SUPPORT: GLOSSARY

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


A

Absolute URL
The Internet address of a page or other World Wide Web resource that includes the protocol and complete network location of the page or file. The absolute URL includes a protocol (such as "http"), network location, optional path and file name. For example, http://www.domain.com/welcome.html is an absolute URL.

Active Hyperlink
A hyperlink that is currently selected in a Web browser.

Active Server Pages (ASP)
Technology developed by Microsoft that combines HTML, JavaScript and ActiveX. It will only run on Windows NT servers.

Administrative Contact
The contact responsible for any administrative issues pertaining to the account. Any administrative changes to a domain must be approved by the Administrative Contact, who handles any non-technical questions regarding a domain name.

Anonymous FTP
Allows users to use the FTP protocol to download files from a server without entering a username or password.

Applet
A small Java program embedded in a Web page that can only be viewed on browsers that support Java, such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer.

American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII)
A standard way of representing text. ASCII text contains no formatting. This makes it handy for sending among computers on multiple platforms e.g., between IBMs and Macs. ASCII is the standard language of Internet e-mail and newsgroup text, among other things.

Autoresponders
Automatic replies to e-mail sent to a particular e-mail address.

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B

Backbone
A high-speed line or series of connections that forms a major pathway within a network. The term is relative as a backbone in a small network will likely be much smaller than many non-backbone lines in a large network.

Bandwidth
The amount of data sent through a connection or the range of transmission frequencies a network can use, usually measured in bits-per-second. The greater the bandwidth the more information that can be transferred over that network at one time. The term bandwidth also broadly includes throughput.

Banner
A small graphic advertisement embedded in a Web page.

Base URL
An optional URL that you assign to a page to convert relative URLs on the page into absolute URLs. A base URL should end with a document name part, such as http://sample/test.htm, or a trailing slash, such as http://sample/subdir/.

Billing Contact
The contact responsible for all billing information relating to a domain name. This person will also receive any invoices, charges or billing questions related to the domain name.

Browser
A type of software that allows you to navigate the World Wide Web, such as Netscape Navigator, NCSA Mosaic, Opera and Internet Explorer.

Bulleted list
A paragraph style that creates a single list element, usually indicated by a bullet character. Also called an unordered list.

Bulletin Board System (BBS)
An Internet service or meeting and announcement system that allows people to carry on discussions, upload and download files, and make announcements without the people being connected to the computer at the same time.

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C

Cascading Style Sheet (CSS)
A file that describes how documents are presented on screens or in print. By attaching style sheets to structured documents on the Web (e.g. HTML), authors and readers can influence the presentation of documents without sacrificing device-independence or adding new HTML tags.

Certificate Authority
An issuer of Security Certificates used in SSL connections.

Click-Through
Also called "click," this refers to the action a consumer takes when they are referred from one Web site through a link or advertisement and are taken to another Web site.

Client
A software program that is used to contact and obtain data from a Server software program on another computer, often across a great distance; an example of a client is a Web browser. (Note: in an X-11 environment, the meanings of client and server are reversed.)

Client-Server Architecture
An information-passing scheme that works as follows: a client program, such as Internet Explorer, sends a request to a server. The server takes the request, disconnects from the client and processes the request. When the request is processed, the server reconnects to the client program and the information is transferred to the client. This architecture differs from traditional Internet databases where the client connects to the server and runs the program from the remote site. (Note: in an X-11 environment, the meanings of client and server are reversed.)

Colocation
Most often used to refer to having a server that belongs to one person or group physically located on an Internet-connected network that belongs to another person or group. Usually this is done because the server owner wants their machine to be on a high-speed Internet connection and/or they do not want the security risks of having the server on their own network.

Commission
An amount of income received for some quantifiable action such as selling or advertising a product and/or service on a Web site.

Common Gateway Interface (CGI)
Also know as a gateway script, this provides a standardized method for Web servers to send a user request to an application and receive information back to the user. For example, when you click on URL link the Web server sends the requested page to you. CGI is a part of the HTTP protocol. CGI works in many different languages and across several different platforms.

cgi-bin
The most common name of a directory on a Web server in which CGI programs are stored.

Cookie
A piece of information sent by a server to a browser that the browser software is expected to save and to send back to the server whenever the browser makes additional requests from the server. Depending on the type of cookie used, and the browsers' settings, the browser may accept or not accept the cookie, and may save the cookie for either a short time or a long time. They are usually set to expire after a predetermined amount of time and are usually saved in memory until the browser software is closed down, at which time they may be saved to disk if their "expire time" has not been reached. Cookies do not read your hard drive and send your life story to others, but they can be used to gather more information about a user than would be possible without them. Cookies might contain information such as login or registration information, online "shopping cart" information, user preferences, etc.

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D

Document
When used in reference to the World Wide Web, a document is any file containing text, media or hyperlinks that can be transferred from an HTTP server to a client program.

Document Window
This is the Web browser's scrollable window in which HTML documents can be viewed.

Domain Name
The unique name that identifies an Internet site. Domain Names always have 2 or more parts, separated by dots. The part on the left is the most specific, and the part on the right is the most general. A given machine may have more than one Domain Name but a given Domain Name points to only one machine.

Domain Name Server (DNS)
DNS refers to a database of Internet names and addresses that translates the names to the official Internet Protocol numbers and vice versa.

Download
To transfer to your computer a copy of a file that resides on another computer.

Dynamic Hypertext Markup Language (DHTML)
A Web technology that enables elements of a page to be dynamic, typically used to describe the combination of HTML, style sheets and scripts that allows documents to be animated.

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E

E-Commerce (Electronic Commerce)
The buying and selling of goods over the Internet.

E-mail Alias
An e-mail address that automatically redirects all incoming mail to another e-mail address.

Emoticons
Also known as "Smileys," these are characters that help express emotion in e-mail. All of these faces are to express different emotions and help relay the tone of your e-mail that are normally used in a conversation because you don't have eye contact or body language with your recipient. Visit our Emoticons page for a detailed list.

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F

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
A protocol that allows the transfer of files from one computer to another. FTP is also the verb used to describe the act of transferring files from one computer to another.

Firewall
Security software and hardware that separates sensitive information on a computer or network from information that is publically available over the Internet.

Flame
A very harsh message from one person to another, normally in a newsgroup and often directed at newbies. The harshness in them is usually not intelligent commentary on a debate opponent's opinion, but an insult hurled in reply to another comment.

Freeware
A software program that is available for use without any charge attached to it. This doesnít mean the program isnít copyrighted (usually, the originator retains the copyright). Anyone can use it, but the program canít be legally sold or distributed without permission.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
A common feature on the Internet, FAQs are files of answers to commonly asked questions. Read FAQs before wasting your time asking obvious questions.

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G

Gateway
A hardware or software system that translates between two dissimilar protocols. For example, America Online has a gateway that translates between its internal, proprietary e-mail format and Internet e-mail format.

Gigabyte
Approximately 1 billion bytes or 1024 Megabytes (1,073,741,824 bytes).

Graphic Interchange Format (GIF)
A commonly used file compression format developed by CompuServe for transferring graphics files to and from online services.

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H

Hit
A single request for information from a browser to a server. This includes not only the request for a specific page but also for all of the graphics and embedded objects in that page.

Home Page (or Homepage)
The document displayed when you first open your Web browser or the first document you come to at a Web site.

Host
A computer acting as an information or communications server.

Hyperlink
A string of text or an image in a hypertext page that when clicked will take you to another hypertext page. In some browsers the text is highlighted with a color and/or an underline.

Hypertext
The system that allows documents to be crosslinked in such a way that the reader can explore related documents by clicking on a highlighted word or symbol.

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
The language used to tag various parts of a Web document so browsing software will know how to display that document's links, text, graphics and attached media.

HTML Document
A document written in Hypertext Markup Language.

HTML Tag
A symbol used in HTML to identify a page element's type, format and structure.

HyperText Transport Protocol (HTTP)
The Internet protocol that allows World Wide Web browsers to link to and transfer hypertext documents.

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I

Image
A graphic in GIF or JPEG file format that can be inserted in a Web page.

Impression
The viewing of an advertising banner, link, or product on the Internet.

Inline Images
These are the graphics contained within a Web document.

Internet Network Information Center (InterNIC)
This organization was established by NSFNet in 1993 to handle domain name registration, information services, and directory services. InterNIC now handles domain name registration only.

Internet Protocol (IP)
The set of standards that control communications activity on the Internet.

Internet Protocol Address (IP Address)
The number assigned to any computer connected to the Internet. The address consists of four numbers separated by periods and each number is less than 256 (i.e., 192.200.44.69).

Internet Relay Chat (IRC)
A method of conducting live chats on the Net. It is much like a citizen's band (CB) radio, in that people can choose whichever channel they want and then chat with whomever is on that channel.

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J

Java
A general-purpose programming language created by Sun Microsystems.

Java Applet
A short program written in Java that is attached to a Web page and executed by the browser computer.

JavaScript
A programming language that is mostly used in Web pages, usually to add features that make the page more interactive. When JavaScript is included in an HTML file it relies upon the browser to interpret the JavaScript. When JavaScript is combined with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and later versions of HTML (4.0 and later) the result is often called DHTML.

Joint Photographic Expert Group (JPEG)
An image compression format used to transfer color photographs and images over computer networks. Along with GIF, it's one of the most common ways photos are moved over the Web.

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K

Kilobyte
A thousand bytes, or specifically, 1024 bytes.

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L

Link
A synonym for hotlink or hyperlink, this is a hypertext connection between Web pages. A link is a way of connecting from a document or e-mail to another document or Web site, which, when clicked on, refers the user to the document or Web site, or a specific area within the document or Web site.

Linux
Linux is a free operating system originally written by Linus Torvalds of Finland. Linux is based on the Unix operating system and includes features such as true multitasking, memory management, virtual memory, demand loading, networking and shared libraries. Linux runs in protected mode and supports both 32-bit and 64-bit multitasking.

Listserv
An electronic mailing list dedicated to a specific subject. Any e-mail posted to a listerv is distributed to all of the subscribers on that list.

Login
The individual account name needed, along with a password, to enter a secure computer system.

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M

Maillist
Also known as a mailing list, this is usually an automated system that allows people to send e-mail to one address, whereupon their message is copied and sent to all of the other subscribers to the maillist. In this way, people who have many different kinds of e-mail access can participate in discussions together.

Megabit
Roughly one million bits; more precisely, 1,048,576 bits.

Megabyte
Roughly one million bytes; more precisely 1,048,576 bytes or 1024 kilobytes.

MetaTag
An HTML tag that supplies information about a page, but does not affect its display; e.g, "generator" is used to supply the type of editor that created the HTML page.

Mosaic
The common name of a Web multimedia browser program developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. The official, copyrighted name of the program is NCSA Mosaic.

Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG)
An international standard for video compression and desktop movie presentation. A special viewing application is needed to run MPEG files on your computer.

Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME)
A messaging standard that allows Internet users to exchange e-mail messages enhanced with graphics, video and voice.

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N

Name Server
The computer that organizes domain names to correspond to their IP addresses.

Netiquette
A loose code of manners used when interacting with others on the Internet.

Netizen
Derived from the term citizen and referring to a citizen of the Internet, this term connotes civic responsibility and participation.

Network
Two or more computers connected together so that they can share resources.

Network Information Center (NIC)
Generally, any office that handles information for a network. The most famous of these on the Internet was the InterNIC, which was where most new domain names were registered until that process was decentralized to a number of private companies.

Network Operations Center (NOC)
NOC is the organization responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Internet's component networks.

Newbie
A new arrival to the Internet community, usually somewhat ignorant of its ways.

Newsgroup
The name for discussion groups on the Usenet component of the Internet.

Node
Any single computer connected to a network.

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O

Open Source Software
Software for which the underlying programming code is available to the users so that they may read it, make changes to it, and build new versions of the software incorporating their changes. There are many types of Open Source Software, mainly differing in the licensing term under which (altered) copies of the source code may or must be redistributed.

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P

PHP
PHP is a server-side, cross-platform, HTML-embedded scripting language for creating dynamic Web pages.

Plug-in
Software that is used along with a Web browser to view or display certain types of files as part of a Web page; e.g., Shockwave from MacroMedia is a plug-in that allows the browser to display interactive multimedia.

Post Office Protocol Version 3 (POP3)
A method used to receive electronic mail across the Internet, accommodating different mail software packages and systems. POP3 receives and holds all your emails on a server.

Posting
A single message entered into a network communications system.

Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)
Software developed by Phil Zimmerman that encrypts files to prevent them from being read by others. It also allows for digital signatures that act as proof of ownership for a document. PGP is very strong encryption and is nearly impossible to crack without a file's unique key.

Protocol
A set of standards that define how traffic and communications are handled by a computer or network.

Proxy server
An Internet server that acts as a firewall, mediating traffic between a protected network and the Internet.

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Q

Query
A single request for information sent to a database or server.

QuickTime
A digital video standard developed for Apple Macintosh computers. Special viewing applications are needed to run QuickTime movies.

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R

Registrant
The contact that registers a domain name. Once the domain name is registered, the registrant can use the domain name for the period of time the domain was registered.

Relative URL
The Internet address of a page or Web resource with respect to the Internet address of the current page. A relative URL can optionally include a protocol. For example, the relative URL doc/sample.htm refers to the page sample.htm in the directory doc, below the current directory.

Renewal of Domain Name
To continue the registration of the domain name after the original expiration date.

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S

Script
A type of computer code than can be directly executed by a program that understands the language in which the script is written. Scripts do not need to be compiled into object code to be executed.

Search Engine
A program that helps users find information in text-oriented databases.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
A protocol that enables encrypted, authenticated communications across the Internet.

Security Certificate
A chunk of information, often stored as a text file, that is used by the SSL protocol to establish a secure connection.

Server
A computer system that manages and delivers information for client computers. On the World Wide Web, the server is the computer that runs the Web server program that responds to HTTP protocol requests by providing Web pages. A server is also called a host.

Server-Side
Something that operates on the server computer, usually a program, command, procedure or other application that creates dynamic pages, animation or other interaction.

Server-Side Includes (SSI)
A type of HTML instruction telling a computer that serves Web pages to dynamically generate data, usually by inserting certain variable contents into a fixed template or boilerplate Web page.

Shareware
Software that is available on public networks to users who are asked, on the honor system, to remit a small amount to the software developer.

SHTML
Usually seen as .shtml, it is a file name extension that identifies Web pages containing SSI commands, which includes some information that was added "on the fly" by the server before it was sent.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)
A method for mail servers to transmit and receive e-mail messages.

Snailmail
The online reference to hardcopy mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.

Spam
Unwanted and unsolicited e-mail; the electronic equivalent of paper junk mail. The act of sending unwanted or unsolicited e-mail is known as spamming. (Spamģ is a registered trademark of Hormel Corporation, for its processed meat product.).

Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML)
An international standard for the publication and delivery of electronic information.

Structured Query Language (SQL)
A specialized language for sending queries to databases.

Sub-domain
A Web address within a primary domain that points to a sub-directory within the primary domain. For example, test.sample.com is a sub-domain or subdirectory within the sample.com domain.

System Operator (Sysop)
Anyone responsible for the physical operations of a computer system or network resource.

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T

Table
One or more rows of cells on a page used to organize the layout of a page or arrange data systematically.

Tagged Image File Format (TIFF)
A tag-based image format designed to promote universal interchanges of digital images.

Tags
Formatting codes used in HTML documents that indicate how parts of a document will appear when displayed by browsing software.

Technical Contact
This is the contact responsible for providing technical information, such as the nameserver.

Telnet
The command and program used to login from one Internet site to another.

Template
A set of designed formats for text and images on which Web pages can be based.

Terabyte
1000 gigabytes.

Top-Level Domain (TLD)
The section of the domain name that appears after the ".", ie the ".com" in mydomain.com.

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
Internet networking software that controls the transmission of packets of data over the Internet. Among its tasks, TCP checks for lost packets, puts the data from multiple packets into the correct order, and requests that missing or damaged packets be resent.

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)
The suite of protocols that defines the Internet

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U

Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
The addressing system used on the Internet that contains information about the method of access, the server to be accessed, and the path of any file to be accessed.

UNIX
An operating system typically used on proprietary workstations and computers.

Upload
To transfer files from a computer to a server through the Internet.

Usenet
A technology on area of the Internet, called newsgroups, where people can discuss any topic that comes to their heads. There are approximately 40,000 topical newsgroups and the list grows by the day.

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V

Virtual Hosting
A hosting service designed to provide the tools needed to effectively manage a presence on the Internet.

Visited Hyperlink
Sometimes known as a visited link, it is a hyperlink on a page that has been activated.

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W

Web Browser
The software that allows a user to access and view HTML documents (e.g., Netscape Navigator, NCSA Mosaic, Opera and Internet Explorer).

Web Document
An HTML document that is browsable on the Web.

Web-based
Any component, service or function that requires no software to access, other than a Web browser and access to the Internet.

Whois
A function that allows you to look up the contact details of a domain name.

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X

XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language)
A hybrid between HTML and XML that is more universally acceptable in Web pages and search engines than XML.

XML (eXtensible Markup Language)
A very rich system for defining complex documents and data structures.

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Z

Zip
A protocol, used mostly in Windows, for compressing files so that they can be transmitted over the Internet.

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