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Glossary of Terms

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(new terms added 17th August 2010)



A feed aggregator, also known as a feed reader, news reader or simply as an aggregator, is software or a Web application which corrolates syndicated web content such as news headlines, blogs, podcasts, and vlogs in a single location for easy viewing. Once subscribed to a feed, an aggregator is able to check for new content at user-determined intervals and retrieve the update. Users can easily unsubscribe from a Feed. See also RSS and Syndication.

Alt Tag

The alt tag is alternative text added to the attributes of a visual or a graphic. It is used to describe an image when a user cannot view images or who only view web pages in text only mode. Alt tags make web pages more accessible to the disabled, e.g. a visually impaired user may have a web browser that reads aloud the text and alt tags on a page. The alt tag text is viewable when you mouse over the image, as it appears in a new text window.

A sequence of static images, once put together one after the other, form a moving image. There are normally 24 frames per second.




Short for "Web log," A Blog is a frequently updated online diary or journal. It can be used for news, reviews, products, business news, organisations, personal thoughts, experiences, web links, photos etc. The unique useability of a blog is that information can be immediately uploaded to it, therefore making it a completely accessible application for all.


The code name for a new short range wireless technology designed to allow connection from fixed or portable devices. The intent behind the development of Bluetooth was the creation of a single digital wireless protocol, capable of connecting multiple devices and overcoming issues arising from synchronization of these devices. Bluetooth provides a way to connect and exchange information between devices such as mobile phones, telephones, laptops, personal computers, printers, GPS receivers, digital cameras, and video game consoles over a secure, globally unlicensed short-range radio frequency bandwidth.

Boolean Connector

Boolean is the term normally used to refer to the system of logic/algebraic processes developed by George Boole, during the 19th century. A Boolean Connector therefore, is a word used to join terms when searching electronic information sources. AND, OR, and NOT are Boolean connectors. Computers use logic gates within their processors to carry out the Boolean instructions.


Broadband comes from the words "broad bandwidth". Broadband technologies provide faster connections to the Internet than traditional dial-up services. Broadband systems are capable of carrying large amounts of data such as full-motion, interactive video applications.


An application used to view and navigate the World Wide Web (www) and other Internet resources. Popular browsers are Internet Explorer, Firefox and Netscape.

A term that refers to exploring an online area, usually on the World Wide Web.



Compact Disc. A digital audio or data format disc. The audio format uses 16-bit/44.1-kHz sampling rate PCM digital signal to encode roughly 74 or 80 minutes of two-channel, full-range audio onto a 5-inch disc.

Compact disc read only memory. A CD-ROM is Compact Disc that contains data accessible by a computer. CD-ROMs are usually used to distribute computer software, including games and multimedia applications, though any data can be stored (up to the capacity limit of a disc).

A CD-R can store digital data. Information can only be recorded once; the disc cannot be reused, but often it is possible to add to the content stored on a CD-R up to the maximum capacity of the disc (software and operating system dependant).

Functions as a CD-R(see above) However, You can write, rewrite, and erase more than a thousand times on this medium. The data on CD-RW discs is often only readable by CD-RW compatible hardware.

Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) is the application of the field of computer graphics (or more specifically, 3D computer graphics) to special effects. CGI is used in movies, television programs and commercials, and in printed media.

Cookies hold information on the times and dates you have visited web sites. Other information can also be saved to your hard disk in these text files, including information about on-line purchases, validation information about you for members-only web sites, and more.

Cost per click. A method of coleecting revenue from online advertisements. Advertisers pay the publisher an amount based on the number of clicks an advertisement receives.

Central Processing Unit. A programmable logic device that performs all the instruction, logic, and mathematical processing in a computer.

Cascading Style Sheets. A Language used to describe how an HTML document should be formatted.

A Web Content Management System or CMS is typically a method of managing the content and structure from within a web browser such as Internet Explorer. In normal use, this involves using a text editor not unlike a simplified version of Microsoft Word, to enable text amends on a Website. The content editor changes the text on screen that when saved, updates the content in the website database and therefore viewable on the web. It is also possible to add, remove categories and images and upload documents using this system.

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A computer database is a structured collection of records or data that is stored in a computer system so that a computer program or person using a query language can consult it to answer queries. The records retrieved in answer to queries are information that can be used to make decisions.
The term database refers to the collection of related records, and the software should be referred to as the database management system or DBMS. When the context is ambiguous, however, many database administrators and programmers use the term database to cover both meanings.

Dedicated Server
An advanced form of web hosting where a server is leased and stored in the data center of the host company. It is typically controlled by the server's owner who controls which websites are hosted on the server. see also: server

Describes a method of storing, processing and transmitting information through the use of distinct electronic or optical pulses that represent the binary digits 0 and 1.


Digitalization refers to the integration of digital technologies (ie Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) into the everyday lives of people in a community. ICTs include telecommunications technologies, such as telephony, cable, satellite and radio, as well as digital technologies, such as computers, information networks and software.

Domain Name
A domain name is the text name corresponding to the numeric IP address of a computer on the Internet. A domain name must be unique. Internet users access your website using your domain name.

The process of copying files, information and images from the Internet to your computer. Every time a visitor accesses a page on the Internet, they are downloading the contents of that page.

Digital Versatile Disk. A DVD is a high-capacity optical disk that looks like a CD, but can store much more information. A DVD enables large computer applications and full-length movies to be stored on a single DVD. DVD uses a 5-inch disc with anywhere from 4.5 Gb (single layer, single-sided) to 17 Gb storage capacity (double-layer, double sided).

Dynamic Website
A Dynamic Website has an interface which is entirely separate from the content which is presented within it. This has the effect of making the structure of the website and also the appearance extremely adaptable. In the case of a static website when you click a link you are presented with the interface and text in one, in the case of a dynamic website, the interface design is constant and the text is pulled from a database on demand i.e. when you click a button or link.

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Electric commerce: the conducting of business communication and transactions over networks and through computers. Specifically, e-commerce is the buying and selling of goods and services, and the transfer of funds, through digital communications.

Learning that is enabled by the use of digital tools and content. Usually involving interactivity between the learner and their teacher or peers and often via the web.

Electronic Mail or e-mail is a process of exchanging electronic messages and files between computers that are connected to the Internet or some other computer network The messages can also include images and video clips. E-mail was one of the first uses of the Internet and is still the most popular use. A large percentage of the total traffic over the Internet is e-mail. See also Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)


This is similar to an Intranet. An Extranet is a website usually used to supply information to a companies supplier, or any person involved in a business to business capacity. An Extranet is not the same as the company website as it does not generally present information to the general public, or consumers.



Fax, short for Facsimile. A device that electronically transmits written or graphic material over telephone lines to produce 'hard copy' at a remote location using a facsimile machine.

A type of cabling technology for transferring data to and from digital devices at high speed. Some professional digital cameras and memory card readers connect to the computer over Firewire. Firewire card readers are typically faster than those that connect via USB.

Foley is sound effects that are recorded in sync with the moving image such as Animation or Film. E.g. door slams, stirring a cup of tea, footsteps etc..

FTP or File Transfer Protocol is a standard protocol for transferring files between computers over a network. Frequently used to move files to a web server. See Upload.


Short for Gigabyte. One gigabyte is equal to 1,024 megabytes. Gigabyte is often abbreviated as G or GB.

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Devices capable of accepting and storing computer data, executing a systematic sequence of operations on computer data, or producing control outputs. Such devices can perform substantial interpretation, computation, communication, control, or other logical functions.

A Hard Disk Drive is a rigid non-removable disk in a computer and the drive that houses it.

The retrieval of any item, like a page or a graphic from a web server eg. when a visitor goes to a web page that has 2 graphics, that would be 3 hits (one for the page and 2 for the graphics). For this reason, hits often are not a good indication of web traffic. Hits are valuable information from a web server point of view as they can tell how hard a server is being worked and give an idea of when the hardware will need to be upgraded.

A way of using web based software. Does not require installation of any software pieces on your desktop computer. Instead, all your software applications, database and files are located on a computer in the Internet, which is maintained by your host provider for a certain monthly fee.

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the authoring software language used on the Internet's World Wide Web. HTML is used for creating World Wide Web pages.

A HyperText Markup Language file that contains hypertext capable of being read and interpreted by a browser. The bulk of the world wide web is in HTML format.

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP), the actual communications protocol that enables Web browsing.

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Image Resolution
The number of pixels in a digital photo is commonly referred to as its image resolution.

The Internet is a worldwide, publicly accessible network of interconnected computer networks that transmit data using the standard Internet Protocol (IP).


An intranet is a based on technology that is found on the web, and performs like a website. Usually owned and managed by a large company or institution, an Intranet enables a company to share its resources with its employees without confidential information being made available to everyone with Internet access. Best thought of as an internal company website, often running on a local network, not necessarily on web servers.

IP address
Each machine connected to the Internet has an address known as an Internet Protocol address (IP address). The IP address takes the form of four numbers separated by dots, for example:

IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a text based communication system that allows people to chat with each other over networks. It is real-time (i.e. not store-and-forward like email).

Internet Service Provider (ISP) is a company that provides access to the Internet. For a monthly fee, the service provider supplies a software package, username, password and access phone number. Equipped with a modem you can then log on to the Internet to browse the World Wide Web, send and receive e-mail. ISPs are also called IAPs (Internet Access Providers).


Short for Kilobyte, used to describe data storage. 1 kb represents 1,024 bytes.



A megabyte is a unit of information or computer storage equal to approximately one million bytes. It is commonly abbreviated MB. Mb is used for megabits.

Short for modulator/demodulator. A communications device that converts one form of a signal to another that is suitable for transmission over communication circuits, typically from digital to analog and then from analog to digital. Modems are used by Internet users every day, notably cable modems and ADSL modems.

Used essentially to define applications and technologies that manipulate text, data, images, voice and full motion video objects.

MySQL is a multi-user SQL (Structured Query Language) database management system (DBMS) The basic program runs as a server providing multi-user access to a number of databases. MySQL is popular for web applications and is closely tied to the popularity of PHP. PHP and MySQL are essential components for running content management systems.

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Any capability available or work done directly on a computer. For example, on-line help or on-line cataloging.

Operating System (OS)
An operating system (OS) is the computer program that manages all other programs on the machine (processor, memory, disk space, network bandwidth, and so on). Examples of Operating Systems are DOS (Disc Operating System), Windows and Mac.



Page View
A web page that has been viewed by one visitor. The number of page views a website gets is a measure of how popular it is.

(Portable Document Format). A document-encoding process developed by Adobe that maintains page layout, fonts, and graphics and can include many other features such as hyperlinks. Requires free software called 'Acrobat Reader' to view files in this format.

PHP or 'PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor' is an open source, server-side, HTML scripting language that allows web developers to create dynamic content that interacts with databases. PHP is used for developing web based software applications. PHP can perform any task that any CGI program can do, but its strength lies in its compatibility with many types of databases. Also, PHP can talk across networks using IMAP, SNMP, NNTP, POP3, or HTTP.

commonly refers to an add-on for web browsers that allows the browser to display additional types of content.Usually for viewing content that has been generated using specialist software such as Flash, or movie and sound files.

A method of publishing audio and video files to the Internet for playback on mobile devices and personal computers. Popular applications for podcasts are adding an audio or video recording on a website that can be downloaded and played later. Often syndicated to registered interested parties via RSS. See also RSS.



RDF Site Summary, or Rich Site Summary, or Really Simple Syndication – A lightweight XML format for distributing news headlines and other content on the Web.

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Search Engine
A search engine is a searchable online database of internet resources. Examples of Search Engines are Google, Yahoo, Alta Vista, Ask Jeeves etc. Search engines periodically spider webpages and add the textual information into their index.

A computer that delivers information and software to other computers linked by a network.

Shared Server
A shared Server (web hosting service or virtual hosting service) is where many websites reside on one web server connected to the Internet. Each site "sits" on its own partition, or section/place on the server to keep it separate from other sites. This is generally the most economical option for hosting as many people share the overall cost of server maintenance. See also: Dedicated Server

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)
SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is a TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) used in sending and receiving e-mail. Users typically use a program that uses SMTP for sending e-mail and either POP3 or IMAP for receiving e-mail. Many mail servers now support Extended Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (ESMTP), which allows multimedia files to be delivered as e-mail.

Social Networking
Social networking is the internet phenomena that uses internet technology to connect people socially. Often used to publish details of day-to-day life and contact details with friends.

Written coded commands that tell a computer what tasks to perform. For example, Word, PhotoShop, Illustrator, Flash etc. are software programs.

Source Code
Source code is code written by a programmer in a high-level language and readable by people but not computers. Source code must be converted to object code or machine language before a computer can read or execute the program.

Spot Effects
Spot Effects are various sound effects that highlight and accent aspects of the moving image. Much like Foley, they pick out particular elements to accent and bring the Animation or Film to life.

Static html Website
Static html refers to elements of the Internet or computer programming that are fixed and not capable of action or change. A Website that is static can only supply information that is written into the html and this information will not change unless the change is written into the source code. When a Web browser requests the specific static Web page, a server returns the page to the browser and the user only gets whatever information is contained in the HTML code. In practice, this results in the delivery of the interface, images and text as one item. In contrast, a dynamic Web page contains content that a user can interact with, such as information that is tied to a database, therefore the interface and structure of the site can be manipulated independently of the content.

Streaming Media
streaming media is multimedia content such as video or sound/music that downloads to the viewers computer as it plays. This allows for more instant access to content as apposed to downloading which requires the user to wait for the entire file to be saved before viewing can commence.

Syndication is the supply of material for re-use and integration with other material across the net such as RSS Feeds. See also RSS and Aggregator

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The transfer of copies of a file from the user's own computer to a remote database or other computer. The reverse of downloading.

An acronym for 'Uniform Resource Locator', this is the address of a resource on the Internet. World Wide Web URLs begin with http://

Universal Serial Bus. An external peripheral interface standard for communication between a computer and external peripherals over a cable using bi-serial transmission.


A visitor is a unique individual coming to a website. The number of visitors to your website is an excellent guide for how popular your site is.

A visit is a series of requests from the same individual (a visitor) in a set period of time. A visit is made up of several hits and page views and often shows a track through a site.

Video-based journals posted online.

Voice Over Integrated Protocol.


World Wide Web Consortium. The W3C is the international standards body. It was established in 1994 to lead the web to its full potential by developing common standards.

Web 2.0
Web 2.0 is a trend in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aims to facilitate creativity, information sharing, and, most notably, collaboration among users. These concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-based communities and hosted services, such as social-networking sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies (the practice of catgorising content through tags). Although the term suggests a new version of the World Wide Web, it does not refer to an update to any technical specifications, but to changes in the ways software developers and end-users use the internet.

A collection of files that are arranged on the World Wide Web accessible by typing in a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) also known as Domain Name, and allows users to view these pages via a browser. Website files are hosted on a server. See also Domain name and Hosting.


A Wiki is a website that allows users to freely create and edit Web page content using any Web browser. Wikis are often used in organisations and businesses as it allows information to be easily accessed, shared and added to by large groups of people.

The Wiki was orginally described as "the simplest online database that could possibly work."

A work area comprised of rows and columns, also known as a spreadsheet. A workbook may contain more than one worksheet. Popular Software used to create worksheets is Excel.

A system of Internet servers that support specially formatted documents. The documents are formatted in a language called HTML (HyperText Markup Language) that supports links to other documents, as well as graphics, audio, and video files. This means you can jump from one document to another simply by clicking on hot spots.


XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a W3C initiative that allows information and services to be encoded with meaningful structure and semantics that computers and humans can understand. XML is great for information exchange, and can easily be extended to include user-specified and industry-specified tags.



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