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This glossary defines terms and abbreviations that are used in this book and that may be unfamiliar to the reader.
active - The window or icon that you are using or that is selected.
anchor - For Hypertext Markup Language, the target of a link. In Tapestry and Netscape Navigator applications, the anchor text is underlined.
application - A computer program used for a particular task, such as the Netscape Navigator application. This term is used interchangeably with program.
ASCII - American Standard Code for Information Interchange. A fancy name for plain text.
background color - The color of the background of a Web page behind the text. Contrast with foreground (text) color.
background image - The picture that is displayed behind the text on your Web page.
bookmark - A means of storing a Uniform Resource Locator for a Web site you want to revisit.
browser - A software application, such as Netscape Navigator for searching the World Wide Web.
button - A small square or circle on the screen to choose actions or commands. Buttons can contain a word or symbol to represent what they do.
cancel - A label given to a Push Button in some dialog boxes that performs the action of closing the dialog box without implementing any changes.
character density - The number of very weird people working in your area.
checklist - A list of usability and quality assurance questions (for example, "Does each chapter have a clearly defined goal?") that require a yes or no answer.
click - To press and release a mouse button. The term comes from the fact that pressing and releasing most mouse buttons makes a clicking sound.
clipboard - A holding place for the last object or objects you cut or copied.
close - A label given to a Push Button in some dialog boxes that performs the action of closing the dialog box. Close is also used as a selection in menus to close the window associated with the menu.
command - A word or phrase, usually in a menu, that you choose to carry out an action. You choose a command from a menu or a toolbar, or type a command at the application command prompt.
cursor - A graphical image, usually a pipe (I) or block, that shows the location where text will appear on the screen when keys on the keyboard are pressed.
Cyberspace - A slightly dated term referring to the entire world of online information and services. It was originally coined by William Gibson.
data - Information used or processed by a software program.
database - Information organized or stored in records and fields so that an application can easily manipulate and sort it.
default - In software, the "out of the box" value of a configuration option. The software uses this value unless you define a different value. For example, when you are building your Web site with Tapestry the default file name is index.html for a Web page.
desktop - The background on your screen that contains the objects for a software application, such as icons, menus, and windows. Sometimes called the workspace.
dialog box - A window that is displayed temporarily to request information. Many dialog boxes have options you must choose before you can start a command.
dimmed selection - A selection that is not currently available.
directory dialog box - A window that is displayed on the screen when you want to open or save a document.
document - See Web document and local document.
document window - A window that displays the contents of a document.
documentation - In this book, part of the user support information including the printed user guide and quick-reference guide. See also user information.
double-click - To rapidly press and release a mouse button twice without moving the mouse. Double-clicking carries out an action, such as starting an application. Contrast with click, drag, and point.
download - To transfer a file from a host computer to a personal computer or workstation.
drag - To place your mouse pointer on a screen object, press and hold the mouse button, and drag the object to another position on the screen. Dragging is used to move or resize objects on the screen. Contrast with click, double-click, and point.
drag-and-drop - To place your mouse pointer on a screen object, such as a document, press and hold the mouse button, drag the mouse pointer to another screen object, and release the mouse button. Using the Tapestry software you can drag and drop to create, edit, or link documents. Also known as Drag Transfer.
drop-down menu - A menu that is displayed from a menu bar.
ellipsis - The three dots (...) following a menu item or button label to show that the command needs more information to be completed. After you choose a command with an ellipsis, a dialog box appears so you can type additional information or perform another command.
F keys - See function keys.
file - A named collection of ASCII or binary information stored on a disk or other storage device. Files include text, programs, databases, spreadsheets, and graphics.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)- A particular protocol for transferring files from one computer to another on the Internet.
Finder - An Apple Macintosh program that displays the desktop, opens and closes windows, and keeps track of your files and disks.
folder - A container that holds and organizes programs, documents, files, and other folders.
font - A particular style for displayed or printed characters, including the shape, weight, and slant.
font size - The size of a font and usually expressed in units of measurement called points.
foreground (text) color - The color of the text displayed on a Web page. Contrast with background color.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) - A list of questions and corresponding answers for a particular topic.
function keys - A function key, also known as a PF key or an F key, performs specific functions. Each F key is assigned a special command.
GIF - See Graphic Interchange Format.
Graphic Interchange Format (GIF)- A format for compressed graphic files developed by CompuServe and Unisys. Pronounced "jiff".
GraphicConverter - A shareware application for converting images (pictures) to JPEG and GIF format for displaying on the Web.
hardware - Computer equipment, such as the the processor, keyboard, and mouse. Contrast with software.
hardcopy - Printed information. Contrast with online information.
Help - A label given to a Push Button in some dialog boxes that displays online help information for the dialog box. Context-sensitive help is help information on a specific topic that is displayed from the point in the application when the user requires help.
helper application - An application that Tapestry or a browser such as Netscape Navigator 2.0 uses to perform tasks such as displaying particular types of graphics or playing video clips. A helper application follows the Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) convention. Contrast with plug-in.
highlight - To emphasize text or some other display element, usually by selecting it with the mouse.
home page - The HTML document you choose to display when you open a Web browser like Netscape Navigator 2.0. This document may be located on your local (internal) hard disk or on a remote Web server. The term home page can also refer to the top-level document at any particular Web site.
hypermedia - Hypertext that also includes nontext information, such as graphics or video.
hypertext - Text that is organized by links and jumps that move the reader from one piece of online information to another in a nonlinear fashion.
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) - A markup language for indicating attributes and links in a Web document. An HTML tag can tell a Web browser program how to display a piece of text or a graphic, or it may direct the browser to another file or document.
HTTP - The protocol that Web clients and servers use to communicate with each other.
icon - A small picture that represents a screen object, such as a disk, folder, program, or document.
inline images - Graphic images contained within Web documents. An inline image displays automatically as part of a document; a non-inline image must be retrieved by clicking on a hot link.
Internet - A large network of computers made up of many smaller networks.
Internet Service Provider (ISP) - A business or service that provides Internet access to consumers.
JPEG - A format for compressed graphic files.
jump - A marked segment of text (usually underlined) that moves your view to a different location within a document in a nonlinear fashion. Also know as following a link.
link - A special hidden tag in an HTML document on the Web. It includes the URL for another file or document, or for another anchor point within the same document.
list box - A component that provides you with a scrollable list of options from which to choose.
local document - A document on your local hard disk.
log in - To identify yourself to a remote system or network by typing in your login name and password. Also know as logon.
Mac OS - The Macintosh operating system.
maximize - To enlarge a window to its maximum size.
media elements - Parts of a Web page, such as movie clips or text.
menu - A drop-down list of commands in an application window. Menu names appear in the menu bar at the top of the window. To open a menu, select the menu name.
menu bar - The rectangular area at the top of the window that contains the titles of the menus for an application.
MIME - See Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions.
Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG) - A standard format for compressed video files, also known as desktop movies. MPEG files may be part of Web documents but they require a special helper application or plug-in.
mouse - A pointing device that you use to select objects and actions on the computer screen.
mouse button - A mechanism on a mouse that is used to select objects, initiate actions, or manipulate objects.
MPEG - See Moving Pictures Expert Group.
Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) - A convention for identifying different types of binary information, such as images or sounds, and thereby indicating the appropriate applications for viewing or playing this information. MIME is used to set preferences for helper applications so that documents can be displayed or played automatically in Tapestry and Netscape Navigator applications.
navigation - The process of moving through windows and menus.
Netscape Navigator - A software application that allows users to browse the Web.
OK - A label given to a Push Button in some dialog boxes that performs the action of answering "OK" and closing the dialog box.
online information - The information stored in a computer system that can be displayed, used, and modified interactively without the need for printed copy. See also, user information.
open - To start an action or begin working with a text, data or graphics file.
operating system - The software that manages the hardware and software interface of a computer.
option - A choice in a dialog box.
option button - A small round button that appears in a dialog box. Within a group of related option buttons, you can select only one.
paste - To copy the contents of the clipboard into an application.
Personal Page - The revised name for the Tapestry Web authoring tool.
plug-in - A small application that runs as an independent process within the memory partition of Netscape Navigator. In contrast to a helper application, plug-ins display media within the browser window.
point - To move the mouse until the mouse pointer rests on an object. Contrast with click, double-click, and drag.
press - To hold down a mouse button or a key.
primary window - A top-level window of an application or a Web site. In a Web site, the primary window is called a home page.
process - A set of related, interdependent activities carried out in a prescribed sequence to produce a particular output or outcome.
pull-down menu - See menu.
Push Button - A graphic component that simulates a real-life push button. When you push the Push Button, by pressing a key or mouse button, an action takes place.
Quality Assurance checklist - A list of questions that test the production quality of a document (for example, "On the cover is the company logo included and correct?").
QuickTime - A multimedia (video and sound) file format allowing Macintosh and Windows users to create and view QuickTime movies if they have the appropriate authoring or viewing software. You can add a plug-in to Netscape Navigator (Version 2.0 or later) to play QuickTime movies.
Radio Button - A set of buttons followed by text or pictures that can be toggled by clicking. Radio Buttons are grouped so that only one can be chosen at a time, like the buttons on a car radio. You select a Radio Button to activate it. When a Radio Button is selected, it is filled in and any previously selected Radio Button becomes empty.
release - To let up on a mouse button or key that has been pressed. Sometimes it is the press that initiates the action; sometimes it is the release.
resize - To change the height or width of a window.
save - To write changes to a data file or to a storage device for safekeeping.
screen - The display on a computer. Also called a monitor or a visual display unit (VDU).
scroll - To move through text or graphics (up, down, left, or right) so that you can see parts of a file or list that cannot fit on the screen. See also scroll bar and slider.
scroll bar - A bar that appears at the bottom or right edge of a window whose contents are not entirely visible. Each scroll bar contains a slider and scroll arrows.
scroll box - See slider.
secondary window - A child window of a primary window that usually remains open after the primary window is closed.
select - To mark or highlight an item so that a subsequent action can be carried out on that item. You usually select an item by clicking it with a mouse or pressing a key. After selecting and item, you choose the action that you want to affect the item. Contrast with choose.
SIGDOC - The Special Interest Group on Systems Documentation of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) reviews and examines the process of producing documentation for the computer industry, the process of producing documentation using computers (including hardware and software), and the end results of the documentation development process.
signon - See logon.
SimpleText - A text editor for the Apple Macintosh.
slider - In a scroll bar, the small box that shows the position of information currently in the window or list box relative to the contents of the entire window. To scroll through the information displayed in the window, drag the scroll box up and down or left and right.
software - The applications that run on a computer.
spreadsheet - A computer application that performs calculations on rows and columns of numerical data.
Tapestry - An Apple Macintosh application that allows users to create and edit Web documents without learning Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). See also Personal Page.
title - The name of the Web page. Using Tapestry, you type the title of your Web page in the text input box below the toolbar.
title bar - The bar at the top of the window that displays the name of the window or Web page.
toolbar - The bar at the top of the window that contains the command icons, such as Back.
Uniform Resource Locator (URL) - An address that a Web browser uses to locate, retrieve, and display a document.
UNIX - An operating system.
upload -To transfer a file from a personal computer or workstation to a host computer.
usability - The quality of a system, program, document or device that enables it to be easily understood and conveniently employed by a user.
usability test - In system development, a test to determine that an implemented system fulfils its functional purpose as determined by its end users.
Usability Index checklist - A list of questions that determines the usability index of a document (for example, "Does each chapter have a clearly defined goal?"). For an example checklist, see Usability Index checklist and Quality Assurance checklist.
user - A person who requires the services of a computing system.
user guide - An online or printed book that describes how to use a software application.
user information - The information that helps you to use a software application. It includes the documentation (printed user guide and quick-reference guide), online help information, and support information on the Web, such as the Frequently Asked Questions and QuickTime movies that illustrate how the software works.
user interface - The hardware and software rules and conventions that allows a user to interact and perform operations on a system, program, or device.
Web document - A file or set of related files that can be transferred from a Web server to a Web client. The document can contain text, graphics, sound, video, or links to other documents.
widget - An object that accepts user input, such as a check box, radio button, or drop-down list.
window - A rectangular area on your screen in which you view an application. You can open, close, and move windows and change the size of most windows. You can open several windows at the same time, and you can often reduce a window to an icon or enlarge it to fill the entire workspace. Sometimes smaller windows, for example document windows or dialog boxes, are displayed within a window.
window frame - The area surrounding the window. A window frame can consist of a resize border, a window menu button, a title bar, and window-control buttons.
window menu - The menu that appears when you select the window menu button. The window menu typically contains selections for restoring, moving, sizing, minimizing, and closing the window.
window menu button - The graphical control that appears at the left side of the title bar in a window frame.
workspace - The workstation screen. Sometimes called the desktop.
workstation - A computer system with hardware and software suitable for a user.
World Wide Web (WWW) - An Internet service that allows users to browse linked documents. Also called the Web.
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