Moodle Technical Terms

Following on from the previous blog about Moodle terminology here is a breakdown of some of the more technical terminology you may come across whilst working with Moodle. We would also love to hear from you if you’ve got suggestions for more items to add to this list. Feel free to drop us an email at schoolanywhere@webanywhere.co.uk

Moodle Technical Terms

Term

Meaning

Cache

Pre-calculated data that sits on the server in order to speed up page loading time

Proxy

A service which intercepts requests and forwards them on to their final destination, also capable of modifying that request in transit

SSL/TLS

Encrypted transport layer

DNS

Converts domain names (e.g. www.google.com) into IP addresses (173.194.34.71)

Debugging

Interpreting error messages which are emitted by an application in order to diagnose a problem and fix it

JavaScript

A client side scripted language which generally runs in a web browser

AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XML)

JavaScript that can perform http requests without page reloads (background)

HTTP/HTTPS

Transport communication layer

Port

Common network applications are accessible from well-defined port numbers. HTTP is usually on port 80, HTTPS on 443

Imagine a server as a block of flats – a port might be a particular flat number which you wish to talk to

SFTP

File transfer over SSH encryption

PHP

A server side scripted language

SSH

‘Secure Shell’  encrypted command line access to a UNIX-like operating system

NFS

NFS is a computer networking protocol designed to share a filesystem over a network

LAMP

A popular term for a server stack configured with the following software: Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP

Apache

nginx

Two popular examples of web server software, these serve requests for webpages when requested by your web browser

VPN

A term for the use of technology which combines multiple networks across disparate locations into one virtual network, allowing access to remote resources as if they were local

Database

A database is effectively a large digital filing system. Allowing large amounts of data to be stored and organised by fields, records and files. A field is a single piece of information; a record is one complete set of fields; and a file is a collection of records. This organisation allows data to be searched quickly using queries and commands

PostgreSQL

An open source Relational Database Management System with a heavy emphasis on compliance with standards and stability

MySQL

Probably the most popular open source database system

Open Source

Open source software means that the computer code which the software was written in is freely available to download and modify. Governed by GPL, lGPL, Apache or BSD licences which state how you are permitted use the source code.

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