Wide Area Info Service. A protocol for a search engine invented by Brewster Kahle of Thinking Machines in 1991 and based on ANSI standard Z39.50 specifications. WAIS is a distributed information system that lets you search databases on WAIS servers via keywords. It returns a list of files weighted according to relevancy.
wait state
A rest period in which the CPU or bus is idle because different components of the system (the CPU, the memory chips, the system bus, the expansion boards, etc.) run at different clock speeds. Ideally a system would run with zero wait state.
Wide Area Network. Computers and LANs linked within a wide area, i.e. interoffice. This can be set up in the same building, across town as in a MAN (Metropolitan Area Network), or across the planet. Longer connections would probably utilize FDDI, fiber optic cables, long haul carriers and the satellites of companies such as AT&T, MCI, Tymnet, Telnet, and GTE.
Wireless Application Protocol. A secure specification started by Unwired Planet, Motorola, Nokia and Ericsson. It allows information via wireless devices such as mobile phones, pagers, and two-way radios. WAP supports most wireless networks including CDPD, CDMA, GSM, PDC, PHS, TDMA, FLEX, ReFLEX, iDEN, TETRA, DECT, DataTAC, and Mobitex. WAP is also supported most operating systems, especially the ones specifically engineered for handheld devices. Such OSes include PalmOS, EPOC, Windows CE, FLEXOS, OS/9, and JavaOS. WAP supports HTML and XML but also utilizes a subset of XML called WML which is specifically geared for small screens, one-hand navigation, and keyboardless interfaces. WAP also supports WMLScript, a minimalist version scripting language akin to JavaScript.
To drive around and look for exposed wireless LANs. The term is derived from the movie WarGames, where Matthew Broderick plays a hacker who had his computer randomly dial numbers so he could hack big systems.
Wide Area Telephone Service. Service which allows for unlimited long-distance calls to certain areas for a flat monthly rate.
.wav. A sound file format for Windows. WAV files contain a header that can describe the type of data in the file, including the compression type or sampling rate. In contrast, a VOX file is a raw sound file without a heading. WAV files typically use linear PCM. WAV files are especially used for operating system events such as deleting a file. See also my article on Sound.
See WWW.
web page
An HTML document. Web pages are usually viewed with browsers just as a document file may be viewed with a word processor.
web server
A server that hosts several web sites.
Web Services
Aka Application Services; SOP (Service Oriented Programming). A general term for exposing object-like APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to applications over the web via XML. Contrast this with regular non-programmatic Web usage that involves a human user. Web Services allow programmatic interaction over the Web regardless of platform (EGs: Linux, Windows, Mac) or programming language (EGs: Java, PERL, Visual C#).

There are two main schools of doing Web Services.
  • "WS-*" is the older school that focuses on SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol. Transfers info for Web Services via various Internet protocols.), WSDL (Web Services Description Language. Describes Web Services.), and UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration. Lists Web Services). An alternative to UDDI is ERR (ebXML Registry and Repository), which is sponsored by OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) and U.N./CEFACT (United Nations Centre for the Facilitation of Procedures and Practices in Administration, Commerce and Transport).
  • "REST" (Representational State Transfer) is the newer school that focuses on XML communication via the older HTTP methods of GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE.

The three main suites for Web Services:
  • .NET by Microsoft.
  • SunONE by Sun.
  • WebSphere by IBM.
Web Services Description Language
web site
A home page (commonly called index.htm) and its nuclear family of linked web pages. Each page is written in HTML and is found on a HTTP server on the WWW.
Window File Protection. A feature of Windows 2000 and Windows 98 Second Edition that protects system DLLs from being modified or deleted except by OS update packages such as service packs. If a user or an application without the proper digital signature tries to delete or modify a DLL, then it will appear as if nothing had happened. As of 2000/01, there are over 2800 protected DLLs in Windows 2000.
A technical article that tends to give a broad conceptual view.
(1) Blank space between and around objects. White space is not necessarily "white". Good use of white space improves legibility and functionality.

(2) In text, a contiguous sequence of one or more of any of the following characters:
  • Tab = \t = 9 = x9 = HT= Horizontal Tab
  • New Line = NL = \n = 10 = xA = LF = Line Feed = EOL = End Of Line
  • Vertical Tab = VT = \v = 11 = xB
  • Form Feed = FF = \f = 12 = xC = NP = New Page
  • Carriage Return = CR = \r = 13 = xD
  • Space =   = 32 = x20
Note that the Unix "EOL" = \n, but the old Mac "EOL" = \r, and the Windows "EOL" = \r\n. In regular expressions, whitespace = \s = [\f\n\r\t\v].
Wide Area Info Service
Wide Area Network
See WAN.
Wide Area Telephone Service
(1) A generic term for any discrete object. A widget is usually small and mechanical in nature. The term widget is often used in computer examples as being sold by some fake company like Acme, Inc.

(2) A.k.a. Control, instrument. A discrete element of a GUI (Graphical User Interface). Widgets include labels, icons, pull-down menus, buttons (command, palette, toggle/radio, etc.), boxes (on-off check, input text, input text area, selection), select lists (single or multi-selections, dual lists that move items between the lists), tree lists, progress indicators, slide bars, scroll bars, windows, resizing window edges, tabs, keyboard shortcuts, forms, and many other devices for displaying information and for inviting, accepting, and responding to user actions.

(3) One of several small programs/classes that come with most programming languages and operating systems.
In word processing this is a visual mistake of having the last line or last few lines of a paragraph left at the start of the next page. See also orphan.
Wireless Fidelity. IEEE 802.11 specification for broadband wireless access. Whereas WiFi is for LANs, WiMax is for MANs. 802.11 is for 1-2 Mb/s. 802.11b is for 11 Mb/s. 802.11g is for 54 Mb/s. 802.11n is for 100 Mb/s.
Wikis enable collaboative web sites by allowing anyone to edit site content via simple browser interface available right on each site page. Because of its freeform, natural style, a Wiki functions as an informal group memory. Ward Cunningham invented Wikis in 1995. The term Wiki is derived from wiki wiki which is Hawaiian for "quick". See also blog.
Pattern matching for either one character or any number of any characters in a string.

For a single character: In DOS this would be "?". In most regular expressions this would be ".". In SQL this would be "_". EG: In DOS "a?.txt" would match files like "ab.txt" but not "a.txt", "alpha3.txt", or "beta.txt".

For any number of any characters in a string: In DOS this would be "*". In most regular expressions this would be ".*". In SQL this would be "%". EG: In DOS, "a*.txt" would match files like "ab.txt", "a.txt", and "alpha3.txt" but not "beta.txt".
Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. IEEE 802.16 specification for broadband wireless access. Whereas WiFi is for LANs, WiMax is for MANs.
In a GUI, it is a portal through which a program interfaces with the user. Multiple windows, representing different programs and/or different documents of a program, may be open but there is usually only one active window at a time.
Window File Protection
See WFP.
Microsoft's family of operating systems. There are roughly three lines: consumer, corporate, and portable.

Consumer Windows line:
  • 3.x
  • 95
  • 98
  • Millennium/Me
Corporate Windows line:
  • NT 4.0 Workstation
  • NT 4.0 Server
  • NT 4.0 Server Enterprise Edition
  • NT 4.0 Server Terminal Edition
  • 2000 Professional
  • 2000 Server
  • 2000 Advanced Server
  • 2000 Datacenter
Portable Windows line:
  • CE
Windows 3.x
Microsoft's GUI, single-user, non-preemptive-multitasking operating system that runs on top of DOS. It is a mix between a 16 bit and a 32 bit OS. Different versions include Windows 3.0, Windows 3.1, Windows 3.11, and Windows for Workgroups. Because Windows 3.x was not built for today's GUI intensive program, it can run into problems when its 64 kb resource heaps for its system resources fill up.
Windows 95
Microsoft's GUI, single-user, preemptive-multitasking operating system. Unlike Windows 3.x, Win 95 does not run on tops of DOS and is a mostly 32 bit OS. Here are the different releases of Windows 95:
  • 4.00.950. The retail version sold in stores, and preloaded on computers.
  • 4.00.950A. The previous version with SP1 (Service Pack 1) installed.
  • 4.00.950B OSR 2. The OEM-only version with Operating System Release 2 and support for FAT32 disks.
  • 4.00.950B OSR 2.1. The previous version plus support for USB (Universal Serial Bus).
  • 4.00.950C OSR 2.5. The previous version plus integrated Internet Explorer 4.01.
Windows CE
An OS that contains key functions of Windows 95 for use in palmtop computers and devices.
Windows Internet Name Service
Windows Metafile
See WMF.
Windows NT
Windows New Technologies. Microsoft's multi-user, preemptive multi-tasking, 32 bit operating system. First introduced in 1998 as Windows NT 3.1.
Windows Internet Name Service. A Windows network service that resolves NetBIOS names to IP addresses. See also DNS.
A file archiving application for Windows. WinZip saves and opens many different archiving and compressing formats. WinZip often associates with these extensions: arc arg b64 bhx cab gz hqx lzh mim tar taz tgz tz uu uue xxe z.
Wireless Application Protocol
See WAP.
Window operating system, IIS web server, SQL Server database, Programming language of choice. A some-cost, closed-source web and database system, especially one created using the specified technologies. See also LAMP.
A program or part of a program that takes the user through the typical steps of a particular task.
.wmf. Windows MetaFile. A graphic file format for the Windows OS that is especially designed for resizing. This is supposedly being replaced by EMF. It supports vector objects, rasterized images, and text, and has 8 bit color.
Write Once Run Anywhere. The concept of writing code once and having it usable in most systems. The web is the best example of this. In theory a web document can written once and then used and displayed by different browsers on different operating systems on different hardware systems all over the world. In reality, such a document has to be carefully crafted so that it can be accessed from any system.

The WORA concept was a big selling point for the programming language Java by Sun since in theory a Java app is compiled as bytecode and can run on any system that has a JVM (Java Virtual Machine).
Write Once Read Many. Refers to medium that cannot be erased and re-written, but can be read many times. EGs: Pen & Ink; CD-ROM.
Microsoft's term for a peer-to-peer network with one or more NT based computers. A computer on a Windows network is, for security purposes, either part of a workgroup (peer-to-peer) or part of a Windows domain (client/server)
A non-persistent object that defines a named session for a user when accessing a database.
Beefier clients in a client/server setup. Traditionally workstations were RISC computers running a UNIX variant (Sun's SPARC running Solaris, IBM's RS 6000 running AIX, HP's HP 9000 running HP-UX, etc.) however there are now Windows NT clients/workstations that can run on CISC computers.
World Wide Web
See WWW.
World Wide Web Consortium
See W3C.
Window Random Access Memory. A memory circuit board by Samsung Electronics. It is dual ported like VRAM but is cheaper and faster.
See Web Services.
Web Services Description Language. WDSL describes Web Services in an XML format. See also Web Services.
Way To Go.
World Wide Web. (Often pronounced as "dub-dub-dub".) The Internet network of servers rendering HTML: pages of text, graphics, audio, video, shareware, and other types of computer accessible media.

"....A global, interactive, dynamic, cross-platform, distributed, graphical hypertext information system that runs over the Internet." -Laura Lemay.

The Web was developed in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee and Rort Cailliau, employees of CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. They wanted the vast CERN database to be easily accessed and organized via the hypertext concept. Originally their systems was all ASCII text on screens 24 lines by 80 characters.
What You See Is What You Get. An application in which what you see on the screen looks like the final product as opposed to seeing symbols of the final product.

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