A Short Glossary for Searching the World Wide Web

Uniform Resource Locator or URL          http://www.nasa.gov/

When connected to the Internet, the above address will call up the home page of NASA. This address is in 2 parts,     http://     and     www.nasa.gov/     .

http://                       This allows access to the World Wide Web. ( http represents hypertext transfer protocol.) Other access addresses:

   ftp:// is used to transfer files between computers. ( ftp represents file transfer protocol.)
gopher://   is used to find documents, mostly text based, by way of menus. (gopher refers to the University of Minnesota's mascot, and when you use it, you "go for" information.)
news://

is used to access newsgroups which are like bulletin boards where people post questions, answers, and other comments. There are tens of thousands of topics discussed by respective newsgroups. Some are moderated or controlled.
Telnet:// is used to access another computer and use that computer, such as the Library of Congress Catalog. Your computer acts like a remote terminal on the other computer. (Telnet represents telecommunications network.)

www.nasa.gov/          This addresses the server where nasa.gov is the domain name. The extension gov represents the type of organization that runs the domain. ( .com = commercial, .edu = educational, .gov = government, .mil = military, .net = network, and .org = organization. Outside of the United States a 2 letter country code either replaces or is added to one of these extensions.)

http://www.nasa.gov/ would connect you to the homepage where numerous topics can be reached through hyperlinks. One of these many links at the bottom of the page is "Frequently Asked Questions". It will bring up a page with links to more specific questions, one of them being "Most Frequently Asked Questions". And, "clicking" this will bring up a document of "Most Frequently Asked Questions". If you wanted this last page and knew its URL, then you could have gone directly to it by starting with that URL:

                                          http://www.nasa.gov/qanda/topmost.htm

http:// access to the World Wide Web.
www.nasa.gov/ access to server (NASA's domain).
qanda/topmost.htm This brings up the page of "Most Frequently Asked Questions". (The document name for the intermediary page mentioned above would be qanda). Here, qanda is actually the path to the document named topquest.htm .

Browser    Software on your computer which enables you to read pages from the World Wide Web. (Internet Explorer, Mosaic, and Netscape Navigator are browsers.)

Web Directories   Web directories are directories within directories within directories etc. If you are interested in a particular topic, you first pick a subject from many major subjects in the web directory. (Your particular topic should be a part of this subject.) "Click" on that subject and a new sub-directory appears. Find a subject in this sub-directory that seems to include your topic and "click" on that subject. Continue through sub-directories until you reach specific links to your particular topic.

Search Engines    A search engine will search millions of documents on the Web for particular words or phrases that you enter. The way you request the search engine to look for the words or phrases and the words or phrases you use may enable the search to find nothing, or perhaps a dozen relevant documents, or perhaps half a million documents. The search engine presents any relevant documents in a list giving titles and/or descriptions and hypertext links to the documents.

Hyper   See cyber (below).

HTML   HTML represents HyperText Markup Language. The various ways that text can be presented, size, color, lists, tables, etc., are identified by coding tags. And graphics are inserted by coding tags. This enables a browser to take a Web page, read the tags, show the text, and insert the graphics on your computer screen.

Modem   MOdulating and DEModulating. Modulating: The digital signal of the computer is converted to tones (an analog signal) on a phone line. Demodulating: The tones are received and converted to digital signals on the computer.

Bitmap   A bitmap is colored dots or light pixels which can form a picture. (French artist Georges Seurat formed bitmaps from paint dots.)

GIF   A bitmap using what is called the Graphics Image Format.

JPG or JPEG   A bitmap using what is called the Joint Photographic Experts Group.

Cyber   See hyper. (What did you expect?)

A one page overview of the Internet

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