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The online world has its own language and dictionary of terms. While a lot of this dialog has become well-known and commonplace among the general public, others have not caught on as fast - and even more are being created every day!
In an effort to explain some of the more common terms, we have created this glossary. This is not meant to be an all-encompassing encyclopedia, but rather a brief glimpse at some of the most frequently used words and acronyms. If you would like to suggest an Internet term that is not part of this list, please send an eMail to
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  

Acrobat Reader™ - Adobe Product, lets you view and print PDF files in your browser window. Adobe Acrobat permits anyone to share business documents across platforms with their original look and feel intact.

ActiveX - Microsoft's OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) permits Windows programs to communicate with each other, such as changing the numbers in a spreadsheet which updates a chart in a different program. ActiveX is the Internet-workable version of OLE.

Address - There are two types of addresses in common use within the Internet. They are email and IP or Internet addresses.

Administration Manager - A Web-accessible interface that allows the user to perform general administration tasks on their web site such as adding, editing, deleting items from a glossary of terms, news articles, FAQs, or store products.

Adwords - A system to advertise on Google & partner sites on a CPC (cost per click) basis.

Agent - A software program (or command) that performs pre-programmed functions such as keyword searches, monitoring incoming data, etc. An intelligent agent can make decisions about information it discovers and take action such as alerting a user or starting a program.

Agent Name - Synonymous with "User-Agent". This is the name of a spider or browser as defined by the owner.

AI (Artificial Intelligence) - Software that tries to emulate human thinking, emotions and learning techniques such as a chess program that memorizes your moves, employs a strategy and makes comments about your tactics. Software programs, browsers, search engines, etc. will soon be "learning" about your preferences and methods of utilization, thus simplifying many repetitive processes.

Alert or Alert Box - An audible and/or on-screen signal from the computer that demands a user's attention. An alert box usually accompanies most alerts requiring a response or acknowledgement.

Algorithm - A mathematical formula which is used in order to rank web sites and web pages.

Alias - An e-mail address that is forwarded to another address, or a group of addresses stored under one name, e.g. A name, usually short and easy to remember, that is translated into another name, usually long and difficult to remember. Commonly used in the Unix realm to "abbreviate" verbose commands.

Aliasing - The jagged and stair-stepped appearance of curved and diagonal lines of a graphic image. Filling in adjacent pixels can soften the jagged appearance with intermediate colors between the object and the background. This softening of the edges is called anti-aliasing. Software like PhotoShop can apply anti-aliasing for you automatically. It is often the default setting.

AlltheWeb - Search Engine.

Alt Tag - A tag that provides alternative text for the visually impaired.

Alt Text - The text that appears when you put your mouse on top of an image or a picture.

AltaVista - One of the first large scale search engines.

Anchor Text - Also known as "Link Text," the text of a link or hyperlink.

Animated GIF - Animated GIFs are the simplest form of animation and are supported natively by most browsers. Looping and minimal timing information can be set in an animated GIF, but complex animation is beyond this format's capabilities.

Anonymous FTP - Allows any user to retrieve files from selected directories. Most anonymous FTP servers implement security measures to prevent users from accessing anything but the designated public information areas. By using the special userID of "anonymous" the network user will bypass local security checks and will have access to publicly accessible files on the remote system.

ANSI (American National Standards Institute) - Defines the US standards for the information processing industry and represents the US on other international standards-setting bodies such as the ISO. ANSI was responsible for developing ASCII (The American Standard Code for Information Interchange) that encodes characters in seven bit units.

AOL (America Online) - The default search engine for users of the AOL Internet service provider, currently using Google for search.

API (Application Programming Interface) - A set of functions that can be called from an application program to access features of another program.

Applet - A Java program that is embedded in an HTML page.

Archive - Moving a file, or compressing a file for long term storage or to save space.

ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) - A code used by most computers and printers in which letters and numbers are represented as a number from 0 to 127 and translated into a 7-bit binary code.

Ask Jeeves - A meta search engine which can be asked questions in English.

ASP (Active Server Page) - An HTML document that is generated as a result of a request for information as opposed to a static, preformatted HTML document.

Attachment - Usually referring to a file that is linked or attached to an e-mail message.

Audio Streaming - The ability to play audio as it is being received as opposed to downloading an entire audio file and launching an audio player.

Authentication - Verification of a person's identity or a process validity.

Authorization - The process of assessing a particular transaction's risk, confirms that it does not raise the account's debt above its current limit and reserve the specified amount of credit.

Autoresponder (Infobots) - An automatic response to an e-mail inquiry generated by the mail server that is programmed to acknowledge receipt of an e-mail request. This can be used to send additional information about a specific product or service. See also, Infobot. E.g. For current pricing, send e-mail to

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