Archive for the ‘Glossary’ Category

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BeOS, or Be Operating System, was the flagship product of Be, Inc.

Development of the operating system ceased around 2001 after the purchase of Be, Inc. by Palm, Inc. Development for BeOS has continued thanks to a small community of developers.

File Under: Glossary


Duotones are images that only display in two colors.

Like most visual techniques on the Web, duotones come from the world of print. In print, the more colors you use, the slower the production time and the higher the cost, so duotones were often an economical alternative. Duotones can also improve efficiency on the web by enabling the creation of cool-looking images with small file sizes. Duotones are made by first creating a grayscale image and then overlaying it with a different specified color.

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The level of sophistication used to format lists in HTML is a vestige of HTML’s roots as a text-formatting language. You can’t position images or manipulate the leading of type yet, but you can make three types of lists:the unordered list (which is like an outline), the ordered list (which is like numbered instructions), and the definition list (which is like a series of dictionary entries).

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Much like an oil painter with her palette of many unique color combinations, each operating system has its own palette. Many computers out there display only 256 colors at a time, and the Macintosh and Windows operating systems reserve about 40 colors out of the 256, leaving 216 available. Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and NCSA Mosaic implemented a 216-color palette that won’t dither (i.e., vary the pattern of dots in an image) on different platforms and is “browser safe” (in other words, these 216 colors will always look the same, no matter what platform or browser is being used). Theoretically.

File Under: Glossary


Shockwave is a proprietary technology that enables web pages to deliver multimedia objects. Macromedia developed Shockwave as a Web-sized way to view the products of its popular authoring tool, Director. Once the object is made in Director and compressed using Macromedia’s AfterBurner, that object can be embedded in an HTML file. To see a Shockwave object, your web browser must have the Shockwave helper application, an extra doodad that can be freely downloaded as either a Netscape Navigator plug-in or an ActiveX control. The problem with Shockwave, however, is the problem that plagues all plug-ins:A web experience is greatly degraded when you’re told that you can’t see or hear something because you need another component for your browser. But as plug-ins go, Shockwave is excellent. Recent versions support not only video, animation, and audio, but can also process user events like clicks and keystrokes.