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WITHIN THIS SECTION:

JARGON BUSTER

(Courtesy of H A Wired)

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Adobe Acrobat
A clever piece of software designed to create and view files which can be read on any system provided the viewer has a special plug-in installed in their Web browser. It is an ideal way to publish printed documents on the Web and ensure that they look exactly the same as when printed. See PDF.

ADSL
Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line — a new technology that allows vastly more information to be sent over an ordinary copper telephone line.

Anti-aliasing
A method of reducing the 'jaggy' appearance of bitmap text on screen by slightly blurring the edges.

Applet
A Java program designed to run on a Web browser to implement features on a Web site, such as a game.

ASP
Active Server Pages, a specification for dynamically-created Web pages, in which the Web server creates HTML code and returns it to the browser.

AVI
Audio-Video Interleaved — a file format for video.

Bandwidth
The maximum amount of information passed over a connection per second, expressed as kilobits or megabits per second.

Browser
Typically, Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer, though there are others, such as Opera. In short, a piece of software which interprets and displays the HTML code arriving at your computer via your modem. Different browsers — and even different versions of the same brand of browser — display the HTML slightly differently and have a variety of additional features or 'plug-ins'. Predicting the behaviour of different browsers is one of the major headaches facing Web designers.

Browser Safe
See Web Safe. The range of colours that display on screens without dithering.

 

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Cache
Temporary storage space on your hard drive where your Web browser stores the files it downloads from the Web to speed up browsing.

CGI
Common Gateway Interface is a standard method for Web servers to pass control to any application program and then receive data in return when it has finished. For example, it is used to interpret the information that a visitor enters on an online form.

CMYK
Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Keyline (Black), the four 'process' colours that are used in full-colour printing. Tiny dots of these colours in infinite variation are printed in rows at different angles, producing a rosette pattern when viewed under a magnifying glass. When viewed at normal distance, these dots are merged by the human eye to produce the image you see. This technique is a direct parallel to that used by the "Pointillist" movement painters in the age of the Impressionists, such as Seurat and Pissaro.

Cookie
A small program placed on your computer via a Web site which records your browsing behaviour and uploads that information back to the site when you next visit. Some people see cookies as 'snooping' devices, but the vast majority are completely harmless.

Corel Draw
A software program capable of producing vector drawing and bitmap images. Please note that we can only accept TIFF and EPS files from CorelDraw, which is not widely used in the professional print and design trades.

Cromalin
A glossy, extremely accurate proofing technology which makes use of coloured powders and an electrostatic process to build up the image in stages from the final colour separated films.

Digiproof
An extremely accurate colour printing technology that allows proofing without the need to output the separated films first. This means that any mistakes can be quickly and cheaply corrected.

Dithering
Your browser reproduces colours which fall outside the Web safe palette of 216 hues by placing pixels of different colours side-by-side, with the hope that the human eye will blur them together to create the appearance of further colours. In principle this is the same technique used by full colour printing, but the results on screen are sadly much more crude as the individual pixels are visible to the naked eye. Good designers avoid unintentional dithering in their work.

Domain
Part of the naming hierarchy of the internet Domain. A domain name precisely locates an organisation or name other entity on the Internet, for example www.hawired.com

Dreamweaver
The leading Web design software used by professionals. It enables the accurate building of any size of site and has powerful tools for increasing productivity and consistency.

Dynamic HTML
A collective term for a combination of HTML tags and options, style sheets and programming which allow the creation of more interactive and faster-loading pages.

 

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E-commerce
Electronic commerce, the business of buying and selling over the Internet.

Encryption
Coding data to prevent unauthorised access or 'eavesdropping', especially in connection with confidential email and financial data such as credit card details.

EPS
Encapsulated PostScript files can represent both vector and bitmap data and is supported by virtually all graphic, illustration and page-layout programs.

File server
A computer that stores files on the Internet, making them available for access.

Firewall
A security device to help protect a private network (such as an organisation's own intranet) from Internet hackers who attempt to break in to such systems.

Flash
Software that allows the creation of 'streaming' animation and sound. The graphics content of Flash movies are vector-based and therefore resolution-independent, which means you can zoom in without any deterioration in quality. Flash movies require a free plug-in to be installed in your browser.

Fonts
The fonts typically found on operating systems are: Times; Times New Roman; Helvetica; Arial; Courier; Courier New. Fonts designed to enhance on-screen viewing include: Verdana; Georgia; Trebuchet; Andale Mono.

Frames
A method whereby a Web browser is able to display the contents of several pages at once within the boundaries of a single 'frameset', as opposed to requiring additional 'windows'. Frames are nowadays frowned upon because they can cause problems with navigation, bookmarking and access for the disabled.

Freehand
A piece of software from Macromedia used to create vector-based drawings, illustrations and diagrams.

FrontPage
Web page design software from Microsoft. Whilst popular amongst novice and non-dedicated office staff, it is frowned upon by professionals since it makes use of proprietory 'extensions' that can cause problems with Web browsers. Best used for intranet work within an organisation, where the server, client machines and browsers are all part of the same infrastructure.

FTP
File Transfer Protocol, the standard that defines how files are transferred over the Internet.

 

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GIF
Graphics Interchange Format, the most common format for compressed graphics on the internet. Images are compressed on a row-by-row basis, with horizontal lines being the most compressible, vertical lines the least because of the way in which computer screens display.

GUI
Graphical User Interface — the way you operate a program on your 'desktop' using things like toolbars, windows, menus etc.

Hit
An entry in the log file of a Web server, generated by every single request made. It bears absolutely no relation to the actual number of visitors, users or even pages, so don't be fooled!

HTML
HyperText Markup Language is what makes the Web work. It is a set of markup symbols and codes inserted into a computer file intended for display in a Web browser, which tells the browser how to display the information. It is subject to interpretation according to the browser you are using.

HTTP
HyperText Transfer Protocol is used by the World Wide Web to transfer HTML files.

 

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Illustrator
A piece of software from Adobe used to create vector-based drawings, illustrations and diagrams.

InDesign
Page layout software from Adobe that is now seriously challenging the professional market leader, Quark XPress.

Intranet
A private network that operates as an internal, company-wide Internet hosted by the company.

Iris proofs
An extremely accurate colour printing technology that allows proofing without the need to output the separated films first. This means that any mistakes can be quickly and cheaply corrected.

ISDN
Integrated Services Digital Network, a set of standards for digital transmission over ordinary copper telephone wires as well as other media. The result is an astonishing increase in transmission speed.

ISP
Internet Service Provider is an organisation offering connections to the Internet or part of it, such as AOL, Demon, Easynet and many others.

Java
Cross-platform programming language often used on the Web. It can be used to create entire applications or to build small modules called applets for use as part of a Web page, intended to enable the viewer to interact with the page.

JavaScript
An extremely useful and commonly used interpreted programming or script language that enables HTML files to make use of different effects, such as 'rollover' buttons.

JPEG
Known as JPG to PC users, it stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. JPEG images are compressed by area, rather than by horizontal rows as for GIF files. A JPEG is also 'lossy', which is to say that once an image has been compressed as a JPEG, it loses definition which cannot be recovered. It is primarily used to compress photographic images (logically enough!) whereas GIFs are more suited to graphics. Digital cameras commonly store images as JPEG files that are often of insufficient quality for use in print. Always pronounced j-peg.

 

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Meta tags
HTML tags that surround key words or phrases which are used to submit a site to a search engine. They enable the search engine to find your site more quickly should a potential visitor enter any of those key words.

MP3
MPEG Layer 3, a form of audio data compression which allows digital sound files to be compressed by up to 12:1 with almost no loss in quality.

MPEG
Short for Moving Picture Experts Group, and pronounced m-peg. The term also refers to the family of digital video compression standards and file formats developed by the group. MPEG files can be decoded by special hardware or by software.

Pantone
A vast range (nearly 1200 at the latest count) of printing colours reproduced by mixing a specified range of inks in specific proportions. The range includes metallic and luminous hues. It should be noted that colour reproduction is enormously affected by the material on which it is printed — colours always appear brighter on glossy stock than on matt, for example. Pantones are always identified by a code number, e.g. Pantone 200C (the red used in our logo, with the 'C' designating reproduction on coated paper).

PDA
Personal Digital Assistant — a handheld computing device that is smaller than a notebook and fits easily into the hand or pocket. One of the first was Apple's Newton, but the market is now expanding rapidly and devices often include email, Web, basic office tools and applications. Many now run with the familiar Windows interface as well as proprietory versions.

PDF
Portable Document Format. A type of compressed file which remains unchanged and can be read on any operating system as long as the viewer has the software to read it, such as Adobe Acrobat.

Photoshop
The market-leading image manipulation software from Adobe. It provides and extraordinarily powerful suite of tools for professional image-makers, illustrators, designers and artists.

Pixel
The unit of measurement on screen. There are typically 72 pixels per inch.

Plug-ins
Additional programs that can be installed into your Web browser to add functions, such as the ability to view certain file types or listen to 'streaming' audio for live broadcasts. Examples are Flash, Shockwave, Acrobat, Quicktime and RealAudio.

Quark XPress
The industry standard page layout package for professional graphic designers and typesetters. Until the advent of Adobe InDesign, it offered unrivalled precision and control of typography and page make-up.

 

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RGB
Red, Green and Blue: the method used by computer screens to display colours by combining photons of red, green and blue light.

Rule of 51
See Web-safe. A simple rule of thumb that the RGB values of a proper non-dithering colour must be divisible by 51.

Separations
Once artwork for print has been prepared on computer, the files are then output as film separations, either positive or negative. Each film represents one of the inks used in printing (see CMYK and Pantone) and is used to produce the final printing plates via a photographic process. With the most recent printing technology, it has become possible to go 'straight to plate' without any intervening film stage.

Server
A computer, or the software on that computer, that allows other computers to access information stored on it via a network or the Internet.

Shockwave
A family of multimedia players created by Macromedia. Shockwave files make use of 'streaming' technology.

Spam
Unwanted or junk email.

Spider
Spiders are little programs sent out by search engines to collate information about Web sites. They often go looking for 'meta-tags'.

SQL
Structured Query Language, used for requesting information from a database. It supports distributed databases that are spread out over a Local Area Network of several individual machines.

Streaming
Video, audio or animation files sent in compressed form over the Internet but unpacked and played as they arrive 'frame-by-frame', rather than having to wait until the whole file has downloaded.

 

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TIFF
A flexible file format supported by virtually all paint, image-editing and page-layout programs. TIFF files may be either compressed or uncompressed.

UNIX
An operating system that originated as an interactive time-sharing system. It is commonly used by service providers and universities.

URL
Uniform Resource Locator, commonly known as your Web address e.g. http://www.hawired.com

 

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Vector-based
Vector-based illustration and animation software such as Freehand, Illustrator and Flash create files based on lines and fills, rather than bitmaps. This means that their files can be enlarged and reduced without any deterioration in quality since what they are displaying relies on mathematical formulae, rather than blocks of pixels.

VRML
Virtual Reality Modelling Language describes three-dimensional image sequences and possible user interactions with them.

WAP
Wireless Application Protocol, allowing interactive content to be requested and delivered to mobile devices such as phones, pagers and PDAs.

Wet proofs
Proofs produced using the actual plates, inks and paper specified for the final job and carried out either on the multiple-colour press or a separate, proofing press. These are by far the most accurate proofs of all, and are to be recommended wherever possible. However, mistakes are more expensive to correct, since new film separations and plates will have to be made.

WML
Wireless Markup Language, used to create 'Web' sites that mobile devices can access. These sites are currently severely limited in the content they can display and are further hampered by slow connections.

Webmaster
A person in charge of a Web site — not necessarily the person who designs it.

Web safe
The range of colours that display on-screen without dithering and without shifting between different browsers or operating systems. There are 216 such colours, 'hex' (short for hexidecimal, base 16) colours. Web colours use combinations of the following codes: 00 (RGB=0); 33 (RGB=51); 66 (RGB=102); 99 (RGB=153); CC (RGB=204); FF (RGB=255) Here you see the Rule of 51 in action. Any colour that cannot be expressed in RGB values divisible by 51 is NOT a Web-safe colour, e.g. R76 G21 B204. On the other hand, R51 G153 B102 is Web-safe (#339966)

XML
eXtensible Markup Language, looks a bit like HTML but isn't HTML. Like HTML, XML makes use of tags (words bracketed by '‹' and '›') and attributes (of the form name="value"), but while HTML specifies what each tag & attribute means (and often how the text between them will look in a browser), XML uses the tags only to delimit pieces of data, and leaves the interpretation of the data completely to the application that reads it. In other words, if you see "<p>" in an XML file, don't assume it is a paragraph. Depending on the context, it may be a price, a parameter, a person, a p... (b.t.w., who says it has to be a word with a "p"?) Source: http://www.w3.org/XML/1999/XML-in-10-points

 

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