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Glossary of Internet Terms and Phrases

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Page Views

A measure of the number of times an HTML file was requested from the server. Unlike hits, image files aren't counted. Unlike unique visitors or users, one person visiting the same page multiple times may be counted.

Password

A sequence of characters that one must input to gain access to a file, application, or computer system.

Source: Dictionary.com

Payment Gateway

An online system for real-time charging of credit cards when a customer places an order. Normally requires a merchant account.

PDF (Portable Document Format)

The native file format for Adobe Systems' Acrobat. PDF is the file format for representing documents in a manner that is independent of the original application software, hardware, and operating system used to create those documents. A PDF file can describe documents containing any combination of text, graphics, and images in a device-independent and resolution independent format. These documents can be one page or thousands of pages, very simple or extremely complex with a rich use of fonts, graphics, color, and images.

Home: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/adobepdf.html.

Source: Dictionary.com

Perl

A high-level programming language, started by Larry Wall in 1987 and developed as an open source project. It has an eclectic heritage, deriving from the ubiquitous {C} programming language and to a lesser extent from sed, awk, various Unix shell languages, Lisp, and at least a dozen other tools and languages. Originally developed for Unix, it is now available for many platforms.

The use of Perl has grown significantly since its adoption as the language of choice of many World-Wide Web developers. CGI interfaces and libraries for Perl exist for several platforms and Perl's speed and flexibility make it well suited for form processing and on-the-fly web page creation.

Perl programs are generally stored as text source files, which are compiled into virtual machine code at run time; this, in combination with its rich variety of data types and its common use as a glue language, makes Perl somewhat hard to classify as either a "scripting language" or an "applications language" -- see Ousterhout's dichotomy. Perl programs are usually called "Perl scripts", if only for historical reasons.

Home: http://www.perl.com.

Source: Dictionary.com

Pixel (PIX [picture] ELement)

The smallest addressable unit on a display screen. The higher the pixel resolution (the more rows and columns of pixels), the more information can be displayed.

Source: TechWeb.com

Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) Project

The Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P), developed by the World Wide Web Consortium, is emerging as an industry standard providing a simple, automated way for users to gain more control over the use of personal information on Web sites they visit. At its most basic level, P3P is a standardized set of multiple-choice questions, covering all the major aspects of a Web site's privacy policies. Taken together, they present a clear snapshot of how a site handles personal information about its users. P3P-enabled Web sites make this information available in a standard, machine-readable format. P3P enabled browsers can "read" this snapshot automatically and compare it to the consumer's own set of privacy preferences. P3P enhances user control by putting privacy policies where users can find them, in a form users can understand, and, most importantly, enables users to act on what they see.

Home: http://www.w3.org/P3P/

Platform

The basic technology of a computer system's hardware and software that defines how a computer is operated and determines what other kinds of software can be used.

Source: Dictionary.com

Plug-in

A file containing data used to alter, enhance, or extend the operation of a parent application program. One of the first uses of this term was in Silicon Beach's SuperPaint application (late 1980s?) for the Macintosh. It had a Plug-ins folder containing different tools and effects.

The Netscape Navigator World-Wide Web browser supports plug-ins which display or interpret a particular file format or protocol such as Shockwave, RealAudio, Adobe Systems, Inc. PDF, Corel CMX (vector graphics). The file to be displayed is included in a web page using an EMBED HTML tag.

Plug-ins, both commercially and independently authored, can usually be downloaded for free and are stored locally. Plug-ins come in different versions specific to particular operating systems (Microsoft Windows 3.1, 3.2, and Macintosh are available).

Source: Dictionary.com

PNG (Portable Network Graphics)

PNG is an extensible file format for the lossless, portable, well-compressed storage of raster images. PNG provides a patent-free replacement for GIF and can also replace many common uses of TIFF. Indexed-color, grayscale, and truecolor images are supported, plus an optional alpha channel for transparency. Sample depths range from 1 to 16 bits per component (up to 48bit images for RGB, or 64bit for RGBA).

Home: http://www.w3.org/Graphics/PNG/

Portability

Relating to or being software that can run on two or more kinds of computers or with two or more kinds of operating systems.

Source: Dictionary.com

Portal

A web site that aims to be an entry point to the World-Wide Web, typically offering a search engine and/or links to useful pages, and possibly news or other services. These services are usually provided for free in the hope that users will make the site their default home page or at least visit it often. Popular examples are Yahoo and MSN. Most portals on the Internet exist to generate advertising income for their owners, others may be focused on a specific group of users and may be part of an intranet or extranet. Some may just concentrate on one particular subject, say technology or medicine, and are known as a vertical portals.

Source: Dictionary.com

Programming Language

A formal language in which computer programs are written. The definition of a particular language consists of both syntax (how the various symbols of the language may be combined) and semantics (the meaning of the language constructs).

Languages are classified as low level if they are close to machine code and high level if each language statement corresponds to many machine code instructions (though this could also apply to a low level language with extensive use of macros, in which case it would be debatable whether it still counted as low level). A roughly parallel classification is the description as first generation language through to fifth generation language.

The other major classification of languages distinguishes between imperative languages, procedural language and declarative languages.

Programming languages time-line/family tree.

Source: Dictionary.com

Protocol

A standard procedure for regulating data transmission between computers.

Source: Dictionary.com

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Last modified: Monday March 21, 2011 12:18 PM