U

User friendly.

Characteristic of a system that inexperienced or untrained users feel comfortable working on, and find helpful and not intimidating. Generally, use of such a system does not depend heavily on knowing or remembering procedural details; rather, the system provides hints, guidance, and choices among alternatives at every stage of the interaction.


Validated data.

Data values or data sets that have been shown to be generated according to standard test methods and practices or other measures of quality, reliability, and precision. [C]

Verified data.

Data that have been shown to be accurately transcribed or transformed from other representations.

Virtual reality.

A computer-generated simulation of reality (or imagined reality) with which users can interact using specialized peripherals such as data gloves and head-mounted computer graphic displays. [L&S]

W

Workstation.

(1) A term traditionally used to describe a high-end, high-performance assembly of equipment, including extensive computer graphics capability, as an interactive console for performing a specialized function such as computer-aided design, computer animation, or complex data analysis. Typically, the workstation includes enough computing power and data storage capacity to operate free-standing from any other computer, although workstations are often networked to larger systems for data archives, communication with other workstations, etc. As the technology of personal computers has improved, they have taken on functions previously handled on workstations. (2) Any assembly of computer equipment designed to support the full range of work of an individual.

World Wide Web.

A tool, based on the hypertext system, for the organization and representation of on-line information available over the Internet. To access the Web, a browser such as Netscape or Mosaic is required. The user must know the address of the home page of the institution whose information is to be accessed. The WWW provides the simplest means of navigating the Internet, giving access to text, images, sound, and video. [D]

Sources of Definitions

[C] J.H. Westbrook and W. Grattidge, eds. (1991), "A Glossary of Terms Relating to Data, Data Capture, Data Manipulation, and Databases," CODATA Bulletin 23, Nos. I & 2, 196 pp.

[D] T. Dodd (1995), Computing: The Technology of Information, Oxford University Press, 160 pp.

[E] G.L. Tring, ed. (1994), Encyclopedia of Applied Physics, VCH Publishers.

[EC] Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European Union on the Legal Protection of Databases (1996), 96/9/E.C., March 11.

[IBM] G. McDaniel, ed. (1994), IBM Dictionary of Computing, McGraw-Hill, 758 pp.

[L&S] D. Longley and M. Shain, eds. (1986), Dictionary of Information Technology, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, 382 pp.



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