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ASCII - American Standard Code for Information Interchange: Along with EBCDIC an early English-language character encoding system for digital text encoding. Most text editors can save content in ASCII form.

ASP (server) - Application Service Provider: A particular business model for licensing of applications using a centralised server delivered over an Internet framework.


Bandwidth: The rate at which information can be passed between computers. A wider bandwidth means more content can traverse the network in a shorter amount of time.

Book: An analog device for random access to printed multimedia content. An information storage device which is portable, requires no power supply, and has minimal issues of obsolescence.

Browser: software for navigating the Web, retrieving documents and other files, commonly in HTML mark-up format.


CMS - Content Management System : - software for managing intranets, extranets and public websites (sometimes also Customer Management Systems).

CRM - Customer Relationship Management - software for tracking customer preferences, interests and requirements.

Codec: The compression and decompression algorithm for audio and video content.

CSS - Cascading Style Sheet: The CSS defines rule-based presentational instructions for HTML content mark-up. The Style Sheet has the merit of gaining a greater freedom from the specific encoding of procedural mark-up within the text itself (with the <font> tag and others).


DAM- Digital Asset Management: A class of software for managing multi-media resources, from capture through to retrieval and presentation.

DCMI - Dublin Core Metadata Initiative: A standard for consistent meta-identification of website publications.

Digital (content): Information that is encoded in binary (discontinuous) form particularly and mediated by computers.

Digital Watermarks: A unique digital signature is embedded in the document, image or multimedia item – in a manner very similar to the traditional watermark on paper. Digital watermarks however, can contain meta-data about the content or the content creator. This meta-data might identify:

  • Ownership
  • Extra data and information
  • Embedded hyperlinks.

Document Delivery: The workflow process for managing Inter-Library Loans (ILL’s).

DOM - Document Object Model: The strictly hierarchical specification for the ontological structure or organisation of a document. HTML is an example of a DOM.

DTD - Document Type Definition: The specific set of rules defining what elements and attributes may be used in SGML and XML.


EDI - Electronic Data Interchange: The exchange of business documents (and financial transactions) in the course of business operation.

EDIFACT: A business document exchange ontology. Favoured by European businesses.


Facebook: An example of a Web 2.0 social networking platform that allows members to load their profile of interests, hobbies and to communicate and inter-network with other members.

Flash: An animation component from Macromedia for use in web Browsers. Open source documentation for the Flash document format has been released.

FTP - File Transfer Protocol: One of the earliest file interchange protocols on the Internet. Still a very popular protocol. Generally passes passwords in free text and so has major security limitations.


Host: Any computer that is the central point of connection to run an application or obtain information (eg a Web server). In the Internet a Client Web Browser connects to a Host Web Server to exchange HTML and other information.

HTML - HyperText Mark-up Language: A set of mark-up instructions for creating documents for use on the World Wide Web. The HTML standard is defined and controlled by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). An SGML-compliant DTD for HTML (XHTML) has been published by W3C.

HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol: This defines the communications protocol by which Web Browsers and Web servers communicate.

Hypermedia: The general conceptual approach to interlinking multimedia documents through all forms of object links (including text hyperlinks).

Hypertext: the specific implementation of hypermedia in text form. A particular word or phrase is made active (through mouse click or keyboard action) to launch another related document. The term was coined by Ted Nelson in 1965. The HTML “a” anchor tag is used for hypertext formatting in the World Wide Web.


IEEE/LOM - The IEEE Learning Object Model: An ontology for describing learning objects. Popular in the IT community for describing IT technical/theoretical literature.

IFLA - International Federation of Library Associations The international body representing libraries and the library profession. ILL - Inter-Library Loan: Provision of an article or book by another library for use by your library on a loan basis.

Internet: An internet is a group of networks of computers that are connected by a common protocol. The Internet refers to the global connection of computers using the TCP/IP protocol.

IP - Internet Protocol: A protocol defining the numerical addressing and routing rules on the Internet.

IP - Intellectual Property: The tangible output of creative intellectual activity in a particular expression – eg, a book, a programme, a piece of music, a poem, an invention.

ISO ILL: An international standard for Inter-Library Loans workflow management. Used by Document Delivery Systems.

ISO 639-2: An international standard for country codes. Used by XML and HTML for country definition.


Java: a high-level, object oriented programming language developed by Sun Microsystems. A “p-code” language, it is designed to be portable across most operating platforms through the use of a small “virtual engine” specific to each operating system. That portability and its object-oriented design has been a factor in its popularity.

Javascript: A popular scripting language developed originally by Netscape Communications in order to animate HTML pages. It is only loosely based on Java.


KM - Knowledge Management: The class of software and domain of research concerned with the encoding and discovery of knowledge as a resource.

KWIC - Key Word In Context: A search result display which shows the keyword searched in the sentence context in which it occurs.


LAN - Local Area Network: A group of computer connected together for high-bandwidth file and application sharing.

Library 2.0: A term describing library systems that are enabled for collaboration and interation in a Web 2.0 style and the use of Web 2.0 functions by the library.

LDAP - Lightweight Directory Access Protocol: A commonly used protocol for single-signon to systems.


MARC - Machine Readable Cataloging: A metadata ontology for exchange of bibliographic information – note also MARC XML.

Mark-up: The placement of identifiers in text from which can be inferred information regarding the presentation, formatting and structure of the text or which adds additional commentary regarding the text (but not part of the text). Procedural Mark-up

Multimedia: Any combination of text, audio animation and video content in a digital form.


NewsML - News Mark-up Language: A content exchange framework specifically designed for XML interchange and syndication of news items.


Obsolescence: Specifically in the context of technology: the way in which computer hardware or software becomes out of date in a way that renders its use progressively more difficult or costly.

Ontology: A formal definition of the relationships between content “objects” and framework for describing these content “objects.”

Open Source: The Open Source & Free Software Foundation is a trust-based means of developing high quality software. Distribution of the source code is free, and redistribution on this same basis is mandated through a licensing agreement. The economic argument for such an approach depends on the “reputation value” of the product leading to income through services and as a means of ensuring that a particular software product remains and develops in the open community of developers.


Parser: An application that semantically deciphers content according to specific rules or structures. An XML parser facilitates the hierarchical exploration of an XML document. A language parser may attempt to discover the grammatical constructs in a sentence or computer algorithm.

PHP - PHP Hypertext Processor: (yes, the definition is self-referential, or recursive).

Perl - Practical Extraction and Report Language: A scripting language with strengths in text parsing and processing. Perl is an interpretive language.

Persistence: Establishing a reliable and long-term (rather than transient or anonymous) presence that can last beyond a particular interaction. URL persistence concerns the availability of a web page over the long term at a known location. Session state persistence relates to the use of Cookies to maintain a specific information relationship over time between a browser and a web server.

Protocol: The formal set of rules for communication between network devices or applications. Protocols are generally managed and published by international standards organisations.


RAD - Rapid Application Development: The use of a heterogonous mix of software development tools and development methodologies to accelerate the design process.

RDF - Resource Description Framework: The RDF specification (Lassila & Swick, 1999) aims to provide a formal model using directed graphs to describe the semantics of metadata and of cataloguing web-based resources.


SLA: Service Level Agreement

SCORM: Similar to the IEE/LOM, but providing a richer framework describing the metadata ontology describing educational objects and resources.

Script: a loosely timed, often interpretive, computer programme. Often embedded within an application framework to add user control or dynamic functionality to an application.

Search Engine: a means of cataloguing, classifying and searching based on ranking rules for content on the Web.

SGF - Structured Graph Format: Defines an XML metadata format for exploration of overlapping hierarchies of content - especially websites.

SGML - Standard Generalised Mark-up Language: A universal syntax for defining mark-up language. A “meta-language”.

SOAP - Simple Object Access Protocol: A protocol, now integral to Web Services, for process interaction with a Web site over standard HTTP communication channels.


TCP/IP - Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol: The protocol-level for communication on an Internet. Defines the addresses to be used, the routing rules for traversal of the network and the protocols for file and data interchange.

TEI - Text Encoding Initiative: A key text mark-up standard for SGML mark-up of texts in the Humanities.

Twitter: A Web 2.0 social networking function allowing very short messages to be sent out from multiple devices and subscribed to by an interested audience.


Unicode: An international standard for binary character set encoding of text in different languages.

UNIMARC A variation of MARC sponsored by IFLA - the IFLA Universal Bibliographic Control and International MARC Core Programme (

Unix: An operating system developed in the 1960's and a popular platform for Internet applications. Linux is closely modelled on Unix.

URI - Uniform Resource Identifier: A generalised format for resource identification. A URL is a specific implementation of a URI.

URL - Uniform Resource Locator: The address of a document or other Internet resource. A particular instance of a URN for purposes of web-based addressing.


W3C - The World Wide Web consortium: Responsible for publishing the WWW standards.

Web 2.0: The class of web-based services that deliver social networking and collaborative services on the web. This embrases a broad range of platforms such as FaceBook, Twitter, mash-ups using Web services.

Web Services: That set of protocols called “Web Services” which enable the discovery and integration of business functions (for use by applications) and accessible through the internet.

WSDL - Web Services Description Language: An ontological specification language for Web Services.

WYSIWYG - What You See is What You Get: Multimedia content is edited on-screen with the mark-up hidden and presented as it would be finally published.


XSL: A set of standards for transforming XML into some final form. XSL defines a scripting language for style sheets (XSLT) that can transform an XML mark-up format to another format based on transformational rules, with the source XML and XSLT style sheets defined by XPATH (the workflow language of XSL).

XML – Extensible Mark-up Language: A popular implementation of SGML used for information exchange.


Z39.50: A network-aware OSI-based search engine used to share Digital Library collections. It defines query language properties and methods for persistence of searches.

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glossary.txt · Last modified: 2011/10/18 15:31 by admin

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