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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  


Raw Log Files For statistical analysis of web site traffic. Raw log files contain the details about visitors to the web site such as pages accessed and files downloaded that can be downloaded for analysis on a local computer. Web site traffic analysis is also provided by programs that provide detailed web statistics.
RealAudio / RealVideo A continuous or streaming sound / video technology from Progressive Networks. A RealAudio / RealVideo player or client program may come included with a web browser or can be downloaded from the RealAudio web site. To deliver RealAudio sound or RealVideo video from a web site, the web server needs to have a RealAudio or RealVideo server.
Rollover (Also referred to as a "mouseover") - A technique that changes a web page element when the user moves the cursor over something on a web page (like a line of text or a graphic image). The term rollover recognizes that there is a little ball in your mouse that you roll on a surface.
Root Server System A set of thirteen name servers, which together contain authoritative databases listing all top level domain names. There is one primary ("A") root server, which maintains the authoritative root database and replicates changes to the other root servers on a daily basis. ISPs may also maintain their own local name servers to speed up Internet access for their customers.
Router A special-purpose computer (or software package) that handles the connection between 2 or more networks. Routers look at the destination addresses of the packets and decide which route to send them on.
RSA An encryption and authentication system that uses an algorithm developed in 1977 by Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman. The RSA algorithm is the most commonly used encryption and authentication algorithm and is included as part of many software products that use the Internet.
Script A program or sequence of instructions that is interpreted or carried out by another program rather than by the computer processor (as a compiled program is). Some languages have been conceived expressly as script languages. Examples of scripts used for web pages are Perl, PHP, and VB Script. These script languages are often written to handle forms input or other services for a web site and are processed on the web server. A JavaScript script in a Web page runs "client-side" on the web browser instead of on the web server.
Search Engine A database of web pages. You give them your URL, and they read your page, extract relevant information from it, and store it in their database. Many search engines also run "spiders" (also called "bots" or "web crawlers") that roam around the Internet looking for new pages. Altavista is an example of a search engine. (See also Index.)
Second-Level Domain Name

The portion of a URL that identifies the specific and unique administrative owner associated with an IP address. The second-level domain name includes the top-level domain name. For example, in, "ShenValleyOnline" is a second-level domain. "" is a second-level domain name (and includes the top-level domain name of "net"). Second-level domains can be divided into further subdomain levels. More than one second-level domain name can be used for the same IP address.

Security Certificate A digital 'ID Card,' a Security Certificate contains information about who it was issued to, who it was issued by, a unique serial number or other unique identification, validity dates, and an encrypted 'fingerprint' that can be used to verify the contents of the certificate. In order for an SSL connection to be created both sides must have a valid Security Certificates.
Server A computer that provides a specific kind of service to client software running on other computers. The term can refer to a particular piece of software, such as a web server or e-mail server, or to the machine on which the software is running. A single server machine could have several different server software packages running on it, thus providing many different server functions to clients on the network.
Shared Hosting Where the service provider hosts multiple web sites, each having its own Internet domain name, from a single web server. Most web hosting companies provide shared hosting. Since many small business web sites require less than 10 MB of disk space, one server could theoretically host several thousand small business web sites. The limiting factor to the number of web sites that can share one server may be the amount of traffic (data transfer or hits) generated by all of the sites on the server. Although shared hosting is satisfactory for most small business web sites, it is not sufficient for large, high traffic web sites. These sites need a dedicated web server, either provided by a web hosting service or maintained in-house.
Shell The interactive user interface of an operating system. The shell is the layer of programming that understands and executes the commands a user enters. As the outer layer of an operating system, a shell can be contrasted with the kernel, the operating system's inmost layer or core of services.
Shockwave A family of multimedia players developed by Macromedia. They allow users to experience new forms of multimedia content on the web such as games, music, chat, interactive product demos, and e-merchandising applications by displaying and listening to shockwave files.
Shopping Cart A software program on a web server that allows a merchant to sell or a customer to purchase goods or services via a web site.
SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol) - The most common protocol used to send e-mail on the Internet. SMTP consists of a set of rules for how a program sending mail and a program receiving mail should interact. POP3 and IMAP are two different protocols for receiving e-mail.
SONET The ANSI standard for synchronous data transmission on optical media. It ensures that digital networks can interconnect and that existing conventional transmission systems can take advantage of optical media through tributary attachments. SONET defines a base rate of 51.84 Mbps and a set of multiples of the base rate known as Optical Carrier levels (OCx).
Source Code The programming statements that are created by a programmer with a text editor or other programming tool and then saved in a file. The file is then modified using another program called a compiler. The output of the compiler contains a sequence of instructions that the processor can understand and execute and is usually referred to as object code or executable code. For script program languages (programs that not compiled but are interpreted when executed), such as JavaScript, the terms source code and object code do not apply since there is only one form of the code.
Spam Unsolicited e-mail on the Internet; an inappropriate attempt to use a mailing list, or Usenet or other networked communications facility as if it was a broadcast medium (which it is not) by sending the same message to a large number of people who didn't ask for it. From the sender's point-of-view, it's a form of bulk mail. To the receiver, it usually seems like junk e-mail. It's generally equivalent to unsolicited phone marketing calls except that the user pays for the cost of the message since everyone shares the cost of maintaining the Internet.
The term is probably derived from a famous Monty Python sketch ("Well, we have SPAM®, tomato & SPAM, egg & SPAM, egg, bacon & SPAM...) that was current when spam first began arriving on the Internet. (SPAM is a registered trademark for a Hormel meat product that was well known in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II.)
Spider A program that visits web sites and reads their pages and other information in order to create entries for a search engine, although other programs are used to identify e-mail addresses for spam. The major search engines on the web all have such a program, which is also known as a 'crawler' or a 'bot.' Spiders are called spiders because they can visit many sites at the same time, their "legs" spanning a large area of the web.
SQL (Structured Query Language) - A standardized programming language for querying and updating databases. Most high-level and many smaller database applications can be addressed using SQL. Many specific applications have proprietary extensions of SQL implementing features unique to that application, but all SQL-capable databases support a common subset of SQL.
SSI (Server-Side Includes) - Provide for interactive real-time features such as echoing the current time, conditional execution based on logical comparisons, querying or updating a database, sending an e-mail, etc., with no programming or CGI scripts. An SSI consists of a special sequence of characters (called "tokens") on an HTML page. As the page is sent from the web server to the requesting client, the page is scanned by the server for these special tokens. When a token is found, the server interprets the data in the token and performs an action based on the token data.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) - A protocol originally designed by Netscape® Communications to enable encrypted, authenticated communications across the Internet. SSL is used mostly (but not exclusively) in communications between web browsers and web servers. URL's that begin with 'https' indicate that an SSL connection will be used. SSL provides 3 important things - privacy, authentication, and message integrity. SSL uses the public-and-private key encryption system from RSA. In an SSL connection each side of the connection must have a Security Certificate, which each side's software sends to the other. Each side then encrypts what it sends using information from both its own and the other side's certificate, ensuring that only the intended recipient can decrypt it, and that the other side can be sure the data came from the place it claims to have come from, and that the message has not been tampered with. SSL has recently been succeeded by Transport Layer Security (TLS), which is based on SSL.
Subdomain A further breakdown of an existing domain name (main domain) and is generally used to separate content on a web site. A photographer, for instance, might have a main site called, and then a subdomain for a gallery of work, called The content for the subdomains is placed into the folder of the same name (photos, in the example) under the main site contents. See also Pointed Domain.
Subdomains are treated as completely separate sites from the main domain, and there must be a valid index file in the folder for the subdomain before the subdomain will be visible in a browser. Some web site hosts (especially "free" hosts such as GeoCities) use subdomains extensively rather than hosting registered domain names.

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