Caching (pronounced CASH-ing) is a technique computers use to save memory by storing frequently accessed files.
Web browsers have caches that keep recently downloaded web pages handy. Browser caches are typically kept on your local drive, and you can usually adjust the amount of memory or disk space allotted for the cache. The benefit of web caches is that you can access a cached page much more quickly than if you downloaded it from a distant server.
A filter is a program that receives a specified kind of data, then manipulates and outputs the results.
Your word processor’s find and replace function is a good example of a filter.
A monospace font, such as Courier, is one in which every character takes up the same amount of horizontal space.
Thus a thin “i” in a monospace font would have the same width, or pitch, as a fat “w.” A font in which an “i” is relatively thinner than a “w” would be a proportional pitch font, such as Times. Pitch is usually expressed as the number of characters printed per inch. Common pitch values are 10 and 12. Because monospace fonts have constant widths, they are often used to align tabular data into columns.
Software developers need to know which platform their software will be running on. A platform can be an Intel processor running Windows, a Macintosh running System 8, or any combination of hardware and software that works together. Platforms are important for web designers to understand, because they need to make sure their pages will work on more than one platform. Different browsers display web pages differently on various platforms. Since the internet itself is a cross-platform system, designers need to test web pages on different combinations of machines and browsers to ensure the widest possible audience will be able to view their sites.
While a few sites rely on subscriptions for their primary revenue stream (see the Wall Street Journal and, um, Slate), most content providers use subscriptions as a supplementary revenue stream (i.e., a way to eke out a little more money). Usually, these “all the extras” subscriptions offer users such exciting baubles as a free email or special discounts from advertisers. (Oooh! Aaah!)