Internet Literacy – Part 4
This is part 4 of my series, Internet Literacy. In this part of the series, I explain the web page as should be seen by the ordinary Internet user. This part of the series is a continuation of the previous part, to make you Internet literate.
The Web Page
I talked about the browser window in the previous part of the series. There I said the web page occupies the largest part of the browser window. The browser window consists of a header block at its top and optionally a status bar at its bottom. The header block has the bars (title, address, etc.) of the browser window. The header block occupies a small portion of the browser window at the top. The rest of the browser window is taken up by the web page.
At the server, the web page is typically a saved file. At the client browser, the visible part of the web page file occupies the larger (very big) part of the browser window. I will spend the rest of this article talking about the visible items of the web page and some of the interactive parts of the web page.
The greatest visible content of a typical web page is text. Some of the text may be colored, some may be bolded, some may be in italics; whatever is the case; the greatest visible content of the web page is text. The main information in a typical web page is in the text (all the text). The images and videos are there to enhance understanding.
A web page can have one or more images. An image may also be a hyperlink, such that when you click it, a new web page appears under the active window tab, replacing the current web page. That is what all hyperlinks are supposed to do.
Some web pages can play sound as the web page is loaded (displayed). Others would show an Audio element (image portion) with a Play button. When you click the Play button, you hear the sound. The sound plays to completion or when you stop it by clicking the Stop Button, if the audio element presented one (a stop button). Here, sound and audio mean the same thing.
A web page can have a video clip. With some web pages, the video clip starts playing as the web page is loaded (displayed). With others, there is a Play button. When you click the Play Button, that is when the video clip starts playing.
As of today, you can only have video clips, which are short videos, in a web page. The technology is not yet advanced enough to have a full one and a half hour video film in the web page. When you want such a thing, you have to download it and play it with a special video application (software program). The software program is independent of the browser and web page. You have to install it independently of your browser in your client computer. After downloading, the playing of the video (film) is independent of the browser and web pages.
Today, you have what is called, streaming audio (sound) and streaming video, which would make it appear as if a web page can play a one and a half video film. I will talk about this later.
Note: video is moving pictures plus sound.
A hyperlink is a special short line of text or a special image. When the mouse pointer goes over a hyperlink, it becomes a hand. Clicking a hyperlink normally brings up a new web page, displayed under the active window tab, replacing the current web page. Some hyperlinks may start a downloading process (see below).
In the previous part of the series, I said that one way to have a web page displayed under a window tab is to type the URL of the page in the address bar of the browser window, when the window tab is active. After typing you click Go or press the Enter Key.
You can do something slightly different with a hyperlink. If you right-click a hyperlink a pop-up menu (short cut menu) appears. In the pop-up menu, you will have the options to open the link in a new tab or to open the link in a new window. If you choose to open the link in a new tab, the corresponding web page will open under a new window tab in the same browser window. If you choose to open the link in a new window, the corresponding web page will open in a new browser window.
It is not obligatory for a web page to have sound, image or video. A web page can have only text. Text, sound, image and video are each called a resource. These resources are housed in the website (directory) in a web server. Resources are saved as files in a web site.
A resource can be downloaded, from the web site to your home client computer. Resources are files, so any type of file, e.g. a zip file can be downloaded. After a resource has been downloaded, it can be executed or played independently of the browser and web page.
If a web page wants you to download a resource or any other file, it will display a link or button for this. When you click the link or button, a small dialog box (small window) will appear asking you whether you want to run (play or execute) or save the file. You have to choose to save the file (resource). When you do that, for some browsers like, Internet Explorer, another dialog box will appear asking you to choose the directory (folder) of your client computer, where you want the file to be saved. After choosing your directory and clicking the Save Button, the file will be saved in your computer. For other browsers like, Mozilla Firefox, after choosing the option to save the file, a new browser-like window will appear, with a progress bar, saving the file in a special directory of your client computer. When the saving (downloading) is complete, as the progress bar element will indicate, you have to right-click the progress bar. When you do that, a pop-up (short cut) menu will appear. In the pop-up menu, click “Open Containing Folder” or something similar. The special directory in which the file was saved will open. From there you can copy the downloaded file to some other directory or flash disk.
Web Page Menu
A menu is a set of hyperlinks or a set of button-like elements in one portion of the web page. If the links are arranged vertically or horizontally, then you can describe the set as a menu bar. The browser header block has a menu that is made up of button-like elements, also called main menu items. A menu can also just consist of a text list, but that kind is not of our interest here. A web menu is made up of hyperlinks. The web page menu can be placed horizontally at the top of the web page or vertically on the left side of the web page. It can also be placed vertically on the right side of the web page. You can have more than one web page menu in a web page. You can have web page menus of different sizes in areas of the web page different from the places I have mentioned.
Some web page menus operate like the browser window main menu. That is, when you point to a hyperlink in the menu, a drop down menu consisting of hyperlinks appear. If you click a hyperlink in the drop down menu, a new web page is displayed.
Layout is where what is placed on a web page. Normally a web page begins with some kind of title that indicates what the web page is about. In some cases the title may be accompanied by an Image. Shortly below that you are likely to have a horizontal web page menu. Below the horizontal menu, you are likely to have a vertical menu on the left side of the page.
The website designer decides on where to place images if he wants the web page to have images. The website designer decides whether to have columns of text or columns of images or no column at all. He decides where to place the columns of text or images on the web page, if he chooses to have any column.
So, layout of a web page is where what is placed. This decision is made by the website designer.
It is possible to have a narrow vertical bar on the left of the browser window. This bar is called the sidebar. It may belong to the browser window or to the web page. From the context, you will know to which component it belongs.
This is a bar just like the sidebar, but it is found on the right of the window. It may belong to the browser window or to the web page. From the context, you will know to which component it belongs.
An image gallery is a web page where most of the content is images. If the website consists mostly of such pages then the website is an image gallery. A Video gallery is a web page where most of the content is videos. If the website consists mostly of such pages then the website is a video gallery; however the technology today, does not really permit that (video gallery) to happen conveniently.
Note: images and pictures are synonyms in this article.
You might have noticed that in some web pages, when you are not doing anything, some elements may be moving or changing their positions. In some cases, when you move your mouse pointer over an element on the page, something else appears or happens. A web page that has this kind of feature is known as an Interactive page. A web page that does not have any interactivity is known as a static page.
Some websites like Yahoo allow you to read your emails on a web page. This does not mean that the email technology has become the same as the web technology. The email server is still separated from the web server. In the past, you needed special software like Microsoft Outlook Express to read emails. Today, you can still use such software if you like. However, the companies that own (or rent) email servers today, also own (or rent) web servers. So it is possible to join the 2 technologies and have email received at a web page and sent from a web page form.
To have an email box, you have to register (sign up) with an email company, which can also be a website company. Today, some email boxes are free to own; others are purchased. Today, majority of the email box registrations are done on a web page of a website. At the hosting end, the emails are kept in an email server and not in a web server.
Email addresses are of the form:
You begin with a name, in lower case, then the @ sign, then the name of the server, then a dot, then an extension such as, com.
Streaming Audio and Streaming Video
Today, it is possible to transmit live radio sound or live television signals through the Internet. For the radio, that is called, streaming audio. For the TV, that is called streaming video.
Yes, today, you have to learn how to drive, learn how to read and write, be computer literate and be Internet literate. We stop here and continue in the next part of the series.
Window for the Ordinary Internet User
The Web Page for the
Ordinary Internet User
Web Page Form for
when ordering a Website
Internet Payment Systems