Glossary of Terms
A bot is a script designed to perform a repeated operation, like reading websites to find email addresses, indexing site pages for search engines, and more. They are used for both malevolent and benevolent purposes. You may also see bot defined as a computer attempting to mimic human behavior like fake friend message requests and text messages, as well as to represent a computer controlled player in a game, however in the web world we stick with the first definition.
Free, Open Source Software. This abbreviation is used to identify open source projects that are free in terms of cost and the ability to access the code, as opposed to open source projects that may require a licensing purchase or other fiscal investment.
A hacker is a generic term for a person who attempts to gain unauthorized access to a controlled system. Historically, the first hackers performed these activities out of curiosity. Today this term has become associated with hackers whose goal is to cause malicious damage for personal gain.
File Transfer Protocol. An alternative communication method to HTTP and part of the Internet Protocol suite, this transmission standard focuses on moving files between computers.
The interpreter is the program that receives our written code and translates it to the required output format. In this text, for example, the PHP interpreter takes our code and transforms our requests and commands into the full HTML output that is then provided to the browser. The browser, too, works as an interpreter, translating the HTML into the visual page that we see.
Internet Relay Chat can be equated to the Internet equivalent of text messaging. Message from two or more parties are displayed for all parties to view in linear format in a space referred to as a chat room.
Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. MIME types are used to identify sections of an email that contain different files like images or attachments.
Radio Frequency Identification. These objects are electronic tags, or markers, that can be placed inside or attached to items to help identify their location. They are read by special readers, typically placed at points of interest (e.g., in shipping bays at a warehouse) to help track items in motion. They can be powered by battery (active tags) or can absorb energy from the electromagnetic field generated by the reader (passive tags) in order to transmit the information encoded on them.
The smallest point on a screen that can be assigned a color value by the display.
A synonym for your operating system. Typically used when referring to more than one operating system, or when the discussion is not contingent on a particular operating system.
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition. This is the controlling equipment that monitors and sets configuration settings for physical equipment, usually found in places like machine shops, utilities, and factories.
The ability for a document processor, development environment, or other software to identify and distinguish different aspects of written code in one or more language, applying color coding or other features to assist the programmer.
User Datagram Protocol. Similar communication method to HTTP, but differs in how it communicates by avoiding error checking and correction in favor of improved transmission speed.
UNIX is an operating system created by Bell Labs (AT&T) employees in 1969 that focuses on multi-user and multi-tasking abilities.
WebKit is an open source web browser engine. WebKit is also the name of the Mac OS X system framework version of the engine that is used by Safari, Dashboard, Mail, and many other OS X applications.
Extensible Markup Language. This flexible, user-defined markup format allows data to be labelled and transmitted in a more system-independent format.