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What is Javascript?

Posted by at 11:16pm on November 6, 2005.

Partially sourced from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JavaScript

JavaScript is an object-based scripting programming language based on the concept of prototypes. The language is best known for its use in websites, but is also used to enable scripting access to objects embedded in other applications.

It was originally developed by Brendan Eich of Netscape Communications Corporation under the name Mocha, then LiveScript, and finally renamed to JavaScript.

JavaScript has a C-like syntax.

Here is a short list of some things that Javascript is not:

Javascript is not Java
  • Javascript is not C
  • Javascript is not HTML, XHTML or XML
  • Typically we use Javascript as a client-side scripting programming language to perform HTML form validation, navigation “roll-overs” and to enhance usability. All these tasks are performed on the web browser – after the page has been processed by a web server and delivered to the (remote) web browser.

    It is possible to change ASP (Active Server Pages – part of Microsoft IIS) to use Javascript server-side (rather than VBScript), and in this context the Javascript is run server-side before the page is delivered to the (remote) web browser.

    Regardless of the server-side technology you are using, the page is processed server-side first, and then it is passed to the client (where it can be affected by Javascript running client-side). This is a one-way action (the web server cannot continue to process server-side once the contents of the page have been delivered to the browser).

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