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A Short List of Important Terms


The Internet? - The Internet is actually a complex web of smaller regional networks. To understand it, picture a modern road network of transcontinental superhighways connecting large cities. From these large cities come smaller freeways and parkways to link together small towns, whose residents travel on slower, narrow residential ways. Historically, the Internet was originally designed by the U.S. Defense Department so that a communication signal could withstand a nuclear war and serve military institutions worldwide, the Internet, was first known as the ARPAnet.

World Wide Web - Technically, it is a global (Worldwide) hypertext system that uses the Internet as its transport mechanism. In a hypertext system, you navigate by clicking hyperlinks, which display another document which also contains hyperlinks. WWW pages are typically coded in HTML.

HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol. The protocol that tells the server what to send to the client, so the client can view Web pages, FTP sites, or other areas of the net.

AFS - Andrew File System, is a distributed file system which allows a potentially large set of machines across several networks to share access to a set of files in a uniform manner. AKA the system ASU uses to serve web pages.

Portal - Web sites that serve as starting points to other destinations or activities on the Web.

Cookies - A cookie is a small piece of information about you (actually, your computer) as a result of something you "clicked on" and its purpose is to setup an account, including your username and password, which is stored in a text file on your hard drive.

More on cookies.

Not Found 404 - The requested URL was not found on this server. What this means is that the Web page that you had hoped to see has either moved to a new address, you were given an incorrect address, or that the page no longer is being maintained by whoever originally put it out there (and so no longer exists on the Web).


URL - Uniform Resource Locator. Describes the location and access method of a resource on the Internet, like a phone number or physical address.

Domain names - The "address" or URL of a particular Web site. This is also how you describe the name that is at the right of the @ sign in an Internet address. So for bhm@asu.edu the domain name is asu.edu.

IP address - Internet Protocol address. A numeric address that is given to servers and users connected to the Internet. For servers it is translated into a domain name by a Domain Name Server aka the DNS.

DNS - Domain Name System. A database system that translates an IP address into a domain name.


Hyperlink - AKA"link." The text you find on a Web site which can be "clicked on" with a mouse which in turn will take you to another Web page or a different area of the same Web page.

Upload/Download - Uploading places a file on a server, downloading retrieves a file from a server.

File extension - The group of letters after a period or "dot" in a file name, is called the file extension. This extension refers to the type of file.

Index pages - Using a file named index.htm(l) in each public folder prevents the listing of the contents of that folder.

Pixel - short for “PICture Element” (piks-ell) The smallest unit of a picture on a computer screen.

Plug-in - A smaller "add-on" computer program which works in conjunction with a larger application.

Java - Developed by Sun Microsystems, Java is a programming language that is specifically designed for writing programs that can be safely downloaded to your computer through the Internet and immediately run without fear of viruses or other harm to your computer or files. Using small Java programs (called "Applets"), Web pages can include functions such as animations, calculators, and other fancy tricks. ASU examples, EMMA, FASTT or Sun Microsystems/MLB.

Javascript - A scripting language for Web pages. Scripts written with JavaScript can be embedded into HTML documents. With JavaScript you have many possibilities for enhancing your Web page with interesting elements.

Simple roll-over example

Simple drop-down menu example

ActiveX - A set of technologies created by Microsoft that enables a type of interactive content on Web sites. With ActiveX, Web sites become animated using multimedia effects, interactive objects, and sophisticated applications that create a user experience comparable to that of a high-quality CD-ROM.

CGI - Common Gateway Interface. A standard for running programs on a server from a Web page. Gateway programs, or scripts, are executable programs that can be run independently.

The ASU Jukebox CGI page


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