What is JavaScript®?

M. Haskins

JavaScript®, a trademark of Oracle Corporation, is a computer scripting language commonly used to add dynamic and interactive content and features to web pages. Examples of popular web page features that can be created with JavaScript® include user interfaces such as pop-up windows, drop-down menus, and images that change as you mouse over them. The most common form of this scripting language is client-side JavaScript®, which runs on a user's own computer, also known as a client computer, rather than on a computer server. Functions written in this language are often added to the HTML code used to create web pages, and on the client side, JavaScript® is usually part of the web browser environment, meaning the web browser interprets and executes the code. There is also a server-side version of this scripting language that has increased in popularity with the release of faster products such as node.js.

The development of JavaScript® was influenced by programming languages such as C++.
The development of JavaScript® was influenced by programming languages such as C++.

This scripting language is often used to create more dynamic websites than can be achieved using only HTML code. For example, JavaScript® can be used to add calculations of the current date and time to a web page, or to make a user interface that changes color or other display characteristics based on user actions. It can also be used to validate forms filled in and submitted on a web page. In addition to its use on web pages, it is also used for various other purposes including as an application platform for the graphical user interface in some web browsers, and as an embedded scripting language in a wide range of applications like Adobe's Acrobat, Yahoo! Widgets and Apple's Dashboard Widgets.

JavaScript® was developed by Netscape and released in 1995 as a part of the Netscape Navigator web browser. This scripting language conforms to the ECMAScript language standard and is considered a dialect of ECMAScript. ECMAScript is a client-side scripting language that was standardized by Ecma International, an international, nonprofit organization which develops and maintains standards for information and communication systems.

The development of JavaScript® was influenced by programming languages such as C, C++, Scheme and Self, and it is sometimes referred to as a functional programming language. One reason for this designation is that functions in JavaScript® are first-class, meaning they are treated as objects. This means that the functions can be manipulated by various programming commands, such as variables or values. It is important not to confuse this scripting language with the Java programming language, which was also influenced by C and C++ but is quite different in most respects.

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?