Absolute Path

The path to a directory relative to the server root of UNIX and Linux servers. If the path shown at the command prompt, or in response to a "pwd" command is "/usr/xacme/cgi-bin", the absolute path would be "/usr/csg/cgi-bin/". A Perl file in that subdirectory would have the path "/usr/csg/cgi-bin/perlfile.pl".


1. An applet is a small program that performs a simple task. The term applet is becoming more well known with Java, however applets are embedded in many Microsoft products such as Windows 95, and Excel. Those applets and the subsequent changes placed in the language version from Microsoft of JAVA have been the center of controversy with JAVA's creator, Sun Microsystems. In a legal action, Sun won an injunction requiring Microsoft to rewrite the version of JAVA they use to allow it to run on any platform as was the intent of the original software.
2. A Java program which is designed to run only on a web page. To use an applet on a web page, you would specify the name of the applet and the size (length and width--in pixels) that the applet can utilize. When the web page is accessed, the browser downloads the applet from a server and runs it on the user's machine (the client). Applets differ from applications in that they are governed by a strict security protocol. For example, even though applets run on the client, they can not read or write data onto the client's machine. Additionally, applets are further restricted so that they can only read and write data from the same domain that they are served from.
See also Java.
Here is the code for a Java applet version of "Hello Word!":

import java.awt.Graphics;
public class HelloWorldApplet extends java.applet.Applet
{public void paint(Graphics g) {g.drawString("Hello world!", 5, 25);}}


Pronounced as-key, ASCII is a sequential formula for representing English characters as numbers, with each letter assigned a number from 0 to 127; however, not all of those are really printable characters. An acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, this is the most common code for text on computers. In common usage, ASCII means a text file that doesn't include any formatting. In most programs, the "Save As Text" option will create an ASCII file in contrast to a specially formatted file or binary file. An ASCII file is a character by character save process.


An acronym for Application Service Providers. They are third-party entities that manage and distribute software-based services and solutions to customers across a wide area network from a central data center, in particular across the Internet.


1. The term originates from the earlier classification of intelligent agents as "knowledge robots", which subsequently got shortened to just "knowbots" or even "bots". In short, "bot" is just another term for intelligent agent. Today most people use the terms intelligent agent or bot interchangeably.
2. An Intelligent Agent, or bot, is a piece of software that can autonomously accomplish a task for a person or other entity. The software has some sort of "trigger" built into it and, once executed, the agent can carry out its function without further intervention. Some only count as intelligent agents those software programs which meet very strict criteria, but more and more people are accepting a more lenient definition of intelligent agent. The key ingredient is that the software program accomplishes some task autonomously once triggered.
3. Shorthand for 'robot', generally used to refer to an automated program used to process data with minimal human intervention. Most often referred to as certain types of search engines that seek out information from pages on the Internet.


An acronym for Cascading Style Sheets. A new feature being added to HTML and DHTML that gives both Web site developers and users more control over how pages are displayed. With CSS, designers and users can create style sheets that define how different elements, such as headers and links, appear. These style sheets can then be applied to any Web page. The term cascading derives from the fact that multiple style sheets can be applied to the same Web page. CSS was developed by the W3C. The specification is still evolving but is fully (or nearly fully) supported by any current Web browsers including what we support, Microsoft's IE 5.5 version and up, as well as most other current generation browsers. The first proposal was made in mid-1997.


While data is usually information resulting from or produced by a program, it can be the programs themselves. Data can be in memory only or can be also stored on disk or some other media. The collection and (hopefully) effective use of data is why we do what we do.


Loosely, any aggregation of data; usually a large collection of data that has been formatted by some user-defined standard. Certain programs create and utilize the data in a database. Some common current examples are Access, Oracle, IFMX and SQL. Also see the abbreviation, DB.


1. The worldwide accepted abbreviation for database.
2. The initial part of the designation for certain types of connectors; it was originally coined by the ANSI standards committee and is an abbreviation for data bus.


A tool to convert executable program code (sometimes called object code) such as an .EXE or .COM file, into some form of higher level programming language so that it can be read by a human. Decompilation is a type of reverse engineering that does the opposite of what a compiler does. There are many possible reasons for decompilation or disassembly, (not all of them good) such as understanding a program flow, recovering the source code for purposes of archiving or updating, finding viruses, debugging programs, and translating obsolete code. Decompilation was first used in the 1960s to facilitate the migration of a program from one platform to another. Decompilation is not always successful for a number of reasons. It is not possible to decompile all programs, and data and code are difficult to separate, because both are represented similarly in most current computer systems. The meaningful names that programmers give variables and functions (to make them more easily identifiable) are not usually stored in an executable file, so they are not usually recovered in decompiling. Decompilation is sometimes used unethically, to reproduce source code for reuse or adaptation without permission of the copyright holder. Programs can be designed to be resistant to decompilation through protective means such as obfuscation. The recompile after a decompile does not always generate the same object code.

Default Document

The filename that you use for the primary document for directories within your site. Some examples include the following: index.htm, index.html, default.htm, default.asp. This is the first page of a website and the one that is loaded if no other document is specified.


An acronym for Dynamic HyperText Markup Language. Though the final definition of DHTML has not yet been made, Microsoft has decided to implement its own version in IE 5.5 and subsequent browsers.
1. Refers to Web content that changes each time it is viewed. For example, the same URL could result in a different page depending on any number of parameters, such as:
Geographic location of the reader
Time of day
Previous pages viewed by the reader
Profile of the reader
There are many technologies for producing dynamic HTML, including CGI scripts, Server-Side Includes (SSI), cookies, Java, JavaScript, other scripting languages, and ActiveX.
2. Dynamic HTML refers to new HTML extensions that will enable a Web page to react to user input without sending requests to the Web server. Microsoft and Netscape have submitted competing Dynamic HTML proposals to W3C, which is producing the final specification. Microsot decided not to wait and adopted its own version. The first proposal was made in late 1997.


1. An index of the files on a disk. A directory can contain individual files in addition to other directories. Also commonly known as a folder. It is the Unix equivalent of a 'folder' on a Mac, all files are stored in directories. A directory can be created with the mkdir (MD) command and empty directories are removed with rmdir (RD); directories can be changed with the chdir (CD) instruction.
2. A site, similar in operation to a search engine and often called a search engine or search site, that has a human created and edited listing of other sites, usually grouped by category of sites with similar objectives or interests. Though they certainly have a place on the Internet in the world of niche sites and those that avoid pornography, they are fast going by the wayside except for specialties and except for those that have developed into portals and vortals. Those search facilities that use robots can gather more information in a shorter amount of time, with less human intervention.


A round plate or platter on which data can be encoded. Though the correct spelling is disk, it is often seen as disc. There are two basic types of disks, magnetic disks and optical disks. On magnetic disks, data is encoded as microscopic magnetized needles on the disk's surface. You can record and erase data on a magnetic disk any number of times, just as you can with a cassette tape. Magnetic disks come in a number of different forms:
1. floppy diskette: A typical 5-inch PC floppy diskette can hold 360K or 1.2MB. 3-inch floppies normally store 720KB, 1.2MB or 1.44MB of data.
2. hard disk: Hard disks (one kind of disk drive) can store anywhere from 20MB (or less, depending on which old box you found it in) to more than 500GB. Hard Disks are also from 10 to 1000 times faster than floppy disks.
3. removable cartridge: Removable cartridges are hard disks encased in a metal or plastic cartridge, so you can remove them just like a floppy disk. Removable cartridges are very fast, though usually not as fast as fixed hard disks. They are convenient for moving large quantities of data from one computer to another.
Optical disks (also a disk drive) record data by burning microscopic holes in the surface of the disk with a laser. To read the disk, another laser beam shines on the disk and detects the holes by changes in the reflection pattern. Optical disks come in three basic forms:
1. CD-ROM: Most optical disks are read-only. When you purchase them, they are already filled with data. You can read the data from a CD-ROM, but you cannot modify, delete, or write new data. The data reader is also called a CD-ROM but is usually called a drive or CD drive for clarity.
2. WORM: Stands for write-once, read-many. WORM disks can be written on once and then read any number of times; however, you need a special WORM disk drive to write data onto a WORM disk. You can USUALLY read WORMs from a normal CD drive.
3. erasable optical (EO): EO disks can be read to, written to, and erased just like magnetic disks. The reader and writer are both called optical drives.
The machine that spins a disk is called a disk drive. Within each disk drive is one or more heads (often called read/write heads) that actually read and write data. Accessing data from a disk is not as fast as accessing data from main memory, but disks are much cheaper. And unlike RAM, disks hold on to data even when the computer is turned off. Consequently, disks are the storage medium of choice for most types of data. Another storage medium is magnetic tape. But tapes are used only for backup and archiving because they are sequential-access devices (to access data in the middle of a tape, the tape drive must pass through all the preceding data). A new disk, called a blank disk, has no data on it. Before you can store data on a blank disk, however, you must format it.


1. Type of RAM (Random Access Memory). To keep data in the Dynamic RAM memory (DRAM), this data needs to be refreshed (recharged). The electric charge fades out of a DRAM like air seeps out of a balloon. Because of this change, it is called Dynamic.
2. Refers to actions that take place at the moment they are needed rather than in advance. In the computer industry, the "jargon" that is often used for that action is "on the fly". For example, While some programs "block out" a certain amount of memory and code it into the first few lines of code in the entry routine of the program, many programs perform dynamic memory allocation, which means that they do not reserve memory ahead of time, but seize sections of memory when memory is needed. In general, such programs require less memory and tend to be more friendly with other programs, although they may run a little more slowly. The opposite of dynamic is static. A static action is pre-designated and is not changed during the execution of a program or action. Memory allocation, physical computer and device addresses, programming variables, network participation and buffering operations are all viable examples of possible dynamic or static assignments. One of the most common scenarios of this action is that many ISPs assign IP addresses in dynamic fashion, rather than the user making a static assignment to his computer. See TCP/IP.


A collection of data stored on a disk with a unique filename. Anything you see in File Manager, Explorer, or on the Macintosh desktop is a file. Also see data.

.GIF files

Graphics Interchange Format, this is a type of graphic image very common on online services and the Internet.


Hyper-Text Markup Language, the scripting language of the World Wide Web. Unlike programming languages, HTML does not have the strengths based on structures using variables; it is primarily a display language. A derivative of SGML; there are many dialects that vary from the published standard. These variations are what cause wonderful or weird things to happen in different browsers. The major players in browsers, Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator have taken many liberties that often work in one but not the other. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the body attempting to set the standards for a new generation of the language. See the current HTML default character set. HTML is currently in release 4 of the standards set for it and HTML5 is soon to be adopted.


1. Java is platform independent object-oriented programming language. Originally developed as 'OAK' by Sun Microsystems's Green Project in 1991, Java is superficially very similar to C++, but is unique in many ways. Java interpreters have been ported to every viable computing platform in existence. This is an aid to determine if Java in your browser is enabled.
2. Java is an object oriented programming language created by Sun Microsystems. If you are using a web browser that supports Java, an applet (Java program) embedded in the Web page will automatically run. Currently, many proprietary ISP browsers do not support Java. Like HTML, there are many variations. There is a war at present for the control of the standards of Java; Microsoft is at war with the Java community and the outcome of that scenario has been decided in a court, at least the first round, rather than by technology. At the point it is finally decided, the technology will be outdated and of no interest to anyone. As of now, Microsoft has to rebuild JAVA so that it is independent of platforms. There are many Java like dialects and most current generation browsers support the majority of them.
3. Java is a device independent language, meaning that programs compiled in Java can be run on any computer. Java programs can be run as a free-standing application or as an applet placed on a web page. Applets written in Java are served from a web site but executed on the client computer. Java applets have a built-in security feature which prevents them from accessing the file system of the client computer. See also applet.
Here is the Java version of "Hello World!":

class HelloWorld {public static void main (String args[])
{System.out.println("Hello World!");}}


A scripting language that allows lines of Java code to be inserted into HTML pages. See Java. The main difference between these two computer language variations is that JavaScript functions within the Java enabled web browser (a client-side application) while Java programs function outside of the browser as a stand alone program (a server-side initiated application but seen within a browser, when on the Internet), using its own specific file types. Don't let this very thin difference confuse you, though. The latest versions of modern browsers have Java runtime engines built into them so that Java applets can play (by being invoked or called) within the browser window, similarly to how a browser plug-in works. But even though a web browser can run a Java applet within its window, it doesn't hold all of the code for the applet in the HTML page, the way that a JavaScript works. A Java applet only includes bits of code within the HTML source to call functions and libraries that reside outside of the HTML source. While more "secure" as far as source code, it take considerably more execution time. Conversely, all of the JavaScript code is contained in the HTML of the page where the JavaScript executes. What this distinction means to web page designers is that JavaScripts function much more quickly than Java applets.


Joint Photographic Experts Group - JPEG. An image compression standard for still photographs that is commonly used on the web. This is the pronunciation; the exact extension is .JPG
A graphics format designed to take up as little space as possible while retaining as much quality as possible. JPG's are smaller than .GIF's, but take longer to display as they are technically more advanced in content


jQuery is a JavaScript library that allows web developers to add extra functionality to their websites. It is open source and provided for free under the MIT license. In recent years, jQuery has become the most popular JavaScript library used in web development.
Note: You can download the latest jQuery script here, or use google code below.


In programming, an often practiced process to make code unclear for someone else to follow. It is an intentional effort to mislead or confuse. The term obfuscation is often used in virus issues. I think it is also a course, taken by all documentation writers, so that when they write documentation for larger programs or systems, often accounting systems, the reader will have absolutely no idea of what the writer is trying to express.


In programming terminology, a free standing chunk of code that defines the properties of some thing. For example, this Glossary applet is an object that contains button objects, scrolling list objects, window objects, URL objects, definition objects, etc. Not all programming languages use this object model; the ones that do are said to be object-oriented.

Object Oriented Programming - OOP

A style of computer programming which entails building of independent pieces of code which interact with each other. For example, JAVA and C++ are object oriented programming languages.


A programming language whose acronym stands for "Practical Extraction and Report Language". Perl is a powerful, yet unstructured language that is especially good for writing quick and dirty programs that process text files. Because of these abilities, Perl is a common choice of programmers for writing CGI scripts to automate input and output from web pages. It is one of the very few languages still used today that is based on an interpreter rather than a compiler. Here is the Perl version of "Hello World!":

print "Hello World\n";


Personal Home Page is a server-side (SSI), HTML embedded scripting language used to create dynamic Web pages. In an HTML document, PHP script (similar syntax to that off Perl or C ) is enclosed within special PHP tags. Because PHP is embedded within tags, the author can jump between HTML and PHP (similar to ASP and Cold Fusion) instead of having to rely on heavy amounts of code to output HTML. And, because PHP is executed on the server, the client cannot view the PHP code. PHP can perform any task any CGI program can do, but its strength lies in its compatibility with many types of databases. Also, PHP can talk across networks using IMAP, SNMP, NNTP, POP3, or HTTP. PHP was created sometime in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf. During mid 1997, PHP development entered the hands of other contributors. Two of them, Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans, rewrote the parser from scratch to create PHP version 3 (PHP3). Today, PHP is shipped standard with a number of Web servers, including RedHat Linux.

Programming Language

A computer language that programmers utilize to create programs. C, Perl, Java, BASIC, and COBOL are examples of programming languages. In essence, programming languages are translators that take words and symbols and convert them to binary codes that the CPU can understand. A few others are Ada, APL, AppleScript, assembly language, awk, C++, CODASYL, cxml, Delphi, Eiffel, FORTRAN, GW-BASIC, MBASIC, NetBASIC, MuBASIC, JavaScript, JScript, LISP, machine language, P-Code, microcode, Modula-2, K-Man, MUMPS, Pascal, Prolog, pseudocode, Python, QBASIC, VBASIC, query language, RPG, Smalltalk, Turtle, BasicA, SQL, Tcl, UML, VBScript, Visual Basic and Visual C++.


A server (actual hardware and software) that sits between a client application, such as a Web browser, and a real server. It intercepts all or designated requests to the real server, local or distant, to see if it can fulfill the requests itself. If not, it forwards the request to the real server. It is also a first line for privacy.

Proxy servers have two main purposes:
1. Improve Performance: Proxy servers can dramatically improve performance for groups of users. This is because it saves the results of all requests for a certain amount of time, in memory buffers of its own. Consider the case where both user X and user Y access the World Wide Web through a proxy server. First user X requests a certain Web page, which we'll call Page 1. Sometime later, user Y requests the same page. Instead of forwarding the request to the Web server where Page 1 resides, which can be a time-consuming operation, the proxy server simply returns the Page 1 that it already fetched for user X. Since the proxy server is often on the same network as the user, this is a much faster operation than pulling the same information more than once. Real proxy servers support hundreds or thousands of users. The major online services such as Compuserve and America Online, for example, employ an array of proxy servers.
2. Filter Requests: Proxy servers can also be used to filter requests, usually for security. For example, a company might use a proxy server to prevent its employees from accessing a specific set of Web sites. Those types of applications are often used with FIREWALL functions to give company LANs and servers protection both ways on the Web.


1. A device that responds to sensory input. They are often just called "Bots".
2. A program that runs automatically without human intervention. Typically, a robot is endowed with some artificial intelligence so that it can react to different situations it may encounter. Two common types of robots are agents and spiders. See some of our own information about robots, or see the BOTSPOT website for excellent information on bots.

Search Engine

A database, or index that can be queried to help you find information on the World Wide Web. For example, WebCrawler, Alta Vista, Yahoo and Google are some of many. The King of the Hill and undisputed champ of the contenders is Google, maintaining that position from 2001 through 2006. While often directories, guides and listing services are often called search engines, they in fact do maintain publicly searchable databases that can be searched. For that reason, we generally categorize them with search engines. However, the primary difference is that they do NOT go out to the Internet and search for pages to put in the database. The pages must be brought to them. There are also niche, or specialty search engines, that only search for one item, one business, one vertical market, thing or service. As a general rule, these are most often better at what they do than a general search engine. There are also local search engines that only search and find things on one site.

There are roughly 2400 known, reasonably good or better, search engines, guides and directories; about 300 are considered extremely useful while about 20 are major and get the lion's share of use. Most do one sort or search better than others. In order to do business on the Internet, people (customers) must be able to find you. That process is accomplished through search engines. The task of "publishing" your site to many search engines is in itself, a profession. The ability to do that well is the difference between a fair online store and a very good one.


An acronym for Server Side Includes. A type of HTML comment that directs the Web server to dynamically generate data for the Web page whenever it is requested. There are various commands in the group that is supported or partially supported. The simplest and most common is command is #include, which inserts the contents of another file. This is especially useful for ensuring that boilerplate components, such as headers and footers, are the same on all pages throughout a Web site. To change a boilerplate element, you need only modify the include file, instead of updating every individual Web page. SSIs can also be used to execute programs and insert the results. They therefore represent a powerful tool for Web developers. There is no official standard for SSIs, so every Web server is free to support different SSIs in different manners. However, many SSI commands, such as #include and #exec, have become de facto standards. Web pages that contain SSIs often end with a .shtml extension, though this is not a requirement. The filename extension enables the Web server to differentiate those pages that need to be processed before they are sent to the browser.

.TXT Files

Text files; these are usually just plain ASCII text that can be read by most text based programs, especially NotePad, WordPad and all other text or HTML editors including word processing programs. These files sometimes have an alternative extension, .ASC, indicating as ASCII file.

Virtual Path

The path to a file relative to the base URL. If the URL for a file is "http://snapbuilder.com/folder/page.html, the virtual path and name would be "/folder/page.html".