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ASP Active Server Pages. This proprietary Microsoft technology allows
Web developers to embed scripts in their HTML pages in order to customize
the pages for each user. The scripts are processed on an IIS server
before the page is delivered. ASP files always have the ".asp" suffix.
CGI Common Gateway Interface. CGI is a standard means of server-side
processing on Web sites. It's typically used to process form input. Data
is passed from the user to the server (via a form, for example), where
it is then run through a CGI script. Such scripts can be written in a
number of different languages, Perl and C among the most common. CGI
files usually end with the ".cgi" suffix.
CSS Cascading Style Sheets. Web page design styles are defined by CSS
protocols. The "cascading" part refers to the fact that multiple style
sheets interact with a predefined order of precedence.
DHTML Dynamic Hypertext Markup Language. DHTML (or, as it is often
written, dHTML) is a loose term describing the integrated use of
several page-building technologies, including HTML 4.0, style sheets,
scripting, and object layering.
DNS Domain Name System. This vitally important system provides
distributed, redundant directories that map numeric IP addresses to
easy-to-type, easy-to-remember domain names. (For example,
126.96.36.199 is the numeric IP address for our favorite site in the
whole wide Web.)
DSL Digital Subscriber Line. This recent technology delivers high-speed,
high-bandwidth Net access over standard telephone lines. Currently, it
can cost as little as $40 a month, plus a $200 installation cost -- not
a bad idea if your dial-up connection is slowing you down.
DSSSL Document Style Semantics and Specification Language. The standard
language for processing or converting documents, DSSSL can, as an
example, be used to translate HTML into WML.
IIS Internet Information Server. This Microsoft software runs on
Windows NT and serves Web sites to hungry users. Its competitors include
Apache and Netscape Enterprise Server.
IMAP Internet Message Access Protocol. IMAP is one of the most popular
protocols for accessing e-mail on a remote server. It is distinguished
from POP by the fact that your e-mail is stored and sorted on a server,
rather than being saved to your local machine. The most recent version
MIME Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. This is a protocol in which
an e-mail header indicates the nature of the content, and which
application(s) will be needed to view, play, or otherwise interact with
it. MIME allows the easy e-mail transmission of all kinds of data.
PHP Personal Home Page. This alternative to ASP runs scripts on all
platforms (and is free), whereas ASP runs only on Windows NT servers.
PHP pages usually have a .php or .phtml suffix.
POP Post Office Protocol. Another e-mail retrieval protocol, this one
differs from IMAP in that it simply allows you to download messages from
the server onto your local machine, after which they're your responsibility.
The most recent version is POP3.
PNG Portable Network Graphics. Pronounced "ping," this loss-free
compressed-graphic file format is intended to be the successor to GIF.
Unlike GIF, it has no restrictive patent, and PNG has a number of
technological improvements over the GIF format. PNG files use the .png
PPP Point-to-Point Protocol. This is a common protocol for communication
between computers, and is most typically used by a home computer dialing
into an ISP's server.
SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. SMTP is typically used in e-mail
client software in conjunction with POP or IMAP; where the latter two
protocols are used to receive e-mail, SMTP is used to send it.
SQL Structured Query Language. Generally pronounced "sequel," SQL is
the language used to query a database.
SSI Server-Side Include. With this simple technology, a Web server
inserts the value of a variable into a page before serving it. Pages
with SSIs typically have the .shtml suffix.
SSL Secure Socket Layer. Web sites often provide secure transactions
over the Net by encrypting the data being transmitted with this
Netscape-devised program layer. When the SSL protocol is active in your
browser, the protocol commonly reads "https:" instead of the "http:"
that begins most site addresses.
WML Wireless Markup Language. WML, a streamlined and specialized
version of HTML, is used to send pages of data to wireless phones and
other portable devices. It replaces the concept of Web pages with
decks of Web cards.
XHTML Extensible Hypertext Markup Language. The equivalent of HTML 5.0,
this edition is fully XML-compliant, which means (among other things)
that anyone can define new tags and attributes.
XML Extensible Markup Language. Like HTML, XML is a language used to
mark up text. However, where HTML's tags determine how the page will be
displayed, XML describes the type of data contained. The receiving
application can see that the data is, for example, a product inventory,
and decide how to display it on that basis.
XSL Extensible Stylesheet Language. This language creates style sheets
that describe how XML pages are to be displayed. It is based on the
groundwork laid by CSS and DSSSL.
XSSI Extended Server-Side Include. This module -- included in Apache,
the free Web-server software -- allows the server to do a great deal of
quick, dynamic processing of Web pages before serving them.
BABEL: A Glossary of Computer Oriented Abbreviations and Acronyms