Languages of the Internet


W3 Schools Glossary
Comprehensive terms and explanations.

These definitions come from a variety of online sources. Click the term to read more about it.

Hypertext Markup Language is a formatting language used for documents on the World Wide Web. HTML files are plain text files with formatting Codes that tell browsers such as the Netscape Navigator how to display text, position graphics and form items, and display links to other pages.
Extensible Hypertext Markup Language, a stricter remaking of HTML as an application of XML. The successor to HTML.
Dynamic HTML, a mixture of standards including HTML, style sheets, the Document Object Model and scripting.
(Server-parsed HTML) A file extension used to identify HTML pages that contain server-side includes. This extension is not required.
Hypertext Preprocessor, an open source, server-side, HTML embedded scripting language used to create dynamic Web pages. In an HTML document, PHP script (similar syntax to that of Perl or C ) is enclosed within special PHP tags. Because PHP is embedded within tags, the author can jump between HTML and PHP (similar to ASP and Cold Fusion) instead of having to rely on heavy amounts of code to output HTML. And, because PHP is executed on the server, the client cannot view the PHP code. PHP can perform any task that any CGI program can do, but its strength lies in its compatibility with many types of databases.
JavaScript is a simple scripting language that is sent as text and compiled on the client before execution. It was created by Netscape-not Sun Microsystems or JavaSoft. Originally named LiveScript, JavaScript code (which is unrelated to Sun’s Java language) is designed to be embedded into HTML documents. It is a competitor to Microsoft’s VBScript.
Cascading Style Sheets were created in 1997 with the introduction of the HTML 4.0 Standard. Style sheets let an HTML author create an overall consistent design and layout for Web pages. There are three parts to CSS: the styles, their placement, and the fact they can cascade.
Server Site Includes are server-parsed pages, meaning the server scans the page for commands that require additional insertion before the page is sent to the user. back to top SMTP server Short for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, a protocol for sending e-mail messages between servers. Most e-mail systems that send mail over the Internet use SMTP to send messages from one server to another; the messages can then be retrieved with an e-mail client using either POP or IMAP.
eXtensible Mark-up Language, a specification developed by the W3C. XML is a pared-down version of Standard Generalised Mark-Up Language, designed especially for Web documents. It allows designers to create their own customised tags, enabling the definition, transmission, validation, and interpretation of data between applications and between organizations.
Quoting the official RSS v1.0 specification: ‘RDF Site Summary (RSS) is a lightweight multipurpose extensible metadata description and syndication format. RSS is an XML application, conforms to the W3C’s RDF specification and is extensible via XML-namespace and/or RDF based modularization.’ Here’s a tamer description: RSS is a format for syndicating news and the content of news-like sites, including major news sites like Wired, news-oriented community sites like Slashdot, and personal weblogs.
XSL Transformations, a language for transforming XML documents into other XML documents. XSLT is designed for use as part of XSL, which is a style sheet language for XML. In addition to XSLT, XSL includes an XML vocabulary for specifying formatting. XSLT is a W3C specification but also part 2 of the XSL specification.
Interfaces with XML to deliver web services.
Wireless Markup Language which was formerly known as HDML (Handheld Devices Markup Language). WML is a language that allows the text portions of Web pages to be displayed on mobile phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) via wireless access. WML is part of the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) that is being proposed by several vendors to standards bodies.
MathML is an XML application for describing mathematical notation and capturing both its structure and content. The goal of MathML is to enable mathematics to be served, received, and processed on the Web, just as HTML has enabled this functionality for text.
Microsoft’s set of software technologies for connecting information, people, systems, and devices. The technology is based on Web services—small building-block applications that can connect to each other as well as to other, larger applications over the Internet.