Find a curated list of terms and definitions created by the team.

Alt text

Alt text is the written text that is displayed in place of an image on a webpage. Alt text supports screen-reading aids that explain images to visually impaired readers. It also enables search engines to crawl and rank websites more efficiently. Alt text can also be referred to as alt tags and alt descriptions.


The anchor element in HTML, which looks like <a>, is used to create a hyperlink.

Boilerplate templates

These give us newcomers a great starting point. They provide a bit of code that we can work off of: a foundation to build from. Much like starting with a Microsoft Word template, but in code form. Here is a good YouTube tutorial.


A browser is an application that allows users to access the web. It takes the appropriate content from a particular server and displays it on the users’ device.


In Git, to clone a repository means to make a copy of it that lives on your computer, which you can then make changes to and later “push” back onto the site.


In our project, to code means not only learning how to understand and write computational code, but also how to “re-code” our profession, thereby folding in computational coding and a critique and reimagining of academia in one.


A comment is contextual information that the programmer includes in their code to explain what a particular line of code is doing to the reader, so that others can use and adapt the code for their own purposes.


In GitHub, a commit is a revision or change to a repository. When you make a commit, you must leave a “commit message” for yourself or others on your team about the changes that were made, which helps keep track of the project’s revision history.


CSS is style language that lets you select certain things on a webpage and you can give them any number of properties.

CSS Rule Set

A rule set is a section of CSS code that includes the selector, which is the part of the webpage you want to style, curly brackets, and a list of CSS properties, set with a specific value.


In GitHub, a directory is the folder that contains your repository and any other files related to your project.


The <div> tag in HTML is used to designate a separate section and provide a container for those elements, which can then by styled separately in the style sheet.


A unit that refers to the font size. If something has a 1 inch font size, then the em is 1 inch. If used for things outside of font size, then those become dependent on it. (relative unit vs. absolute)


Environment, in a computational context, is the software (eg. VS Code) and hardware (eg. a laptop) that you are working with.

Environment Set-Up

Environment setup is the process of gathering and downloading all of the things that we will need to code and design a website. This is a vital initial step that can take those less comfortable with technology longer than expected (which is completely fine!).


In CSS, the float property moves an object to one side of its container, allowing the text to wrap around it.


Git is software that allows us to work on our own projects (like this website), or collaborate as a group. Like Homebrew, Git is a free and open source project. One of the best things about Git is how it tracks every single change that we will make, which is obviously ideal for group projects as well. Git will manage our source code and store it directly on our computer’s.

Git Bash

Git Bash is an application that will allow you to use Git with your Windows Operating System. Git Bash will serve as a command-line shell, which will enable you to use git with the command line in the system. A shell is an application used to communicate with an operating system through your written commands. The Git Bash package includes several components: Bash (Bourne Again Shell), a few basic Bash utilities, and Git. Git Bash will enable you to work with the repository and git elements through the commands. If this description sounded like mind-numbing jargon — you are not alone. With that being said, these applications and systems will begin to make a lot more sense as we start to use them to build your site (trust me!).

Git command line

The Git command line (Unix style command-line environment) is where you will enter all of your Git commands. You can open the command line in a variety of ways including the actions menu (Changes, Commits and Branches page), or from the Connect page. Here is a helpful Git command line cheat sheet


GitHub is a website that provides web hosting and allows developers to collaborate and practice version control using Git.


The header tag or element in HTML represents the place at the top of the page where you should put the introductory content for your site, like a title, authorship information, and links for navigation. You can use the tags <h1> through <h6> to designate subheaders on the page.


Homebrew is a free software package management system (app) that makes installing software on a Mac much easier. Basically, Homebrew will help us install anything we might need for coding that Apple did not already provide.


HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. HTML is used to make the content you want on a webpage look or behave in a certain way. In order to make written content, images, links, and other material “webpage-ready,” you mark it up using HTML. You can structure the content as separate paragraphs; as bulleted or numbered lists; italicize, bold, or underline text; embed links and images; and more. Tags are what you use to indicate how you want to structure particular content. For example, if you want text to appear as a paragraph, you would use the <p> tag, and it would look as follows: <p>text content</p>. The tags together with the content it encloses forms an element. This webpage is is a great primer on HTML, if you would like to explore further.

Inspect Element

Inspect element is a browser tool that allows you to see the code beneath the hood of websites you visit. This is a great tool to use when learning web design that allows you to see how others have done it.

Line height

In CSS, the line-height property is used to set the distance between lines of text, what is referred to as line spacing in Microsoft Word.


Markdown is a language used to generate a text in HTML. Using Markdown is less difficult and time-consuming than using HTML, but it cannot do everything HTML can do. It is a good shorthand to use when creating something simple. Here is a link to a good Markdown editor.


Markup is a term, borrowed from print editing, for taking a plain text document and adding tags and annotations to it to create an HTML document. This word can be used as a verb or a noun.


In CSS, padding creates space between content and a defined border.

Pixel (px)

A pixel is a basic unit of measurement for the screen.

Repository (Repo)

In GitHub, a repository (or repo for short) is the place that contains all of your project’s files and its revision history.

Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow is a question-and-answer website for developers, where coders help solve each other’s problems. It is a great place to check if you get stuck, but isn’t without downsides.

Style sheet

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheet. This part of your code will be a separate page from your HTML and will be where you “style” the look of your site, including color, images, font, and layout.


A tag in HTML is like a keyword in the code used to show the beginning and end of an HTML element in the markup document. The tags are what help computers turn HTML code into websites.


You know the little icons and drop down menus on your computer screen? And how you use your mouse/trackpad to accomplish different tasks on the computer by clicking, double-clicking, right-clicking, left-clicking, etc.? The terminal allows you to do all of these things, except through written commands. The terminal is also called the command line, and on a Mac, it comes pre-installed. Some common commands people use include: touch[space][file name] to create files’ mkdir[space][folder name] to create folders; and ls to list all the files and directories which exist in the location you’re currently situated in.

Version control

Version control is the practice of tracking changes to software code, so that previous versions can be accessed later.

VS Code

Unless you have another preference, VS Code is an incredibly user friendly code editor. As newcomers, we found the debugging support to be helpful in writing, testing and even learning what code is. VS Code can read a wide range of coding languages including HTML, CSS and Python. The editor highlights any errors within your code and even suggests ways to fix them.


Windows subsystem for Linux (WSL) lets you run a Linux environment, which includes command-line tools and apps (in Windows).

Other Glossaries

Here are two more in-depth glossaries for terms pertaining to GitHub and HTML.