Help: Jargon dictionary
- Acrobat Reader:
- A software package for viewing and printing Portable Document Format (PDF)
- Adobe Systems Inc.:
- A software company specializing in desktop publishing software, notably
the PostScript language and Acrobat products.
- Software used to view information (usually Web pages) on the Internet.
- A store of files held by a computer in the expectation that a user will
soon require them. A computer's "short-term memory".
- Common Gateway Interface. The interface that allows programmers to write
software that adds new features, such as search routines, to Web
- Software used to access information on another computer, such as a Web
browser running on your personal computer to access information from a
remote Web server.
- To transfer a file from a remote computer to your own. Sometimes referred
to as the act of "pulling a file" from another computer.
- Dialup Connection:
- A connection to a computer network made via a telephone line and
- Domain Name System (DNS):
- A mechanism used on the Internet for translating computer names (like
youruniversity.edu) into numeric addresses (like 193.61.240) and vice versa.
DNS allows you to use the Internet without remembering lists of numbers.
- Frequently Asked Questions. A list of commonly asked questions, with model
answers, on a particular subject. Reading FAQ is a good way to introduce
yourself to a new subject on the Internet.
- A network device used to make it harder for Internet users to hack into an
organization's computer network.
- File Transfer Protocol. A system used to copy files between computers on
- A software package for displaying PostScript files on a computer
- A graphics format, with built-in compression, for displaying pictures on a
- A Web browser from Sun Microsystems that allows the user to download
"smart" Web pages. These smart pages, written in the Java language,
include software that runs on your local computer to perform various tasks,
for example running an interactive simulation of a physics experiment.
- Hypertext Markup Language. The language used in Web pages to display
hypertext information via a Web browser. For example, displaying text as a
hypertext link, displaying a graphic image at a particular place on the page
or displaying text in a specific colour.
- Hypertext Transfer Protocol. The communications language that Web clients
and servers use to exchange information.
- A new service from IOP Publishing that gives you instant
online access to the full text or abstracts of referenced articles.
- A system of computerized pages of text with interconnected information. By
clicking on highlighted text, the user can "jump" to a new page of
- The patchwork quilt of thousands of computer networks that are stitched
together to form a giant, global network.
- IP address (Internet Protocol address):
- Each device (such as a computer) on the Internet has a unique number
called an IP address. These addresses are made up of four numbers between 0
and 255 each separated by a period. For example 188.8.131.52. The first
three numbers of the IP address give the address of the computer's subnet.
The final number refers to a specific device. Users who access the Internet
via an Internet service provider may have IP addresses dynamically assigned
to them, i.e., the IP address may be different each time they access the
- An object-oriented programming language that is especially suited to the
Internet because it is platform-independent. It appears primarily as special
function "applets" (small, self-contained applications) embedded
in Web pages. Java requires use of a compatible browser such as HotJava or
Netscape 3.0 or above to enable viewing.
- Modem (MOdulator DEModulator):
- A device used to receive and transmit computer data over telephone
- Netscape Navigator:
- The brand name of a widely used Internet browser from Netscape
- Netscape Extensions:
- Netscape's own (non-standard) additions to HTML. The Netscape Extensions
allow you to do useful things, like flow text around an image on a Web page.
But the Netscape extensions only work if you look at a page with Netscape's
own browser. If you use a different Web browser, such as Microsoft Internet
Explorer, you won't see the improved layout.
- Portable Document Format. The platform-independent file format used by
Adobe's Acrobat software. PDF files contain exact facsimiles of typeset
pages. The same PDF file will look identical on any computer when viewed
with an Acrobat Reader. PDF is, therefore, ideal for exchanging electronic
documents if the publisher wishes to ensure that the layout of the
document is not altered by the system on which it is viewed.
- A programming language often used to write CGI software. Perl is popular
because it is very good for processing text.
- A computer language used to typeset pages. PostScript was designed to work
well with printers. You can obtain PostScript viewers such as GhostView to
view PostScript files on your computer screen.
- A computer used to forward browser requests from an organization's
internal network to the Internet, and to pass replies from the Internet back
to the organization's internal network. This shields the internal network
from external scrutiny. Proxies can also cache frequently requested Web
pages and act as firewalls.
- A server stores information ready to send to other computers over a
network. When it receives a request it packages the data and delivers it to
the remote computer (see Client and Browser).
- Secure Sockets Layer. SSL was developed by Netscape for transmitting
private documents via the Internet. SSL works by using a private key to
encrypt data that is transferred over the SSL connection. Both Netscape
Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer support SSL.
- A computer network linked to the Internet.
- Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. The method by which
computers on the Internet communicate with each other. TCP tells the
computer how to package information sent via the Internet. IP specifies how
to address the information so that it gets to the correct destination.
- A platform-independent typesetting language that is especially useful for
- A set of macros built upon TeX that can make TeX easier to use.
- To transfer a file from your computer to someone else's. Sometimes
referred to as "pushing a file" onto another computer.
- Uniform Resource Locator. The address of a file (such as a Web page, a
software program or an image) on the Internet. The address includes the type
of server, the location of the server and the name of the file required. For
example http://www.iop.org/Journals/ is the URL of IOP
Publishing's journals page. The http:// part tells the browser to look for a
Web server. The www.iop.org part tells the browser the location of that
server. The /Journals/ part tells the browser the subdirectory and the name
of the page required.
- Virtual Reality Modelling Language: An Internet standard that allows Web
pages to include 3-dimensional environments the user can "walk
through", as well as the usual text and graphics.
- Online payments are processed by WorldPay plc, who specialise in the
secure online capture and processing of online transactions. Currently used
for Document Delivery payments.
- World Wide Web (Web, WWW):
- A system for publishing and viewing hypertext pages on the Internet.
The IOP is a not-for-profit learned society. All
trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective
owners. Where IOP Publishing Ltd is aware of such a claim, the product names
appear in initial capital letters. IOP Publishing Ltd makes no claim to these
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