Let’s see an introduction about what’s so special about JavaScript, what we can achieve with it, and which other technologies play well with it. JavaScript is a scripting or programming language that allows you to implement complex features on web pages. Every time a web page does more than just sit there and display static information for you to look at. Displaying timely content updates, interactive maps, animated 2D/3D graphics, scrolling video jukeboxes, etc. So, you can assume that JavaScript is probably on it. It is the third layer of the layer cake of standard web technologies, two of which (HTML and CSS) we have in much more detail in other parts of the Learning Area.

Javascript Introduction: What It Can Do?

JavaScript - A Comprehensive Introduction

The core client-side JavaScript language consists of some common programming features that allow you to do things like:

  1. Store useful values inside variables. In the above example, for instance, we ask for a new name to be entered then store that name in a variable called name.
  2. Operations on pieces of text (known as “strings” in programming). In the above example, we take the string “Player 1: ” and join it to the name variable to create the complete text label, e.g. ”Player 1: Chris”.
  3. Running code in response to certain events occurring on a web page. We used a click the event in our example above to detect when the button is clicked and then run the code that updates the text label.

What is even more exciting however is the functionality is on top of the client-side JavaScript language. So-called Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) provide you with extra superpowers to use in your JavaScript code.

APIs are ready-made sets of code building blocks that allow a developer to implement programs. That would otherwise be hard or impossible to implement. They do the same thing for programming that ready-made furniture kits do for home building. So, it is much easier to take ready-cut panels. Screw them together to make a bookshelf than it is to work out the design yourself. Go and find the correct wood, cut all the panels to the right size and shape. Find the correct-sized screws, and then put them together to make a bookshelf.

The Future Of This Language

While JavaScript is not the only client-side scripting language on the Internet, it was one of the first and it is still the most widely used. Many developers believe that JavaScript is inefficient and finicky, so they have made many improvements to the language over the years. Enterprising programmers have created JavaScript libraries. More concise languages from the building blocks of JavaScript that are less complex and can be present in specific applications.

For instance, JQuery is a JavaScript library that simplifies and expands many of JavaScript’s animation and interactive functions, while Backbone.js makes responsive design easier. JavaScript has become integral to the Internet experience as developers build increased interaction and complexity into their applications. Search engines, ecommerce, content management systems, responsive design, social media, and phone apps would not be possible without it.

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