term absolute in this glossary is in reference to relative.
If something is absolute, it has very specific values that don't
change dependent on something else. That is, if you tell a table
width to be 400 pixels wide, it will be 400 pixels wide no matter
what size the browser window is.
.....A relative value, on the other
hand, is a value that is dependent on something else. For instance,
if a table has a relative value of 80 percent, it will be 80 percent
of whatever the size the browser window is. This means the actual
size of the table will change, dependent on how wide or narrow the
active window is the window in which menu commands will take
place, and it is the window that controls the menu bar and commands.
That is, if you choose "New Folder," a new folder will
appear in the active window. If you choose "Close," the
active window will close. If you are in Netscape, notice the difference
in the menus when the browser window is active, or when the Mail
window or Bookmarks window is active.
.....You can always tell which window
is active-it has lines in its title bar. And the active window is
always in front, if there are stacks of windows. Click anywhere
on a window to make it active.
.....On the Mac, you can move a window
without making it active: hold down the Command key and drag the
window by its title bar.
||Just like every home
has an address, every web page has an address. It looks like
this: http://www.ohRobin.com. A web address always starts
with "http://," which is your clue that it is a page on
the World Wide Web. The "www" part is just a convention
and is not always present. This address is also called the URL
(which stands for Uniform Resource Locator, but who cares). (And
http stands for hypertext transfer protocol, which you can
go ahead and forget.)
An alias is an icon that represents the real file. You can
double-click on the alias, and it opens the real file (document
or application). You can make aliases for any file, and you can
make lots of aliases for the same file. They are very small (like
3K) so you can litter them all over the place, wherever it might
be handy to have one.
.....I keep an alias of Netscape on
my Desktop so when I want to open my new web pages I just created
in PageMill, I just drag the PageMill document icon and drop it
on top of the Netscape alias to open it.
anchor is a link that does not take you to the top of another
web page, but to someplace else on the same page.
...You can also link to an anchor on
another page-a link connected to an anchor on another page takes
you to that exact spot on the other page, as opposed to a regular
link that takes you to the top of that page.
break has to be explained in relation to a paragraph. You
know what a paragraph is, right? You hit a Return or Enter and you
have a new paragraph. In html code, a paragraph always has space
after it to visually separate the two sections of type. A break,
however, stops the sentence, starts a new line, but does not give
you that extra space. So there are times when you need a break over
a paragraph, and vice versa.
.....In most web authoring software,
such as PageMill, to make a paragraph, hit a Return. To make a break,
hit a Shift-Return (hold down the Shift key and hit the Return).
If that doesn't work in your software, try Option-Return or Alt-Enter.
browser is the software that locates the web address you
give it and displays that page on the screen. Different browsers
might display the same page differently. The most popular browsers
are Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Explorer.
you use software to compress a file, it makes the file smaller.
It's kind of like stuffing a down sleeping bag into one of those
little sacks. You can't open the file and use it while it is compressed
(just like you can't use your sleeping bag while it's in the sack),
but you can send it, and that's the point. Almost all files, unless
they are very tiny, should be compressed before you send them over
the modem simply so it won't take so long.
||A magic cookie
is a piece of software that resides in your web browser folder.
It keeps a record of information on where you have browsed. A particular
site might have its own cookie, and when you visit the site for
the first time it downloads the cookie to your browser folder; the
next time you visit the site the browser checks the cookie. It notices
what pages you saw last time you were there and so keeps track of
you. This allows the web site owners to discover what kind of repeat
customers they have, what your particular habits are, what your
interests are. The information gleaned from the cookie allows them,
for one example, to customize advertising--it might bring up ads
targeted to you and your interests. It can also be a means of registration
for the site. Your browser uses a cookie to keep track of details
such as the viewing configuration your prefer.
software or hardware is cross-platform, it means the same
software works on all "platforms," or types of computers.
The Internet and Netscape are cross-platform, which is one of the
things that made the World Wide Web so accessible and powerful-a
developer does not have to make one version of ech web site for
Mac, Windows, dos, Unix, etc. One version for all!
is a collection of information. When you keep a little black book
of all your lovers' names and numbers and statistics, you are keeping
a database. The advantage of an electronic database is that you
can call up a variety of reports based on the collection of data.
"Now, let's see, who was the best kisser?"
refers to things that can be counted, like our fingers, (digits).
The term is used when discussing computerized things because a computer
can only deal with things it can count, like numbers and pixels.
A computer language is a bunch of numbers (ones and zeros, actually).
It is amazing what just those ones and zeros can do what they do,
yes? They turn a lovely full-color photograph into a code that can
be displayed on a web page as a lovely full-color photograph.
....The opposite of digital is analog.
Time is analog--it is flowing and infinite. Except digital watches,
which count time in finite chunks. Sound is analog, which is why
phone lines are analog. To put sound on a computer, it must first
be digitized, or broken down into finite chunks.
domain name is that part of an Internet or e-mail address
that describes the name of the business or organization who owns
the web site. For instance, "digitalthink.com" is the
domain name for the DigitalThink corporation web site.
download a file means to use your modem to find another computer
and copy a file from that computer onto yours. Sometimes you don't
even notice you are copying it from another computer, but whenever
you take something off the web, you are downloading it from a machine
.....The opposite of download is to
upload, which means to send a copy of something on your machine
to someone else's machine. When you send an attached file of your
grandson to his uncle, you are uploading the file.
means to press on the object, hold the mouse button down, and drag
that object (by dragging the mouse) somewhere. When you get where
you want to go, let go and "drop" the item in that spot.
in e-mail stands for "electronic." E-mail is a
message that is sent from one computer to another over the phone
lines. It does not land in the mailbox on your porch and your phone
doesn't ring. You can read and answer it any time of the day or
extension is a short addition at the end of a file name that
tells you more clearly exactly what this file is. Some extension
are necessary, such as html; some are merely conventions that you
might even make up yourself to organize your files. For instance,
I always add an extension of .gif to my gif files, .tiff to my tiff
files, .pm6 to my PageMaker 6 files. On a pc, an extension is almost
always a requirement.
web pages show up in frames, which are separate sections
of the page. On some pages you see a stationery column to the left,
or a heading across the top. As you scroll through the other pages,
that left-hand column or heading stays put.
.....Each frame is actually a complete
web page, and all the separate pages have been scrunched together
into one page, called a frameset.
go back or forward in a frame, press anywhere in the frame (hold
the mouse button down) and you will have a choice to go back to
the previous frame (instead of the previous page), or forward in
the frame. You will also have the choice to open the frame or any
link in a frame into a new page, instead of into the current frame.
frameset is the term applied to the collection of separate
frames that make up the entire page.
initials ftp stands for file transfer protocol. When
you copy a file from one machine to another, your computer is using
ftp. The initials have turned into a variety of word forms, such
as "Ftp that file to me tomorrow," "I'm ftp'ing it
to my provider," "Is that an ftp file?"
your service provider allows you to ftp your pages directly to their
server, they give you ftp privileges that allow you access
to your folder. You will get a password as part of your privileges
file has an internal format that determines what it
can and cannot do. For instance, the file format jpeg can contain
256 colors, but it cannot be made transparent. The file format gif
has a more limited color palette, but it can be transparent.
you click on a graphic image in your web authoring software application,
you most often get handles on the edges and/or corners. They
are the little black boxes that are your visual clue telling you
the graphic is selected and you can do something to it. If you drag
one of those handles, you will resize the graphic.
people talk about how many hits their site gets, they are
referring to how many people have stopped by their page. There is
software that keeps track of this information. If you get thousands
of hits a day, there are people who will want to advertise on your
||A home page is
the first page of a web site, the page you land on when you enter
a web site at the beginning. It's kind of like the table of contents
in a book. You can also drop into a web site on any page, just like
in a book, if you know the individual address of that page. Some
web sites consist of just the home page.
someone stores your web site, it is called hosting the site.
They might be considered the host, or someone might ask you
if you are going to host your site at Popeye's. The term,
like many terms in this world, turns into whatever form of speech
http stand for hypertext transfer protocol.
So what. Just know that these initials indicate a page on the World
Wide Web. No, it's not the "www" that guarantees a web
page, it is the "http." You might see addresses like "news://"
or "ftp://," which indicate other parts of the Internet,
but not a hyperlinked page on the World Wide Web.
and hypertext simply refer to the concept or feature of being
able to click on some text on the screen and jump to somewhere else.
Hyperlinks are a seriously major part of the World Wide Web.
image map is a graphic image that contains several links
within it. Move your pointer over the graphic-if the pointer turns
into a hand over certain parts of the image but not over other parts
of it, you can be sure there is an image map on that graphic. Also
watch the status bar to see if the address changes as you move the
a graphic is interlaced, that means it will load on the screen
in parts, gradually coming in in what looks like layers. While an
interlaced graphic loads, you can usually read the text instead
of sitting there twiddling your toes, waiting.
is a vast collection of computers all over the planet, connected
to each other through an intricate network. The Internet includes
such features as e-mail, newsgroups, mailing lists, and the World
Internet Service Provider is the company that has a server
(or lots of them) and can get you connected directly to the Internet.
You can't get to the Internet all by yourself--you must go through
some sort of provider. Providers are called ISPs for short.
stands for Internet Service Provider (see above).
kilobyte (K for short) is a unit of measure, just
like ounces and pounds. But instead of weight, kilobytes measures
how much space a file takes up on a hard disk (or any kind of disk
or other storage media).
.....One bit of information is one
tiny message to the computer, one on or off message. Eight bits
makes one byte-depending on many variables, it takes about one byte
to put a character like the letter A on the screen.
.....Now, you might think a kilobyte
is 1,000 bytes. Well, close-one kilobyte is actually 1,024 bytes.
This information is important because you need to have some sense
of how large your web files are. Graphic files should be less than
30K, and tiny little buttons should only be a couple of bytes.
.....1,024 kilobytes is a megabyte.
link might be either text or a graphic that acts like a button-you
click on the link and your browser takes you somewhere else. Links
are what make web pages special.
||A listserve is
a mailing list. Please see that definition.
||Load refers to the process of drawing
the image of a web page, including text and graphics, on your screen.
If you have to wait a long time for a page to appear, you say it
takes a long time to load.
list is similar to a newsgroup in that there are many thousands
of mailing lists covering an incredible variety of topics. When
you join a mailing list you get e-mail every day from everyone else
on the list who has sent a message. When you send a message, it
automatically goes to every single person on the list. Depending
on how active the group is, you might get enormous piles of mail
...fThe most important piece of mail
to save when you join a mailing list, also called a listserv,
is the piece of mail that tells you how to unsubscribe. You
will get in big trouble if you send a regular e-mail asking to be
removed from the list, because that request will go to every single
person on the mailing list. So be sure to save those directions
and follow them exactly when you want to be removed from the list.
like it infers, a web map shows you around a web site, shows
you which pages are linked to other pages.
you read the definition for kilobytes?
Please do so I don't have to write it all over again. A megabyte
is 1,024 kilobytes. Your entire web site will probably be not very
many megabytes. Your space on the server where you store your site
will be charged to you in megabytes.
is a little box that connects to your computer, or it may be built
right inside your computer. It is used to sends message from one
computer to another.
....You need a modem because computers
can only understand digital stuff, things that are in finite, countable
chunks, like ice cubes. The phone lines, through which information
to and from the Internet travels, only understand analog stuff,
flowing and inÞnite, like water. So the modem takes
the computer digital information (ice cubes), turns it into analog
information (water) and sends it through the phone lines. On the
other end, another modem takes the analog info from the phone lines
(water) and turns it back into the exact same digital information
(ice cubes) it started out as, and gives it to the other computer.
monospaced font is one in which every character in the collection
takes up the same amount of space. That is, a comma takes up as
much space as a Capital M. Most typewriters use monospaced fonts.
Most computers before the Macintosh used only monospaced fonts.
Monospaced fonts make ugly typography. But you know those silly
picutres that people often put in e-mail, those pictures made out
of characters of the alphabet? They can only work in monospaced
fonts because they are dependent on lining up in a certain spatial
arrangement which can only happen if every character takes up the
same amount of space.
the silly pictures don't look quite right, change the font to a
monospaced font. Monaco and Courier, are the most common monospaced
you choose a monospaced font in your browser's preferences area,
you are choosing the typeface that will appear in forms and in the
"Preformatted" text style.
other font genus is proportional,
where every character takes up an amount of space proportional to
its true width. That is, a capital W takes up a lot more space than
a navigation bar is a row of little graphics that act as
links to take you to the main sections of the web site. A navigation
bar will usually show up on just about every page in the site.
refers to how you get around the web site; how you move from one
place to another.
comprehensive term navigation tools refers to the navigation
bar, graphic links, and any other visible links that help you find
your way around a web site.
the World Wide Web became popular--with graphics and color and sound--there
were thousands of newgroups, public places accessible by
computer where people around the world discussed pre-determined
topics. Today there are about 24,000 different newsgroup topics
where people share information, questions, answers, support, images,
.....Because there are so many newsgroups,
every service provider does not maintain a server that contains
every one of them. Most providers give you a limited access to the
most popular ones, but you can usually request your provider to
carry a group for you.
know what a paragraph is, right? You hit a Return or Enter
and you have a new paragraph. The important note about a paragraph
is that in html code, a paragraph always has space after it to visually
separate the two sections of type. This is different from a break,
however, which stops the sentence, starts a new line, but does not
give you that extra space. So there are times when you need a break
over a paragraph, and vice versa.
.....To make a paragraph, hit a Return.
To make a break, hit a Shift-Return (hold down the Shift key and
type the Return).
the browser looks for a web page or a graphic, it follows a path.
The path leads through the directories or folders to where the page
or graphic is stored. This is why it is important not to move files
around--if the browser can't find the object on the original path,
it has no way of looking for it.
||In this case we are
talking about the physical style of a typeface on the World
Wide Web. You'll notice in your style choices you have plain,
italic, bold, and teletype. These are the physical
styles that will look the same no matter what browser a viewer is
using (if the browser supports that physical style). That is, bold
will always be bold, italic will always be italic,
teletype will aways be teletype.
.....The other sort of character style
is logical, where the style will apear differently depending
on how the browser wants to interpret it. That is, your browser
might decide that "emphasis" means the text should be
underlined, while another browser might choose that "emphasis"
should be italicized.
a graphic is displayed all chunky and you can see the pixels, it
is called pixelated. Rarely do we want to see this happen.
the world can find your beautiful new web site, it has to be posted,
or stored, on a server. (You will actually give it or send it to
someone else to post.)
I say press-and-drag, I mean to "press the mouse button
down and hold it down, then while you are still holding the button
down, drag the mouse." I state it this way because the standard
phrase, "click and drag," is wrong. I have seen too many
beginners click, then try to drag. It's not a click; it's a press.
A proportional font
is one in which each character in the typeface takes up a proportional
amount of space, relative to the other characters. For instance,
a lowercase "i" in a proportional font takes up much
less space than does a capital W. You're probably saying, "Well,
duh." But proportional fonts are very different from monospaced
fonts. Most typewriters use monospaced fonts, where every character
on the keys takes up the same amount of space--yes, a period takes
as much space as a capital W. You can draw lines between the columns
This is a monospaced font.
It is so dorky that it is trendy right now.
Ugly fonts are in.
term relative here is in reference to absolute. A relative value
is a value that is dependent on something else. For instance, if
a table has a relative value of 80 percent, it will be 80 percent
of whatever the size the browser window is. This means the actual
size of the table will change, dependent on how wide or narrow the
.....If something is absolute, however,
it has very specific values that don't change dependent on something
else. That is, if you tell a table width to be 400 pixels wide,
it will be 400 pixels wide no matter what size the browser window
you are at home in Minnesota and your web site is being hosted in
Guatemala, you will need to update your site from a remote
location--your web site is being stored in a remote location. Minnesota
and Guatemala are remote from each other. (duh) Actually, you are
most likely remote from any server you will post your site to. Even
if the server is down the street, you are still updating your web
site remotely--you are updating it remotely anytime you are not
sitting at the actual server for your site.
refers to how well your eye is fooled into thinking the dots on
paper or the pixels on the screen represent the image. If you can
see lots of dots, you think is has low resolution. If the image
looks clean and clear, we think it has high resolution. Resolution
is a tricky thing to discuss--paper dot resolution is easy, but
resolution on the screen is very different. We'll talk about it
are millions and millions of pages on the World Wide Web, and millions
more in newsgroups and lists. A search engine is software
that goes out into the Internet and hunts down the information on
these pages for you, putting it into a database for you to search.
There are a wide variety of search engines and they each operate
in a different way. Learning to use search engines properly is one
of the most important skills to be learned in the coming years.
server is a special computer that is connected to the Internet
in such a way that it can "serve" your pages to the World
or web site, is a collection of web pages belonging to one
individual or business. A web site might be one or two pages, or
it might be thousands. Remember, the World Wide Web is not much
more than a collection of millions of individual pages.
status bar is the long box at the bottom of the browser window
that displays the address of a link. Is also sometimes called the
you compress a file, it is often called stuffed. When you
want to use the file, you must first unstuff it. There is
special software for stuffing and unstuffing. On a PC, it's usually
called zipping and unzipping.
upload a file means to send a copy of it from your computer
to someone else's computer. The opposite term, download, means to
make a copy of a file from someone else's computer onto yours.
stands for Uniform Resource Locator, but who cares. All you really
need to know is that the URL (pronounced "you are ell")
is the same as the web address, the combination of characters that
locate a page on the Internet.
virtual server is a pretend server. It is just a trick in
the computer to make your web address look like it owns its own
server. For instance, maybe you don't want your web address to be
http://www.uglymonster.com/harry.html. You want people to think
you are more important, so you ask your service provider to create
a virtual server for you, you buy your own domain name from Internic,
and your address looks like this: http://www.harrysplace.com.
as every house in the country has an address that tells the mail
carrier how to find it, every page on the World Wide Web has a particular
web address that tells the browser how to find it. The web
address is also called the url. Pages on the World Wide Web always
start their address with http://.
webmaster is the person (male or female) who takes care of
all the details of managing the web sites on a server and making
sure everything is operating properly.
Wide Web is one part of the Internet--the part with color and
sound and graphics and hotlinks that jump you to other parts of
the Web. It is the part that opened up the Internet to the world.
.....The World Wide Web is actually
comprised of just a bunch of individual pages, much like word processing
pages. When you click on a link, you jump to another page (or sometimes
to somewhere else on the same page).
you compress a file, it is said you zip the file. When you
want to use the file, you must first unzip it. There is special
software for zipping and unzipping. On a Macintosh, this is usually
called stuffing and unstuffing.