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Glossary

General glossary to help visitors on the KA3 site

Action Line
Activities within the IST Programme are organised into Action Lines, which is a theme along which 'actions' or projects are allocated and carried out.
Ambient intelligent landscape
Ambient intelligent landscape is an environment in which our surroundings act as a natural interface to access a universe of integrated intelligent services. This is at the heart of the IST programme vision developed by the programme's advisory group ( ISTAG ).
Cluster
Project clusters are a defined group of RTD projects benefiting from synergies – to maximise added value within a given field and establish a critical mass of resources at the European level.
(the) Community / European Community
Applied specifically to mean the 15 European nations or Member States in the European Union (EU).
Cross-Programme
Applies to research activities and projects affecting more than one action line or programme within the European Commission.
Continuous Submission (Scheme)
Proposals can be submitted under the Continuous Submission Scheme for Support Measures and Grant Applications (Partial support for Conferences, Workshops, Seminars and Exhibitions). This differs from a Fixed Deadline Call for Proposals, which requires project applications to be submitted according to a fixed schedule.
DG
Directorate-General of the European Commission.
Euro
Currency of the European Union.
eEurope
An initiative within the EU to ensure Europe benefits from the emerging Information Society: operating along 3 key Action Lines (or objectives): 1. Cheaper, faster, secure internet, 2. Investing in people and skills, 3. Stimulate the use of the internet.
Fifth Framework Programme (FP5)
Commission programme for the period1998-2002 encompassing four thematic programmes (Key Actions): Quality of life & management of living resources; User friendly information society; Competitive and sustainable growth; Energy, environment and sustainable development, AND three horizontal programmes: Confirming the international role of community research; Promotion of innovation and encouragement of participation of SMEs; Improving human research potential and the socio-economic knowledge base.
(the) Institutions / European Institutions
Five institutions of the European Union; the Parliament, the (European) Commission, the Council, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors. The Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions are also widely regarded as Institutions, though technically not - capitalise all.
Information Society
A society influenced and impacted by the changes taking place in the information, communications and technology (ICT) sectors.
IST
Information Society Technologies (Programme) provides a single and integrated approach to the convergence of information processing, communications and media technologies. For more information, definitions and IST specific terminology visit IST Glossary
Key Action
Key Action is one of the major innovations of the Fifth Framework Programme. The Key Action is defined as a cluster of projects - small and large - directed toward a common goal and linked to the major economic and social objectives of the EU.
Multimedia (see "multimedia corner" for more terms and references)
The use of computers and/or digital functions to present various forms of visual and audio media in a meaningful context. Incorporating: animation, audio elements, CD-ROM, computer entertainment, convergence media, data compression, DVD, graphics and graphics interfaces, hypermedia, text, video, videoconferencing, virtual reality, ... and an ever expanding list of technologies targeting this growth area.
(Framework) Programme
A broad programme outlining the actions to be taken by the Commission over a stated period of time (e.g. Fourth Framework Programme, or FP4, 1994-1998; and Fifth Framework Programme, or FP5, 1998-2002, FP6 2002-2006).
Proposer
A person or organisation responding to a call for proposal from the Commission. The resulting noun comes from the root verb 'to propose' by submitting a proposal
RTD vs. R&D
RTD = Research and Technological Development (relates to activities outlined in the Commission's Framework Programmes) & R&D = Research & Development (generic terms).
telematics
A compound noun combining the words 'Tele' (meaning far) and 'matics' most probably from informatics. The application of information and communications technologies and services, usually in direct combination. A Telematics Application is a system or service meeting user needs (i.e. Telematics Applications within the 4th Framework Programme).

Multimedia Corner - Glossary of multimedia specific terms and acronyms

3-D Audio
A technique for generating more depth in traditional stereo sound. 3-D sound, or 3-D audio, is usually created by placing a special device in a room with stereo speakers.
3DO
Technology to supports realistic graphics, full-motion video, and CD-quality sound.
AAC
Advanced audio coding
AAF
Advanced authoring format, which is a Microsoft multimedia file format for multimedia authoring applications - making it possible to develop a multimedia presentation in one application and edit it in a second application.
AC-3
Another name for Dolby Digital sound.
AIFF
Audio interchange file format, which is a common format for storing and transmitting sampled sound.
Animation
Simulated movement created by displaying a series of pictures (or frames). Cartoons at the movies or on TV are types of animation. Computer animation is very important in multimedia presentations.
Application sharing
Videoconferencing applications that enables conference participants to run the same applications at the same time.
ASF
Advanced streaming format, which is a Microsoft streaming multimedia file format.
Audio scrubbing
Moving within an audio file or tape to locate a particular section.
Authorware (tool)
A tool or program to help in the writing of multimedia applications (or hypertext).
Avatar
An icon, usually graphically generated, representing a real person in cyberspace. They can be used to play games, as a tour guide around a site, to simulate walking, speaking, etc.
AVI
Audio video interleave, which is a file format for Microsoft's Video for Windows standard.
Buffer
Temporary storage area of data enabling the central processing unit (CPU) of a computer to manipulate data before transferring it to a device. Because the process of reading and writing data to a disk can be slow, many programs keep track of data changes in a buffer and then copy it to a disk.
BLOB
Binary Large OBject, which is a collection of binary data stored as a single entity in a database management systems (DBMS). BLOBs are used to hold multimedia objects such as images, videos, and audio, but they can also store programs and code elements. Not all DBMSs support BLOBs.
(web) Browser
A software application designed to allow people to locate and display web pages.
CDFS
CD-ROM file system
CD
Compact disk
CDMA
Code-division multiple access, or a digital cellular technology applying what is called "spread-spectrum techniques". This differs from GSM, for example, which does not assign a specific frequency to each user. Instead, every channel uses the full available spectrum.
CD-RW
CD-ReWritable disk
Code
(1) A set of symbols for representing something. E.g. most computers use ASCII codes to represent characters. (2) Written computer instructions. The term code is colloquial.
Convergence
The converging, overlapping or coming together of different technologies to produce next-generation technologies.
CU-SeeMe
Videoconferencing program using the internet to send video and audio signals.
Cyberspace
A word or metaphor used to describe the non-physical "space" linking one computer system to another.
c-web
Community Web: 'Community' = a set of people who share some common objectives and, more importantly, share common background knowledge. To reach their common objective, community members will increase and modify this common body of knowledge.
Data compression
Storing data to take up less space (e.g. zip files).
Desktop publishing
Using the functions of a personal computer or office workstation (computer linked to a network) to produce (commercial) quality printed material.
Device
Any machine or component that attaches to a computer.
Digital (content)
Describes any system based on discontinuous data or events. Computers are digital machines because at their most basic level they can distinguish between just two values, 0 and 1 (off and on). There is no simple way to represent all the values in between, such as 0.75. Data must be encoded digitally to be understood by a computer. The opposite of digital is analog.
DSS
Digital satellite system
Digital watermark
A pattern inserted into a digital image, audio or video file identifying the file's copyright information (author, rights, etc.). The name comes from the faint watermarks imprinted on stationery which identify a manufacturer of stationery. The purpose of digital watermarks is to provide copyright protection for intellectual property. Unlike print watermarks, which are supposed to be visible, digital watermarks are designed to be completely invisible.
Dolby Digital
The quality standard for digital audio used for the sound component of video stored in digital format.
Download
To copy data (usually a file) from a main source to a peripheral device (e.g. a PC). The term can be used for copying a file from an on-line service or bulletin board service (BBS) to an individual's personal computer. Downloading can also refer to copying a file from a network file server to a computer on a network.
DVD
Digital video disc, or as it is sometimes known, "digital versatile disc", which is a type of CD-ROM that holds at least 4.7GB (gigabytes) of data, i.e. a full-length movie. DVD-RW (is the rewritable version of DVD).
Electronic signature
Sometimes written as e-signature or digital signature. A code that can be attached to an electronically transmitted message that uniquely identifies the sender. Like a written signature, the purpose of a digital signature is to guarantee that the individual sending the message really is who he or she claims to be.
Erasable optical disk
A type of optical disk that can be erased and loaded with new data versus a read-only (or non-erasable disk) such as a CD-ROM.
File
A format for encoding information in a file. Different file types have different formats. File formats specify first whether the file is a binary or ASCII file, and second, how the information is organised.
Floptical
Disk drive technology using a combination of magnetic and optical techniques for better storage capacity.
Fps
Frames per second
Frame(s)
(1) In graphics and desktop publishing, an area in which text or graphics can appear. (2) In HTML, the dividing of a browser display into separate components, each of which represents a different web page. (3) In video/animation, a single image in a sequence of images.
Freeware
Copyrighted software that is given away for free (usually over the internet).
GSM
Global system for mobile communications (European standard)
HDTV
High-definition television, which is a type of television that provides much better resolution than current TV using older standards.
Hypermedia
An extension to hypertext which supports links through graphics, video and image elements, as well as sound and text elements.
Hypertext
A special type of database system created in the 1960s where objects; text, pictures, programs, music, etc. can be linked to each other.
ICT
Information communication technologies
Image map
A grouped image (single object) that contains separate linkable elements or 'hot spots' within the image parameters.
info-mobility (devices)
Technologies used to provide information to and from mobile communities, using advance mobile technologies and platforms.
(human) interface
There are several types of interfaces applicable to the IT world. A 'user interface' allows the user to communicate with the operating system through the keyboard, mouse, menus of a computer system. A software interface involves languages and codes that software applications use to communicate with each other and with the hardware. A hardware interface involves other the wires, plugs and sockets that hardware devices use to communicate with each other. A human interface allows humans to better communicate with and within the wider IT world, by using modalities such as spoken and written language, facial and prosodic expressions, gestures and emotions, and haptics.
internet
General name given for the network of websites accessible via the world wide web (www); the large system of many connected computers around the world which people use to communicate with each other.
JavaScript
A scripting language (a web programming language or list of commands) developed by Netscape (web browser) to enable web authors to design interactivity into their sites.
Limdow
A process aimed at speeding the copying of information to CD-ROM.
MCI
Media control interface
Midi
Musical instrument digital interface, which is the standard adopted by the music industry for controlling devices, i.e. synthesizers and sound cards which deliver music.
Mouseover
A JavaScript element or function which triggers a change on an item (usually a graphic or menu) in a web page when the mouse passes over it. Mouseovers are widely used in Navigation Bars, pop-up boxes, and form submissions.
MP3
File extension for MPEG - audio layer 3, which is one of three underlying coding schemes used to compress audio signals.
MPEG
Moving picture experts group
MPC
Multimedia personal computer
Multimedia kit
A combined package of software and hardware that provides multimedia capabilities to computers.
Narrowcast
Sending signals or data to a specific list of recipients, e.g. cable television
Multiread
An OSTA approved specification for CD-ROM and compact disc players enabling them to read discs generated by CD-RW drives.
Object
Any item that can be individually selected and manipulated - including shapes and pictures appearing on a display screen and less tangible software.
Optical disk
A medium for writing, storing and reading data using lasers. Optical disks can store up to 6 gigabytes (6 billion bytes) - than most portable. There are three basic types: CD-ROM; WORM (write-once, read-many); EO (erasable optical) disks.
On-line
Live and viewable content via the internet.
OSTA
Optical Storage Technology Association
PC
Personal computer (IBM standard)
Plug-in
A hardware or software module that adds a specific feature or service to a larger system. For example, there are a number of plug-ins for the Netscape Navigator browser that enable it to display different types of audio or video messages.
Read
To copy data to a place where it can be used by a program. The term is commonly used to describe copying data from a storage medium, such as a disk, to main memory.
Ripper
Software which lifts digital audio pieces from a compact disc and relays it to the hard drive of a computer.
RTT
Real-time technology, which allows a user to receive data in real time (measured in milliseconds or microseconds).
S-video
Super-video is a technology for sending dual video signals over a cable by splitting the video information into two signals: one for color and one for brightness.
Sampling
A technique of capturing (or recording) periodic snapshots of phenomena that appear continuous if the sampling rate is fast enough - the principle behind motion pictures (movies).
SMDI
SCSI musical data interchange
SMIL
Synchronised multimedia integration language, which is a markup language being developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
Sound card
A function allowing a computer to manipulate and produce sounds. Sound cards are a common feature on virtually all modern PCs.
Streaming
A way of transferring data so it can be processed as a continuous stream. Streaming technologies are increasingly important as the internet grows. Speed of transfer is key. With streaming, the client browser or plug-in can start displaying the data before the entire file has been transmitted. For streaming to work, the client side receiving the data must be able to collect the data and send it as a steady stream to the application that is processing the data and converting it to sound or pictures - if the streaming client receives the data too fast it needs to save the excess data in a buffer. If the data doesn't come fast enough the presentation of the data will be patchy. Real Player (from RealNetworks) is perhaps the best know software allowing the streaming of audio, video and rich media files.
Telephony
The science of translating sound into electrical signals, transmitting them, and then converting them back to sound; that is, the science of telephones. The term is used frequently to refer to computer hardware and software that performs functions traditionally performed by telephone equipment.
Toaster
Describes outdated or slow hardware. More recently, the term has been used to describe a product that packages various components or functions together as in kitchen appliances that have multiple functions.
Tweening
A contraction of "in-betweening", which is the generating of intermediate frames between two images giving the impression that the first image blends smoothly into the second. Tweening is important to the (computer) animation process.
Upload
To transmit data from a computer to a bulletin board service, mainframe computer, or network. For example, if you use a personal computer to log on to a network and you want to send files across the network, you must upload the files from your PC to the network.
Videoconferencing
Conducting a conference between two or more people in remote locations using computer and video technology to relay the images and sounds in (close to) real time.
Video editing
Manipulating video images. Becoming more common as video editing software is now available on modern PCs.
Video overlay
Placing or nesting a full-motion video window on the display screen.
Virtual reality
An environment created with a computer to simulate real life situations.
VoD
Video on demand
WAP
Wireless application protocol, which allows users to access information instantly via handheld wireless devices such as mobile phones, pagers, two-way radios, smart phones, and communicators
WebTV
Started as a general term for the whole gambit of technologies enabling people to surf the web with their TV by using a small box connecting the telephone line and television. The internet/web pages are transformed into a format that can be displayed on a regular TV.
Write
To copy data from the main memory to a storage device, such as a disk.
XML
Extensible markup language, which allows designers to customise formatting (tags), to achive greater definition, transmission, validation, and interpretation of data between applications and organisations.

More information can also be found at the following location:

  • IST Glossary
  • CORDIS Glossary
  • European Commission ABC

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Last updated: 22|07|2003


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