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A device that connects networks using different protocols, allowing information exchange.


See [gigabit]

See [gigabyte]

Someone who eats, sleeps, and drinks technology and who lives in the realm of the intellectual, often lacking concern for their physical appearance. Geeks always must have the latest gadget. Sometimes called a nerd—there is a difference between the terms, but it tends to be religious or philosophical rather than practical.

See also [techie]

geographic navigation

See also [language and geographic navigation]
See also [navigation]

geographic places

Capitalize geographic areas when they are definite geographic places, regions, areas, and countries, for example

Central America, East Asia, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe, Northern Ireland, Southeast Asia, Southern Europe, The Hague, the Midlands, the Middle East, the Midwest (in the US), the South (in the US), the West, West Coast (of the US), Western Europe

However, their adjectives can be lowercase:

Faulkner was a southern writer.

Use lowercase for province, county, state, and city, when not strictly part of the name:

Washington state, New York city

Use lowercase for east, west, north, south, except when part of a name (South Africa).

getting linked

When other websites link to yours it’s like embedded word of mouth and is a powerful means of promoting content. Alexa.com gives information on how many links a website has.

Another website will link to you only if it feels that you have valuable content that its readers want. The easiest way to get links is to offer reciprocal linking. Ideally, however, you want to get as many websites as possible to link to you without having to link back to them. The stronger your content is, the more chance you have of getting websites to link to you. However, having quality content is not enough. You need to allocate staff to contact targeted websites and propose they link to you.

Remember, getting linked is a slow process, but it is well worth it in the long run.

See also [promoting content]


Stands for graphic interchange format, a compression format for images, particularly common on the Internet for non-photographic images.

See also [graphics]


1,073,741,824 bits, abbreviated Gb.


1,073,714,824 bytes (1,024 megabytes), abbreviated GB.

global navigation

Global navigation contains links to pages that must be accessible from every page on the site. Such links include the key sections of content that the organization has to offer (Products, Services, Support, etc.). Global navigation should be placed at the top and bottom of every page. In smaller websites, where there is no core navigation, the global navigation is often found near the top of the page in the left column.

Global navigation acts as an anchor point for the reader. It’s how they easily get back to central parts of the website. Thus, once agreed on, it should not be changed, except for very good reasons. The regular reader of the website will have become used to it and will be confused by such changes.

Global navigation should always be viewable from the first screen. Ideally, it should be near the top of the screen, and should be integrated into the masthead. (See masthead.) The global navigation should always start with a “Home” link. It is highly recommended to also have “Contact” and “About” links.

If the website is a sub-site of a larger website, then a link to the homepage of the larger website needs to be considered. For example: “microsoft.com Home,” “Office Home.” These links should be clearly separated to avoid confusion.

Global navigation should not have more than eight links. If a global navigation is to have more than eight links, it is highly recommended to break it into two sections. The first section should deal with essential “housekeeping” links, such as Home, Contact, Help, and so on. The second section should deal with more marketing-driven links such as Products, Services, Solutions, Support, and so on. The second section should contain a “Home” link for the product or product group, such as “Office Home.”

It is recommended that the marketing-driven global navigation is in a larger size font than the housekeeping global navigation, as it is a more important navigation to present to the reader.

Where there is a relatively small quantity of content on the website, it may suffice to have only a global navigation on the homepage. In other words, there is no need for core navigation.

For design reasons, the global navigation may appear as a graphic at the top of the page. It should also be presented as text links in the footer. This is important from an accessibility and search engine optimization point of view. See www.ibm.com for an example.

See also [core navigation]
See also [navigation]
See also [accessibility]
See also [search engine registration and optimization]


See [style guide]

This is a peer-to-peer file-sharing network that allows Internet users to swap any sort of file without having to go through a central server.


See [collective nouns]

Stands for General Packet Radio Service, an enhancement to the GSM wireless system that supports the transfer of data packets, thus speeding up activities such as Web browsing and file transfer.


A picture may indeed say a thousand words, but on the Web that same picture might also take up 1,000 KB. Compare that with the 5 KB that 1,000 words of perfect English take up. GIFs and JPEGs allow smaller file sizes, but at the cost of quality. Until we reach broadband nirvana (circa 2005 or later), minimal use of graphics is advised.

On the homepage, all logos and associated graphics should be kept to a minimum size (preferably 7 KB) and should link to the story they are related to, if any. If you believe the reader might wish to see a larger version of the graphic, provide a small version, with a link to a larger version. Inform the reader of the size of the larger version. For example: “Click here for larger version (20 KB).”

All images should have associated “ALT” text. This is helpful, as the information can be read before the graphic downloads, and it also supports readers who have switched off graphics in their browser. The ALT tag is also essential for readers with visual impairments.

In general, avoid animating graphics. If it is animated, give the reader the choice to stop/start the animation. Alternatively, it can animate just once and then stop.

For pictures, save as .jpeg. For other graphics, save as .gif.

See also [accessibility]
See also [ALT text]

graphics within documents

A graphic should usually be right-aligned or horizontal across the column (left-aligned can cause accessibility problems). A good place for them to appear is at the top of the document, underneath the heading. A graphic should not dominate the screen.

If the graphic’s copyright is different from the document’s, the copyright information should appear before the descriptive text. If the copyright notice is already embedded in the graphic, there’s no need to repeat the information.

Follow the normal rules for graphics.

See also [graphics]
See also [website layout and design]


Stands for Global System for Mobile Communications, the standard digital wireless technology in Europe and Asia.


Stands for graphical user interface, and pronounced “gooey,” an environment that represents programs, files, and options by means of icons, menus, and dialog boxes on the screen, which was popularized by the Mac in the 1980s.

GUI widgets

Ensure you use GUI widgets, such as radio buttons and checkboxes, as readers have come to expect. For example, a reader should be able to select only one radio button, whereas they can select multiple checkboxes. Books such as Microsoft Windows User Experience (published by the Microsoft Press in 1999) will help you with this.



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