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Terms in MO Glossary

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A C D E F G H I K M N O P R S U W X 3 6


  • AD&D
    Advanced Dungeons & Dragons was created by Gary Gygax after making many revisions to the previous version of the game: Dungeons & Dragons.
  • AJAX
    Asynchronous JavaScript And XML is a way to use your browser and a server technology to allow for updates of your website pages without having to refresh the entire page. For instance, if you have a very intensive computation that would be very slow in JavaScript yet very fast on your server, you can use AJAX to send the data from your client's machine, do the computation on the server, then return the results to the client. One place where AJAX is also often used is the log in feature of a website. This requires authorization from the server so the client has to send the credential to the backend, and the backend has to give the client a session identifier.
  • API
    An Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of calls that the creator of a software library provides publicly. In general, the idea is that an API of a given major version of software will not change with time unless absolutely necessary (i.e. security reasons.) The API will generally change between major versions.


  • C++
    C++ is one of the two object oriented languages based on C. The other one is called Objective C and is much less well known although as broadly available. The main reason why C++ was chosen by most is that it is very close in syntax to C, whereas Objective C is quite different.
    CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. This means a system that is expected to be easily resolved by a human but not by a computer program.
  • CD
    The first commercially available Compact Discs (CD) were sold in 1982, although the very first functional CD was created in 1976 by Sony. A CD is a disk made of plastic with one or both sides covered with a reflective layer of aluminum (or gold).
  • CEO
    The Chief Executive Officer is the person who runs a company. In general, the CEO will have experience in many different business areas: sales, accounting, financials, marketing, engineering...
  • CMS
    A Content Management System (CMS) helps manage large quantity of data. There are different types of CMS that apply to different types of needs. For instance, programmers use source control systems that are complex CMS used to keep track of the changes they make to their software. On the Internet, a CMS is a tool that let you create a Web 2.0 website or manage your contacts.
    The COmmon Business Oriented Language was created to work on database systems on Mini computers. The language was very strongly based on the capabilities of the processors at the time that could handle data in a pipeline sort of a way. The processors evolved very much and an even more specialized instruction set was created, yet, today, the base of those processors are generally RISC based.
  • COFF
    The Common Object File Format is one of the first file format used for binary other than plain files like on the first personal computers (i.e. Apple ][, Commodore 64, etc.) The format was created for the Unix operating system and was reused by others such as DOS and Microsoft Windows. The COFF format does not handle extension (such as .so or .DLL files) very well so a new format called ELF was created for Unices. Microsoft, on the other hand, built on the COFF format creating the PE-COFF format with sufficient extensions to handle extension as required by their windowing system.
  • CRON
    The Command Run ON (CRON) is a deamon that runs a given set of Unix Shell scripts at specified date and time. CRON is often used to run clean up tools (i.e. VACUUM FULL on a PostgreSQL database,) and to execute periodic queries (i.e. generate log information from a server like Apache.)
  • CSQA
    A Certified Software Quality Analyst is an engineer who can certify his quality assurance work. You do want such people in your software company if you are creating products that have to work first time.
  • CSS
    The Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) is a file format used by Browsers to specify rendering characteristics to render the HTML code of a page. For instance, one can define the weight, style and size of a font, whether an area should have a border, and define the background color. The language is rather simple to learn, however, the difference between multiple browsers can make writing some CSS quite complicated...
  • CSTE
    A Certified Software TEster is a trained tester who learned to do his work following standard procedures. This ensures that the testing of your software is done according to your State and the Federal standard.


  • D&D
    Dungeons & Dragons--A pen & paper table top game role playing game.
  • DC
    We use two different type of current: Direct Current (DC) and Alternative Current (AC). Computers functions with Direct Current. Your wall socket has Alternative Current. The main reason why we use Alternative Current is because Direct Current decays very quickly and thus it cannot be transported even just throughout your entire home. Direct Current has a mass and a positive or negative pole.
  • demo
    In software, a Demonstration (demo) is either a presentation to show the existing or future functionality of a software or it is a version of the product without all the features available in the full version.
  • DLL
    A Dynamic Link Library is a binary file that include code, images, and other binary data that different software can use. The main idea behind the creation of DLL files is to allow the reuse of the same library many times. However, Microsoft extended the use of DLL files to things that should be considered data, not a binary executable... due in part to the fact that the resources in the Microsoft environment are compiled to binary and incorporated in executable files.
  • DM
    Dungeon Master--The Game Master in a Dungeons & Dragons game.
  • DNS
    A Domain Name Server enables computers to communicate between each others using a name instead of an IP address (Internet Protocol Address.) This is particularly useful for website addresses and emails.
  • Drupal module
    A Drupal module is an extension to the Drupal CMS. It is written in PHP and uses the Drupal hook system to implement functionality not otherwise offered by Drupal Core. For example, the Views module extends the Drupal CMS offering lists of nodes, users and other elements available in Drupal. Made to Order Software developed modules for Drupal 6.x and these are available on its website.
  • DVD
    The Digital Versatile Disc, publicly available since 1997, has slowly been replacing video tapes, regular CDs and different computer backup systems that used tapes or CDs. The newest available versions can be written on multiple times.


  • ELF
    The Executable And Linkable Format (ELF) was created to replace the old COFF format. The main idea was to create a much more flexible format that could be used for all sorts of executable, whatever the architecture (i.e. processor.) Although it is definitively flexible (especially because it is extensible,) the format is real complicated and difficult to work with. Apple created an extension for their operating system called MACH-O that streams line the ELF format.


  • FAQ
    On a website, the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is a page with a list of questions and answers. This often accompany a product so users can quickly find answers to their questions without having to talk with support people.
  • FDA
    The Food & Drug Association (FDA) is the public body taking care of reviewing all food and medical drugs and devices. They are the ones who decide whether devices and drugs are adequate and safe for use with the public.
  • FTP
    The File Transfer Protocol is the first common protocol that was used to transfer files between computers. This is still very much in use even though it is not secure (FTPS is the secure version.) Yet, so many people are using it, it is difficult to get rid of it. The safer means of transfer is SSH (either with a secure shell or using HTTPS.)


  • GM
    Game Master--the person who rules the game following a scenario
  • GMT
    Greenwich Meridian Time is the former name of the 0h00 timezone on Earth. It goes through Greenwich in England, hence the name. It has always been very controversial as Paris was also one of the cities chosen to be the 0h00 timezone. It is now called the Universal Time Coordinated or UTC.
  • GNU
    GNU is a software development project that was created in 1984 and that had the purpose of offering a free POSIX (i.e. Unix) system. Because GNU did not create a kernel quickly and Linux happened at about the same time, a kernel of choice because it is free software (free as in Freedom,) a complete system has become GNU/Linux. Now GNU has a not well known kernel available and it may one day replace Linux... More info...
  • GPL
    The General Public License, created by GNU software, is a software license that releases the rights of the code to the user. This does NOT means the product is free, only that the users have the right to have a copy of the source code and also have the right to sell and/or give away a copy of the code.
  • GUI
    A Graphical User Interface is a screen letting people interact with a software using visible clues such as buttons, menus, text. Interactions can happen with the keyboard or a pointing device such as a mouse.
  • GUID
    Computers assign Globally Unique IDentifiers to objects that they manipulate in order to ensure uniqueness across all computers. GUID are heavily used in the Microsoft environment as each library (files that end with .DLL), and even each object offered by such a library, have a unique identifier.


  • HTML
    HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is used to create web pages. Now a day, it is also used to write all kinds of documentation. It was first started as SGML.
  • HTTP
    HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) is the protocol used to communicate between web clients and web servers. It is based on TCP/IP and TELNET.
    HTTPS (Secure Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) is the protocol used to communicate between web clients and web servers. It is based on TCP/IP and SSH. It requires an SSL certificate.
  • HUD
    The Heads Up Display (HUD) is a mode of operation of Turn Watcher that lets the players see when their turns comes up so they can get ready.


  • IASE
    The International Association of Space Entrepreneurs is a networking group that allows space entrepreneurs, investors and others to meet and work together.
  • IBM
    International Business Machine (IBM) is one of the largest companies of the world. It provides hardware and software to small and large corporates including financial institutions that still use their mini systems.
  • IP
    The Internet Protocol is a very low level protocol used by computers to communicate between each others.
  • ISP
    An Internet Service Provider (ISP) is a company that offers Internet connections between a customer and a telecommunication company (Telco). Large ISPs are AT&T and Comcast.
  • IST
    The International Space Station is a large metallic structure floating in space. It "turns" around planet Earth (really it goes at the right speed to not be falling straight down). Astronauts living inside it "float" as they themselves are falling toward the Earth "forever".


  • KBD
    The Keyboard is the primary external device used by humans to enter data in a computer. There are nearly as many keyboard layouts as there are countries (QWERTY in the US, AZERTY in France, etc.) Actually, since a country usually has one for people with sight and one for blind people...


  • MACH-O
    The Mach Object File (MACH-O) format was created for the Macintosh OS/X operating system. It is a transformation between the ELF format used under FreeBSD and the PEF format used under Macintosh version 9. This new format, however, does NOT use a forked file format as under version 9. Instead, the system uses a directory structure which makes it a lot easier to manage and gives you the flexibility to have any number of types in your resources.
  • Mb
    Mb stands for mega-byte, the number of bytes that fit in 20 bits (0 to 2 power 20 - 1.) There is now two syntax: Mb and MB, with the B written in lower case or upper case. One stands for the power of two (2 power 10) and the other for power of ten (10 power 6) which was added to map bytes to other metric measurements.
  • molib
    molib is an advanced C++ development library by Made to Order Software Corp. including many security features.


  • .NET
    The .NET environment is a set of languages developed and maintained by Microsoft. The idea for the name is that developers can now network better with the new tools offered by Microsoft. At that point, they did not yet have anything like a Wiki or Skype... So we are not too sure how they got that idea. 8-)
  • NTP
    The Network Time Protocol is used by computers to communicate the current clock between each others. The basic communication works with a TCP or UDP connection. In general, one computer runs the NTP server, and the other servers adjust their clocks once in a while using a simple client. The Microsoft Windows and Macintosh OS/X systems synchronize their clocks to the respective company time servers.


  • ODBC
    The Open DataBase Connectivity is a reference created by Microsoft in an attempt to have a C interface to access any database system. The result is not exactly that good as it gives you rather limited access rights to the database systems.
  • odbcpp
    The Open DataBase Connectivity in C++ is an open source library that one can use to access an ODBC driver. It greatly simplifies the management of the ODBC resources adding safe exception management which means you have nothing to do (nearly) to handle the numerous errors that an ODBC system can return while being used.
  • OS
    The Operating System of a computer system is the lower layer of software that interacts with the hardware in order for your computer to do something useful. Many electronic devices still use embedded software without an Operating System, although this is less and less the case.
  • OS/X
    The Operating System X is the newest version of the Apple operating system, also referenced as version 10.


  • P3P
    The World Wide Web consortium (W3C) created the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) for websites to communicate their privacy policies electronically in such a way that a browser can decide to connect or not connect to that website based of user preferences.
  • PC
    Personal Computer--a computer that people use at home or at work. Player Character--in Role Playing Game, a character that is played by a real physical player.
  • PDF
    Portable Document Format (PDF) created by a small company later named Adobe. This is a language based on Forth (stack based) used to render documents with real high precision. First used in high quality printers, it has been extended to standalone documents.
  • PEI
    An Portable Executable Image is an extension to the COFF format used by older Unix systems and still used by Microsoft. It describes an Image or an object usually containing code executable by a processor. Such Images can also include resources (windows descriptions.)
  • PHP
    Yes. PHP stands for Personal Home Page. Although now they changed the meaning to something a little more adapted to the PHP language which is a lot more advanced than when it was first engineered. So now PHP stands for Hypertext Pre-Processor.


  • RPM
    The Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) system is the package manager that Red Hat created for their Linux distribution. This was a lot better than the Slackware and other similar distribution that simply used tarball files. The other most common package manager is the Debian package system.
  • RSS
    Really Simple Syndication is a set of formats used to share your content with your readers. Today, nearly all websites offer an RSS feed. So many that some websites, such as Technorati and Feedburner, were born to syndicate that content.
  • RSVP
    RSVP stands for "Repondez, s'il vous plait." which is French for "Please respond." It is often used on invitation cards.


  • s5i
    The s5i is a system created by Volcano Corporation. It is an Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS) software and hardware system using catheters. Those systems allow physicians to acquire images of diseased vessels from inside the artery.
  • SaaS
    Many software companies now sell their Software as a Service. This means you get full access to their software for a monthly or yearly fee. This has advantages and disadvantages on both ends. An SaaS system is only accessible via the Internet. People without the Internet have no chance of using such a service. Also, people with a modem are not unlikely going to dislike the access speed. The incredible advantage, however, is that you get all the upgrade to the software as they are added to the website. Some software also give you ways to quickly share your data with authorized people. For instance, an accountant would be able to access your accounting directly from his account at that same company.
  • SAQA
    The Sacramento Area Quality Association, helping testers become better testers.
  • SEO
    Search Engine Optimization is the work you do to get your website on the first page of search engines (especially Google.) There are many techniques and the term SEO is used for all of them often making this field quite blurry to Internet marketer beginners.
  • SMTP
    The Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is used to send emails from a client to a server. It uses telnet as the basis for the transfer with a protocol layer to used to communicate the necessary information about the email message.
  • SQL
    The Structured Query Language was created in order to let database users send queries to database systems without having to worry about compatibility. It has worked, to a certain extend. There are still many non-SQL features in all major database systems.
  • SSH
    Secure SHells (SSH) are used to connect between computers with an encrypted connection. There has been several shell versions prior to SSH, namely rsh (Remote Shell) and telnet (long distance network connection.) SSH is actually built on telnet but includes a way to negotiate an encryption mechanism before connecting.
  • SSL
    The Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a protocol used by computers to securely communicate over a public network. The protocol uses encryption that prevents unwanted eyes from seeing the content of the data and from tempering with the data. Note that only using SSL web servers can dramatically decrease your servers throughput since it uses a lot of processing power to encrypt and decrypt each packet being transfered over an SSL connection.
  • sswf
    The ScriptSWF environment are tools that are used to work on Adobe Flash animations. It includes an advanced C++ library, a language, an ActionScript (i.e. Javascript) compiler, a tool to check an existing Flash animation, a tool to create animations from images, and much more.


  • UML
    The Unified Modeling Language is used in software development to describe objects and behavior in a system.
  • URL
    The Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is used to point to a document. It is generally used on the Internet but a path on your computer can also be viewed as a URL.
    The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) is the office in charge of assigning patents and trademarks to companies and individuals. This office is the federal office (i.e. when used, it protects your property in the entire US.)
  • UTC
    Universal Time Coordinated represents the time at the timezone 0h00. This naming convention replaces Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT) although it represents exactly the same thing.
  • UTF
    UTF stands for Unicode Transformation Format. It is used to compress text in an effective way: it is generally well compressed and it can be used on a serial connection with a mechanism that makes it fail safe to data losses (fail safe means that the following characters can still be decoded even when some characters are lost along the way.)


    WYSIWYG stands for What You See Is What You Get. It appeated when editors started to be capable of showing the user what would be printed (Word processors) or the final output (3D/Video/etc.)


  • XML
    XML (eXtended Markup Language) is an extension of HTML. It was created after a large number of companies asked the w3c consortium for a way to handle any kind of data using tags, like in an HTML document.


  • 32bit
    The number of bits in a quad word. More and more processors are 32bit meaning that they handle values of 32bit internally and have a data bus that transports 32bit values between the different units.


  • 64bit
    The number of bits in a quad word. More and more processors are 64bit meaning that they handle values of 64bit internally and have a data bus that transports 64bit values between the different units.
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