Glossary

Dictionary of Web Design

AJAX

Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) relies on a combination of technologies working together. HTML and CSS are typically used to mark up and style web page content. JavaScript is used to access the DOM to dynamically display and allow a user to interact with the information presented. JavaScript and XMLHttpRequest object provide a way of exchanging data asynchronously (in the background) between browser and server in order to avoid full page reloads.

ALT-attribute

This HTML attribute form is typically used within an image tag. A good designer will always include the ALT-attribute when including images so that if an image fails to load on a web page, the alternative text will be shown. The ALT-attribute also confers a description onto the image which search engines are able to read and can therefore be used as a tool for search engine optimization.

Apache

Apache is generally recognized as the world’s most popular Web server (HTTP server). Originally designed for Unix environments, the Apache Web server has been ported to Windows and other network operating systems. The name "Apache" derives from the word "patchy" that the Apache developers used to describe early versions of their software. The Apache Web server provides a full range of Web server features, including CGI, SSL, and virtual domains.

API

An API or Application Program Interface, is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. A good API makes it easier to develop a program by providing all the building blocks. A programmer then puts the blocks together.

Applet

An applet is any small application that performs one specific task which runs, often as a plug-in, within the scope of a larger program. The term "Java applet" is often used and refers to the fact that some Java programming language is associated with the application and web page.

ASP

Short for Active Server Pages that is used for creating dynamic web page content. Technically it is a server side scripting language and is mostly used on Windows platforms. When a browser or a search engine spider requests an ASP page from a server, the server generates the web page with HTML code and presents it to the browser or search engine spider.