Terminology - your advice?

Bill Reese wreese01 at TAMPABAY.RR.COM
Tue Aug 13 04:28:26 UTC 2013

All good questions, Val.  I'd pick: all of the above.  :-)

Really, though, many of the terminologies overlap.  When you say that 
something is on the Web, it's on the Internet.  The Web is part of the 
Internet.  Most people tend to associate the Web with browser pages.  It 
gets a bit complicated, however, as browsers can now access other than 
just HTML.  PHP runs in a web page (accessible in the browser) and you 
can even use plugins in browsers to access other parts of the internet, 
like IRC.   You can directly access FTP pages now through the browser.  
That tends to muddy just what is the Web.

"Online" is usually used when there's a corresponding offline.  For 
instance, an online file is accessible over the internet, but an offline 
file would be on your computer that only you can access.

Now to answer your questions specifically:

A document "on the web" is not the same as "reading a document 
online."   Documents come in all formats and sizes and some need to be 
downloaded and opened with special software.   When you read something 
online that usually means there is control of the document online so 
that you don't download it to read it.  You stream it from the server as 
you read.  It may even not end up on your computer but goes poof after 
you read it.  E-readers come to mind.

An online course is the same as a course on the web or a course on the 
internet.  They're interchangeable because you have to access the 
internet for all three and almost all courses are accessed through a 
browser.   While it's possible to have a course through IRC or other 
chat protocol (skype?), it's usually not referred to as an online course.

As to a document in SignPuddle Online, that's a document that's being 
accessed through a Web app (PHP) using the browser and so would be more 
limited than just any ol' file on the Internet.   I'd tend to 
technically say that's a "web document" but who says that? Nobody.  
Everyone would refer to it as an online document.  Only the really geeky 
would point out that an FTP file - or any other file that can be 
accessed through the internet - is also an online document and therefore 
"online document" - while inclusive of a web document - is not 
exclusively limited to it.  Got it?  ;-)

It may help to keep in mind that all files reside on a computer 
somewhere.  The question then, becomes "is it accessible through the 
internet?".  If it is, it's online.  If it's not, it's offline.


On 08/12/2013 03:03 PM, Valerie Sutton wrote:
> SignWriting List
> August 12, 2013
> Question for everyone…
> I am trying to update my terminology…
> What is the difference between these three terms?  Online…Internet….Web
> For example, when a document is "on the web", is that the same as 
> "reading a document online"?
> Is an Online Course the same as a Course on the Web, or a Course on 
> the Internet?
> I looked some of this up on Google, and some of the answers I got are 
> pasted below, but I am still not sure…
> When I want to direct someone to read a document in SignPuddle 
> Online….is that a document on the web? a document online? or a 
> document on the internet?
> smile…
> and when people offer courses online, are they really on the web? or 
> are they in something else other than HTML? what happens if it is PHP? 
> is that on the web?
> smile …
> Anyone have a quick explanation understood by all? ;-)
> Val ;-)
> --------
> Google searching...
> *Answer: **The Internet and the World Wide Web have a whole-to-part 
> relationship*. The Internet is the large container, and the Web is a 
> part within the container. It is common in daily conversation to 
> abbreviate them as the "Net" and the "Web", and then swap the words 
> interchangeably. But to be technically precise, the Net is the 
> restaurant, and the Web is the most popular dish on the menu.
> Here is the detailed explanation:
> *1: The Internet is a Big Collection of Computers and Cables.*
> The Internet is named for "interconnection of computer networks". It 
> is a massive hardware combination of millions of personal, business, 
> and governmental computers, all connected like roads and highways. The 
> Internet started in the 1960's under the original name "ARPAnet". 
> ARPAnet was originally an experiment in how the US military could 
> maintain communications in case of a possible nuclear strike. With 
> time, ARPAnet became a civilian experiment, connecting university 
> mainframe computers for academic purposes. As personal computers 
> became more mainstream in the 1980's and 1990's, the Internet grew 
> exponentially as more users plugged their computers into the massive 
> network. Today, the Internet has grown into a public spiderweb of 
> millions of personal, government, and commercial computers, all 
> connected by cables and by wireless signals.
> No single person owns the Internet. No single government has authority 
> over its operations. Some technical rules and hardware/software 
> standards enforce how people plug into the Internet, but for the most 
> part, the Internet is a free and open broadcast medium of hardware 
> networking.
> Here is a conceptual diagram of the Internet and how it contains many 
> forms of online communications 
> <http://netforbeginners.about.com/library/diagrams/nwww2.htm>
> *2: The Web Is a Big Collection of HTML Pages on the Internet.*
> The World Wide Web, or "Web" for short, is a massive collection of 
> digital pages: that large software subset of the Internet dedicated to 
> broadcasting content in the form of HTML pages. The Web is viewed by 
> using free software called web browsers. Born in 1989, the Web is 
> based on hypertext transfer protocol 
> <http://internet.about.com/library/aa_protocols_071202.htm>, the 
> language which allows you and me to "jump" (hyperlink) to any other 
> public web page. There are over 65 billion public web pages on the Web 
> today.

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