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Creative Commons:
Creative Commons (CC) is a nonprofit organization that offers flexible copyright licenses for creative works. CC allows authors of music, films, photos, texts etc. to share their work under a specific license they can define on the creative commons website. In the case of GITTA: You may use the GITTA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you cite GITTA as the author (including a link to the website) and publish your derivatives under the same license. For more information have a look at the creative commons deed or at the full legal code.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS): A stylesheet language used to describe the presentation of a document written in a markup language. Its most common application is to style web pages written in HTML and XHTML, but the language can be applied to any kind of XML document. CSS is a W3C Standard.
CVS, the Concurrent Versions System, is the most widely used tool for controlling different versions of a source code and for a group of programmers to work simultaneously on a source code. Before working with a file, a user needs to do a "checkout" of the file from a "repository" stored on the project server. When writing updates back to the repository (called "committing"), CVS checks issues like access privileges, actual status of code and if no other group member meanwhile altered the code, CVS writes it back to the repository. By doing a "update" all project group members get the latest version of the code. CVS of course stores information about who altered which part of the code and automatically stores different versions of the code. Therefore using CVS it is possible to always reconstruct a former state of the code. eLML, and therefore also GITTA, uses CVS to store the XML code, images and multimedia elements of a lesson.
DocBook is a semantic markup language for technical documentation. It was originally intended for writing technical documents related to computer hardware and software but it can be used for any other sort of documentation.
ECLASS is based on Steven Gersons Guide to develop online courses. It is an abbreviation for the terms E = Entry; C = Clarify; L = Look; A = Act; S = Self-Assessment; S = Summary. Described in detail in the concept chapter. (Gerson 2000)
eLML, the eLesson Markup Language, is an XML framework developed by the GITTA project. The Swiss eLearning project GITTA started working with XML in 2001 but it was only after the official ending of the project in 2004 that its XML structure was released as an open source project under the name of eLML. For more information read the implementation chapter or visit (Fisler et al. 2005)
ePub is an XML based format for electronic books or eBooks. This format is used e.g. bei Apples's iPad. The standards definition can be found on More information about creating eBooks with eLML can be found here.
Firedocs is a Mozilla Firefox plugin with special extensions for eLML. More information about Firedocs can be found on The special "eLML edition" of the XML editor can only be downloaded through the eLML website.
GIST is the abbreviation for Geographic Information Systems Technology.
GITTA is a Swiss eLearning project about GIS and it is the abbreviation for Geographic Information Technology Training Alliance. For more information about GITTA have a look at
The IMS Global Learning Consortium (usually known as IMS) is a non-profit standards organization concerned with establishing interoperability for learning systems and learning content and the enterprise integration of these capabilities. Their mission is to "support the adoption and use of learning technology worldwide". Some famous IMS standards are the CP (Content Package) standard used to import/export of content, the "Learning Resource Meta-data Specification" (LOM) or the QTI standard for question and test interoperability.

This is how Wikipedia defines LaTeX: LaTeX is a document markup language and document preparation system for the TeX typesetting program.

It is widely used by mathematicians, scientists, and scholars in academia and the commercial world, and by others as a primary or intermediate format (e.g. translating DocBook and other XML-based formats to PDF) because of the quality of typesetting achievable by TeX. It offers programmable desktop publishing features and extensive facilities for automating most aspects of typesetting and desktop publishing, including numbering and cross-referencing, tables and figures, page layout and bibliographies.

See the eLML to LaTeX chapter for more information.

A Learning Management System (or LMS) is a software package, usually on a large scale (that scale is decreasing rapidly), that enables the management and delivery of learning content and resources to students. Most LMS systems are web-based to facilitate "anytime, anywhere" access to learning content and administration. Some famous open source LMS are OLAT and Moodle, famous commercial LMS are WebCT and Blackboard.
The Open Document Format (ODF) is an open source standard for office documents (text, spreadsheets, presentations etc.). It is used e.g. by OpenOffice or StarOffice and other similar open source tools. Since Microsoft Office 2007 started its own (only partially open...) XML format called "OpenXML" there is a "war of formats" going on because each standard tries to become THE standard for office documents. eLML offers a ODF converter because the team thinks that ODF is the better standard and deserves support from the open source community. Read this comparison to know more about the differences between ODF and OpenXML. There are many tools around to convert one format into another one and good office tool even support both by default so don't worry :-)
The development of the open source LMS OLAT (Online Learning And Training) started at the University of Zurich in 1999 and won the Medida Prix for best eLearning software in 2000. Today OLAT is already in its fifth version and is the strategic platform of the University of Zurich. Besides Zurich other universities like Bern, Sachsen (Germany) etc. are using OLAT as their main LMS. More information and download of the software can be found on the OLAT website.
The Shareable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) is a standard for web-based eLearning. It defines how the individual instruction elements are combined at a technical level and sets conditions for the software needed for using the content. SCORM is distributed by the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative, a US organization under the Department of Defense (DoD).
Sourceforge: is a community website that hosts open source projects. It offers a wide range of services like bugtracker, discussion board, CVS, web-space for working and storing of open source software. We use SourceForge for eLML to host our "core" files.
SVC, the Swiss Virtual Campus, was founded in 1999 after a decision of the Swiss Parliament that over 50 Million Swiss Francs should be used to build up eLearning projects at Swiss universities. In the first project phase out of about 200 project drafts a total of 50 projects were accepted and supported. GITTA was one of them. For more information have a look at the SVC website.
SVG, the Scalable Vector Graphics, is a standard of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It is an open, XML-based format to describe graphics and animations and can be used as an alternative to the proprietary Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia Flash formats. To view SVG within a browser use either a modern browser (like Firefox or Apple's Safari) that has native support for SVG or download a plugin. For detailed information about SVG visit the W3C or read Wikipedia's explanation.
XML, the eXtensible Markup Language, is a standard of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). XML documents use elements (tags) known from other markup languages like HTML. Using XSL transformations XML files can be transformed into other formats like XHTML or PDF. Many common used languages are based on XML: XHTML, SVG, GML, RSS, MathML etc. For detailed information about XML visit the W3C or read Wikipedia's explanation.
XSLT, the XSL Transformations, is part of the Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) family and is a standard of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). XSLT files are used to transform XML files into other formats like HTML or formatting objects (FO) for generating PDF files. For detailed information about XSL visit the W3C or read Wikipedia's explanation.
ZIP is a compression algorithm widely used on most of todays operating systems. A ZIP archive can contain multiple files, folders and subfolders. Both SCORM and IMS content packages are actually ZIP files that must contain a valid imsmanifest.xml file on their root level. With MacOS X you can right-mouse-click files or folders in the finder and choose "Create archive of ..." from the context menu. On Windows you have to install a tool like WinZIP to create ZIP archives.