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It's quite simple when you know

In technical fields, jargon has two potential objectives, one is positive and the other negative. The positive objective is to allow one to refer to a complex system or group of things with one simple word, acronym or phrase. The negative objective is to exclude outsiders from understanding what it is that you are talking about. For example, the financial industry started using the word leverage as a verb to describe financed buy-outs and is now widely used by so-called financial experts when trying to describe something which they do not understand.

However, sometimes the second objective is unintentional and therefore I think it useful to let the reader know about some of the more common terms used in web design.

1. Dynamic web pages

There are two types of web pages that would will read, static and dynamic. It simply refers to the way in which the page was created. A static page is a simple web page that has been written out in full and when you visit the page, you see nothing more than the content that was written for that page. A dynamic web page is a page that is created by the web server in the background and this can be done a number of ways. The most common would be a database of products. From this database it is possible to create search pages, categorisation pages and also the pages that describe the products. None of these pages exists on the server but rather they are created "on the fly" when you visit the page according to the criteria in the database.

2. Web 2.0

This is an oft-misused term which refers to websites that not only interact with the user but also work from user provided content. Facebook, Twitter and Gmail are the most common example of this type of website.

3. Affiliate Marketing

This refers to a system of marketing whereby users create websites, blogs and other Internet content to sell the products of another. The system allows the seller to earn commission when people who they refer to the producer of the product make a purchase. This is often used for simple products like e-books and services with repeat billing like web hosting.

4. JavaScript

This is a programming language which allows web pages to do things instead of just sitting there. It allows the interaction between the user and the web page. Its main uses are discussed in the next section.


I put these together as I see one as an evolution from the other. DHTML is a combination of styling technologies (CSS) and JavaScript and allows a web page to become animated in some form. Nice effects such as changing colours on pages based on mouse moves and fading image galleries are good examples of this technology.

AJAX takes this one step further and allows JavaScript to interact with the web server as well as the user's browser. This allows a web page's content to change immediately without moving to another web page and bring in new content immediately based on user input. If you have ever used Google mail, this is something which relied heavily on AJAX.

These are some of the most common phrases. I will write about more in future as I think of them.


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