26 Additional Web Development Terms You May Not Have Heard Of

Published on February 9, 2023 (↻ September 23, 2023), filed under (RSS feed for all categories).

Web Development has its own, special vocabulary that consists of several thousand terms. No one knows all of them. (Or do they?) After sharing 33 terms here, 33 terms there, another 25 terms over there, here are 26 more terms * you may or may not have heard of.

An IPv6 address resource record in the Domain Name System (DNS).
A discontinued operating system for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. Bada was developed by Samsung. Its name is derived from “바다” (“bada”), meaning “ocean” or “sea” in Korean. Bada was released in 2010 and discontinued in 2013.
CFML (ColdFusion Markup Language)
A scripting language for web development that runs on the Java virtual machine, the .NET framework, and Google App Engine. Multiple implementations of CFML engines are available, including Adobe ColdFusion, Lucee, New Atlanta BlueDragon, Railo, and Open BlueDragon.
Dead letter queue
A queue that other queues can send messages that could not be processed successfully. Dead letter queues are useful to isolate unsuccessfully handled messages.
Exception handling syntax
The set of keywords and structures provided by a computer programming language to allow exception handling, which separates the handling of errors that arise during a program’s operation from its ordinary processes. Syntax for exception handling varies between programming languages, partly to cover semantic differences but largely to fit into each language’s overall syntactic structure. Some languages do not call the relevant concept “exception handling”; others may not have direct facilities for it, but can still provide means to implement it. Most commonly, error handling uses a try… [catch…] [finally…] block, and errors are created via a throw statement, but there is significant variation in naming and syntax.
Font subsetting
The use of only the glyphs and features needed from a given font.
A JPEG encoder developed by Jyrki Alakujala, Robert Obryk, and Zoltán Szabadka, and released by Google in 2017. Guetzli specializes in high-end image quality where it is claimed to produce significantly smaller files than prior encoders at equivalent quality, albeit at very low speed. It is named after the Swiss German expression for biscuits, in line with the names of other compression technology from Google. github.com/google/guetzli
A discontinued HTML editor originally developed in 1996 by Nick Bradbury. Unlike WYSIWYG HTML editors such as FrontPage and Dreamweaver, HomeSite was designed for direct editing, or “hand-coding,” of HTML and other website languages. After a successful partnership with the company to distribute it alongside its own competing Dreamweaver software, HomeSite was acquired by Macromedia in 2001, after which elements of the software were integrated into Dreamweaver. Following the acquisition of Macromedia by Adobe, the company announced in 2009 that HomeSite would be discontinued.
Information overload
The difficulty in understanding an issue and effectively making decisions when one has too much information about that issue. Generally, the term is associated with the excessive quantity of daily information. Information overload most likely originated from information theory, which are studies in the storage, preservation, communication, compression, and extraction of information.
A dialect of the ECMAScript standard that is used in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. JScript is implemented as an Active Scripting engine. JScript was developed by Microsoft and first supported in Internet Explorer 3.0 released in 1996. Its most recent version is JScript 9.0, included in Internet Explorer 9.
A web browser and file management tool. Konqueror was first released in 1996. konqueror.org
Lead time
The latency between the initiation and completion of a process. For example, the lead time between the placement of an order and delivery of a new car by a given manufacturer might be between two weeks and six months, depending on various particularities. Manufacturing lead time, as another example, may be defined as the total time required to manufacture an item, including order preparation time, queue time, setup time, run time, move time, inspection time, and put-away time.
MAM (Media Asset Management)
A special type of Digital Asset Management (DAM) that helps to organize media like images, audio, and video.
Ninety-Ninety Rule
A humorous aphorism attributed to Tom Cargill that states: “The first 90% of the code accounts for the first 90% of the development time. The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development time.” This adds up to 180%, making an allusion to the notoriety of software development projects significantly over-running their schedules.
Origin trials
An approach to enable manageable experimentation with web platform features involving explicit developer opt-in, feature trial validation, and feedback collection. is.gd/6gJDY4
Pinball pattern
A pattern of user behavior in which the gaze of a user, as determined by eye tracking, “bounces around” a page, resembling how a ball moves within a pinball machine.
An AJAX web application framework. qooxdoo provides support for professional JavaScript development with a graphical user interface (GUI) toolkit and high-level client-server communication. It was first released in 2005. qooxdoo.org
RCDATA (Replaceable Character Data)
A term (“RCDATA”) used to declare that a markup element may contain text content and entity references, but not sub-elements.
Session storage
Web storage that is both per-origin and per-instance (per-window or per-tab) and that is limited to the lifetime of the instance. Session storage is intended to allow separate instances of the same web app to run in different windows without interfering with each other, a use case that’s not well-supported by cookies.
Tag soup
A pejorative for syntactically or structurally incorrect HTML written for a web page. Because web browsers have historically treated HTML syntax or structural errors leniently, there has been little pressure for web developers to follow published standards, and therefore there is a need for all browser implementations to provide mechanisms to cope with the appearance of “tag soup,” accepting and correcting for invalid syntax and structure where possible.
UIML (User interface markup language)
A markup language that renders and describes graphical user interfaces and controls. Many of these markup languages are dialects of XML and are dependent upon a pre-existing scripting language engine, usually a JavaScript engine, for rendering of controls and extra scriptability. The concept of user interface markup languages is primarily based upon the desire to prevent the “re-invention of the wheel” in the design, development, and function of a user interface. The typical user interface markup language solidifies often re-used program or script code in the form of markup, making it easier to focus upon design of a user interface in an understandable dialect as opposed to focus on function. Examples for UIMLs include XAML, XUL, and SVG.
Virtual inheritance
A C++ technique that ensures only one copy of a base class’s member variables are inherited by grandchild-derived classes. Without virtual inheritance, if two classes B and C inherit from a class A, and a class D inherits from both B and C, then D will contain two copies of A’s member variables: one via B, and one via C. These will be accessible independently, using scope resolution. Instead, if classes B and C inherit virtually from class A, then objects of class D will contain only one set of the member variables from class A. This feature is most useful for multiple inheritance, as it makes the virtual base a common subobject for the deriving class and all classes that are derived from it.
A mobile application framework supporting Vue.js and Rax, themselves frameworks that are integrated into the Weex SDK. weex.apache.org
A system for addressing components of XML-based Internet media. It is divided among four specifications: a “framework” that forms the basis for identifying XML fragments, a positional element addressing scheme, a scheme for namespaces, and a scheme for XPath-based addressing. XPointer, or the XPointer Framework, became a W3C Recommendation in 2003. w3.org/TR/xptr-framework
YMYL (Your Money or Your Life)
A category from Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines that covers websites and apps that may impact “a person’s future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety” and for which result quality is particularly important.
Zone file
A text file that describes a Domain Name System (DNS) zone. A DNS zone is a subset, often a single domain, of the hierarchical domain name structure of the DNS. The zone file contains mappings between domain names and IP addresses and other resources, organized in the form of text representations of resource records (RR). A zone file may be either a DNS master file, authoritatively describing a zone, or it may be used to list the contents of a DNS cache. Zone files were first introduced in 1987.

The cover of “The Web Development Glossary.”

How many terms did you know? How many terms had you heard of? What was new?

Web Development is a great field. If you decide to follow the field’s development through the The Web Development Glossary, you get book updates automatically when obtaining your copy at Google Play Books or Leanpub (other vendors). Have a look!

* Some explanations are based on Wikipedia, the MDN Web Docs, or the HTML Living Standard. All references are available in the Appendix of The Web Development Glossary (PDF). This post is licensed under a CC BY-SA 4.0 (Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International) license.

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About Me

Jens Oliver Meiert, on September 30, 2021.

I’m Jens (long: Jens Oliver Meiert), and I’m a frontend engineering leader and tech author/publisher. I’ve worked as a technical lead for companies like Google and as an engineering manager for companies like Miro, I’m close to W3C and WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly and Frontend Dogma.

I love trying things, not only in web development (and engineering management), but also in other areas like philosophy. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.

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