Gopher

A menu-based information system on the Internet popularized because
of its ability to interconnect different Gopher sites on the same
menu.

Groupware

A class of software that helps groups of colleagues (workgroups)
attached to a local-area network organize their activities. Typically,
groupware supports the following operations: scheduling meetings
and allocating resources, e-mail, password protection for documents,
telephone utilities, electronic newsletters, file distribution.
Groupware is sometimes called workgroup productivity software.


Hits Counter

A hits counter is a tool that allows a Webmaster to determine how
many times a particular page is accessed.

Home Page

The first page that you intend people to see at your web site.

Host Name

The name of a computer on the Internet, used to identify it in the
URL naming scheme.

Hosting, Web Hosting

To provide the infrastructure for a computer service. For example,
a company like Sterling hosts web servers. This means that we provide
the hardware, software, and communications lines required by the
server, but the content on the server may be controlled by the customer.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language)

The coding scheme used to format text for use on the World Wide
Web.

HTTP (HyperText Transport Protocol)

The transmission standard used to send HTML documents across the
World Wide Web.

Hypertext

A special type of database system, invented by Ted Nelson in the
1960s, in which objects (text, pictures, music, programs, and so
on) can be creatively linked to each other.


Image Map

An image map is a graphic image defined in terms of x and y coordinates
so that a user can click on different areas of the image and be
linked to different destinations. You make an image map by defining
each of the sensitive areas in terms of their x and y coordinates
(that is, a certain horizontal distance and a certain vertical distance
from the left-hand corner of the image). With each set of coordinates,
you specify a URL that users will be linked to when they click on
that area.

Internet

The general term used to describe the worldwide network of computers
and services encompassing some 20-40 million computer users and
dozens of information systems including e-mail, Gopher, FTP, and
the World Wide Web.

Internet Explorer

Microsoft’s web browser. Like Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer
enables you to view web pages. Both browsers support Java and JavaScript.
Internet Explorer also supports ActiveX.

Intranet

An intranet is a private network that is contained within a company
or enterprise. The main purpose of an intranet is to share company
information and computing resources among employees.

IP Address

Every computer connected to the Internet has to have an address.
This is expressed in two ways: as an IP address in dotted decimal
form, e.g. 199.108.228.34; or by a more memorable machine name,
e.g. sterlink.net. Each computer has a unique IP address, allowing
computers to address the data that they send to the correct computer
on the Internet.

ISDN

An Integrated Serviced Digital Network allows you to send digital
information at speeds of 128Kb over the normal telephone network.
Just like a telephone call, you dial the number of the computer
you are calling and establish a digital connection. It takes only
a few milliseconds and the cost is the same as a normal telephone
call.

ISP (Internet Service Provider)

A company that provides access to the Internet. For a monthly fee,
the service provider gives you a software package, username, password
and access phone number. Equipped with a modem, you can then log
on to the Internet and browse the World Wide Web and USENET, and
send and receive e-mail. In addition to serving individuals, ISPs
also serve large companies, providing a direct connection from the
company’s networks to the Internet. ISPs themselves are connected
to one another through Network Access Points (NAPs).

ISV

Short for Independent Software Vendor, a company that produces software.

Java

A programming language designed for program execution on the client
side, i.e., in a browser. It is best for creating applets and applications
for the Internet, intranets and any other complex distributed network.

JavaScript

A proprietary scripting language by Netscape that adds author-specified
user events to static pages.

JPEG, JPG

Joint Photographic Experts Group, ISO/CCITT standard for compressing
still images (grayscale or color). Image files.


KB

Short for kilobyte. When used to describe data storage, KB usually
represents 1,024 bytes. When used to describe data transfer rates,
KB represents 1,000 bytes.

Keyword

In text editing and database management systems, a keyword is an
index entry that identifies a specific record or document or a searchable
term extracted from a data set during indexing.


LAN

Short for Local Area Network or a computer network that spans a
relatively small area. Most LANs are confined to a single building
or group of buildings. However, one LAN can be connected to other
LANs over any distance via telephone lines and radio waves. A system
of LANs connected in this way is called a wide-area network (WAN).

Link

The text or graphic used in an HTML document to jump from one document
to another. Typically underlined.

Linux

Developed by Linus Torvalds at the University of Helsinki (Finland),
is a UNIX-like operating system. It provides computer users a free
or very low-cost operating system comparable to traditional and
usually more expensive UNIX systems.

Log File

A file that lists actions that occurred. For example, web servers
maintain log files listing every request made to the server. With
log file analysis tools like WebTrends, it’s possible to get a good
idea of where visitors are coming from, how often they return, and
how they navigate through a site. Using cookies enables Webmasters
to gather even more detailed information about how individual users
are navigating through a site.


Majordomo List Server

A program, written in Perl language, that automates management of
and distribution to e-mail lists.

Mb (Megabit)

In data communications, a megabit is one million bits (1,048,576
bits to be exact). Bit – the smallest unit of data in a computer.
A bit has a single binary value, either 0 or 1.

MB (Megabyte)

In data communications, a megabyte is one million bytes (1,048,576
bytes to be exact). Byte – a group of eight binary digits processed
as a unit by a computer and used especially to represent an alphanumeric
character.

Merchant Account

An Internet merchant account allows a merchant to process credit
cards online and to have the funds electronically transferred into
his/her bank account.

Merchant Payment Center

A merchant payment center consolidates and automates the tasks of
establishing a merchant bank account and accessing a payment gateway
for online transaction processing.

Meta Tag

Meta tags can be used to specify to search engines how you want
your document to be indexed. It contains valuable information for
search robots to use in adding your pages to their search indexes.
In the absence of any other information, some search engines will
index all words in your document (except for comments), and will
use the first few words (e.g. 250 characters) as a short abstract
to serve back. But meta tags can be used to specify additional keywords
and a short description, which can be used to index the web page
and therefore control the indexing of the web site.

MHz (Megahertz)

A million cycles of electromagnetic currency alternation per second
and is used as a unit of measure for the “clock speed”
of computer microprocessors.

Microsoft FrontPage Extensions

FrontPage extensions are available on both Unix and NT in order
for you to use the FrontPage web site creation software to build
your web site. Support for FrontPage software is provided by Microsoft.

MIME

Short for Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions, a specification
for formatting non-ASCII messages so that they can be sent over
the Internet. Many e-mail programs now support MIME, which enables
them to send and receive graphics, audio, and video files via the
Internet mail system. In addition, MIME supports messages in character
sets other than ASCII.

Modem

Stands for MOdulator/DEModulator – a device that translates the
digital information from your computer into analogue signals that
can be passed down an ordinary telephone line. This allows one computer
to ‘talk’ to another computer using the telephone line as a medium.

Mosaic

One of the first graphical browsers. Developed by the NCSA, this
browser fueled the growth of the Web. It is available in versions
for Windows, Mac, and UNIX.

Mozilla

The original name for Netscape’s browser, now called Navigator.
Some people claim that the term is a contraction of Mosaic Godzilla
(e.g., Mosaic killer), since Mosaic was the number one web browser
at the time Netscape began developing its product. The term Mozilla
is still used by many web developers and appears in server log files
that identify the browsers being used.

Multimedia

Documents that combine text, graphics, sound, movies, or other media.

MySQL

A true multi-user, multi-threaded SQL (Structured Query Language)
database server. SQL is the most popular database language in the
world. MySQL is a client/server implementation that consists of
a server daemon mysqld and many different client programs/libraries.


Name-based Hosting

Name-based hosting or IP-less hosting is a method for hosting more
than one unique site from a single IP address.

Netscape

A popular commercial graphical browser. It is available in versions
for Windows, Mac, and UNIX.

NICs/Dual NICs

A computer circuit board or card that is installed in a computer
to allow a connection to a network.

NOC

Short for Networks Operations Center. Normally provides 24×7 monitoring
of the Network including: real-time network status, performance
reporting, real-time alarming, event correlation and forecasting.

Node

In networks, a processing location. A node can be a computer or
some other device, such as a printer. Every node has a unique network
address, sometimes called a Data Link Control (DLC) address or Media
Access Control (MAC) address.

NT (Windows NT)

An advanced version of the Windows operating system. Windows NT
is a 32-bit operating system that supports preemptive multitasking.
There are actually two versions of Windows NT: Windows NT Server,
designed to act as a server in networks and Windows NT Workstation
for stand-alone or client workstations.


OC-3

An optical fiber that transmits data between two network devices.
An OC-3 line runs at three times (3 x 51.84 Mbps) the base rate.

OEM

Stands for original equipment manufacturer. OEMs buy computers or
components in bulk and build or customize them for a particular
application. They then sell the customized computer under their
own name.

Online Stores

A database of your products and services that customers browse on
the Web, select the items they want, and purchase.

Open-Source Software

Software that is developed, tested, and improved through public
collaboration. It is distributed with the intent that the source
code will be shared among others, ensuring an open future collaboration.


Packet

A piece of a message transmitted over a packet-switching network.
One of the key features of a packet is that it contains the destination
address in addition to the data. In IP networks, packets are often
called datagrams.

Parked Domains

A parked domain is a reserved domain name that does not load any
web site. It sits in wait on a name server to be used by its owner
at a later date.

Payment Gateway

As it applies to e-commerce, a payment gateway is software that
is hosted on a server that links an online store to a process that
verifies that a customer, who is placing a credit card order, has
the credit available and that the order should be accepted. Later,
when the merchant is ready to submit the charges for processing,
the payment gateway accepts them and submits the charges to a payment
processor who facilitates the transfer of funds to the merchant.

PERL

Popular Extraction and Report Language, the most widely used language
for programming CGI applications.

Pixel

Short for Picture Element, a pixel is a single point in a graphic
image. Graphics monitors display pictures by dividing the display
screen into thousands (or millions) of pixels, arranged in rows
and columns.

POP3 Account

Storage space for e-mails delivered via the most recent version
of the Post Office Protocol (POP). You can use a standard e-mail
client, such as Eudora, Netscape Mail or Internet Explorer Mail
to download the e-mail to your computer.

Port

An interface on a computer where you can install/connect a device.
Personal computers have various types of ports. Internally, there
are several ports for connecting disk drives, display screens, and
keyboards. Externally, personal computers have ports for connecting
modems, printers, mice, and other peripheral devices.


Query

A request for information from a database. There are three general
methods for posing queries: (1) Choosing parameters from a menu:
In this method, the database system presents a list of parameters
from which you can choose. (2) Query by example (QBE): In this method,
the system presents a blank record and lets you specify the fields
and values that define the query. (3) Query language: Many database
systems require you to make requests for information in the form
of a stylized query that must be written in a special query language.


Rack Space

Physical storage unit for computers or network devices.

RAM

An acronym for Random Access Memory, a type of computer memory that
can be accessed randomly; that is, any byte of memory can be accessed
without touching the preceding bytes. RAM is the most common type
of memory found in computers and other devices, such as printers.

Real-Time

Occurring immediately. The term is used to describe a number of
different computer features. For example, real-time operating systems
are systems that respond to input immediately.

Real-Time Credit Card Transaction Processing

Includes the establishment of Internet merchant accounts, and provides
the ability to immediately accept and process credit cards online
including authorization and daily online settlements.

Remote Administration

Administering a computer or network from a remote location.

ROM

Pronounced rahm, acronym for Read-Only Memory, computer memory on
which data has been prerecorded. Once data has been written onto
a ROM chip, it cannot be removed and can only be read.

Root Directory

The top directory in a file system. The root directory is provided
by the operating system and has a special name; for example, in
DOS systems the root directory is called \. The root directory is
sometimes referred to simply as the root.

Router

A device that connects two Local Area Networks. Routers are similar
to bridges, but provide additional functionality, such as the ability
to filter messages and forwardthem to different places based on
various criteria. The Internet uses routers extensively to forward
packets from one host to another.


SCSI

The Small Computer System Interface is a set of evolving standard
electronic interfaces that allow personal computers to communicate
with peripheral hardware such as disk drives, tape drives, CD-ROM
drives, printers, and scanners. SCSI (pronounced “scuzzy”)
is faster and more flexible than previous interfaces.

Search Engine

A program that searches documents for specified keywords and returns
a list of the documents where the keywords were found. Although
search engine is really a general class of programs, the term is
often used to specifically describe systems like Alta Vista and
Excite that enable users to search for documents on the World Wide
Web and USENET newsgroups.

Secure Cabinet

A locked cabinet located in a monitored data center where customers
can connect their servers to the Internet.

Sendmail

The most popular UNIX-based implementation of the Simple Mail Transfer
Protocol (SMTP) for transmitting e-mail.

Server

A computer or device on a network that manages network resources.
For example, a file server is a computer and storage device dedicated
to storing files. Any user on the network can store files on the
server. A print server is a computer that manages one or more printers,
and a network server is a computer that manages network traffic.
A database server is a computer system that processes database queries.

Server Side Include (SSI)

A server-side include (SSI) can either be a variable value that
you want to appear on a web page (like the date and time that the
page was loaded on the visitor’s browser – in which case
it must pull this information from the server) or it can be static
information that you want included on several pages.

For instance, you might have 50 pages on
your site and want to use the same navigational bar on each one
of these pages. Without including the same information on all the
pages or using frames, you can make one file that contains the navigation
bar and call to the SSI file on the 50 pages. This way if the navigation
or URLs in the navigation change, then you only have to update the
one file and not the same information on all 50 pages.

Server-Side Scripting and Programming
Languages

A variety of scripting and programming languages is available to
you in order to give greater function to your web site. Some of
the primary examples are: Unix, Perl, shell script, Server-Side
Includes (SSI), PHP, Miva (formerly HTMLScript), NT, ColdFusion,
and Active Server Pages (ASP).

Shared Server

Shared web servers are a very popular way of providing low-cost
web hosting services. Instead of requiring a separate computer for
each site, dozens of sites can co-reside on the same computer. In
most cases, performance is not affected and each web site behaves
as if it is being served by a dedicated server.

Shareware

Software that is distributed at no cost to the user (the author
maintains the copyright).

Shell Access

Access to an interactive user interface where the user can connect
with a Unix operating system. The shell is the layer of programming
that understands and executes the commands a user enters.

Shopping Cart

Shopping cart software acts as an online store’s catalog and ordering
process. Typically, it allows a consumer to browse the web site,
select items for purchase as they browse, review what they have
selected; make necessary modifications or additions, and purchase
the merchandise.

SMTP

Short for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, a protocol for sending
e-mail messages between servers. Most e-mail systems that send mail
over the Internet use SMTP to send messages from one server to another;
the messages can then be retrieved with an e-mail client using either
POP or IMAP.

Sockets

In UNIX and some other operating systems, a software object that
connects an application to a network protocol. In UNIX, for example,
a program can send and receive TCP/IP messages by opening a socket
and reading and writing data to and from the socket. This simplifies
program development because the programmer need only worry about
manipulating the socket and can rely on the operating system to
actually transport messages across the network correctly.

Spider or Robots

It is a program that most of the major search engines on the web
use. Spiders visit web sites and read their pages and other information
in order to create entries for a search engine index. Spiders are
typically programmed to visit sites that have been submitted by
their owners as new or updated. Entire sites or specific pages can
be selectively visited and indexed. Spiders usually visit many sites
in parallel at the same time, their “legs” spanning a
large area of the “web.” Spiders can crawl through a site’s
pages in several ways. One way is to follow all the hypertext links
in each page until all the pages have been read.

SSL Support

Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, support allows the transfer of data
in a secure environment.


T-1

A dedicated phone connection supporting data rates of 1.544Mbits
per second. A T-1 line actually consists of 24 individual channels,
each of which supports 64Kbits per second. Each 64Kbit/second channel
can be configured to carry voice or data traffic.

T-3

A dedicated phone connection supporting data rates of about 43 Mbps.
A T-3 line actually consists of 672 individual channels, each of
which supports 64 Kbps.

Tag

The basic unit of HTML coding, consisting of a word inside less-than
(<) and greater-than (>) brackets.

TCP/IP

Acronym for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, the
suite of communications protocols used to connect hosts on the Internet.
TCP/IP uses several protocols, the two main ones being TCP and IP.
TCP/IP is built into the UNIX operating system and is used by the
Internet, making it the de facto standard for transmitting data
over networks. Even network operating systems that have their own
protocols, such as Netware, also support TCP/IP.

Telnet

A method of logging onto remote computer systems using a terminal
program or other applications using the Telnet protocol. You can
use the Telnet application to run commands and programs on a remote
computer.


UNIX

A host operating system developed by AT&T that allows multiple
clients to access the resources of one host simultaneously. Many
of the news, mail, World Wide Web and name servers on the Internet
use this operating system.

Upload

The transmission of a file from one computer system to another,
usually larger computer system. In terms of web hosting, it would
happen when a file is transmitted to the host’s web servers.

URL

A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is a path to a location on the
Internet. For instance, http://www.sterlink.net will take you to
Sterling’s Web Site.

USENET

A worldwide bulletin board system that can be accessed through the
Internet or through many online services. The USENET contains more
than 14,000 forums, called newsgroups that cover every imaginable
interest group. It is used daily by millions of people around the
world.

UUCP

Short for Unix-to-Unix Copy, a Unix utility and protocol that enables
one computer to send files to another computer over a direct serial
connection or via modems and the telephone system. For most file
transfer applications, UUCP has been superseded by other protocols,
such as FTP, SMTP and NNTP.


Visitors/Users

People who come to a particular web site.

VPN

Short for virtual private network, a network that is constructed
by using public wires to connect nodes. For example, there are a
number of systems that enable you to create networks using the Internet
as the medium for transporting data. These systems use encryption
and other security mechanisms to ensure that only authorized users
can access the network and that the data cannot be intercepted.

VRML

Pronounced ver-mal, and short for Virtual Reality Modeling Language,
VRML is a specification for displaying 3-dimensional objects on
the World Wide Web. You can think of it as the 3-D equivalent of
HTML. Files written in VRML have a .wrl extension (short for world).
To view these files, you need a VRML browser or a VRML plug-in to
a web browser.


WAN

A Wide Area Network (WAN) is a computer network that spans a relatively
large geographical area. Typically, a WAN consists of two or more
local-area networks (LANs). Computers connected to a wide-area network
are often connected through public networks, such as the telephone
system. They can also be connected through leased lines or satellites.
The largest WAN in existence is the Internet.

Web Business

An entity conducting commerce on the Internet.

Web Consultant

A person or company that can help you create or improve an online
business.

Web-to-Database Support

A variety of methods is available in order to create dynamic sites
that interact with databases. PHP-mSQL or PHP-mySQL and HTMLScript
to dBase-compatible are available on Unix, while coldfusion-ODBC
compatible (Access, FoxPro, dBase) are available for NT.

Webmaster

An individual who manages a web site. Depending on the size of the
site, the Webmaster might be responsible for any of the following:
Making sure that the web server hardware and software is running
properly, designing the web site, creating and updating web pages,
replying to user feedback, creating CGI scripts, monitoring traffic
through the site.

Web Presence

A web site.

Web Server

A computer that delivers (serves up) web pages. Every web server
has an IP address and possibly a domain name. For example, if you
enter the URL http://www.sterlink.net/index.html in your browser,
this sends a request to the server whose domain name is www.sterlink.net.
The server then fetches the page named home.asp and sends it to
your browser.

Web Site Creation

A phase in creating a web presence, where the site navigation, images
and content are determined and a developer writes the code.

Whois

An Internet utility that returns information about a domain name
or IP address. For example, if you enter a domain name such as sterlink.net,
whois will return the name and address of the domain’s owner.

Wildcard

A special symbol that stands for one or more characters. Many operating
systems and applications support wildcards for identifying files
and directories. This enables you to select multiple files with
a single specification. For example, in DOS and Windows, the asterisk
(*) is a wild card that stands for any combination of letters.

WWW

The World Wide Web in simplest terms is an internationally networked
organized collection of information. What does this mean? Basically
this means using the right software, you can read, see and even
hear specific information that someone else has made public via
your computer.


XML

Short for eXtensible Markup Language, a new specification being
developed by the W3C. XML is a pared-down version of SGML, designed
especially for web documents. It enables designers to create their
own customized tags to provide functionality not available with
HTML. For example, XML supports links that point to multiple documents,
as opposed to HTML links, which can reference just one destination
each.


Sources:

George McDaniel (ed.) IBM Dictionary of Computing, Tenth Edition,
McGraw-Hill, (1993).

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary online, www.m-w.com

Cardservice International’s web site www.cardservice.com

Mercantec’s web site www.mercantec.com

WhatIs.com’s web site www.whatis.com