WordPress.org Offers Helpful Glossary of Key Terms and Terminology about Blogging to Bloggers in the Blogoshpere and Businesses with Professionals Interested in Learning More About the InternetThursday, October 16, 2008
Dulles Technology Corridor and DC Metro residents know the truth about the Internet. No matter what older generations and former print marketing moguls say, the IT World of advertising and communication is here to stay. In a world where gasoline prices kill families wallets’ cash while exhaust emissions from commuter vehicles are busy boring holes in the ozone layer, helping to change the climate to melt the polar ice caps, and to ruin what is left of our old growth forest trees with acid rain, telecommuters are making the choice to stay home and go green… and the evidence can be seen with the rise of blogging as both a necessary business practice and as a literary art form.
Unlike news media feeding reports and stories and leading viewers to believe that the newscasters themselves are reporting public opinion, blogs allow a host to establish a presentation format. After information in text, audio file, or video stream is posted, bloggers have the opportunity to present their story, argument, or opinion. With lightening speed, blog posts rise to the top of search engines where tech fans from across the globe can instantaneously access the latest info-dose on what ever key term or hot topic they are curious about and have sought to read. Like rapid fire from a machine gun, the mysterious world responds one comment and profile appearance at a time. Regular print newspapers, distributed newsletters, and printed journals companies have been left bleeding, riddled with the deep holes of absent readers who are tired of non-interactive and stale media.
To those Luddites who fear technological advancement, we out here in the cyber world say we understand. Funny enough, we’ve managed to hear your concerns thanks to our cel phones and wave files. We’ve managed to read academically about your arguments from essays and articles posted on the web (scanned from the original printed paper texts). Most of us have even managed to finish a classic e-book or two online over the past few years that we’ve found and accessed from the library databanks around the world. As such, we would like to dispel the myth that technology has created and entire Generation of X, X, and Z students who cannot read. On the contrary: We read everything we can find.
The difference between us under 50 us and over 50 them is that rather than taking time to relax and savor the experience of leisure reading, we in the young pup sesame street generation go for the gusto and live by a creedo of roller coaster ride speed, late night hours, and caffeine junkies and try to read it and learn it all just as fast as we humanly can.
Now, as for interpersonal and professional communication skills, one has to admit that there is an increasingly widening divide in the common and every day vocabulary of those individuals who are net friendly and the others who went golfing without their blackberry out and in hand between each opportunity to yell, “FORE!” To that end, there are those of us out here somewhere floating about in the middle. We understand how business, advertising, and community service used to be done but we just can’t see a reason to want to shake the technology bug. In the old world, habits like a proper handshake, eye contact, and smile, and tipping of a hat were common ways to communicate positive experiences. Now, those same folks are looking around, seeing the Internet or hearing tech friendly folks talk (and it is a safe bet to say their main thought appears to be a combination of LOL and WTF).
Understanding that sentiment, the kind folks at WordPress (a free service blog template form) have offered up a tremendously helpful glossary of key terms and slang techie phrases to help “get the word out” about blogging and blogger vocabulary. As you read below, whatever your proficiency level on the net, hopefully you’ll find a simple explanation or two to some interesting terms a modern professional working in any capacity online really ought to know. Thanks, WordPress… you’re making the world a better place and yourselves even more helpful and appreciated people to know.
~~ Kae Davis
An absolute path or full path is a unique location of a file or directory name within a computer or filesystem, and usually starts with the root directory or drive letter. Directories and subdirectories listed in a path are usually separated by a slash
To find the absolute path of a page, copy the text below into a new text file, save the file as
path.php. Then open it in a Web browser (for example,
<?php $p = getcwd(); echo $p; ?>
See also: Relative Path
External links: Wikipedia: Path (computing)
A full URI.
Apache is short for Apache HTTP Server project, an open source web server software produced by the Apache Software Foundation. It is the most commonly used web server on the internet, and is available on many platforms, including Windows, Unix/Linux, and Mac OS X. Apache serves as a great foundation for publishing WordPress-powered sites.
An array is one of the basic data structures used in computer programming. An array contains a list (or vector) of items such as numeric or string values. Arrays allow programmers to randomly access data. Data can be stored in either one-dimensional or multi-dimensional arrays.
A one-dimension array seven (7) elements would be:
An example of two-dimensional array, 7 by 3 elements in size, would be:
ASCII is short for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Pronounced as “ask ee”, it is a standard set of codes used to represent numbers, letters, symbols, and punctuation marks.
External links: ASCII at Wikipedia (with character set table)
A format for syndicating content on news-like sites, viewable by Atom-aware programs called news readers or aggregators.
An avatar is a graphic image or picture that represents a user.
External links: Avatar (computing) at Wikipedia
See also: gravatar
Binaries refer to compiled computer programs, or executables. Many open source projects, which can be re-compiled from source code, offer pre-compiled binaries for the most popular platforms and operating systems.
A blog, or weblog, is an online journal, diary, or serial published by a person or group of people.
Blogs are typically used by individuals or peer groups, but are occasionally used by companies or organizations as well. In the corporate arena, the only adopters of the blog format so far have tended to be design firms, web media companies, and other “bleeding edge” tech firms.
Blogs often contain public as well as private content. Depending on the functionality of the CMS software that is used, some authors may restrict access — through the use of accounts or passwords — to content that is too personal to be published publicly.
Blogging is the act of writing in one’s blog. To blog something is to write about something in one’s blog. This sometimes involves linking to something the author finds interesting on the internet.
The blogosphere is the subset of internet web sites which are, or relate to, blogs.
A blogroll is a list of links to various blogs or news sites. Often a blogroll is “rolled” by a service which tracks updates (using feeds) to each site in the list, and provides the list in a form which aggregates update information.
External links: News aggregator at Wikipedia
- The WordPress Press It bookmarklet allows a user to quickly blog whichever web site he/she is currently viewing.
- The del.icio.us bookmarklets allow a user to quickly post a link to his/her del.icio.us bookmarks list.
- the Flickr bookmarklet allows a user to view all images on the page he/she is currently viewing, then select one or more to post to his/her Flickr photostream.
- Tantek’s favelets
See also: blog
A Variable or expression which evaluates to either true or false.
Each post in WordPress is filed under a category. Thoughtful categorization allows posts to be grouped with others of similar content and aids in the navigation of a site. Please note, the post category should not be confused with the Link Categories used to classify and manage Links.
CGI (Common Gateway Interface) is a specification for server-side communication scripts designed to transfer information between a Web server and a web-client (browser). Typically, HTML pages that collect data via forms use CGI programming to process the form data once that data is submitted by the client.
A character entity is a method used to display special characters normally reserved for use in HTML. For example, the less than (<) and greater than (>) are used as part the HTML tag structure, so both symbols are reserved for that use. But, if you need to display those symbols on your site, you can use character entities. For example:
<for the less than (<) symbol
>for the greater than (>) symbol
Related articles: Fun Character Entities
A character set is a collection of symbols (letters, numbers, punctuation, and special characters), when used together, represent meaningful words in a language. Computers use an encoding scheme so members of a character set are stored with a numeric value (e.g. 0=A, 1=B, 2=C, 3=D). In addition, a collation determines the order (i.e alphabetic) to use when sorting the character set. By default, WordPress uses the Unicode UTF-8 (utf8) character set for the WordPress MySQL database tables created during the installation process. Beginning with Version 2.2, the database character set (and collation) is defined in the wp-config.php file. Also note, the character set used for syndication feeds is set in the Administration > Settings > Reading panel.
Collation refers to the order used to sort the letters, numbers, and symbols of a given character set. For example, because WordPress, by default, uses the UTF-8 (utf8) character set, and when the WordPress MySQL database tables are created during the installation process, MySQL assigns utf8_general_ci collation to those table. Beginning with Version 2.2, the collation (and character set) used by WordPress is defined via the wp-config.php file.
Comments are a feature of blogs which allow readers to respond to posts. Typically readers simply provide their own thoughts regarding the content of the post, but users may also provide links to other resources, generate discussion, or simply compliment the author for a well-written post.
Comments can be controlled and regulated through the use of filters for language and content, and often times can be queued for approval before they are visible on the web site. This is useful in dealing with comment spam.
See also: blog
External links: Hyperlink at Wikipedia
Content consists of text, images, or other information shared in posts. This is separate from the structural design of a web site, which provides a framework into which the content is inserted, and the presentation of a site, which involves graphic design. A Content Management System changes and updates content, rather than the structural or graphic design of a web site.
Content Management System
See also: blog
cPanel is a popular web-based administration tool that many hosting providers provide to allow users to configure their own accounts using an easy-to-use interface.
External links: cPanel website
CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, is a W3C open standards programming language for specifying how a web page is presented. It allows web site designers to create formatting and layout for a web site independently of its content.
A database in computing terms is software used to manage information in an organized fashion. WordPress uses the MySQL relational database management system for storing and retrieving the content of your blog, such as posts, comments, and so on.
Deprecated functions or template tags are no longer supported, and will soon be obsolete.
A developer, or dev, is a computer programmer who is active in creating, modifying, and updating a software product.
DOM (Document Object Model) is a standard, platform-independent interface that allows programmers to dynamically access HTML and XML to control the content and structure of documents. DOM connects programming scripts to web pages.
The draft post status is for WordPress posts which are saved, but as yet unpublished. A draft post can only be edited through the Administration Panel, Write Post SubPanel by users of equal or greater User Level than the post’s author.
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An excerpt is a condensed description of your blog post and refers to the summary entered in the Excerpt field of the Write Post SubPanel (see Advanced Editing). The excerpt is used to describe your post in RSS feeds and is typically used in displaying search results. The excerpt is sometimes used in displaying the Archives and Category views of your posts. The Template Tag the_excerpt() can be used to access the contents of this field.
An excerpt should not be confused with the teaser which refers to the first 55 words of the post‘s content. When typing a long post you can insert the
<!--more--> Quicktag after a few sentences to act as a cut-off point. When the post is displayed, the teaser, followed by a hyperlink (such as Read the rest of this entry…), are displayed. Your visitor can then click on that link to see the full version of your post. The Template Tag the_content() can be used to display the teaser.
A feed is a function of special software that allows “Feedreaders” to access a site automatically looking for new content and then posting the information about new content and updates to another site. This provides a way for users to keep up with the latest and hottest information posted on different blogging sites. Some Feeds include RSS (alternately defined as “Rich Site Summary” or “Really Simple Syndication”), Atom or RDF files. Dave Shea, author of the web design weblog Mezzoblue has written a comprehensive summary of feeds. Feeds generally are based on XML technology.
FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is rather predictably, a client-server protocol for transferring files. It is one way to download files, and the most common way to upload files to a server.
An FTP client is a program which can download files from, or upload files to, an FTP server.
As defined by Andy Skelton, Gallery, introduced with WordPress 2.5, is specifically an exposition of images attached to a post. In that same vein, an upload is “attached to a post” when you upload it while editing a post.
In the uploader there is a “Gallery” tab that shows all of the uploads attached to the post you are editing. When you have more than one attachment in a post, you should see at the bottom of the Gallery tab a button marked “Insert gallery into post”. That button inserts a shortcode “
Notes: If you don’t see the “Insert galley into post” button, it may be because you have not attached two images to the post.
The pretty URLs for attachments are made only after you have published the post and should be composed as the post permalink plus the attachment slug.
GMT, or Greenwich Mean Time, is the time zone from which all other time zones are measured. Local times around the globe are calculated according to their offset from the time in Greenwich, England.
A gravatar is a globally recognized avatar (a graphic image or picture that represents a user). Typically a user’s gravatar is associated with their email address, and using a service such as Gravatar.com, a blog owner to can configure their blog so that a user’s gravatar is displayed along with their comments
External links: Gravatar at Wikipedia
See also: avatar
A hack is a bit of code written to customize or extend the functionality of a software product. Older versions of WordPress used a hack-based extension system, but versions 1.2 and above of WordPress use a plugin API with hooks for extensions.
External links: Open source at Wikipedia
Hacking is the process of writing code for, or contributing code to, a piece of software.
There is some controversy surrounding the meaning of this term. It began as a benign term meaning “to exercise proficiency” or “to alter or improve,” but the popular media have since construed it to mean “to break into a computer system, usually with malicious intent.” Many in the computer industry have recently begun trying to ‘take back’ the word from its popular mutation, and many have adopted the term cracking to replace the malicious interpretation. Because of the desire to reclaim the word, you will often find the term used in conjunction with open source projects, intended in its benign form. For more information about the history of the term, please see Wikipedia’s article on Hacker.
See also: hack
A hosting provider is a company or organization which provides, usually for a fee, infrastructure for making information accessible via the web. This involves the use of a web server (including web server software such as Apache), and may involve one or more related technologies, such as FTP, PHP, MySQL, and operating system software such as Linux or Unix.
Related articles: Hosting WordPress
A .htaccess file is a granular configuration file for the Apache web server software, used to set or alter the server’s configuration settings for the directory in which it is present, and/or its child directories.
See also: chmod
WordPress strives to conform to the XHTML standard.
An IP address is a unique number (e.g.
184.108.40.206) assigned to a computer (or other internet-capable information appliance, such as a network printer) to enable it to communicate with other devices using the Internet Protocol. It is a computer’s identity on the internet, and every computer connected to the internet is assigned at least one — although the methods of assigning these addresses, and the permanence and duration of their assignment, differ according to the use of the computer and the circumstances of its internet use.
Every web server is assigned an IP address as well, but often times hosting providers will assign multiple IP addresses to one computer, in the event that multiple web sites reside on the same physical server. This is the case with most inexpensive ‘managed’ or ‘group’ hosting packages.
Domain names were created to provide an easier means of accessing internet resources than IP addresses, which are cumbersome to type and difficult to remember. Every domain name has at least one corresponding IP address, but only a small number of IP addresses have a domain name associated with them, since only computers that are web servers require domain names. The Domain Name System (DNS) is what maps Domain names to IP addresses.
ISAPI (Internet Server Application Programming Interface) is a set of programming standards designed to allow programmers to quickly and easily develop efficient Web-based applications. Developed by Process Software and Microsoft Corporation, ISAPI is intended to replace CGI programs.
External links: ISAPI at Wikipedia
Linux is an open source computer operating system, created by Linus Torvalds, similar in style to Unix. It is popular in web server and other high-performance computing environments, and has recently begun to gain popularity in workstation environments as well.
External links: Linux at Shortopedia
Mac OS X
Mac OS X is an operating system specifically for modern Macintosh computers. The operating system was first commercially released in 2001. It consists of two main parts: Darwin, an open source Unix-like environment which is based on the BSD source tree and the Mach microkernel, adapted and further developed by Apple Computer with involvement from independent developers; and a proprietary GUI named Aqua, developed by Apple.
Related articles: UNIX Shell Skills
Meta has a number of meanings, but generally means information about. In WordPress, meta usually refers to administrative type information. As described in Meta Tags in WordPress, meta is the HTML tag used to describe and define a web page to the outside world (search engines). In the article Post Meta Data, meta refers to information associated with each post, such as the author’s name and the date posted. Meta Rules define the general protocol to following in using the Codex. Also, many WordPress based sites offer a Meta section, usually found in the sidebar, with links to login or register at that site. Finally, Meta is a MediaWiki namespace that refers to administrative functions within Codex.
External links: Wikipedia’s Article on Meta
Moblogging is the act of posting to one’s blog via a mobile device, e.g. mobile phone, smartphone, or Blackberry. It is pronounced as
mōb-logging, or sometimes as
mŏb-logging in reference to smart mobs.
mod_rewrite is an extension module of the Apache web server software which allows for “rewriting” of URLs on-the-fly. Rewrite rules use regular expressions to parse the requested URL from the client, and translate it into a different URL before interpretation.
mod_rewrite for its permalink structure, which is optional functionality.
Related articles: Using Permalinks
Related articles: Post Meta Data Section
A news aggregator or news reader is a computer program which tracks syndicated information feeds, via RSS, RDF, or Atom. Most news aggregators allow one to ‘subscribe’ to a feed, and automatically keep track of the articles one has read, similar to an email client tracking read emails.
Open source is simply programming code that can be read, viewed, modified, and distributed, by anyone who desires. WordPress is distributed under an open source GNU General Public License (GPL).
A Page is often used to present “static” information about yourself or your site. A good example of a Page is information you would place on an About Page. A Page should not be confused with the time-oriented objects called posts. Pages are typically “timeless” in nature and live “outside” your blog.
The word “page” has long been used to describe any HTML document on the web. In WordPress, however, “Page” refers to a very specific feature first introduced in WordPress version 1.5.
Perl is an acronym for Practical Extraction and Report Language, but it’s most commonly spelled as a proper name. It’s a very popular and powerful scripting language used for web applications, although its use is being largely replaced by PHP in the mainstream. One of its strengths lies in its speedy and effective use of regular expressions. Its unofficial motto is, “There’s More Than One Way To Do It,” or “TMTOWTDI,” owing to the extreme flexibility of the syntax.
WordPress does not use Perl, and it is therefore not required.
A permalink is a URL at which a resource or article will be permanently stored. Many pages driven by Content Management Systems contain excerpts of content which is frequently rotated, making linking to bits of information within them a game of chance. Permalinks allow users to bookmark full articles at a URL they know will never change, and will always present the same content.
Related articles: Using Permalinks
External links: URL at Wikipedia
Permissions are security settings restricting or allowing users to perform certain functions. In the case of files on Unix or Linux systems, there are three types of permissions: read, write, and execute. In the case of MySQL databases, there are many more:
DELETE, etc. — although MySQL refers to them as privileges.
Related articles: Changing File Permissions
PHP is a recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. It is a popular server-side scripting language designed specifically for integration with HTML, and is used (often in conjunction with MySQL) in Content Management Systems and other web applications. It is available on many platforms, including Windows, Unix/Linux and Mac OS X, and is open source software.
WordPress is written using PHP and requires it for operation.
Related articles: Hacking WordPress
Related articles: phpMyAdmin
External links: phpMyAdmin web site
In general computer terms, “ping” is a common utility used in a TCP/IP environment to determine if a given IP Address exists or is reachable. Typically, Ping is used to diagnose a network connection problem. Many times you will be asked, “Can you ping that address?”. That means, does the Ping utility return a success message trying to reach the “problem” IP Address?
External links: Ping at Wikipedia
Pingback lets you notify the author of an article if you link to his article (article on a blog, of course). If the links you include in an article you write on a blog lead to a blog which is pingback-enabled, then the author of that blog gets a notification in the form of a pingback that you linked to his article.
If you’re feeling really geeky you may want to check out the Pingback technical specification.
See also: trackback
A Plugin is a group of php functions that can extend the functionality present in a standard WordPress weblog. These functions may all be defined in one php file, or maybe spread among more than one file. Usually, a plugin is a php file that can be uploaded to the “wp-content/plugins” directory on your webserver, where you have installed WordPress. Once you have uploaded the plugin file, you should be able to “turn it on” or Enable it from the “Plugins” page in the administration interface of your weblog. The WordPress source code contains hooks that can be used by plugins.
Related articles: Plugins
Within the context of the WordPress community, a port is a bit of code that has been rewritten to be compatible with WordPress. For example, if someone wrote a plugin for MoveableType, WordPress users may want to find a port of that plugin for WordPress. Port can also be used as a verb: to rewrite a piece of software for a different platform/language.
External links: Porting at Wikipedia
A word or two describing an entry, for use in permalinks (replaces the %posttitle% field therein), especially useful if titles tend to be long or they change frequently.
The status of a post, as set in the Administration Panel, Write Post SubPanel is either: Published (viewable by everyone), Draft (incomplete post viewable by anyone with proper user level), or Private (viewable only to you)
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A sequence of codes in a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) that a web page uses to determine what dynamic data to display. The query string in a URI comes after an initial question mark, and may contain several parameters separated by ampersands. WordPress uses query strings to indicate criteria to search for specific posts or sets of posts in the database. The use of query strings is generally believed to impede the indexing of dynamic pages by search engines. For this reason, it is often desirable to use a method such as mod_rewrite to reduce exposure of query strings to search engines and other site visitors.
A Variable passed through the query string. For example, in the query string
?category_name=tech&feed=atom, there are two query variables:
category_name with a value of ‘tech’, and
feed with a value of ‘atom’.
A Quicktag is a shortcut, or one-click button, that inserts HTML code into your posts. The <b> (bold) and </b> (stop bold) HTML tags are example of Quicktags. Some Quicktags, such as <!–contactform–>, insert HTML comment code that is used by plugins to replace text or perform certain actions.
Resource Description Framework. A language used to describe the locations of resources on the web. WordPress can produce output in RDF format that describes the locations of posts. Like RSS, RDF is used for content syndication.
A relative path is the location of a file in relation to the current working directory and does not begin with a slash (/). This is different than an absolute path which gives an exact location.
See also: Absolute Path
External links: Path_Computing at Wikipedia
A relative URI (sometimes called a relative link) is a partial URI that is interpreted (resolved) relative to a base URI.
On the World Wide Web, relative URIs come in two forms:
A relative URI with an absolute path is interpreted relative to the domain root:
/images/icecream.jpg → http://domain.example/images/icecream.jpg
A relative URI with a relative path is interpreted relative to the URL of the current document. E.g., on the web page
strawberry.html → http://domain.example/icecream/strawberry.html
Recordset refers to the group of records or result returned from a database query.
“Really Simple Syndication“: a format for syndicating many types of content, including blog entries, torrent files, video clips on news-like sites; specifically frequently updated content on a Web site, and is also known as a type of “feed” or “aggregator”. An RSS feed can contain a summary of content or the full text, and makes it easier for people to keep up to date with sites they like in an automated manner (much like e-mail).
The content of the feed can be read by using software called an RSS or Feed reader. Feed readers display hyperlinks, and include other metadata (information about information) that helps you decide whether they want to read more, follow a link, or move on.
Wikipedia’s list of feed aggregators is fairly up-to-date and most are available for free.
The original intent of RSS is to make information come to you (via the feed reader) instead of you going out to look for it (via the Web).
Programs called news aggregators permit users to view many feeds at once, providing ‘push’ content constantly. See Category:Feeds for Codex resources about bringing RSS feeds into WordPress. See also RDF Site Summary.
Web Robots are programs that traverse the Web automatically. Some people call them Web Wanderers, Crawlers, or Spiders. Search Engines are the main Web Robots. Search Engines look for yourserver.com/robots.txt file to see what and where they should look for content and files on yourserver.com You can learn more about robots and robots.txt at The Web Robots Page
A shell is a program which interacts directly with an operating system such as MS-DOS, Unix/Linux, Mac OS X, or others — but it is most commonly associated with Unices. It is often referred to as a ‘console’ or ‘command line’, because it is controlled using typed commands rather than mouse or graphical interface input.
Most often, when interacting with a remote computer (as one would when configuring WordPress), an additional “faux” shell is involved called SSH.
Some popular shell programs are:
The sidebar, sometimes call the menu, is a narrow vertical column often jam-packed with lots of information about a website. Found on most WordPress sites, the sidebar is usually placed on the right or left-hand side of the web page, though in some cases, a site will feature two sidebars, one on each side of the main content where your posts are found. A sidebar is also referred to as a Theme Template file and is typically called sidebar.php.
Singletons are objects that exist globally and are the only one of their class; if one instance of a class is created per request, this instance is a singleton object. Some singletons that WordPress uses are
$wp_rewrite, instances of the
A slug is a few words that describe a post or a page. Slugs are usually a URL friendly version of the post title (which has been automatically generated by WordPress), but a slug can be anything you like. Slugs are meant to be used with permalinks as they help describe what the content at the URL is.
Example post permalink:
The slug for that post is “
Smiley are stylized representations of a human face, usually displayed as yellow buttons with two dots for the eyes, and a half mouth. Smileys are often use in WordPress Plugins. By default, WordPress automatically converts text smileys to graphic images. When you type ;-) in your post you see http://codex.wordpress.org/images/c/c0/icon_smile.gif when you preview or publish your post.
Related article: Using_Smilies
Once upon a time, SPAM was an animal by-product that came in a can and was fodder for many Monty Python sketches, but since the world-wide adoption of the internet as an integral part of daily life, Spam has become synonymous with what is wrong with the internet. Spam, in general terms, is an email or other forms of unsolicited advertising. Spam is very easy to spread throughout the internet, and works on the principle that if you send out thousands, or hundreds of thousands of unsolicited advertisements, scams, or other questionable methods of making money, that you only need a very small percentage of people to be fooled and you will make lots of money.
Common spam these days comes from online gambling sites and those trying to sell drugs for “male enhancement.” Lately, web logs, or blogs, as we call them, have been targeted by spammers to try to increase their site ratings in the search engines. Spammers use various methods to distribute their electronic junk mail, and employ bots, or computer programs to quickly and easily send email or comments to millions of addresses and IPs all over the world.
Spammers can be difficult to track down as they often hijack peoples’ email and IP addresses. When this happens, it may appear a friend sent you the spam, but in fact, the spammer’s bot grabbed your friend’s email address and used it to hide the true source of the spam. WordPress developers and community members are constantly working on more and better ways to combat these annoying spammers as they clog the internet with their garbage. You can help by offering your talents, ideas, suggestions, or just by being vigilant and installing any of the currently-available spam combating tools.
External links: SPAM at Wikipedia
SSH stands for Secure Shell. It is a communication protocol for connecting to remote computers over TCP/IP. Various authentication methods can be used which make SSH more secure than Telnet.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is the predecessor to Transport Layer Security. These are cryptographic protocols for secure communications across an unsecured network like the Internet. SSL at Wikipedia
Related articles: Using Subversion
See RSS: Really Simple Syndication
A tag is a keyword which describes all or part of a Post. Think of it like a Category, but smaller in scope. A post may have several tags, many of which relate to it only peripherally. Like Categories, Tags are usually linked to a page which shows all posts having the same tag. Unlike Categories, Tags can be created on-the-fly, by simply typing them into the tag field.
Tags can also be displayed in “clouds” which show large numbers of Tags in various sizes, colors, etc. This allows for a sort of total perspective on the blog, allowing people to see the sort of things your blog is about most.
Many people confuse Tags and Categories, but the difference is easy: Categories generally don’t change often, while your Tags usually change with every Post.
A tagline is a catchy phrase that describes the character or the attributes of the blog in a brief, concise manner. Think of it as the slogan, or catchline for a weblog.
Task Based Documentation
Task based, or task oriented documentation is writing that takes you through a process/task step-by-step; it is succinct, lacks jargon, is easily understood, and structured entirely around performing specific tasks.
- To order to get to Z, you need to:
- Step x
- Step y
- Step z
Keep in mind that people who need to know how to perform a task usually need answers quick!
Telnet is a communications protocol used to establish a connection to another computer. Telnet runs on top of TCP/IP and is typically used in conjuction with terminal emulation software to login to remote computers. Telnet is inherently insecure and has largely been replaced by SSH
External links: Telnet at Wikipedia
A text editor is a program which edits files in plain text format, as compared to binary format. Using a non-text based word processing program (e.g. using Microsoft Word to edit PHP scripts) can cause major problems in your code. This is because non-text based word processing programs insert extra formatting into text files, and can corrupt the files when they need to be interpreted by the interpreter. An editor like Notepad does not insert any extra formatting.
Edit WordPress Files with a text only editor.
Some examples of file formats which need to be edited as plain text:
Some examples of text editor programs:
- BBEdit (Classic Mac OS, Mac OS X, $$$)
- Boxer Text Editor (Windows)
- Crimson Editor (Windows, Freeware)
- EditPad (cross-platform)
- EditPlus (Windows)
- emacs (Unices, Windows, Mac OS X, Open Source, Free)
- gedit (Unices)
- JEdit (cross-platform)
- Kate (Unices)
- Kwrite (Unices)
- Notepad++ (Windows, Open Source, Free)
- pico (Unices)
- PSPad (Windows, Free)
- Smultron (Mac OS X, Open Source, Free)
- SubEthaEdit (Mac OS X, $)
- TextEdit (comes with Mac OS X)
- TextMate (Mac OS X, $)
- TextPad (Windows)
- TextWrangler (Mac OS X, Free)
- vim (Unices, Windows, Mac OS X, Open Source, Free)
- Notepad2 (Windows, Freeware)
- WebTide Editor (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Freeware, Java)
Some examples of non-plain text formats that require special software for editing:
Some examples of software which can edit text, but which are NOT regarded as basic text editors and NOT recommended for use on WordPress files:
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Works
- Microsoft Excel
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe Dreamweaver
A theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface with an underlying unifying design for a weblog. A theme modifies the way the weblog is displayed, without modifying the underlying software. Essentially, the WordPress theme system is a way to skin your weblog.
Trackback helps you to notify another author that you wrote something related to what he had written on his blog, even if you don’t have an explicit link to his article. This improves the chances of the other author sitting up and noticing that you gave him credit for something, or that you improved upon something he wrote, or something similar. With pingback and trackback, blogs are interconnected. Think of them as the equivalents of acknowledgements and references at the end of an academic paper, or a chapter in a textbook.
A widely supported and preferred character encoding system.
For a computer to display letters (or any text characters), it needs to enumerate them – create an index of characters it knows how to display. These indexes are known as character sets. This is invaluable for users hosting WordPress in a non-English language.
The most widely used collections of these character sets are the iso-8859 with iso-8859-1 and iso-8859-15 (which contains the euro sign and some characters used in Dutch, French, Czech and Slovak) being the most common; they are also known as Latin1 and Latin9. These character sets use 8 bits (a single byte) for each character, allowing for 255 different characters (256, counting null). However, when considering that Latin-based languages aren’t the only ones in the world (think Japanese or Hebrew), 255 characters aren’t nearly enough.
There is a wide index of characters known as Unicode. Unicode has so many characters that sometimes more than 16 bits (2 bytes!) are required to represent them. Furthermore, the first 127 characters of Unicode are the same as the first 127 of the most widely used character set – iso-8859-1. For this purpose, UTF, the Unicode Translation Format, was created. UTF uses different numbers of bits for characters, and allows for the entire range of Unicode to be used. What you should probably know is:
- UTF-8 is an 8-bit-minimum type of UTF. There are also UTF-16 and UTF-32.
- If your document is in a Latin-based encoding, you probably don’t need to change anything about it for it to be UTF.
- A single UTF document can be in various languages with no need to switch encodings halfway through.
External links: Joel Spolsky on Unicode
Unix, or UNIX, is a computer operating system developed at AT&T’s Bell Laboratories starting back in 1969. Initially designed with the objective of creating an OS written in a high level language rather than assembly, a majority of web servers currently run on different “flavors” of this high-performance OS, or on Linux, developed as a Unix-like operating system.
A web server is a computer containing software for, and connected to infrastructure for, hosting, or serving, web sites written in HTML. The most common web server software on the internet is Apache, which is frequently used in conjunction with PHP, Perl, and other scripting languages.
It is possible to create one’s own web server, hosted on any speed of internet connection, but many people choose to purchase packages from hosting providers, who have the capacity and facilities to provide adequate bandwidth, uptime, hardware, and maintenance for frequently-visited web sites.
The XHTML Friends Network. A decentralised project to have inter-blog links that represent relationships between bloggers. XFN links resemble
<a href="http://www.photomatt.net/" rel="friend met">Photo Matt</a>.
WordPress strives to conform to the XHTML 1.0 Transitional standard.
XML, or Extensible Markup Language, is written in Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) and essentially allows you to define your own markup language. XML is extremely useful in describing, sharing, and transmitting data across the Internet. Typically used in conjunction with HTML, XML defines data and HTML displays that data.
XML-RPC is Extensible Markup Language-Remote Procedure Call. A Remote Procedure Call (RPC) allows you to a call (or request) another application and expect that application to honor the request (answer the call). So, XML-RPC allows a user (or developer) to send a request, formatted in XML, to an external application.
Related articles: XML-RPC Support
More glossaries with collection of blogging terms, acronyms and abbreviations.