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Chapter 1. Warmup > Webspeak demystified

Webspeak demystified

HOLY MACKEREL. What started out as a mini-glossary turned into a glossary-glossary. There are so many new words, many of them acronyms or slang, in this ever-changing field. Webspeak is a whole new language, and every Web designer needs to learn how to speak it. Skim the glossary now, then go back to it later on when you have a wider frame of reference. Pay particular attention to the individual definitions of (and differences between) the file formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, and SWF. Terms that we use frequently in this book, especially in the Export chapter, are marked here with this symbol:.

alt label

Alternate label. A text label for a graphic link. Alt labels display as a Web page loads, and can be used as an alternate method for linking by Web viewers whose image display is turned off.


The addition of pixels along the edges of objects or color areas to make them appear smoother (less jaggy) on screen. Anti-aliasing slightly increases a file's size. We recommend that you use it for most kinds of graphics, but not for small type.


The speed at which data can be transmitted over the Internet. Band with is usually measured in bits per second (bps), thousands of bits per second (Kbps), or millions of bits per second (Mbps). A phone line, analog modem, for example, can transmit 56K bits per second. A cable modem can transmit at about 300 Kbps.


A commercial advertisement on the Web. Banners usually occupy only a portion of a Web page, and are usually animated GIFs.


An image that's composed of pixels in a grid configuration (also called a "raster" image). Photoshop and other image-editing programs produce bitmap images. The Web is a bitmap arena.


A browser feature that lets you save a link to a Web page so you can easily return to it later. In Netscape Communicator, it's called a bookmark; in Internet Explorer, it's called a favorite.


Short for robot; also called a "spider." A bot is a software robot that scans the Web for addresses (URLs) to include in search engine databases.


An application (e.g., Netscape Navigator, Netscape Communicator, Internet Explorer) that enables a user to access, navigate through, and download from the World Wide Web.


A client is a computer station that requests a service of another computer system (usually a server on a network).

color depth

The number of bits used to represent the color of each pixel in an animation or a still image. A 1-bit image has only black and white pixels; a 8-bit image can contain up to 256 colors; a 24-bit image can contain up to 16.7 million colors.

color model

The method by which colors are defined. Computer monitors use red, green, and blue (RGB) light to produce a spectrum of color. This is called "additive" color. Documents are printed, on the other hand, using tiny dots of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK) inks, or using individual mixed spot colors (e.g., Pantone). This is called "subtractive" color.

Regardless of which View you choose for the Color palette in LiveMotion—Saturation, Value, Hue, HSB, RGB, or CIEL—the colors will always be displayed as RGB.


The reduction of a file's storage size in order to speed up its download time over the Internet. Compression has no effect on the dimensions of an image.


Cascading Style Sheets. Sets of rules applied to HTMLdocuments that control the location, fonts, point size, colors, and other attributes of HTML text and graphics. The style sheet, browser, and server ascertain what type of monitor, connection, and system the visitor is using and then the style sheet cascades down through its list to find the one that's most appropriate for that visitor.This enables every visitor to see a site at its best. A class is a group of HTMLelements chosen by a Web designer to which the same layout attributes are applied via a cascading style sheet.


Color Look-Up Table. A system for storing the values of all colors in graphic image. CLUTs are used by image-editing programs to convert images between color models and by the browsers to display images.


Dynamic Hypertext Markup Language. A version of HTML that is used to describe text, graphics, animation, actions, layers, HTML, JavaScript, and cascading style sheets.


The pseudo-blending of pixel colors to simulate missing colors. Dithering can cause an image to look grainy. It's used when a file's color depth is reduced for faster downloading.


Transmit data from a server to a user's hard disk.


An Internet security system that's designed to prevent unwanted intruders from accessing sensitive data on a network.


The division of a Web page into sections. A different HTML page can be loaded into each frame. Frames are used, for example, to create a column of buttons or a navigation bar that will remain visible as a viewer flips through various pages on a site.

frame rate

The rate at which an animation plays in frames per second. The higher the frame rate, the smoother the playback, and the larger the file size.


File Transfer Protocol. A method by which files are transmitted to, and downloaded from, an Internet server.


Graphics Interchange File format. A widely used lossless, color bitmap file format used for compressing and saving graphics for display over the Internet. GIF is an 8-bit format, capable of saving up to 256 colors. GIF is generally better suited for sharp-edged graphics that contain flat color areas than for continuous-tone imagery.

The GIF89a format (unlike JPEG) is used for displaying multiple images in sequence (called "multiblocks") in order to create an animation effect. GIF89a also supports interlacing and single-color transparency.Files called "animated GIFs" or "transparent GIFs" are in GIF89a format.

hash table

A sequential list of hyperlinks (e.g., a list of page number links that a visitor can choose from).


A powerful Web server with a fast, permanent connection to the Internet. Host servers store Web sites for customers.


A location in a graphic or image map, which when clicked on, links the viewer to another page or site.


Hypertext Markup Language. The coding language that uses structural and style tags to create hypertext documents on the Web. All Web pages must be written to fit into the structure of HTML, whether the tags are assigned to page elements by the Web designer or it's done invisibly behind the scenes, as in LiveMotion.


Hypertext Transfer Protocol. The method by which HTML files are transmitted over the Internet.


See [link Short for hyperlink. A word or icon on a Web page that a viewer clicks to get to another page in the same site (an internal link) or to another site (an external link). A link can be an underlined or boldface word, a picture, a word in another color, a 3D button, a rollover, or simply a word standing by itself. (Tip: Make it obvious.) Any kind of graphic link—still image or animation—is called hypermedia. When the pointer is over a link on a Web page, the link address displays at the bottom of the browser window.]

Underlined text that a visitor clicks on to get to other Web pages.

image map

An image on a Web site that contains more than one link. Each hotspot a visitor clicks in an image map activates a different link. To find out whether a graphic is an image map, move the mouse over it. If the hand icon appears there or the address changes in the status bar at the bottom of the browser window, it means the mouse is currently over an image map.

inline graphic

A graphic that's incorporated into an HTMLfile. Non-inline graphics have to be downloaded separately.


A private, internal-use-only Web site that can only be accessed by members. To prevent entry by nonmembers, Intranet sites use an electronic security system known as a "firewall."


The gradual downloading of an image with successively increasing clarity and resolution until the final, highest resolution image renders on screen. The first, and lowest resolution image, is called the "low-source image." The GIF89a, PNG, and Progressive JPEG (not the standard JPEG) file formats support interlacing.


Internet Service Provider. A service that provides Internet access to its members (e.g., America Online, CompuServe, Earthlink).


A scripting language developed by Netscape that enables designers to add animation, rollovers, and sound effects to Web pages. JavaScripts are embedded into HTMLfiles.


Joint Photographic Experts Group. A graphics file format used for saving bitmap images at varying degrees of compression. JPEG compression is lossy, meaning it causes image degradation, but the loss isn't necessarily noticeable or objectionable. JPEG is capable of saving millions of colors, but it doesn't support transparency, so you can't drop the background out from a JPEG image. Unlike GIF, JPEG can only be animated using JavaScript. JPEG is best suited for continuous-tone images.

An offshoot of JPEG, Progressive JPEG, uses interlacing to download images and has an even better compression scheme. Progressive JPEG isn't yet supported by all Web browsers.


A frame in an animation that marks a key property of an object (e.g., its topmost position or its lowest opacity) at a specific moment in time. The insertion of additional frames between keyframes is called "tweening." Tweening is done automatically by the application. The number of frames inserted depends on the file's current frames-per-second rate.


Local Area Network. A computer network that's restricted to one specific geographic location.


Short for hyperlink. A word or icon on a Web page that a viewer clicks to get to another page in the same site (an internal link) or to another site (an external link). A link can be an underlined or boldface word, a picture, a word in another color, a 3D button, a rollover, or simply a word standing by itself. (Tip: Make it obvious.) Any kind of graphic link—still image or animation—is called hypermedia. When the pointer is over a link on a Web page, the link address displays at the bottom of the browser window.

See also [navigation]


The transmission via e-mail of news or news letters over the Internet only to subscribers.


The continuous playback of an animation. An animation can be programmed to play once, a specific number of times, or forever.


A compression scheme (e.g., JPEG) that causes data loss from an image. A lossless compression scheme doesn't cause data loss (e.g., GIF). Data loss as a result of compression isn't always objectionable. It depends on the type of image being compressed and how much it's compressed.


Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. A method for attaching non-text files (e.g., photos, graphics, tables) to e-mail messages for transmission over the Internet.


A navigation bar on a Web page typically lists various subjects or categories. Each category is a link that a visitor can click to access another part of the same site or another site. Each site has its own overall organizational scheme, or navigation system, the purpose of which is to help visitors access the information they need as quickly and easily as possible.


Short for Internet.


A new type file format developed jointly by Adobe and Microsoft that allows fonts to be embedded into Web pages. When OpenType is used, visitors always see the Web page in the designer's font of choice—not in a substitute font.


When a file is optimized, it is saved in one of the file formats used for online images (e.g., GIF, JPEG, PNG, or SWF), and compression, dithering, transparency, and other settings are chosen for it. The purpose for optimizing a file is to speed up the time it takes to download on the Web.


A Web page (HTML file). All Web pages contain text; many Web pages also contain graphics; and some Web pages also contain animations and/or rollovers.


Portable Document Format. A format developed by Adobe Systems, Inc. that compresses a file while preserving its formatting so it can be transferred from one computer to another. A PDF file can be viewed on screen or printed.


Portable Network Graphics (pronounced "ping"). A lossless file format that's used for compressing and saving images on the Web. PNG supports 256-level (8-bit) transparency and only JavaScript animation, and has its own gamma correction mechanism. PNG can save up to 16.7 million colors, and it has a superior interlacing feature (the initial low-res image that you see as a PNG downloads is crisper than the initial image you see as a GIF downloads). PNG still isn't supported by all the browsers.


Pixels per inch. The unit of measurement used to measure image resolution (the amount of pixel data that is stored per inch). 72 ppi is a sufficient resolution for saving graphics for the Web.


The AppleComputer system software that compresses and displays desktop videos, animations, sounds, and still images. QuickTime is used on both the MacOS and Windows platforms.


An area on a Web page that triggers a screen event when the user moves the mouse over it or clicks on it. The screen event can be a change in color or opacity or it can be the appearance of an image, text, or an animation. A rollover can even include sound. When a rollover triggers a screen event at another location on a Web page, it's called a "remote" or "secondary" rollover. Every rollover has a Normal state (no action), and one or all of these states: Over (mouse over), Down (mouse down), or Out (mouse up).

search engine

A Web site that serves as a portal to help users locate Web pages. After a user enters a keyword, phrase, or URL (Web address) in an entry field, the search engine displays a list of sites bearing that string of words (with links to those sites). Popular search engine sites include: http://excite.com; http://hotbot.com; http://infoseek.com; http://yahoo.com; http://miningco.com, and http://altavisa.com.

Search engines are also used within indi- vidual Web sites to help visitors locate keywords within the site (e.g., go to http://Amazon.com or http://Barnesandnoble.com and type "Weinmann" in the Search field. A listing of our current and out-of-print books will appear). Some sites (e.g. Yahoo) also have directories in which Web sites are organized into categories.


A powerful computer that has a permanent connection to the Internet and serves as a storing house for Web sites. Also called a "host."


A Macromedia software component that compresses and exports Director movies for playback on the Web. The newest versions of Shockwave support streaming of movie elements.


Slicing is the division of an image into sections, with each section fitting into one cell of an HTML table. Each slice can be optimized independently and can contain its own links, animations, and rollover effects.

source image

A graphic that displays on a Web page via a browser.

splash screen

The opening page that appears when a user first gets to a Web site. (Also the opening screen when an application launches.)


A method of transferring text, sounds, graphics, animation, and QuickTime video over the Web so it's processed by the visitor's system in a continuous stream—it starts displaying before the whole file is finished downloading.


Scalable Vector Graphics. A new file format developed specifically for the Web. Vector graphics exported as SVG stay as vectors in the browsers—they don't have to be rasterized. In addition, the SVGformat supports fills, gradients, blends, animation, and interactivity in both vector and raster graphics. It allows for searchable text. It allows visitors to zoom in on details on a Web page. And it produces smaller file sizes with faster download times. What more could anyone ask for?


SWF is a Flash-based vector format that is used to export compositions containing animations. SWF files can be read by most browsers with the Flash plug-in. It is suitable for animations with solid-color areas and sharp-edged objects. It saves only solid-color backgrounds. For multi-layer objects, which cannot be saved as vectors, the SWF format will reference or embed a raster file (JPEG or PNG-Indexed).


A method for organizing text and graphics into separate cells on a Web page.


A bitmap graphic that's used in a repeating formation as a background for a Web page.


A object's opacity. An object with 0% opacity is completely see-through. The GIF, PNG, SWF, and SVG file formats support transparency; JPEG does not.


The addition of frames in between key-frames in an animation.


Transmit files from one computer to another over the Internet. In order to get a home page onto the Internet, the HTML files for the pages must be uploaded to the server chosen to host the Web site.


Uniform Resource Locator. The address assigned to a particular page on the Internet.


A method for describing and storing objects using mathematical coordinates. FreeHand and Illustrator are vector applications. A vector graphic can be converted into a bit map graphic by a process known as rasterization.


The 216 colors that the Unix, Windows, MacOS, and other platforms have in common. When the Web-safe color box is checked on the LiveMotion Color palette, only Web-safe colors will be displayed on the palette.

World Wide Web

The part of the Internet on which HTMLpages are displayed and that uses HTTP to display them. World Wide Web pages can be viewed on any computer with a browser and access to the Internet.



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