Glossary of terms

Application Programming Interface

A set of classes and functions for performing a certain task, while hiding the underlying details.

Abstract Windowing Toolkit

Java GUI components implemented using platform-specific code, providing functionality common to all platforms.

See Also: Swing.

Centre for user-oriented IT design

An inter-disciplinary competence centre at KTH. Activities include a three-part collaboration between IT-industry, user organizations and university researchers. See

Cabinet Format

A compressed file format developed by Microsoft and used in many of their applications. Microsoft Internet Explorer, for example, can use CAB to download large Java applets from the Internet.

Common Object Request Broker Architecture

An open distributed object computing infrastructure being standardized by the OMG. CORBA automates many common network programming tasks such as object registration, location and activation etc. See

Distributed Component Object Model

Microsoft's extension of their Component Object Model (COM) to support objects distributed across a network. DCOM has been submitted to the IETF as a draft standard. Since 1996, it has been part of Windows NT and is also available for Windows 95.


DocBook is a very popular set of tags for describing books, articles, and other prose documents, particularly technical documentation. DocBook is defined using the native DTD syntax of SGML and XML. Like HTML, DocBook is an example of a markup language defined in SGML/XML.

Document Object Model

From the DOM spec [domlevel1]:

a platform- and language-neutral interface that allows programs and scripts to dynamically access and update the content, structure and style of documents


the goal of the DOM specification is to define a programmatic interface for XML and HTML

Document Type Definition

A text file that defines the allowed elements of a markup language such as HTML or SGML- and XML-based markup languages.

File Transfer Protocol

A common method of transferring one or more files from one computer to another.

Graphical User Interface

The interface to an application that the user sees, and which uses graphical elements such as buttons and menus for interaction.

Hypertext Markup Language

A language used to describe WWW pages so that font size and color, hypertext links, nice backgrounds, graphics, and positioning can be specified and maintained.

HyperText Markup Language

The underlying system whereby Web documents are transferred over the Internet.

Interface Definition Language

A language defined by the OMG used to define CORBA interfaces.

Instructional Management Systems

A global coalition of academic, commercial and government organizations, working together to define the Internet architecture for learning. IMS abbreviates Instructional Management Systems, which they have noted raises more questions than answers. So they prefer to be called just IMS. For more information, See

Java Archive

A compressed bundle of Java classes, similar to ZIP files. It is used to distribute Java applications and their related files.

Java Foundation Classes

A standard package of extensions to the base Java libraries. The most significant part is called Swing.

Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan

Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, i.e., The Royal Institute of Technology, located in Stockholm, Sweden.

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol

A protocol for accessing on-line directory services. LDAP defines a relatively simple protocol for updating and searching directories running over TCP/IP. See RFC 1777.

Meta Object Facility

As described in the MOF Spec [mofspec]:

The main purpose of the OMG MOF is to provide a set of CORBA interfaces that can be used to define and manipulate a set of interoperable metamodels. The MOF is a key building block in the construction of CORBA-based distributed development environments.

Open DataBase Connectivity

A standard for accessing different database systems. An application can submit statements to ODBC using the ODBC flavor of SQL. ODBC then translates these to whatever flavor the database understands.

Open JVM Integration

An API that allows a Web browser to use any Java Virtual Machine installed on the local harddisk instead of a built-in Virtual Machine.

Object Management Group

As described on the OMG home page (, an organization that was formed

to create a component-based software marketplace by hastening the introduction of standardized object software. The organization's charter includes the establishment of industry guidelines and detailed object management specifications to provide a common framework for application development.

Object Modeling Technique

The predecessor of UML.

Path URN

A URN scheme that defines a uniformly hierarchical name space. This URN scheme supports dynamic relocation and replication of resources. DNS technology is used to resolve a path into sets of equivalent baseURIs, and then one URI is resolved into the named resource. See [pathurnspec].

Remote Method Invocation

Part of the Java programming language library which enables a Java program running on one computer to access the objects and methods of another Java program running on a different computer.

Standard Generalized Markup Language

A standard for describing markup languages. Used to define both XML and HTML.


A set of Java GUI components extending the original AWT. Part of JFC.

Unified Modeling Language

A language for specifying, visualizing, constructing, and documenting the artifacts of software systems, as well as for business modeling and other non-software systems. It has been developed by the OMG. See [umlref] and the UML home page.

Uniform Resource Identifier

As described in [rfcuri], a URI is "a compact string of characters for identifying an abstract or physical resource".

Uniform Resource Locator

As described in [rfcuri], the term URL refers to

the subset of URI that identify resources via a representation of their primary access mechanism (e.g., their network "location"), rather than identifying the resource by name or by some other attribute(s) of that resource.

Uniform Resource Naming

A URI scheme which is under development by the IETF, which should provide for the resolution using Internet protocols of names which have a greater persistence than that currently associated with Internet host names or organisations (as used in URLs). Uniform Resource Names will be URI schemes that improve on URLs in reliability over time, including authenticity, replication, and high availability. See

See Also: Path URN.

UML Exchange Format

A set of XML DTDs that describe UML diagrams. See [uxfspec].

The World Wide Web Consortium

As described on the W3C home page (, the W3C was founded to "lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability."

Wireless Application Protocol

A lightweight protocol to allow mobile phone users to use Internet services.

XML Metadata Interchange

A serialization of a UML metamodel described using the MOF. The serialization is done using XML. See [xmispec].

Extensible Markup Language

A metalanguage defined by W3C, used to define specialized markup languages (like HTML) that can be used to transmit data in a portable way. See [xmlspec].

Extensible Style Language

Language defined by the W3C used to transform XML documents into HTML or some other presentation format, for display in, i.e., a Web browser.