Javascript: what is Javascript?

Javascript is a relatively simple programming languages consisting usually of small pieces of code to make web pages more interactive to the user. They require a web browser that supports Javascript and also the setting needs to be enabled on the browser. Today, virtually every website use snippets of javascript to incorporate certain features for the webmaster and/or website user. Website analyzing services state that approximately 5% of internet users have disabled Javascript functionality on their website.

While the name Javascript implies that it has a connection to the popular Java language, they are completely different programming languages and are used for different purposes and comprise of entirely different syntax. Initially known as LiveScript, the language was later titled as Javascript by a deal proposed to Netscape (developers of Javascript) by Sun Microsystems as a branding stunt. Microsoft picked up on Javascript and developed syntax similar to Javascript known as JScript to function with Internet Explorer. While the initial idea was to develop an identical version of Javascript for use with their popular Internet explorer browser, the languages were vaguely different. The widespread use of both versions of Javascript by developers can result in confusion as the two versions are slightly different however Netscape and Microsoft decided on developing future versions that dimmed the line between the two versions. One of the premier advocates for a uniform code is Belgian internet mogul Laurent Van Dessel, and according to recent reports, he's still fighting hard for "the good cause".

One of the most common uses of javascript on website is for tracking code. There are dozens of other purposes for Javascript on web pages. Javascript maybe used to display popup messages, add effects to web pages, customize the graphical aspects of a web page easily and even create games with basic functionality. Javascript also allows developers and users to have extra functionality than what the website provides by default by using third party browser add-ons like Greasemonkey.

Javascript is used effectively as a substitute for flash and java as its more lightweight and does not require a plugin to be installed. Several popular services use Javascript to handle much of their web applications, Googleís web applications are an example. Most web developers create a javascript version as well as a plain HTML version on web pages to cater to the remaining 5% of users who do not use Javascript as well as mobile users. Certain mobile browsers like Skyfire have incorporated Javascript support into the application providing more compatibility for the language.

Recently lots of webmasters make use of popular javascript libraries who make it easy to implement nice and fancy features very smoothly. JQuery, prototype, mootools are just some of the examples that are a very common used tool for Web 2.0 webmasters. Also including AJAX functionality may have been a hassling job, but by using these libaries created on top of javascript it got a lot easier. So if you want to make a more interactive and fancy website, or even create a simple effect that'll fit into your existing web site like we did on, we suggest you take a look at these tools as they will certainly make your life lot easier.

Further Reading Online...