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Glossary A - D
Glossary E - I
Glossary J - P
Glossary Q - S
Glossary T - Z


  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z  


JavaScript An interpreted programming or script language from Netscape. It is somewhat similar in capability to Microsoft's Visual Basic and the UNIX-derived Perl. In general, script languages are easier and faster to code in than more structured, compiled languages. Script languages generally take longer to process than compiled languages, but are very useful for shorter programs. JavaScript code can be imbedded in HTML pages and interpreted by the web browser (or client). JavaScript can be used to do such things as automatically change a formatted date on a web page, cause a linked-to page to appear in a pop-up window, or cause text or a graphic image to change during a mouse rollover.

Kernel The essential center of a computer's operating system, the core that provides basic services for all other parts of the operating system. The kernel can be contrasted with the shell, the outermost part of an operating system that interacts with user commands. Because the code that makes up the kernel is needed continuously, it is usually loaded into computer storage in an area that is protected so that it will not be overlaid with other, less frequently used parts of the operating system.
Kilobyte (KB) - 1024 (210) bytes.
LAN (Local Area Network) - A computer network limited to the immediate area, such as a building or a floor of a building.
Leased-line A phone line that is leased (rented) for exclusive (24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week) use from one location to another. The highest speed data connections use leased lines.
Link (1) A selectable connection from one word, picture, or information object to another using hypertext. In a multimedia environment such as the World Wide Web, such objects can include sound and motion video sequences. The most common form of link is the highlighted word or picture that can be selected by the user (with a mouse or in some other fashion), resulting in the immediate delivery and view of another file. The highlighted object is referred to as an anchor. The anchor reference and the object referred to constitute a hypertext link. (2) In telecommunications, a link is a physical (and, in some usages, a logical) connection between two points.
Linux (Pronounced LIH-nuhks with a short "i") - An open-source UNIX-like operating system that was designed to provide personal computer users with a free or very low-cost operating system comparable to traditional and usually more expensive UNIX systems. Linux has a reputation as a very efficient and fast-performing system. Linux's kernel (the central part of the operating system) was developed by Linus Torvalds at the University of Helsinki in Finland. Linux is a common operating system in web server applications.
Login The account name used to gain access to a computer or system.
Mbps (Megabits-per-Second or Millions of Bits-per-Second) - A measure of bandwidth of a telecommunications medium.
Megabyte (MB) - 1024 kilobytes 220 bytes.
Message Board A script on a web page with a form that allows a web site to host discussions. It is also called a web board or a forum.

(Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) - An extension of the original Internet e-mail protocol that lets people exchange different kinds of data files on the Internet: audio, video, images, application programs, and other kinds, as well as the ASCII handled in SMTP, the original protocol. SMTP was extended so that Internet (but mainly web) clients and servers could recognize and handle other kinds of data than ASCII text. As a result, new file types were added to "mail" as a supported Internet protocol file type.

Servers insert the MIME header at the beginning of any web transmission. Clients use this header to select an appropriate "player" application for the type of data the header indicates. Some of these players are built into the web client or browser (for example, all browser come with GIF and JPEG image players as well as the ability to handle HTML files); other players (such as audio and video) may need to be downloaded.

Mirror To maintain an exact copy of something. (1) With reference to the Internet, 'mirror sites' are web sites or FTP sites that maintain exact copies of material originated at another location, to provide more widespread access to the resource (more network bandwidth). (2) With reference to computers, 'mirroring' is an arrangement where information is written to more than one hard disk simultaneously, so that if one disk fails, the computer keeps on working without losing any data.
MP3 (MPEG 1 Audio Layer-3) - An audio compression standard, or file type, for encoding sounds (commonly music). The resultant file maintains nearly the original quality but is only about 5% of the original file size. The file suffix is '.mp3'.
MS Access Microsoft® Access is probably the most common database program in the world since it comes bundled in Microsoft Office.
MS SQL High-end performance database application for Windows® NT and Windows 2000 servers, for large and complicated back-end integration of database files.
Multimedia More than one concurrent presentation medium (for example, on a web site). Although still images are a different medium than text, multimedia is typically used to mean the combination of text, sound, and/or motion video. Popular web site multimedia (sound, sound and motion video, or animation) players include MPEG, Quicktime, RealAudio, RealVideo, and Shockwave.
Multithreaded A computer program that supports multiple concurrent users or service requests from other programs. In this context, a thread is the information needed to serve one individual user or a particular service request. If multiple users are using the program or concurrent requests from other programs occur, a thread is created and maintained for each of them. The thread allows the program to know which user is being served as the program alternately gets reentered on behalf of different users.
Multi-user A computer program or operating system that supports more than one concurrent user. UNIX is an example of a multi-user operating system.

(Pronounced "my ess cue el," not "my sequel") - An open-source SQL database. MySQL is a true multi-user, multithreaded SQL database server program. MySQL is a client/server implementation that consists of a server daemon and many different client programs and libraries. The main goals of MySQL are speed, robustness and ease of use.

MySQL currently runs on the Linux, UNIX, and Windows NT platforms. Many Internet companies use MySQL as an alternative to proprietary (and expensive!) database systems from Oracle, IBM, and Informix.

Name Server (Also called DNS Server or Domain Name Server) - A server that translates domain names to IP addresses for Internet queries.
Netscape® (1) A web browser (originally Netscape Navigator) created by Netscape Communications. (2) The name of a company (Netscape Communications) now owned by AOL.
Network 2 or more computers connected together so that they can share resources . Connecting 2 or more networks together results in an internet.
Newsgroup The name for discussion groups on Usenet.
Node Any single computer connected to a network.
NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol) - The predominant protocol used by computer clients and servers for managing the notes posted on Usenet newsgroups. An NNTP client is included as part of web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Netscape, and Opera, or you may use a separate client program called a newsreader.
Object Code A file containing a sequence of instructions that the processor can understand and execute. When you purchase or download operating system or application software, it is usually in the form of compiled object code and the source code is not included. Recently, there has been a movement to develop open source software (such as Linux) that is open to further improvement by anyone who wants to improve it, and here the source code is also provided.
OCx (Optical Carrier levels) - Used by SONET to specify the bandwidth of optical fiber networks. The base rate (OC-1) is 51.84 Mbps. OC-2 runs at twice the base rate, OC-3 at three times the base rate, etc. (See also DSx and T-1.)
Open-Source A software program whose source code is made available for use or modification as users or other developers see fit. (Generally, the makers of proprietary software have not made source code available.) Open source software is usually developed as a public collaboration and made freely available. Sometimes these third-party modifications are incorporated into later versions of the software.
Operating System (OS) - The program that, after being initially loaded into the computer by a boot program, manages all the other programs in a computer. The other programs are called applications or application programs. The application programs make use of the operating system by making requests for services through a defined application program interface (API). In addition, users can interact directly with the operating system through a user interface such as a command language or a GUI. Examples of operating systems frequently used in various web server applications include Microsoft Windows® NT, Windows 2000, Linux, and UNIX. Other common operating systems include Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows XP, OS/2 and Mac OS. Earlier command-line driven operating systems included IBM's PC-DOS, Microsoft's MS-DOS, and CPM.
Packet Switching The method used to move data around on the Internet. In packet switching, the message transmitted by a computer is broken up into pieces, called packets. Each piece has the address of where it came from and where it is going as well as a message ID. The entire message is recreated at the destination from all of the pieces. This enables pieces of data from many different sources to co-mingle on the same network, and be sorted and directed (routed) to different destinations by special computers (packet-switches or routers) along the way. Thus, many people and applications can use the same network at the same time.
Parking The practice of selecting a domain name, and 'parking' it on a web host's web server. A parked domain name is frequently used as an 'alias' to redirect Internet requests to another domain name to avoid having to maintain multiple web sites. For example, if a domain named is parked on another domain named, an Internet request for a page of will display the corresponding page of except the URL will still be A parked domain name may not support any service (hosting, e-mail, etc.) for that particular domain name.
Password A code used to gain access to a secure computer or system.
PDF (Portable Document Format) - a file format developed by Adobe Systems Inc.. PDF files preserve the appearance and layout of an original document, making it possible for files to be viewed online and printed exactly as intended, regardless of the hardware or software the user is using. Viewing PDF files requires the use of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software. Any document can be converted to PDF using the Adobe Acrobat application.
Perl (Practical Extraction and Reporting Language) - A scrip language which is commonly used to write CGI programs to be run from a web site. Perl programs are text files that are parsed (run through and executed) by a program called an 'interpreter' on the server. Perl is regarded as a good choice for developing CGI programs because it has good text manipulation facilities (although it also handles binary files).
PHP A script language and interpreter that is freely available and used primarily on Linux web servers. PHP (the initials come from the earliest version of the program, which was called "Personal Home Page Tools) is an alternative to Microsoft's Active Server Page (ASP) technology. As with ASP, the PHP script is embedded within a web page along with its HTML. Before the page is sent to a user that has requested it, the Web server calls PHP to interpret and perform the operations called for in the PHP script. An HTML page that includes a PHP script is typically given a file name suffix of '.php' '.php3,' or '.phtml'. Like ASP, PHP can be thought of as 'dynamic HTML pages,' since content will vary based on the results of interpreting the script. PHP is free and offered under an open source license.
Pointed Domain Similar to a subdomain except that it has its own domain name rather than a breakdown of the main domain by identifying a folder name. A photographer, for instance, might have a main site called, and then a pointed domain for a gallery of work, called, that exists within a folder on This allows two separate domains with only one hosting account.
Pointed domains are treated as completely separate sites from the main domain, and there must be a valid index file in the folder for the pointed domain before it will be visible in a browser.
POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) - A standard protocol for receiving e-mail. POP3 is a client/server protocol in which e-mail is received and held for the e-mail client by an e-mail server. Periodically, the client e-mail program checks the mailbox on the server and downloads any mail. An alternative protocol is IMAP. With IMAP, e-mail is viewed at the server as though it was on the client computer. An e-mail message deleted locally is still kept on the server. E-mail can be kept on and searched at the server. POP can be thought of as a "store-and-forward service. IMAP can be thought of as a remote file server. POP and IMAP deal with the receiving of e-mail and are not to be confused with SMTP, a protocol for transferring e-mail across the Internet. E-mail is sent with SMTP and a mail handler receives it on the recipient's behalf. Then the mail is read using POP or IMAP.
Port (1) A place where information goes into or out of a computer. E.g. the serial port on a personal computer is where a modem would be connected. (2) On the Internet, port often refers to a number that is part of a URL, appearing after a colon, right after the domain name. Every service on an Internet server listens on a particular port number on that server. Most services have standard port numbers, e.g. web servers normally listen on port 80. Servers can also listen on nonstandard ports, in which case the port number must be specified in a URL when accessing the server.
Propagation The process by which the name servers throughout the world update their records for a specific domain. For example, if a domain is moved from one host to another, it will take around 24-48 hours for the new address to broadcast everywhere. During that period, the traffic is decreasing at the old location and increasing at the new location.
Protocol A special set of rules used by computers or software programs when they communicate with each other. Examples of protocols used in Internet communications include TCP/IP, HTTP, FTP SSL, and NNTP.

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