On 8/14/2013 10:21 AM, Valerie Sutton wrote:
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August 14, 2013

Hello Bill!

Thank you for your great response to my question about terminology…the question was…what is the difference between the terms Online, Internet, and Web?

 I really appreciate your point that the terminologies overlap … recently I have had three different people ask me if we will have a course online …and meanwhile, we already have web pages - Those are html pages in a browser - that teach SignWriting. But I suspect they mean an "interactive course online" where they can post on a bulletin board to ask the teacher questions and so forth…

And I love your paragraph below where you end in a smiley face ;-) Got it? Ha! 

I think what you are saying is that since all the terminologies are starting to overlap, and since even PDF files do not have to be downloaded now to be read in a web browser or an e-book reading device, that maybe the term "online" and "offline" are good "catch-alls"" - and I agree - 

except one day I thought I could use those two terms to describe SignPuddle Online and SignPuddle "Offline" for the PersonalPuddle software that can be used without an internet connection…but Steve pointed out to me that SignPuddle is run on a server, even when it is not connected to the internet, so the term Offline was not really right and instead we could use the term "Desktop" - and that is fine with me, but there will be a day when SignPuddle will be able to be used for writing signs, on an iPhone…Does an iPhone or an iPad or other kinds of tablets and phones have a desktop? Or are they always online?
Hi Val,

My understanding of Web fits with the definition of web page when talking in the context of "web applications" or "web pages".  It does not define whether it is online or not.
A web page (or webpage) is a web document that is suitable for the World Wide Web and the web browser.

This is typically an html page wether the file extension is .htm, .html, .php, .asp. .aspx, .jsp etc.

Whereas Web can also mean the systems of linked web pages on the World Wide Web  on web servers whose domains usually but not always starts with www in the context of Internet as a network.
So "on the web" to me would mean that you need an Internet connection to access it.

In the programming world there are three kinds of apps for phones and tablets.
Native Mobile Apps
These could be considered analogous to "Desktop" on a computer.  It installs on the device and can be used even when internet is not available.  It is developed for a specific platform either IPhone, Android etc. and has access to the files and other hardware on the device.

Mobile Web Apps
Web sites made specially to be used on a mobile device hosted on the Internet.  Usually work on most mobile platforms.  Can only be used when an internet connection is available.  Cannot access the local files.

Hybrid App
A web application that is hosted the device and can access the device's files. Can be used even if an internet connection is not available.  Has access to the local files.

    Sometimes it depends on how you are classifying things.  Whether from a network or non-network perspective or from a web browser non-web browser perspective.

web browser non web browser
network Web (Like SignPuddle), online, Internet, "on the web", Mobile Web App

non network Web (Like Personal Puddle), offline, Hybrid App
Desktop, Native Mobile App


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Val ;-)


On Aug 12, 2013, at 9:28 PM, Bill Reese <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

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:
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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?


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

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, 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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