Tech Terms


As you learn how to make your Web pages, you will encounter new terminology. Acronyms such as HTML, FTP, IP, and the like are the nomenclature of those who build Web sites.

Even “Internet” spelled with a capital “I” is different from “internet” spelled with a lowercase “i”. Understanding this “geek-speak” is fundamental to the learning process. Below are some of the terms and definitions you will need to add to your vocabulary. This list is not exhaustive. More terminology is introduced in later tutorials.

Browser: This is the program used to view Web pages. The most well known browsers are Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. Some browsers are text-only: this means that they do not show pictures. Be aware that many people, especially those using older and/or slower computers use text-only browsers.

Client: This is the computer which requests Web pages from a server computer. When you use your computer at home to surf the Web, your computer is a client computer. See related term, Server, below.

Download: This is the process of receiving files from a server. Usually performed using a browser or FTP program.

File name extension: This is the part of a file name which follows the last period. For example, in the filename index.html, the extension is .html. In the case of index.html.bak, the extension is .bak.

FTP: Stands for File Transport Protocol. This is one way that files are sent and retrieved from servers. Popular FTP programs include Fetch (for Macintosh) and WSFTP (for Windows).

HTML: Stands for HyperText Markup Language. This is the computer language used to write source code (see definition below). The purpose of HTML is to describe to the computer how a web page should look. Every few years, a new standard for HTML is introduced. As of January, 2000, HTML 4.0 is the latest version.

HTTP: Stands for HyperText Transport Protocol. Most Web site addresses are preceeded by HTTP. For example:

internet: With a lowercase “i”, this simply refers to two or more networks that are interconnected. These networks are not necessarily connected to the Internet.

Internet: With a capital “I”, this refers to the big, commercial network. Not to be confused with “internet”.

IP Address: IP stands for Internet Protocol. Every computer connected to the Internet has a unique IP address. Every IP address is composed of four segments of up to three numbers. An example of an IP address is Type this into the address bar on your Web browser and watch what happens.

Network: Two or more computers connected together so that files (including Web pages), printers, and other resources can be shared. The Internet is an example of a very large (perhaps the largest) network.

Network Administrator: This is the person in charge of the network. When the network isn’t working right, this is the person to whom you should complain.

Pico: This is a very simple text editor available on UHUNIX. To start Pico, type pico at the % prompt. For example: %pico

Server: This is the computer where your web page is accessed from and stored. A server serves Web pages when requested by client computers. Web pages stored on UHUNIX accounts are on servers located in Keller Hall. See related term, Client, above.

Source Code: HTML (see above) is used to write source code. Source code for a Web page is usually stored in a file that ends with the .html or .htm extension.

Telnet: This is a connection mode used to access UHUNIX accounts so as to check email and set permissions on files. Telnet is text-only. The Telnet address for UHUNIX is

Upload: This is the process of sending files to a server. Usually performed using an FTP program.

URL: Stands for Universal Resource Locator. This is the address of a server. For example, is a URL. Can be pronounced like the name “Earl” or as the letters U-R-L.

Web Address: See URL.