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Web glossary

Following is a list of terms used in this guide. For web glossaries with a wider range of terms go to Web resources.

The University of South Australia is committed to ensuring access to online materials for people with disabilities, and aims to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 at the Priority 1 level. Click on the link Web accessibility in the footer on any UniSA webpage for more details. The W3C guidelines are referred to throughout this guide.

A software application that allows for the browsing of the world wide web. This application interprets and arranges (based on coded programming instructions, such as HTML) all the hypermedia elements (text, sound, images) contained on a webpage. Commonly used browsers are Netscape and Internet Explorer. Different browsers can have radically different capabilities and limitations. Some sites try to support almost all existing browsers, while others try to support only the newest and most popular browsers. A middle-ground approach is to have some enhanced features for newer browsers, yet provide graceful degradation for older browsers. Browser functionality is a consideration if you are using enhanced features such as video and audio. For more details see Web browsers.

Cascading Style Sheets
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) save a lot of time in terms of editing and allow you to do more than HTML does. With normal HTML every headline needs coded attributes such as font and size applied to it. With style sheets, however, we simply say 'All headlines will appear in this font, at this size'. And we only say it once. They are cascading because one set of 'styles' can override another set of 'styles' ie more than one style sheet can affect the same page. You can have externally linked styles, page-level styles and in-line styles forming a hierarchy. Your browser - if it can display styles - looks for in-line first, then page-level, then linked.

Example: If you are using a style sheet on the actual document, called ('in-line'), and a style sheet that is being referenced by multiple pages (called a 'span'), both can have an effect on the items in the page. If both the in-line and the span style sheet are attempting to affect the same item, eg an <H1> command, the closest to the <H1> command wins. That would be the in-line in this case.

UniSA's corporate web development server (test server).

The directory consists of your website's folders and files (ie the structure behind the webpages the user views). The main folder is the directory, and the folders within it (eg images) are the subdirectories. These folders will contain the files that are your webpages.

Domain name (web)
Location of an entity on the Internet. There are different levels of domains. Top level domain examples are .com, .net, .edu.

Information architecture (IA)
IA views web content as building blocks to be fitted into a site's visual design and navigation scheme. It involves the design of organisation, labelling, navigation, and searching systems to help people find and manage information more successfully. It is 'the art and science of structuring and classifying web sites and intranets to help people find and manage information' (Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, 2nd Edition, Louis Rosenfeld and Peter Morville).

A private internal network within an organisation, company etc which may consist of many interlinked local area networks. Its main purpose is to share files, utilise websites, and collaborate among employees. Usually it cannot be accessed from the Internet.

Meta tags
The meta element in HTML can be used to identify properties of a document (eg author, description, a list of key words) and assign values to those properties. Meta tags offer search engines information about your webpage, and some search engines display this information in their listings. There are various meta tag elements out there, from the author content, to copyright information, to revisit tags. But the ones that really count are your meta description tag and your meta keyword tag.

The information that is contained within the meta tags of a web site.

Navigation on your site facilitates movement from one web page to another web page.

UniSA's corporate web production (live) server name.

A web server serves webpages to clients across the Internet or an Intranet. The web server hosts the pages, scripts, programs, and multimedia files and serves them using HTTP, a protocol designed to send files to web browsers and other protocols.

Server Side Includes (SSI)
SSI allow you to write some commonly used code once and have the server insert it into the pages for you. In other words an include file has code that you would like to reuse. Any ASP or SHTML page that wants to use the code in the include file will have a special line that indicates the place holder for the code. This code looks like: <!--#include virtual="/path" -->. This results in the server taking the entire content of the file and inserts it into the page, replacing the line.

This is a feature particular to Sharepoint Designer. If you have a group working on a web site, or you want to have several sites with different styles on one web domain (or account), Sharepoint Designer allows you to create a web inside of another web, and a web inside of a web inside of a web. Each 'subweb' also has its own set of permissions, its own username and password, and its own shared borders and configuration files.

A web template standardises and constrains the common elements of a webpage. These elements are peripheral to the focus of the page and are additional to the actual content. Examples of these elements are certain navigation conventions, corporate identity and administrative details such as the generic email contact (footer).

URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. The URL is the address of a resource, or file, available on the Internet. The URL contains the protocol of the resource (e.g. http:// or ftp://), the domain name for the resource, and the hierarchical name for the file (address). For example, a page on the internet may be at the URL http://www.unisa.edu.au/intro/default.asp. The beginning part, http:// provides the protocol, the next part www.unisa.edu.au is the domain, the main domain is unisa.edu.au, while www is a pointer to a computer or a resource. The rest, /intro/default.asp, is the pointer to the specific file on that server.