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Application A computer program or set of programs that enables people to use the computer as a tool to accomplish some task, eg applications software includes word processing packages like Microsoft Word or spreadsheet packages like Lotus 1-2-3.
Bandwidth The amount of information or data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of time over a network connection.
Bookmark Bookmarks are used on the web just as they are used in normal reading. They are a means of marking or saving a connection to a useful source on the web. See How to use the tutorial.
Boolean search A special search for information on the web. It allows the inclusion or exclusion of materials based on commands such as 'and', 'not, and 'or'. Boolean search methods are covered in Module 1 of this tutorial.
Browser A program used to access documents (pages) on the web, eg Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator.
Bulletin board Electronic message system that operates just like a real-world bulletin board to allow members of web-based discussion groups to read and send messages to other group members.
Cache A storage area for the high-speed retrieval of frequently used or requested data.
Chat Chat takes place when people communicate via their computers in real time. One person types a message into the computer and it appears on the other's screen. A chat room exists when a number of people at different sites are participating in this process. See also Internet relay chat or IRC. See Module 4 for more information.
Conferencing A conference that is held over a telephone or through computer link-ups. See also videoconferencing. See Module 4.
Cyber Virtual, not real, existing only in the context of the Internet.
Forum Also called web forums. Forums or boards use the same concept as discussion groups but are available on the web instead of via email. See Module 4 for more information.
Discussion group A discussion group is a two-way method of posting (sending) email messages among a group of people interested in a particular topic, either through an electronic mailing list or a bulletin board. See Module 4.
Download The process in which data is sent from one computer to another. Whenever you take information from the Internet you are downloading it to your computer.
Email An electronic mail system. Email can be used to send messages through the Internet. It is sent to an electronic mailbox and transmitted to the recipient's computer. See Module 4.
Emoticon Describes punctuation symbols used in electronic communication in place of words to convey an emotion. For example, :-) is an emoticon that means the sender is happy, or the message is intended as a joke and should be treated humorously. See Module 4.
Flame A rude or abusive message that is sent via email.
Flash An animation software tool that allows moving images and text to be shown on screen.
GIF Pronounced 'jiff', GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format and is one of the two most common file formats for graphic images on the World Wide Web. It is used particularly for icons, logos and text symbols, where small file size is needed.
Hits A term that refers to the contact between a web page and its browsers. Technically a hit is a request made to the web server. Sometimes successful search results are called hits. Sometimes the creators of web pages count the number of visitors to their site as hits.
Homepage Most commonly this refers to the first or front page of any collection of pages of a business, organisation or person.
Hotlist A list of the most commonly used web locations and their addresses or URLs. See Module 3 for how to create a hotlist.
HTML The initials stand for hyper-text markup language. Just as editors use a special language of symbols and abbreviations to mark up print texts, HTML is the language used to write web pages. Like any language it has rules or protocols that must be followed if a web page is to be displayed correctly. See Module 3 for more on web publishing.
HTTP The initials stand for hyper-text transfer protocol. As the word 'protocol' implies, this refers to the correct way of transferring files (including text, graphic images, sound, video and other multimedia items) between users of the web.
Hyperlink Also known as a link. The section of text in a web page that can be clicked on to enable transfer to another web page or a different section of the same website.
Icon A small picture that appears on a computer screen to represent a program. Clicking on the icon gives access to the program.
Internet A web made up of huge numbers of interconnected networks of computers that can communicate with each other.
Internet relay chat (IRC) The most widely used form of online chat. IRC uses special software, its own commands and a separate part of the Internet from the web. It allows many users on different systems at different locations to converge into one chat room and have a discussion, similar to a conference call. See Module 4.
Java A general purpose computer programming language that makes it possible and safe for computers to use a variety of computer programs.
J-PEG J-PEG or JPEG is an abbreviation for Joint Photographic Experts Group. It is a standardised file format for transporting, storing and displaying data representing still images and graphics. It is one of the most common formats by which photos are transferred over the web.
Keyword The most important word, or words, that are specified in a search for information on the Internet. The use of keywords in searching is dealt with in Module 1.
Link Also known as a hyperlink. The section of text in a web page that can be clicked on to enable transfer to another web page or a different section of the same website.
List moderator A discussion group member or administrator who takes responsibility for monitoring all discussion group contributions before they are sent on to other group members.
Listserv Also known as a mailing list. A database of email addresses that are all reached by one central address. When emails are received at the central address they are forwarded to all database addresses. Responses from any members of the database are circulated to all other members. See Module 4.
Lurk When computer users visit and listen in to chat room discussions without identifying themselves or their presence, they are said to be lurking.
Mailing list Also known as a listserv. A database of email addresses that are all reached by one central address. When emails are received at the central address they are forwarded to all database addresses. Responses from any members of the database are circulated to all other members. See Module 4.
Meta-search engines These search engines search other's search engines' databases simultaneously. An enquiry to a meta-search engine will produce results from a number of other search engines. Some examples of meta-search engines can be found in Module 1.
Natural language One way of searching for information on the web is to ask a question, eg 'Where was Leonardo da Vinci born?' This is referred to as natural language searching. See Module 1.
Netiquette An abbreviation of the words 'Internet etiquette'. The rules of good manners that apply to communication through the net. See Module 4.
Newsgroup Similar to email-based mailing lists and discussion groups except they exist in their own part of the Internet (called UseNet) and are accessed through a special server at your Internet service provider (ISP). See Module 4.
Online Accessing the Internet through a live connection with a computer.
Portal A website that provides access or the doorway to other destinations on the web.
Program In computing terms, a program is the set of operating instructions required for a computer to carry out specific functions.
Root directory The root directory is the first directory you see when you enter a subject directory like Yahoo! It is from this initial directory that all sub-directories in the system can ultimately be accessed.
Screen The part of a computer monitor that displays images.
Search engine A program that searches pages on the World Wide Web. In response to specific keyword requests it will return a list of documents in which such words are found. See Module 1.
Site Short for website. Site is the term used to describe a location on the World Wide Web. A home page is the first point of entry to a site and all the files that are located there.
Spam Electronic junk mail that can clog up email mail boxes and eat up bandwidth.
Sub-directory Sections within major subject directories are organised into a number of smaller directories called sub-directories.
Subject directory Subject directories impose some order on the information available on the Internet by providing a categorised subject-based structure that can be browsed to find relevant sites. See Module 1.
Surfing A term used to describe the process of roaming from site to site through the Internet.
URL The initials stand for uniform resource locator. URLs are really the Internet form of addressing mail. The URL can be broken down into its separate elements, just like any other address, eg 'http' indicates the protocol that is being followed. The actual address follows: www.curriculum.edu.au. See Module 2 for more information.
Videoconferencing A form of audio and visual communication that takes place in real time and makes it possible for immediate consultation between participants who may be separated by vast distances.
Web forum Also called forum. Web forums or boards use the same concept as discussion groups but are available on the web instead of via email. See Module 4 for more information.
Website Also called site. The term used to describe a location on the World Wide Web. A home page is the first point of entry to a site and all the files that are located there.
WWW or World Wide Web Also known as the web. The system that makes it possible to retrieve information from the Internet.
 
       
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