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Glossary

Accessibility
The characteristic of a web pages that defines how easily any visitor with a physical or mental disability can use the web page. Accessibility encompasses a number of factors such as how easily the page can be interpreted by a machine (such as a screen reader), how easily the visitor can change the presentation of the page to suit their needs and weather or not textual version of content are available anywhere an image, video or audio file has been used.
Anchor
Typically the term anchor refers to a hidden anchor point on a web page that can be linked to directly with a hyper link. For example, with a very long web page it may be useful to provide a links that will scroll the browser window down to each section of the page.
Apache
Apache is a large non-profit organisation responsible for developing a very large number of high quality open source applications. These applications generally the best in their field and are used by large enterprise businesses, governments and academic institutions. Often when people mention Apache, they are referring to the Apache Web Server (Apache HTTPD).
Domain Name System (DNS)
One of the key technologies of the Internet, DNS is responsible to converting the names of computer in to their network names. Computers identify themselves with numbers (know as IP Addresses) and use these numbers when communicating. People like to use more meaningful and memorable ways to address computers, such as www.example.com. DNS is a global database that translates between computer names and numbers (and vice versa). Control of the database is distributed using delegation, so that if you own the name example.com you can create additional names such as www.example.com and mail.example.com and then assign the appropriate IP Addresses for the servers you wish to use those names.
Extensible Hyper Text Markup Language (XHTML)
XHTML is used to create web pages. It holds the content of the web page and sets out how that content is structured. XHTML is a modern form of HTML that has stricter rules on how content can be structures. This makes it easier for software such as Web Browsers, Search Engines and Screen Readers to interpret the web page.
Extensible Markup Language (XML)
The Extensible Markup Language is a means of describing and structuring data in text. Any type of data for any purpose can be defined by in XML by creating an XML Schema, which is defines the types of data, the types of attribute an item of data has and the way items of data are related to each other; and an XML file, which contains the data itself and defines the structure of the data. XML is the basis for XHTML.
Form
In web sites, a form is an area of a web page used to collect data from a visitor. For example a form might be used to collect a person's home address when they have ordered some products from an online shop. A form is created using XHTML and has a number of components such as buttons, text boxes and tick boxes.
GIF
See Graphics Interchange Format
Graphics Interchange Format (GIF)
A widely supported file type used to store images and graphics. GIF files are widely used with in web pages as they tend to be small and so download quickly. GIF files also support transparency. GIF files don't offer very high quality representation of photos and are usually only used for graphics.
Joint Motion-Picture Expert Group (JPEG/JPG)
JPEG are a very common file format used to store photographic images. JPEGs are able to compressed the photographic data in a way that seems have offer very good quality. Although it does lose information and lowers the quality of the image, this isn't usually noticeable. JPEG files are very widely supported.
JPEG
See Joint Motion-Picture Experts Group
Keywords
In web sites, keywords are a special type of hidden information used in SEO to improve the page's appearance in search engine results. They keywords are contained with a web page but are not shown by a web browser. Search Engines on the other hand can see this information and use it to assist with indexing the web page. You should use keywords in your web pages to indicate the most important words or phrases in the content of your page, which you expect to be used as search terms by people using search engines.
Markup
A term that originate from the print industry, markup is the means of adding information to text. For example to define a piece of text as a heading or a paragraph. When we are talking about the internet, Markup usually refers to defining data using XML. More specifically when we a talking about web sites, it usually refers to describing content with XHTML.
Multimedia
In computer terms, when we say 'Medium' we mean the basic type of technology being used to convey or interact with information. Medium could be text, HTML, Flash, Video, Audio. So, multimedia means to use technology that encompasses more than one medium at a time.
Portable Network Graphics (PNG)
A relatively new file format, PNGs are only just becoming widely supported. Internet Explorer 6 cannot always work correctly with this file type, although later versions do offer full support to display these files. PNG files have advanced features that allow them to store vector as well as raster data for an image. Vector PNGs are scalable, allowing them to be resized with out any effect on quality. PNGs also offer alpha channel transparency, meaning that they can blend semi-transparent colour regions of the image with background colours, to create a more seamless effect.
Search Engine
A system which is used to find content containing the snippets of information provided by the user. Search Engines can be small, local systems that only search for content in one web site (or even just one section of a web site) or large systems such as Google, which aim to let their user search all of the web sites on the internet. Search engines typically work by allowing users to search text content for keywords, however specialist search engines for finding video, images and other types of content are becoming popular.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
The tools and techniques used to alter web sites and web pages in order to improve their appearance in search engine results. Typically SEO will focus on improving results for specific search terms that people type in to search engines. SEO also encompasses findability, which is means altering the structure and technology used in a web site (with out altering content) in order that search engines can better understand the content with in a web site.
Server Side
Any action or operation that is carried out on a server. For example when a visitor to a web site orders some products, the processing of that order is carried out 'server side' and not on the visitors computer. Web site visitors are usually unaware that server side actions take place, they simply click a link or a button and then see a web page load.
Usability
The measure of how simple and straight forward it is to use something, such as a web site. For example, making sure that filling in a form only needs to be done in a simple and obvious manner so that the user doesn't have to stop and think, let alone puzzle over how to use the web site.
Web Server
A system whose primary purpose is to store and provide access to web pages. The term Web Site can refer to the entire computer (including the Hardware, Operating System, Applications and Services) or may be used to refer to a specific piece of Software responsible for providing access to web pages (such as Apache HTTP or Microsoft IIS).
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
The W3C are an International consortium who develop technological standards for the internet and World Wide Web. They are responsible for developing standards such as CSS and XHTML, which are used to write web pages.