As of January, 2012, this site is no longer being updated, due to work and health issues

Site Search Tools Glossary

Markup Languages and Formatting Style Sheets

SGML - Standard Generalized Markup Language
A markup (tagging) meta-language designed by committee and used for all sorts of purposes, from libraries to aerospace documentation. SGML is self-describing, with a required section that specifies the tags used in a particular document. In theory, any SGML parser could read and display any document, but apparently it's been so unwieldy that most parsers have been tied to a particular implementation of the standard.
HTML - Hyper Text Markup Language
The vastly simplified special-purpose markup language is defined using SGML.  It is now the Internet standard for designing web pages for the world wide web.  Many tags, such as citation and code were designed for computer-science academic types.
XML - EXtended Markup Language
A manageable subset of SGML, this language contains all the most important parts of its parent, without much of the complexity. It is a meta-language for creating markup language, a data modeling language optimized for the Internet and designed to be both simple and flexible. It works well with existing HTML pages, yet allows pages to describe additional tags for specific types of content. For example, an XML book review might have Author, Title, Publisher, Price, Reviewer, Rating, Review, and other similar tags. XML tagging will allow site search engines to treat static documents as database records, and search them on specified fields. Webwide search engines will have a harder time, as they will not know much about the individual tags used by each site.
DTD - Document Type Definition
The expression of the XML tags used for this particular page or pages. It defines the elements, attributes and entities allowed in the page.
DHTML - Dynamic HTML
A larger set of tags adding layout, interactivity and data binding to HTML. There was some contention between Netscape and Microsoft on the definition of this standard, but it seems to be more reasonable now. The demonstrations I've seen include some JavaScript animations moving images through the visible space of the browser, and automatically resetting font size and color. DHTML can be expressed in XML.
CSS - Cascading Style Sheets
As XML describes the data content organization, CSS defines the representation of the data, providing more detailed instructions to the parsers than plain HTML. This will allow more precise layout and display of information.
CSSP - Cascading Style Sheets - Positioning
A proposed standard to allow designers to specify the position of display elements on a page, much like a desktop publishing layout application does for printable text. Web design applications now do this using a variety of techniques, tricks and hacks, so this standard would let browsers and other parsers just follow the rules to display this kind of data.
XSL - Extended Style Sheets
A proposed standard extending the CSS model to more complex systems, adding style semantics for extended tags and structure.
XLL - Extended Link Language
A proposed standard extending the concept of hypertext link to multiple targets, two-way linking, annotations and more.
XML-Data
Rich schemas for XML, such as currency, other complex data types.
DOM - Document Object Model
Interface "glue" that ties the data and the scripting on the desktop, regardless of the browser.
Namespaces
A proposal, in its very early stages, to register tags, enabling DTDs to distinguish element source, ownership, or application. This would allow webwide search engines to recognize and specify individual fields for searching.
RDF - Resource Description Framework
Based on the MCF work done at Apple (shown under the name HotSauce), RDF provides metadata, information about information. It allows better navigation within sites, agents to exchange data between sites. It's a W3C recommendation.
Page Updated 2006-06-16