W3C | Architecture

Index of Terms

This is an effort to provide shared context and promote cohesive discussion and coherent specifications.

For an informal glossary of terms, see: glossary of web terms. See also: Outline

Currently, this is just an alphabetical index of terms, with references to documents where they are defined in different ways. The intent is to come up with one comprehensive, consistent terminology that specifications will draw from and add to (hopefully, in an automated fashion, eventually!). I'd also like to formalize this knowledge using something like Larch or KIF (e.g.Formal Treatment of XML and Related Technologies .)

see also: anchor address, URI, name

See also: link, resource

aka span, region, button, or extent

anchor address
"an absolute Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), optionally followed by a '#' and a sequence of characters called a fragment identifier" per section Hyperlinks of [HTML95]
see also URI, URI-reference
anchor identifier
aka fragment identifier
anchor element
aka linking element
Propagation: On Link Reliability

see also: resource, information retreival, latency, timeout, connection refused

back link
See also: link
aka: user agent
"@@" per Unicode 2.0[@@], in ISO10646@@
character encoding scheme
see also: internet media type
character set
definite description
  1. aka resource; aka Node; See also: visit
  2. aka page, frame, card
  3. a bit of data
see: character encoding scheme
  1. as in entity body
    • in MIME
    • in HTTP 1.0, HTTP 1.1@@
  2. as in entity reference
    • in SGML@@
    • in XML@@
  3. see: party
entity body
see also: Internet Media Type
fragment identifier
"additional reference information to be interpreted by the user agent after the

retrieval action has been successfully completed" per [URI98] 4.1. Fragment Identifier


see also: description, metadata

aka node
see: query
Propagation: On Link Reliability

Security: cryptographic mechanisms: message integrity checks, digital signatures

aka authenticity

See also: party, principal, Corruption, Forgery, Version skew, replica

Internet Media Type
a format name
see also: anchor, topology
linking element
see also: principal
in RDF? (see also: anchor in libwww?)
see also: address
see also: resource
object type
aka interface
the source of some messages; for example: persons, computers, and programs. See: authentic
see also: URI, address

aka object.

a message in reply to a request
see also: client
see also: follow
The allowable connectivity between nodes, anchors and links: for example, 1-1 or many-1 mappings.
Uniform Resource Identifier
  1. "a compact string of characters for identifying an abstract or physical resource." per [URI98], IETF Draft Standard; this definition excludes #fragmentID syntax
  2. as defined in [URI94], including the #fragmentID.
    aka anchor address
See also Addressing Overview

The term "URI-reference" is used here to denote the common usage of a resource identifier. A URI reference may be absolute or relative, and may have additional information attached in the form of a fragment identifier. However, "the URI" that results from such a reference includes only the absolute URI after the fragment identifier (if any) is removed and after any relative URI is resolved to its absolute form.

-- [URI98]
Uniform Resource Locator. A kind of URI
Uniform Resource Name. A kind of URI
Web, the
see World Wide Web
World Wide Web

works in progress; some of these should move to the glossary

compound document
Compound Document Architectures@@

See also: document

architecture: links
@@What's the canonical graph theory paper?
digital artifact
storage and state
aka Entity in HTTP 1.1
Document in SGML.
byte sequence@@
direct manipulation
User interface

Central to this research is the widely accepted ideal of ``direct manipulation'' as described by Shneiderman ``Direct Manipulation'',Computer,1983, 16(8), summarised in the following:

... visibility of the object of interest; rapid, reversible, incremental actions; and replacement of complex command language syntax by direct manipulation of the object of interest --- hence the name ``direct manipulation.''

GRIP page

@@closed-world, crossing administrative domains, minimally constraining
follow (a link)

See also: link

home page
  1. (popular definition) The public starting point for exploration on a topic, person, organization, place, etc.
  2. (original definition) A user's private starting document, consisting of links to often-visited or recently-visited documents. The document from which WWW starts if no specific document is given.
home document
See home page, original definition
information retrieval problem
Information Retrieval Problem to the query.

See also: precision, recall

a measure of the amount of time between the initation of a request and the completion of the request. See also: available. Related Failures:
The process of moving from one node to another through the hypertextweb . This is normally done by following links . Various features of a particular browser may make this easier. These include keeping a history of where the user has been, and drawing diagrams of links between nearby nodes. (More...)
The prevention of unauthorized users from reading, or writing, a particular piece of data. Also known as "authentication", "access control", etc. (More...)
An ordered set of nodes or anchors which represent a sequence in which a web can be read. A path may represent the sequence a reader actually used, or may be a sequence recommened to the reader by the author.
a measure of how many of the results are relavent
the way things appear on the screen of the user's station.
We have used this term for the person who browses, to distinguish him/her from the program ( browser ) which (s)he uses.
a measure of how many of the relavent items are in the results. See: precision, information retrieval problem
a copy of a document; that is, x is a replica of y if GETting x usually yields the same digital artifact as getting y. See: authentic
In a fault-tolerant, distributed system, reliability is a measure of how many times a given computation succeeds out of the number of times it is attempted.

The acceptable level of reliability will vary between applications, and even between users. A reliable system is one in which any party may achive arbitrarily high reliability by investing sufficient resources.

resource discovery
see: information retrieval problem
source (of a link)
see: link
The automatic finding of nodes by automatic navigation . Examples might be finding all nodes dependent on another node, all people interested in a given node, all modules which use a given module. Another example is a trace starting with more than one node, such as to find a node in common between two groups, or path linking two nodes.
(anachronistic) Universal Document Identifier (@@when?). see URI
to experience a document; for example, to see a document displayed on a video screen.
welcome page
anachronistic form of home page, 1.

Bibliography (newest first)

Resource Description Framework (RDF) Model and Syntax
W3C Working Draft 16 Feb 1998
Ora Lassila , Ralph R. Swick, eds.
latest version
Extensible Markup Language (XML): Part 2. Linking
W3C Working Draft July-31-97
Lexicon of Linguistics
Editors: Jan Don, Johan Kerstens, Eddy Ruys, Joost Zwarts
Converted to HTML by: Hans Leidekker
Utrecht University
Copyright 1996
Hypertext Design Issues, by Tim Berners-Lee, work in progress 1996
Henrik Frystyk, Håkon W Lie, 1994
Towards a Uniform Library of Common Code (slightly updated version, May 96) in the proceedings of WWW October '94 Chicago
F. Halasz and M. Schwarz. The Dexter Hypertext Reference Model. Communications of the ACM, 37(2):30--39, February 1994. Edited by K. Grønbæck and R. Trigg.
World-Wide Web: The Information Universe
Berners-Lee, T., et al., (1992), Electronic Networking: Research, Applications and Policy, Vol 1 No 2, Meckler, Westport CT, Spring 1992
Design Issues, by Tim Berners-Lee, work in progress 1990
Halasz, F. and Schwartz, M. The Dexter hypertext reference model. In Proceedings of the Hypertext Standardization Workshop. National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, 1990,


Knowledge-Domain Interoperability and an Open Hyperdocument System Douglas C. Engelbart -- Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Supported Collaborative Work, Los Angeles, CA Oct 7-10, pp. 143-156. (AUGMENT, 132082).
James Crawford. 1990. Access-Limited Logic: A Language for Knowledge Representation. Doctoral dissertation, Department of Computer Sciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas. UT Artificial Intelligence TR AI90-141, October 1990. [Table of Contents]. See also: Algernon and Access-Limited Logic PDF service
Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools, by Alfred V. Aho, Ravi Sethi, and Jeffrey D. Ullman. ISBN: 0-201-10088-6, 500 pages, hardcover, 1986
Title: BookMaster 4.0 User's Guide
Document Number: SC34-5009-04
Build Date: 07/08/92 11:19:01 Build Version: 1.2
IBM BookMaster 

User's Guide 

Release 4.0 

Document Number SC34-5009-04 

Program Number 

       © Copyright IBM Corp. 1979, 1992
The Problems of Philosophy, by Bertrand Russell
First published in the Home University Library, 1912
First issued as an Oxford University Press paperback, 1959
This reprint, 1971-2
ISBN 0-19-500212-1

Dan Connolly
created Jan 1996
last revised $Date: 2004/04/22 21:27:59 $ by $Author: plehegar $