Grow your CSS skills. Land your dream job.

Web Nerd Terminology (Explained)

Published by Chris Coyier

As happens with any weird niche societal group, us web nerds have developed some language of our own. Some of this language is perfectly acceptable English, but still sounds weird to an outsider. I thought I'd throw together a list of these words and attempt to explain them in plain English as a reference for non-nerds.

Browser - A browser is a software application that is used to visit websites. Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc. If you think this is obvious, think again.

Server - When a webpage is visited, data is sent from some computer somewhere to your computer over the internet. That other computer is a server, essentially just like the one you are looking at, only specially configured to deliver information to other computers asking for it. Even though any computer could technically be a server, far more commonly people purchase server functionality from companies that specialize in it, like Media Temple. In addition to "server" being used to describe the physical machine, it also may be used to describe the software program used on that machine which handles serving up that data, like Apache.

URL - Uniform Resource Locator - is one of those things like this: http://css-tricks.com/video-screencasts/64-building-a-photo-gallery/ Some people also use URI - Uniform Resource Identifier - for the same purpose, although URL is far more common. I honestly read the entire Wikipedia article for both and I still don't really understand the difference. A domain name is the first part of the example above: css-tricks.com. Anybody can purchase a domain name, from companies like Go Daddy that specialize in it.

Tag are text that go around content in HTML code to identify the type of content they surround. For example, in this code <li>Go dancing.</li>, the tags are <li> and </li>.

Anchor - An "anchor" tag is a tag that looks like this in HTML code: <a href="http//url.com">link text</a>. Most HTML tags are referred to by what they look like, for example, a <ul> tag would likely be called an "Yoo-Ell" tag out-loud. The reason anchor is used is because it sounds weird both written and spoken to say "An a tag".

Wrapping refers to putting an opening and closing tag around content in HTML code. If you hear "You'll need to wrap it in an extra div," they mean that whatever content area is being referenced needs to have a <div> tag added before it and an </div> tag added after it.

Nesting is a lot like wrapping but implies being several layers deep. For example, this is a series of "nested" divs:

<div id="outer">
   <div id="inner">
      <div class="section">
      </div>
   </div>
</div>

Markup - Markup is just another way of saying HTML code, but is slightly more generic and may also be used to reference XML or other "describing" languages. If you hear a phrase like "The site uses very semantic markup", that means that the website's HTML code uses very appropriate tags to describe the content it displays, which is a desirable and sometimes difficult thing to do.

Accessibility - When accessibility is talked about in reference to websites, it means how easy or difficult it is to access the content for people with disabilities. For example, how easy it is for mobility impaired uses to navigate the site, blind users to read the site, or colorblind people to differentiate links from regular text.

Usability - Usability is similar to accessibility but differs in that it refers to ease of use for all visitors, not limited to disabled people. For example, a site that requires lengthy registration to view content or that has navigation that is in different places on different pages may be considered to have bad usability.

Findability - Findability is a subset of usability and refers to how easily users can locate the content they are looking for on a website. Often a elusively difficult task.

Validation - It is possible, even probable, that code contains mistakes. But who says what constitutes a mistake in code? When it comes to HTML and CSS, the W3C does. They offer tools to run these types of code through to check for errors. If it there are no errors, the code passes and is said to be valid code (or "markup"!) ALTERNATIVELY, validation can refer to data. For example, if you enter a phone number that is 5 digits long, software might "validate" that data and reject it as invalid.

Standards - This again refers to the W3C, the organization that puts forth the "rules" describing how browsers should behave in interpreting code. Can you imagine how difficult any job would be if everything you did you had to repeat five different times with slight variations? That's what web standards are trying to prevent, by putting forth rules so that everyone's job is easier things only need to be done one way. If you hear someone say they "write standards compliant code", it probably means the code they write validates, but hopefully it also means they have an understanding of the importance of web standards and fight for them.

Semantics - The word itself generally refers to the meaning of words or word choice. On the web, semantics means choosing the correct HTML tags to describe to content. For example, using table tags to lay out your site isn't very semantic because those tags don't relay any meaning to the content they contain. Whereas, a tag like <navigation> is extremely semantic.

Rendering is the process the browser goes through when interpreting HTML and CSS and turning that into the visual end result you see on your screen.

Client-Side refers to a language that is interpreted by the browser itself. For example, JavaScript is downloaded by your browser and then run locally on your machine. Your browser is the "client".

Server-Side refers to a language that is interpreted by the server. For example, PHP is interpreted by your server, processed, and then delivered to you. As an easy example to remember the difference, if you ask a client-side language to display what time it is, it will display the time set on your computer. If you ask a server-side language to display what time it is, it will display the time set on the server.

DOCTYPE - This is the gibberish looking code at the top of HTML documents that looks something like this:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
    "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">

There are a number of different ones. They tell the browser what specific set of rules should be followed when interpreting the rest of the code in the document.

Copy - It just means text. "I need some copy for that" means "I need the text that you want to go in that area."

White Space - Areas of a design (not necessarily white!) that are intentionally left blank for aesthetics.

Vector - A form of graphic where the design is saved as points and mathematical formulas. Because of this, the files are "resolution independent" meaning they can be scaled to any size without losing their crispness. Adobe Illustrator files are vector files (although it is possible for them to contain bitmap data). AI, EPS

Bitmap - A form of graphic that is saved as individual pixels, meaning it has a set resolution and cannot be scaled up or down without affecting its crispness. Adobe Photoshop files are bitmap files (although it is possible for them to contain vector data). JPG, GIF, PNG.

Analytics - Means data about the usage of a website. How many people viewed the website that day? What countries were they from? What browser did they use? How long did they stay? Those are questions Analytic data can answer. It is gathered by using special software built for capturing it, like Google Analytics.

Kerning - Adjusting the spacing between two specific letters, to improve how a word looks aesthetically. Tracking is similar but refers to overall letter spacing.

Sprite - An image that actually contains multiple images. The images are typically displayed cropped down to only show a small area. As counter-intuitive as it seems, this can improve efficiency by requiring less total images to be used.

Elastic - is a type of web layout where font sizes and widths are declared with a special unit of measurement called an Em (an abstract concept just meaning "relative size"). This allows for the entire web layout to scale up and down, rather than just the font size. This differs from a Fixed Layout where theoretically the width of the site would stay the same and just the text would scale up and down or a Fluid Layout where the width of the layout is determined by the browser window.

Framework - Generic term to describe software that is built to simplify things. For example: RoR , or Ruby on Rails, a development framework designed to help creating applications on the web easier.

 

Acronyms

CSS - Cascading Style Sheets - a file ending in .css, which is linked to from the HTML, which controls the look of the rendered page.

HTML - Hyper Text Mark-up Language is the code that forms all websites and describes the content it contains. It is important to understand that ALL websites end up as some form of HTML, regardless of the languages used to build them. For example, a file might be PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor), as in index.php, but ultimately what is served up to the browser is HTML. The file extension PHP just lets the server know to process any of the special PHP code inside before serving it up.

JS - JavaScript - a client-side language with the unique ability to A) watch for events (e.g. mouse clicks, key presses, etc) and B) make things happen on a webpage without a page refresh. For example if you see a button on a website that you click and a new area slides down, that's (probably) JavaScript.

AJAX - Asynchronous JavaScript and XML - A popular technique of loading content from a server and placing it onto a page without the need for a page refresh. This has grown to be an extremely popular technique for building websites that are more responsive and feel more like desktop applications. While AJAX is still technically an acronym, it usually doesn't have a heck of a lot to do with XML.

CMS - Content Management System - a software program that runs on a server with the purpose of making managing the content on the website easier. For example, a site may have hundreds of pages (like this one). Each of those pages does not exist as a separate HTML file. Instead, the content is kept in a database and injected into templates and served up as needed by the CMS.

SEO - Search Engine Optimization - Doing things to a website specifically to rank higher in searches done on search engines like Google. On the web, traffic = money, and search engines drive big traffic, hence the big desire for everyone to rank as highly as they can.

SERP - Search Engine Results Page - You search for something in Google, you get a page of results, that a SERP.

TLD - Top Level Domain - .com, .net, .org ... there are a lot of them.

CRUD - Create, Read, Update, Delete - generally used to describe a web application with the primary purpose of doing those things. Think of blog software, where you can Create a blog entry, Update or Delete it later, and the Front-End of the site Reads it to display it.

DOM - Document Object Model - is a bit of an abstract concept. It is the system browsers use to represent and interact with the objects (elements) in HTML. For example, that DIV in your HTML is definitely part of the DOM, but so is the browser window itself and it's immediate page history. Maybe the easiest way to think about it is that it's basically the HTML that makes up your page, plus a bunch of more stuff that only web nerds care about.

RGB - Red Green Blue - The color model that is used by electronic media to display graphics. Commonly used to describe the "mode" an image is saved in. Images used for electronic display (web, video, etc) should be RGB.

CMYK - Cyan Magenta Yellow Black - The color model used by traditional 4-color printing. Photo-realism can be achieved by printing only these four colors. Commonly used to describe the "mode" an image is saved in. Images ultimately being used to be printed on paper should be in CMYK.

RSS - Really Simple Syndication is a special (and standards based) form of XML for publishing content. For example, most blogs provide RSS of their content. Other people (even basic users) can take that RSS and use it in different ways, like republishing that content elsewhere, or just reading it through special programs, like Google Reader). May be referred to an an RSS Feed, or even just Feed by itself.

DPI / PPI - Dots Per Inch and Pixels Per Inch. "Dots" are literally physical dots of ink on paper, determining the resolution of a print image. "Pixels" are bits of data, determining the size of an electronic image. Commonly swapped and used incorrectly.

WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get - Describes anything where you interact with the visual end result rather than an abstraction. For example, a font menu that shows what the fonts actually look like is a WYSIWYG font menu. A web design program that allows you to place boxes and drag them around is a WYSIWYG program.

SVN - Subversion - A system for maintaining different versions of code. Changes are "checked in" and can be "rolled back" to previous versions (in the case of problems).

 

Phrases

Above the Fold - This comes from the newspaper industry, where the space on the top half of the front page is far more valuable than the space below it. On the web, content that is visible without scrolling is referred to as above the fold, and is also more valuable (as in, to advertisers or just generally for users attention).

Browser Safe - or "Web Safe" refers to a specific set of colors that, in the long long ago, would be acceptable to use because they would display properly on all computer monitors. No longer very relevant.

Hover State - When your mouse cursor rolls over a link, and that link changes color, that is the links "hover state". A mockup web design might contain both a buttons regular state and hover state. Differs slightly from Active State - which is a the circumstance a link would be in if, for example, the link was "tabbed to" in a browser.

Back End - Generically refers to anything going on "behind the scenes" of a website. There are all kinds of things that happen on complex websites underneath what people actually view in their browsers. A CMS is an example of a "Back-End".

Front End - The part of a web application that people visiting the site in a browser see. Essentially the "website" part of a website.

Slicing a PSD - Phrase used to describe the process of converting a Photoshop document (PSD) into an HTML/CSS website. There is a "slice tool" in Photoshop, which can be a part of this process, but not necessarily.

Pixel Perfect - A finished web design that matches perfectly the mockup from which it was created.

Browser Zooming is a feature in browsers where entire website are magnified, rather than just text resizing. Somewhat controversial, as it can cause Horizontal Scroll, a situation where a websites content is wider than the browser window meaning that a user would have to move the scroll bar left and right as well as up and down to browser content.

Just for fun

Bugfoot - A bug that isn’t reproducible and has been sighted by only one person.

Duck - A feature added for no other reason than to draw management attention and be removed, thus avoiding unnecessary changes in other aspects of the product.

Ghetto Code - A particularly inelegant and obviously suboptimal section of code that still meets the requirements. Ghetto caching is similar and refers to storing data in a text file rather than using a "real" caching solution.

Borked - Something is wrong, usually used in reference to the visual layout of a webpage. "The sidebar dropped down and borked the layout."

 

Got some more words/phrases/acronyms that probably confuse regular folks?

Comments

  1. Great article! , I should how this to my boss >_<

  2. This should be a PDF to send to clients. =P

    • I agree, this would be great required reading for many of the “less savvy” folks… although I can’t say I’ve ever used the term “borked” before. So thanks for expanding my vocab!

    • Couldn’t agree more. Nice collection for a post Chris!

  3. also remember i18n means internationalization :D

  4. Ben
    Permalink to comment#

    I liked “borked”. I think you should have included more like that. “Wonky” seems to be incredibly popular around my office.

    • Permalink to comment#

      I hear a lot of “wonky” as well, and also “janky”. Anything known to commonly be “janky” we refer to as “janktastic”. I loved this post!

    • Wonky’s a common British term for something that doesn’t work properly. While it’s a lovely word, I don’t think it’s particular to web design.

  5. Hey, great article.

    Some you might consider to include in your article:

    DNS
    Anti-alias
    Variable
    Keyword
    Embedded (object)
    Favicon

    Cheers!

    • I second “favicon”. I thought everyone knew what it was until I mentioned Google’s favicon change back when it first changed (well, back in May 2008, before the January 2009 change).

  6. I’ve never heard of Borked, but a great list

  7. Seb
    Permalink to comment#

    You forgot:

    LOL
    FTW
    ROFLMAO
    FAIL

  8. Nice list – thanks!

  9. Need one more sentence at the end of the DOCTYPE paragraph:

    “They tell the browser what specific set of rules should be followed when interpreting the rest of the code in the document.”

    should be followed by

    “These rules are then largely ignored by most browsers, especially by all versions of Internet Explorer.”

    Do you know of a browser that parses XHTML *as* XML simply because the DOCTYPE says to? (Some will if served as application/xml, but MIME type trumps DOCTYPE.)

  10. The doctype section needs to be corrected by removing the tag. That is not part of the doctype.

    @arlen: The doctype is not ignored by browsers; particularly in browsers such as IE6 and IE7, the doctype affects whether the browser renders in strict (standards) mode or quirks mode. Including the doctype is the first line of defense in fending off strange rendering issues in IE6.

    What you’re talking about is the fact that IE6 and IE7 do not understand XHTML and thus cannot be served true XHTML. But a page is served as true XHTML by the giving it a mime-type and/or content type specified in the of of “application/xml+xhtml”. The doctype alone does not do this.

    Also, I made a coworker’s head spin with “provision” yesterday. As in, “we have to provision the server.” Might be a candidate for the list.

    • Didn’t say DOCTYPE was ignored, I said the parsing rules indicated by the DOCTYPE were ignored.

      Yes, IE, and most other browsers for that matter, use DOCTYPE to switch from quirks mode to standards mode. The irony is that quirks mode v. standards mode really has nothing at all to do with DOCTYPE. So most browsers “see” DOCTYPE, but what they really use it for is not not “parse this document correctly according to the rules of the DTD I’m pointing at” but “present this document with some (not all) of the IE5 presentation bugs if a valid DOCTYPE is not present.”

      Try changing the DOCTYPE for a page, replacing it with another valid DOCTYPE for a different DTD (like using a valid XHTML1.1 strict DOCTYPE on a page that’s written in valid HTML4) and see if that alters the interpretation of the page in any browser. If anything about the DOCTYPE matters except its presence, you should see changes. Odds are, you won’t, and that error won’t be limited to just IE, either.

      I probably wouldn’t have posted a comment if Chris (Coyler, not Pratt) had limited what he wrote to using the DOCTYPE to switch between quirks and standards mode, but the implication of “what specific set of rules should be followed” is that the content of the DOCTYPE matters, when most of the time it doesn’t.

  11. Whoops. Form stripped my comment of tags. The doctype needs to be corrected by removing the *html* tag, and later the content-type specified in the *head* tag.

  12. 7point34
    Permalink to comment#

    URI is the same as URL.

    At some point the W3C decided that URL wasn’t a correct description. It’s all semantics. Use which either you like.

    • Ben
      Permalink to comment#

      URL == http://www.example.com/controller/action/index.html
      URI is typically referred to /controller/action/index.html

      They have evolved to this definition from coding standards

    • Permalink to comment#

      So URL is the absolute path, and the URI is the relative path? Jeez Louise!

    • Marus
      Permalink to comment#

      Not completely correct:
      A URI is an identifier for some resource, but a URL gives you specific information as to obtain that resource.

    • Exactly. For example, isbn:0321344758 is a URI and not an URL.

    • Demus
      Permalink to comment#

      Not exactly…

      “A URI can be further classified as a locator, a name, or both. The term “Uniform Resource Locator” (URL) refers to the subset of URI that identify resources via a representation of their primary access mechanism (e.g., their network “location”), rather than identifying the resource by name or by some other attribute(s) of that resource. The term “Uniform Resource Name” (URN) refers to the subset of URI that are required to remain globally unique and persistent even when the resource ceases to exist or becomes unavailable.”

      Source: http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2396

  13. Yay! Always wondered what RSS stood for… Now I know! Lotsa good stuff. I agree, as commented above, this should be required reading for all clients – Web Geek Talk for Dummies.

  14. Thomas_U
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks a ton!

  15. This is fantastic! Thanks, hope you don’t mind if I share this and give you props. This is a great resource.

  16. Hey, great list, sorry to be totally nerdy-nitpicky but in the server description you could add that a server is the physical machine, as well as at the same time being the software application running on the physical machine which answers the requests for web pages.

    Apache is a web server but it has no physical presence! It’s a server that is installed on physical servers…

    Maybe say that there are file servers, app servers, etc as well as web servers, or would that just confuse it more :D

  17. Fantastic list! I’ll make sure to point it out to those who need it.

    I’ve got a couple things to consider:
    ‘Element’ is a worthy term to add to the list. I often make the point of differentiating the meaning of the terms ‘Element’ and ‘Tag’ for noobs.

    Also, differentiating ‘JavaScript’ and ‘Java’ wouldn’t hurt as the uninitiated seem to use the two interchangeably.

  18. Awesome, thanks! I sent the link to my wife! PS: Accessibility can also be for fully enabled people who have limited technology (broken mouse, lowband, blocked JS, no speakers, bad monitor, etc)

  19. I was looking for a list like this and decided to make one on mu own >thank God I didn’t. The only one you are missing that I get asked a lot is GUI

  20. A chief obstacle where I work is the gross mis-use of the term tagging… where Analytic coding designed to assist in offsite campaign monitoring is all too often (is in ALWAYS) referred to as ‘tagging’ and it gets confusing.

  21. i think this should be must-read for anyone interested in a website.
    new client? great!
    read this first. :)

    good job

  22. It might not hurt to throw JSON and REST on this list, as well as API. With the explosion of web services based on this technology, our clients are probably going to start hearing terms like that thrown around. :)

    Awesome list. Borked made me laugh out loud, because I used it in casual conversation with non-geek friends and was met with expressions that suggested I’d just started speaking Latin.

    I agree that there should be more “fun” terms on this list, such as wonky, FAIL, and the like. :)

  23. Amy
    Permalink to comment#

    Nice list. I laughed out loud when I saw “borked” on it

  24. Permalink to comment#

    Static and Dynamic need to be on their too… those I finding their way into other things in life

  25. Permalink to comment#

    I sure I could add quite a few more but I won’t. Tech people in general have our own language that most people outside of the technology field are completely clueless about- it makes it really hard to communicate with a client/person who isn’t technically savvy.

  26. Permalink to comment#

    Nice list… If you didn’t go and click on that ‘think again’ link in the BROWSER area – do it. That was really funny. I guess in a way it’s not too surprising. Those are the same answers I’d hear from most of my family.

  27. Great list. Hope you add more as your run across them.

  28. Good post Chris,

    I would only add that you explain attribute in the same sentence you explained tag. Because guess what, people still get them confused. Why, don’t know.

    Keep up the good stuff and thanks again.

  29. Permalink to comment#

    Erm, huh? I smell a seo page…

  30. Tons of great ideas everyone! As soon as I get a little time I’ll go through these comments and make the fixes and add the new ideas.

  31. That YouTube clip is actually scary now that I think about it. The web’s such a prevalent thing, and yet it seems safe to say over 90% of its users (i.e. everybody) don’t know how it works. That’s nuts.

  32. Permalink to comment#

    Here are a few, however, these are more or less programs than terms but still here alot in the web industry. . .

    Apache
    MySQL
    theGIMP
    python

    router
    modem

  33. Roy
    Permalink to comment#

    I have never thought of “Browser” as a term exclusively for website navigation, but it is usually the first that come to mind. :D

  34. Helen
    Permalink to comment#

    Funniest:

    – What browser do you use?
    – Firefox?
    – Why Firefox?
    – My friend came over to my house and erased all the other browser.

  35. Permalink to comment#

    Very good article and useful.

  36. Thanks Chris!
    I was half way through putting together my own version of this for my clients — linking to this list will save me a lot of time!

    BTW
    From a design point of view, Whitespace is also intentionally left blank for usability and findability.

    Thanks again!

  37. Ryan
    Permalink to comment#

    I have ‘jacked up’ my fair share of HTML and even created wonky effects using CSS. Plenty of other expletives… I mean adjectives have been used to describe my work but this borked you speak of is new to me.

  38. Cool article Chris!
    But I am 100% sure that most of the people who read this article did not themselves know some of these Terminologies[including me]!

  39. Aron Pilhofer
    Permalink to comment#

    Buried at the bottom here, but I’ll give it a try. I honestly don’t understand the difference either, but in the linked data world, a URI is assigned as a way to unambiguously refer to a person, place, organization… whatever. It may look like a URL, but it is simply a way of using the hierarchical structure to uniquely identify something or someone. That way, any reference to Springfield, Ill., always resolves to the same URI, even though that reference can be found within pages located at many different URLs. Make sense?

    • OK, here’s the difference: URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) are a proper subset of URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers). So both/either will uniquely identify something. A URL also tells you (or really your computer) how to go find it.

      Simple answer:
      A URL is what you type into the address bar on your browser.

      If you type a URI that is not a URL (IE: a Uniform Resource Name or URN), it won’t work.

      Consider: ‘isbn:0321344758′ is a URI and URN, but it’s not a URL. It uniquely identifies a book. It’s the book “Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability,” (2nd Edition, Paperback) by Steve Krug. Type it into your browser. It won’t do anything useful. “But I want to read (or buy) that book! What should I do?” Well what I did, was I typed ‘http://www.amazon.com/’ (a URL) and searched for ‘0321344758’, the ISBN. You could go to any other book sales site or search engine and do the same.

      Why have URIs? Well it turns out to be useful to be able to uniquely identify things (like books!) even when you’re not saying how to get one. Often, more information is available later or in the box or program you happen to be using, that will enabling finding the appopriate resource. Or maybe all you care about at the time is uniquely identifying things.

  40. Thanks for that, I’d been slowly putting together a list for my clients but yours is far more comprehensive and well explained – hope you don’t mind me putting a link to here on my site :-)

  41. Matt
    Permalink to comment#

    Maybe not a web-only tern, but FUBAR is one that I found myself using a lot while I was learning CSS. :)

  42. This is great, to see all those terms in one place. I always wondered what some of them means.

  43. Good list.

    SERP = Search Engine Results Page (not Search Engine Request Page)

    In my circles we used ‘kluged’, rather than ‘borked’… Borked sounds like something from Star Trek. :)

  44. emonweb
    Permalink to comment#

    “Above the Fold” is new to me. thanks. i can refer this page to newcomers in the industry.

  45. DED
    Permalink to comment#

    Hi, great list overall. Your definition of sprite seems off to me. The term comes from 2d game design, and the sprite is an individual image: multiple sprites together in one image form a sprite sheet. So, when you use one image that has all states of a link in it, that image is called a sprite sheet. But, maybe it’s different for just web-design ( terms change meaning sometimes when they change domains).
    Thanks for the list.

  46. Nick
    Permalink to comment#

    Great stuff! Please keep as all posted on when you release those revisions to this list.
    I like “borked”. I’ll have to add it to my repertoire.
    Someone mentioned using kludged instead of borked. I don’t agree. As I understand it, Borked kinda translates to “opps. something didnt go right there.” whereas Kludged kinda means “thrown together quickly without regard for best practices”.

  47. T
    Permalink to comment#

    I grok this list ;)

  48. Really great article, definitely web nerd safe :) With this article we can congratulate new people coming in this community.

  49. Thanks for the resource. Two questions: the term “tag” is also widely used as a term for a meta-level text descriptor for an image or other resource, quite a different sense from the coders sense, but more widely used. Perhaps the other sense could be noted. Also “anchor” should be clarified, old schoolers who grew up in the days of primitive html still use the term primarily for a link to a place within the same page, as opposed to a link to anywhere…Again, just to expand the text a little to make this clearer.

  50. Letric
    Permalink to comment#

    Not being computer literate, found ‘Web Nerd Terminology (Explained)’ to be been an enormous assistance. Thank you

  51. Why is SVG not included in the vector list?

  52. Permalink to comment#

    Needs to add

    – Facepalm
    – Fubar

    Otherwise a good list :-)

  53. Libby
    Permalink to comment#

    Brilliant Chris! Would you mind if I used this for content editors coming along to introductory MySource Matrix training? All credits will go to css-tricks, of course.

  54. You should include descriptions of “web developer” and “web designer”, as many people (even those in the industry) still confuse the two — or worse, think the terms are interchangeable.

  55. Also, CRUD usually refers to database functions, not basic site functionality. It can also mean how you described it, but it is much more commonly used in the programming world to describing database functionality.

  56. One word I’m really surprised hasn’t been mentioned is “tab.”

    It seems like 90% of the clients I work with are confused about what “tab” means. They all seem to think that “tab” means “main navigation link”, like in a menubar, and it appears to be snowballing.

  57. You make the distinction between vector and bitmap, though I think it’s more accurate to distinguish between vector and raster, and explain raster. Bitmap is a file type, not a graphics editing mode.

  58. Hi, would i be allowed to use these terms into visualfate.com?
    Thanks

  59. John
    Permalink to comment#

    You’re confusing acronyms and abbreviations. An acronym is an abbreviation which forms a pronounceable word, like ‘Ajax’, but HTML, RSS and CSS are unpronounceable and should be described as abbreviations.

  60. Jbeasley
    Permalink to comment#

    I also think you should include…

    “(slams hand on desk violently, then screams…) F**K IE6! – The act of debugging for IE6.”

    I’ll give you 2 guesses as to what i’m taking a break from right now, but you will only need one. ;)

    Great Article!

    Should also include – PSD, JSON, Jquery, ftp, plugin, database, IDE, debug, mirror, ssh, cpanel, API, screenshot.

  61. great list.

    for the record, the term “kerning” comes from the noun “kern” which is an overhanging projection of a character off of it’s body. Its origin is from hot metal type when letters were physical things. The way one would achieve satisfactory spacing of a combination of e.g. “To” or “Ye” would be to “kern” the T or the Y.

    Given that reality, kerning ALWAYS refers to the REMOVAL of space between letters. LETTERSPACING is the opposite action where one would ADD physical space between letters in order to achieve a more open setting.

    TRACKING is a modern term from computerized type setting (when still done by professional, skilled and knowledgeable workers. i.e. pre-Apple) that refers more generically to the act of letterspacing entire amounts of copy, but can also refer to overly tight setting of copy as well (which is discouraged).

  62. Hi Chris
    thanks a lot !

  63. steve

    It was strange seeing borked. It made me think of the the judge, Robert Bork and his failed nomination. Maybe some law students or lawyers switched careers or dropped out of school and carried over the terminology. The meaning is essentially the same, but I never heard the word used in a technical sense either.

  64. There was one that was not so familiar to me “Borked” :)

    I think DPI / PPI ive not seen before so it was good to read this.

  65. Fantastic, but I were hoping to learn something about Meta Tags ?

  66. Permalink to comment#

    This is an awesome article. A ‘must have bookmark’ for anyone that does work that involves anything on this list, so they can give it to the technology inclined people they may have to deal with on a project.

    Also, just a great post all around. Thanks!

This comment thread is closed. If you have important information to share, you can always contact me.

*May or may not contain any actual "CSS" or "Tricks".