Keystone Websites

Glossary

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

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A

Accessibility
Accessibility is a general term used to describe facilities or amenities to assist people with disabilities. In terms of the World Wide Web, this means making the content of a website accessible to people with a disability, so that such people enjoy the same level of access as those without disabilities. It also means making a website available to alternative devices, such as Personal Data Assistants, cellular phones, and web-enabled television applications.
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ASP
Active Server Pages (ASP) is Microsoft's server-side technology for dynamically-generated web pages that is marketed as an adjunct to Internet Information Server (IIS). The market share of ASP is in decline, with the free open source alternative PHP overtaking it in the server-side scripting market. Programming ASP websites is made easier by various built-in objects, such as a cookie-based session object that maintains variables from page to page.
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Apache web server
Apache has been the most popular web server on the Internet since April of 1996. The July 2003 Netcraft Web Server Survey found that 63% of the web sites on the Internet are using Apache, thus making it more widely used than all other web servers combined. Apache HTTP Server is an open source HTTP web server for Unix platforms (BSD, GNU/Linux, and UNIX systems), Microsoft Windows, and other platforms. The Apache HTTP Server is developed and maintained by an open community of developers under the auspices of the Apache Software Foundation.
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B

Bandwidth
The term bandwidth is also used, informally, to mean the amount of data that can be transferred through a connection in a given time period. At Keystone Websites, we do our best to optimize websites so that they use as little bandwidth as possible. This means that web pages load faster for the user, and reduce costs for the website owner.
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C

Commerce
Commerce is the exchange of something of value between two entities. That "something" may be goods, services, information, money, or anything else the two entities consider to have value. In terms of the World Wide Web, commerce is achieved electronically, in a process called e-commerce. Our Commerce Package has been created to take advantage of electronic commerce.
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Content
"Content" refers to the text, images, product information, etc., that a website contains. It also refers to the elements of HTML code that describe those items. In modern websites, content is kept completely separate from the visual layout so that it can be accessed by a variety of devices using various screen sizes and resolutions, and even "screen readers" that speak out a page for the visually-impaired. Maintaining this separation also creates the opportunity to give the user the ability to customize their browsing experience, by applying "skins" to a web page, for example.
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CSS
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a language that is used to describe the stylistic presentation of a structured document written in HTML, XHTML, or XML. The CSS specification is maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). CSS is predominantly used by web page authors to define colors, fonts, layout, and other document characteristics. It is designed primarily to enable the separation of document structure (written in HTML or a related language) from document presentation (written in CSS). This separation provides a number of benefits, including improved content accessibility, greater flexibility and control in the specification of presentational characteristics, and reduced complexity of the structural content. CSS is capable of specifying auditory characteristics and other alternative rendering methods, in addition to its visual formatting capabilities.
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D

Database
A database is an information set organized for flexible searching and utilization. From a website point of view, it can function as the engine for a dynamic site. Small websites can be powered by something as basic as Microsoft's Access database, medium-sized websites are usually powered by the open source MySQL, and enterprise-scale businesses usually run on Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server databases.
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Document Object Model
The Document Object Model is a platform- and language-neutral interface that will allow programs and scripts to dynamically access and update the content, structure and style of documents. The document can be further processed and the results of that processing can be incorporated back into the presented page.
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Domain Name
The Domain Name System, most often known as simply DNS, is a core feature of the Internet. It is a distributed database that handles the mapping between host names (domain names), which are more convenient for humans, and the numerical Internet addresses. The domain name system acts much like an automated phone book, so you can "call" www.yourcompany.com instead of a difficult-to-remember octet of numbers. An example of a domain name is the "cnn" in http://www.cnn.com, with the ".com" part being the domain name suffix.
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Domain Name Registrar
A Domain Name Registrar is an independent organization who is responsible for domain name registrations and routing of Internet domain names. Registration fees vary by registrar, and some registrars insist on listing themselves as the domain owner.
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Domain Name Suffix
Also called a top level domain, the suffix is the part of the domain name that follows the host name. Examples include .com, .net, .org, .us, and other descriptive of country-specific codes. It is often a good idea to register your domain name with all of the three major suffixes (.com, .net, .org) to stop others from attempting to capitalize on your domain name.
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Dynamic
Dynamic has two meanings in web design. A dynamic website is one that is built around a database. The database serves website content dynamically as it is requested, instead of being hard coded into the HTML that describes the web page. Dynamic HTML or DHTML is a technique of creating interactive web sites by using a combination of the static markup language HTML, a client-side scripting language (such as JavaScript) and the style definition language Cascading Style Sheets.
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E

ECMAScript
Please see JavaScript.
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Electronic Commerce
Electronic commerce, or E-commerce, is the buying, selling, marketing, and servicing of products or services over computer networks. It is an electronic business application aimed at commercial transactions. E-commerce is the conduct of business commercial communications and management through electronic methods, such as electronic data interchange and automated data collection systems. Electronic commerce may also involve the electronic transfer of information between businesses.
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F

Firebird
Mozilla Firebird was the former name of Mozilla's Firefox Web browser. Please see Firefox instead.
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Firefox
Mozilla's Firefox Web browser is a revolutionary new browser, designed to exceed the performance of Microsoft's Internet Explorer in every way. It offers pop-up blocking, integrated searching, and a sophisticated system that allows easy access to multiple web pages via tabs. Keystone Websites strongly recommends Mozilla Firefox over all other web browsers currently available.
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Flash
Macromedia Flash is a vector graphics based graphics animation program. The resulting files, sometimes called "flash files", may be included in a web page to view in a web browser, or they may be played on a standalone player. Flash can be used to create anything from simple animations to fully-featured applications, and its powerful scripting language (ActionScript, based on ECMAScript) gives a programmer fine control over objects in the flash environment.
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G

GIF
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is a bitmap image format that is widely used on the World Wide Web, both for still images and for animations. It was introduced in 1987 by CompuServe in order to provide a color image format for their file downloading areas, replacing their earlier RLE format which was black and white only. GIF became popular because it used LZW data compression, which was more efficient than the run-length encoding that formats such as PCX and MacPaint used, and fairly large images could therefore be downloaded in a reasonable amount of time, even with very slow modems. The optional interlacing feature, which stored image scanlines out of order in such a fashion that even a partially downloaded image was somewhat recognizable, also helped GIF's popularity, as a user could abort the download if it was not what was required.
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H

HTML
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is a markup language designed for creating web pages, that is, information presented on the World Wide Web. Defined as a simple "application" of SGML, which is used by organizations with complex publishing requirements, HTML is now an Internet standard maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). HTML generally appears in text files stored on computers connected to the World Wide Web. These files contain information in plain text mixed with markup, that is, instructions for the program on how to display or process the text.
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A hyperlink, or simply a link, is a reference in a hypertext document to another document or other resource. It is similar to a citation in literature. Combined with a data network and suitable access protocol, it can be used to fetch the resource referenced. This can then be saved, viewed, or displayed as part of the referencing document. The most common type of hyperlink is the URL used in the World Wide Web.
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Hypertext
In computing, a hypertext system is one for displaying information that contains references (called hyperlinks) to other information on the system, and for easily publishing, updating and searching for the information. The most well-known hypertext system is the World Wide Web. Computer scientist Ted Nelson coined the word "hypertext" in 1965.
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I

IIS
Internet Information Server, or IIS, is Microsoft's web server software. IIS runs only on Microsoft's Windows operating system. IIS is the second most popular webserver, after the market leader, Apache. It comes bundled with Windows XP Professional, which makes it convenient for testing websites in the local environment.
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Internet
In the general sense, an internet (with a lowercase "i"), a shortened form of the original inter-network, is a computer network that connects several other networks. The art of connecting networks in this way is called internetworking. As a proper noun, the Internet is the publicly available world-wide, interconnected system of computers (plus the information and services they provide and their users) that uses the TCP/IP suite of protocols. Thus, the largest internet in the world is called simply "the" Internet. The Internet is held together by bi- or multilateral commercial contracts, and by technical specifications or protocols that describe how to exchange data over the network. Some of the popular services on the Internet that make use of these protocols are e-mail, Usenet newsgroups, FTP, the World Wide Web, Gopher, SSH, and IRC. Of these, e-mail and the World Wide Web are clearly the most used, and many other services are built upon them, such as mailing lists and weblogs. The Internet makes it possible to provide real-time services such as web radio and webcasts that can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
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Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer, abbreviated IE or MSIE, is a web browser from Microsoft. Currently in version 6 (version 5 for OS X) as of 2003. Internet Explorer is the world's most popular web browser, for reasons that include the fact that it comes built into various versions of Microsoft Windows and comes installed on Apple Macintosh's OS X.
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Intranet
An intranet is an access restricted network used internally in an organisation. Typically the term refers to the internal website. The same concepts and technologies of the World Wide Web such as web browsers and servers running on the internet protocol suite are used to build an intranet. Other internet protocols are commonly used as well, especially FTP and e-mail.
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J

JavaScript
JavaScript is an object-oriented scripting language originally developed by Netscape Communications under the name LiveScript but then renamed to "JavaScript" and given a syntax closer to that of Sun Microsystems' Java language. JavaScript was later standardized by ECMA under the name ECMAScript. The current standard (as of December 1999) is ECMA-262 Edition 3, and corresponds to JavaScript 1.5. Microsoft calls their version JScript. JavaScript is an object-oriented scripting language that connects through interfaces called Document Object Models (DOMs) to applications, especially to the server side (web servers) and the client side Web browser of internet applications. Many web sites use client-side JavaScript technology to create powerful dynamic web applications. It may use Unicode and can evaluate regular expressions (introduced in version 1.2 in Netscape Navigator 4 and Internet Explorer 4). JavaScript expressions contained in a string can be evaluated using the eval function. One major use of JavaScript is to write little functions that are embedded in HTML pages and interact with the DOM of the browser to perform certain tasks not possible in static HTML alone, such as opening a new window, checking input values, changing images as the mouse cursor moves over etc. Unfortunately, the DOMs of browsers are not standardized, different browsers expose different objects or methods to the script, and it is therefore often necessary to write different variants of a JavaScript function for the various browsers.
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M

Merchant Account
A Merchant Account is an account that you set up with your bank to enable you to accept credit card purchases from your customers. The bank collects the payments on your behalf before disbursing them to you. A merchant account for online use is typically referred to as a MOTO Discount Rate (Mail Order / Telephone Order) account. It is different in terms and regulations from a standard merchant account due to the risk involved, since your are not physically seeing either the customer or the credit card, which increases the chances of fraud or charge backs.
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Microsoft Access
Microsoft Access is a database management system from Microsoft, packaged with Office which combines the "Jet" relational database engine with a graphical interface intended to make it possible for relatively unskilled programmers and non-programmer "power users" to build sophisticated "front-ends" to complex databases. One of the major benefits of Access from a programmer perspective is its relative compatibility with SQL; queries may be viewed and edited as SQL statements. Otherwise, it uses Visual Basic for Applications for programming forms and logic. Access is commonly used by small businesses and hobby programmers to create customised systems for handling small tasks (Microsoft Access Development). Its cut and paste functionality can also make it a useful tool for connecting between other databases (eg Oracle and SQL Server) during data or database conversions.
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Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft SQL Server is a database management system produced by Microsoft. It supports a dialect of SQL, the most common database language. It is commonly used by governments and businesses for small databases, and competes with other SQL databases such as MySQL for this market segment.
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Mozilla
Mozilla is world-class open source browser that is designed from the ground up to support open Internet standards across a variety of platforms including Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, OS/2, Solaris, and many more. Mozilla provides users with acclaimed browsing convenience along with power features such as pop-up blocking and tabbed browsing. Mozilla also provides a sophisticated platform for developing web and intranet applications using cutting edge technologies such as XML, SOAP, and XSLT.
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Mozilla Firebird
Mozilla Firebird was the former name of Mozilla's Firefox Web browser. Please see Firefox instead.
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MySQL
MySQL is a very fast, multi-threaded, multi-user and robust SQL (Structured Query Language) relational database server. It was written and is maintained by the Swedish company MySQL AB, which sells support and service contracts as well as commercially licensed copies of MySQL and employs people all over the world who communicate over the Internet. MySQL is the world's most popular open source database, recognized for its speed and reliability, and it is especially suitable for Internet applications.
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P

PayPal
PayPal is an Internet business which allows the transfer of money between email users, avoiding traditional paper methods like checks and money orders. Headquarted in Palo Alto, California, PayPal was founded in 1998 by Peter Thiel and Max Levchin, and it has become the most widely used service of its kind.
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PHP
PHP (originally "Personal Home Page Tools", but now a recursive acronym for "PHP Hypertext Preprocessor") is a widely used open-source programming language used primarily for server-side applications, to develop dynamic web content. It can be seen as an open source alternative to Microsoft's Active Server Pages (ASP) system and to CGI/Perl system. Its ease of use and similarity with the most common structured programming languages, most notably C, Java and Perl, allows most experienced programmers to start developing complex applications with a minimal learning curve. It also enables experienced developers to get involved with dynamic web content applications without having to learn a whole new set of functions and practices. One of the more attractive parts of PHP is that it is more than just a scripting language. Thanks to its modular design, PHP can also be used to develop GUI applications, and it can be used from the command line just as Perl or Python can be. PHP allows, among other things, easy interaction with a large number of relational database systems (Oracle, DB2, MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc.), while maintaining a simple and straightforward syntax. PHP runs on every major operating system, including Unix, Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X and can interact with all major web servers.
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PNG
PNG (pronounced ping or pee-en-gee) is a relatively new bitmap image format that is becoming popular on the Web and elsewhere. The motivation for creating the PNG format came in early 1995, after Unisys announced that it would be enforcing U.S. Patent 4,558,302 (a software patent) and foreign counterparts on the LZW data compression algorithm used for GIF. There were also other problems with the GIF format which made a replacement desirable, notably its limitation to 256 colors at a time when computers capable of displaying far more than 256 colors were becoming common. Although GIF allows for animation, it was decided that PNG should be a single-image format. A companion format called MNG has been defined for animation. PNG gained popularity in August 1999, after Unisys terminated its royalty-free patent licenses to developers of free software and non-commercial software. PNG uses a non-patented lossless data compression method known as deflation. PNG combines this with prediction: for each image line a filter method is chosen which predicts the color of each pixel based on the colors of previous pixels and subtracts the predicted color of the pixel from the actual color. An image line thus filtered is often more compressible than the raw image line would be. PNG can achieve greater compression than GIF on almost any image, but some implementations make poor choices of filter methods and therefore produce unnecessarily large PNG files. PNG files support full alpha transparency, making them perfect for web applications. Sadly, Internet Explorer does not yet support this property natively.
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R

RDF
Resource Description Framework (RDF) is the specification for a metadata model (often implemented as an application of XML) that is maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). This model is based upon the idea of making statements about resources in the form of a subject-predicate-object expression (in RDF terms, called a triple). The subject is essentially the resource, the "thing", being described. The predicate is what trait or aspect about that resource that is being described. And the object is what the value of that trait is. The terminology is taken from logic and linguistics where subject-predicate or subject-predicate-object structures have very similar but definitely distinct meanings.
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Recursion
See recursion.
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S

Shopping Cart
An electronic shopping cart is software which allows customers shopping on a website to place product orders for multiple products from a website. The software automatically calculates and totals orders for customers and indicates the total price including post and packing. The shopping cart software must be installed on the web server which hosts the site, or on a secure server that accepts sensitive ordering information.
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SGML
The Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) is a metalanguage in which one can define markup languages for documents.
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SQL
Structured Query Language, or SQL, is a declarative programming language for use in quasi-relational databases. As the name implies, SQL is designed for a specific, limited purpose -- querying data contained in a relational database. If you have ever run a query to get information from a Microsoft Access database, the software queries the database in SQL.
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SVG
SVG is a language for describing two-dimensional graphics in XML. SVG allows for three types of graphic objects: vector graphic shapes (e.g., paths consisting of straight lines and curves), images and text. Graphical objects can be grouped, styled, transformed and composited into previously rendered objects. The feature set includes nested transformations, clipping paths, alpha masks, filter effects and template objects. SVG drawings can be interactive and dynamic. Animations can be defined and triggered either declaratively (i.e., by embedding SVG animation elements in SVG content) or via scripting. SVG is a language for rich graphical content, and performs a similar function to Macromedia's Flash.
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T

TCP/IP
The Internet protocol suite is the set of protocols that implement the protocol stack on which the Internet runs. It is sometimes called the TCP/IP protocol suite, after two of the many protocols that make up the suite: the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP), which were the first two defined.
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U

Uploading
"Uploading" is another way of describing the transfer of local files (files stored on your computer) to a server connected to the Internet. The process is sometimes referred to as "publishing" or "put", and it usually involves utilizing the File Transfer Protocol (FTP).
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URI
URI, short for Uniform Resource Identifier, is an Internet protocol. A URI is a short string of characters that conform to a certain syntax. The string indicates a name or address that can be used to refer to an abstract or physical resource. The URI syntax is essentially a URI scheme name like "http", "ftp", "mailto", etc., followed by a colon character, and then a scheme-specific part. The semantics of the scheme-specific part are determined by the specifications that govern the schemes, although the URI syntax does force all schemes to reserve certain characters for special purposes, without always saying what those purposes are. A URI may also have, appended to the end, a fragment identifier, immediately preceded by "#". The fragment identifier identifies a fragment of the resource that is identified by the rest of the URI.
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URL
A Uniform Resource Locator, or URL, is a standardized address for some resource (such as a document or image) on the Internet. The URL was a fundamental innovation in creating the World Wide Web. It combines into one simple address the four basic items of information necessary to find a document anywhere on the Internet: the protocol to use to communicate with that machine, the machine or domain name to go to, an open network port on the target machine connected to some service, and the path or file name on that machine.
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V

Visual Layout
A good visual layout is essential for maintaining an organization's image. By separating the content of a page from its layout, it is possible to give users a choice of layouts, allowing them to customize their experience. At Keystone Websites, we like to create layouts that are uncomplicated and elegant. We believe that text should be easy to read, and we also believe in allowing the user to resize that text to suit their preferences. We like to add images and graphics that complement the main content, instead of replacing it, and we believe that user interface images (like buttons) should have text equivalents for maximum flexibility. When appropriate, we like to add visual flair by utilizing vector-based technologies such as Macromedia Flash
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W

W3C
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is a consortium that produces standards for the World Wide Web. It is headed by Tim Berners-Lee, the original creator of the HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) and HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) on which the Web is based.
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Web Server
A web server is a computer (or specialized software running on a computer) responsible for serving web pages to a client (usually a web browser) when a user requests a page. The browser sends a request to the web server, which responds. After a brief "negotiation" (using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or HTTP), and sometimes some extra processing, the web server sends the page back to the browser for rendering.
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Website
A website, or web site, is a collection of web pages, that is, documents accessible via the World Wide Web on the Internet. The pages of a website will be accessed from a common root URL, the homepage, and usually reside on the same physical server. The URLs of the pages organize them into a hierarchy, although the hyperlinks between them control how the reader perceives the overall structure.
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World Wide Web
The World Wide Web (the "Web" or "WWW" for short) is a hypertext system that operates over the Internet. To view the information, you use software program called a web browser to retrieve pieces of information (called "documents" or "web pages") from web servers (or "websites") and view them on your screen. You can then follow hyperlinks on the page to other documents or even send information back to the server to interact with it. The act of following hyperlinks is often called "surfing" the web. The core functionality of the Web is based on three standards: The Uniform Resource Locator (URL), which specifies how each page of information is given a unique "address" at which it can be found; Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which specifies how the browser and server send the information to each other, and Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), a method of encoding the information so it can be displayed on a variety of devices.
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X

XHTML
Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML), or simply XTML, is a markup language that has the same expressive possibilites as HTML, but conforms to the XML standard which is more strict. XHTML is a recommendation of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Most of the recent versions of popular web browsers render XHTML properly, and many older browsers will also render XHTML as it is mostly a subset of HTML and most browsers do not require valid HTML. Similarly, almost all web browsers that are compatable with XHTML also render HTML properly. XHTML's true power is unleashed when used in conjunction with Cascading Style Sheets. Although HTML can be used with CSS, XHTML moves to force its use for layout and style. This makes the separation of content and form an integral part of the webpage's code. At Keystone Websites, we prefer to author using XHTML because of these advantages.
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XML
XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a W3C Recommendation for creating special-purpose markup languages. It is a simplified subset of SGML, capable of describing many different kinds of data. Its primary purpose is to facilitate the sharing of structured text and information across the Internet. Languages based on XML (for example, RDF, SMIL, MathML, and SVG) are themselves described in a formal way, allowing programs to modify and validate documents in these languages without prior knowledge of their form.
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Some portions of the above text reproduced from the Wikipedia.